Friday, December 31, 2010

Review of the Past

We've done some great things, you know.
Personal achievements of mine have certainly not been scarce. At times, I posted the Apocalypse regularly. Darkness and Light (now removed for publishing attempts) was birthed here, and I still insist that it is my greatest work. Michael, Maria (however little I've written about her), Jacques, and so many others found their birth here. Darklight has set up what I hope to be an intriguing circumstance. My poetry flourishes here. I've even branched out into Song of the Week once or twice. I've grown, I think.
What a year it was for Met. After March came, the posts were regular and well-made. The Conversations were created since the last New Year. When I was gone, he filled in flawlessly. Not only that, but he began his two stories and Advent of the Mystics. He gives me leave to die, if I please, knowing the storied (heh) tradition of the blog can continue. And how many of our writers is he responsible for? Two? Three? More? Someone's been planning.
Qupar played with mediums and found his strength in not writing sprites. These he posted as regularly as I wrote. For the most part, his illustrations have been a beautiful compliment.
Elphaba kept writing like clockwork. She eased the load. I think she also wins the comment award, commenting on almost everything. I miss the comments.
Marim has worked with nigh-slavish devotion to bring a new dimension to Song of the Week beyond Met's link-filled overview and my madness. She always has done better than she gives herself credit for, and I look forward to her branching into other areas when she gets comfortable.
Xanthurian brought with him an unseen sort of blogging, both in story content and post variety. Beyond inspiring me to attempt Sloth through games, he's brought talent which has been sorely needed whenever creativity dropped.
MNTY frequented and brought joy. I do respect that blogger, you know.
Worlds beyond measure were birthed. Numerous projects were undertaken and, even if unsuccessful, improved the blog. New writers joined. One, sadly, left. I think Qupar did a dance between the two. Storms were weathered with ease. It was a good year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010, A Year in Review

Did we do

What were


It was a


was it

We have

This is





Where do we

Let's take some time,

forgo the lapses,

and concentrate.

2010, a year in review.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review of the Present

We ran out of juice, didn't we? As I see it, though we post consistently, the posts are skeleton posts. Mine are nearly all hollow, and far-between at that. The last Apocalypse was in September. That is unforgivable. Two sonnets, one Conversations, Felix, Zanoc, and a painfully transparent filler nearly constitute my month. But for the Art series (which I'm enjoying) and a Michael (I have plans for that particular Angel), I abandoned you. I'm sorry.
Met's stepped up to fill the gap, but I would be lying if I said I didn't sense some fraying. Though he doesn't post every day, he fills all the gaps, and orchestrates all our other work. He's the one who yells at me at ten at night to post. I thank him for that. But with all of that, coupled with everything else that the season brings, he's dropped his larger projects for some time. I blame myself.
Qupar's next, I suppose, in seniority. Nothing since November. But the last Apocalypse was September, so I blame myself.
Elphaba's gone. I want her back.
Marim (and Met) may have saved us all. Coupled with Met, she continues to churn out new reviews with the clockwork punctuality of something both clockwork and punctual. But for an unforeseeable and (presumably) unavoidable drought early in the month, she has returned with a tour de force of reviews I still really need to comment on.
Xanthurian left before we started to depend on him, but perhaps his absence is safely in the grave now? My joy at discovering his post yesterday was unparallelable.
A certain MNTY has taken her own hold on the blog, while remaining teasingly aloof in her own fortress of blogitude. Yet she saved me. Twice. Because I failed.
We don't comment enough. None of us do. Met and I have projects I think everyone wants to see more of. No one schedules anything in advance. The tags are getting messy. We lack for traffic. Things are fragile.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Game Review: Warzone 2100

Warzone 2100 is an in development RTS (Real Time Strategy) game, based after "The Collapse," a nuclear war that obliterated most of the population. You play as The Project, a group trying to rebuild humanity, but who is hampered by various enemies.

This is going to be a short review, because I haven't played the game much yet, but it'll be close enough.

The biggest gameplay difference is that you get to design your own vehicles. In fact, you need to design vehicles, or you only get a bunch of trucks, the basic building unit. There is also a huge tech tree, which allows for nearly infinite possibilities in design and construction. Some different construction options are: wheels, half-tracks, treads, and VTOL. There are a huge number of weapon types, including: rockets, machine guns, mortars, and AA guns. There are the campaign, offline skirmish, and online multiplayer modes. The offline skirmish and multiplayer have everything unlocked, not relating to the campaign, so if you want to just start playing, you can. The campaign is designed around time-sensitive missions, so you need to act fast, and think faster when playing through it. There are very few things unlocked at the beginning of the campaign, and your research is very limited.

I haven't really played this enough to give a truly complete review, but I hope this at least gives you some idea of the game.

Pros: Designable vehicles and interesting storyline.

Cons: It's still Alpha, so there are some bugs. The storyline is rather non-essential to gameplay, so much so, that the intro movie is an option on the main menu, instead of integrated at the beginning of a new campaign.

Overall: An excellent game for those who like RTS with an interesting, if unimportant storyline. The designable vehicles are definitely a plus, but it's a little confusing unless you look at the website guide first.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sonnet XXIV, "Expectation"

Sometimes it seems that the sum of our dreams
Can never compare to that which is there,
For though hope seems to beam, it is merely the gleam
Of a life merely fair, left without meaning's flair,
Since to reach to the goal, one endangers the soul,
And so driven insane, it returns to mundane.

Sometimes it seems that the sum of our dreams
Can never compare to that which is there.
And at once the mundane is discovered insane,
Truth releasing the soul forth to reach for its goal-
No, to try for love's flair, for it only is fair
That the hearts every gleam can, reflected, now beam.

Sometimes it seems the sum of our dreams
Can never compare to that which is there.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Karachay: Part 10

Monday, June 19th, 1967
Fret not for me, I have too much a professional's mien to panic. The women, however, are falling to hysteria, and the men to madness. More have died. I will not list a number, for it will surely have grown by the time this letter reaches you. Know only that this disease discriminates neither for age nor health.
Mikhail is, I'm sure, as trustworthy as always. So too are you. You must not let paranoia wedge itself between you. Disease is beyond our control, and poison would surely be from beyond, especially on such a scale. At this point, we can little afford to lose our friends. Without them, how can we continue?
I've become a grave robber. Please, do not be disgusted. Find what humor there is in the situation, for only that can continue us. You see, I'm certain that a clue can be found in the exhumed. Indeed, I've already discovered that in addition to a few similarities of the exterior (hair loss; spongy, loose, peeling flesh; tooth loss), there is a peculiarity of the interior. Many of the dead have suffered severe internal bleeding. They all show significant wear in the esophagus, indicating vomiting. Most curious of all, however, are the cysts I've found. A surprising number of the fallen have fleshy polyps throughout their bodies.
I continue my nightly examinations, and they exhaust me. Nonetheless, I may learn something significant. The villagers are no help. I was already an outsider before this divided us. Now I'm lucky to merely face the evil eye when I try to speak about anything but their health.
May health find you,

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

So rather than let Marim throw up the next Song of the Day post today I'm going to give her a day break for Christmas. To be honest, Christmas crept up on me a bit this year. I did my shopping two days ago and now I realize why that's never a good idea. To me, Christmas is about spending time with family and being thankful. Personally speaking, I'll be going to church in the morning, spending time with family, and probably playing some new video games later (Steam's Holiday Sale runs until January 2nd). If you plan on listening to some Christmas music this year, check this out (you can also find it on iTunes). It's been a pretty decent year for RPS as a whole. Naturally the summer is less busy on this site as far as traffic and posts go, but around this time last year is when the whole posting every day when possible thing got started. As we continue to flood the site with more posts, we continue to gain more and more visitors, whether it be by google searches, or the plugs I've littered around sites I've visited. With this in mind, it's important that we make every post count going forward. Are we professionals in music? No. Are we professionals in writing? No. We have lives and jobs (or at least I do) and if we could make money this way there's a good chance we would quit our jobs and just do this. However, it's important to remember the power of individuals running non-profit ventures (such as OCR, which is the musical discovery I am most thankful for). I hate to make it sound like thanksgiving, but I think it's important to reflect on what we have and using it to the benefit of others. Anyway, Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Song of the Day 25: 'Shift (Interlude)' by Outspoken

This is probably going to be my shortest Song of the Day so far (unfortunately), considering that this next track is less than two minutes long. So here's a little review for Shift (Interlude).

The beginning starts off automatically with a synth as the melody. It's quite repetitive, and continues until a harmony comes in at 0:14. This harmony is a very low synth, and is a nice touch to add for melody support. There's a slight key change at 0:22, and the song continues. The key will soon change once again at 0:27, becoming what it previously was. There is another added synth that comes in though for added effect. Then once again there's another change back to what it was at 0:22. The whole thing seems very repetitive. It goes back again into the previous key at 0:41, although I can tell that the harmony is a little bit louder here. At 0:48, it changes into a different key that hasn't been heard yet, and then changes into yet another key at 0:55. The harmony can also be much clearly heard hear also. At 1:02 I can hear it much easier, and there's another key change also. At 1:09 it goes back into the original key (the one from the very beginning). At 1:15 there's a slight change: the high synth that has been playing has now disappeared, and leaving behind the lower melody, the harmonies, and the bass (each one is a synth). This continues and repeats itself until 1:36, and then the song is already over.

Pros: I would say the pros would have to be the different key changes. They keep the song interesting, and each one seems to work with the song.

Cons: It's too repetitive, and again it needs more. I couldn't really tell what the melody was, and it was pretty much the same thing over and over throughout the whole song. Plus the ending could have been better also.

Overall: There really isn't much to say about this song other than it needs more work on it. Sorry for such a short post today.

Rating: 6.9/10

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Song of the Day 24: 'Progress' by Outspoken

I'm back again. I really don't have much to say as far as an introduction, so I might as well just get to the actual song. The next one on the list is Progress.

The beginning starts out with some very light percussion, and then a soft synth can be heard at 0:05 to start it out. It pulses twice, and then the percussion kicks in to give me a better idea on speed at 0:10. The synth is a little soft here, can be considered too blended. It seems like there's some sort of melody coming out of it, but honestly I can't really tell. It all seems to be very percussion orientated at the moment. This continues until 0:37, where there's a slight transition into the next section using some light percussion hits. At 0:43 it starts back up again, pretty much repeating the sequence played at 0:10. There are some synths heard here that does add the elements needed to make it different than before though. At 0:54 the percussion drops, leaving some minor synth playing until it starts again at 0:58. The synth still sounded too blended for my liking however. Here at this new sequence I can finally hear a melody from a high synth. I find this melody to be quite catchy. The melody changes at about 1:10, having a much lower synth take control. This whole portion of the song continues until 1:31, where the majority of what was going on cuts off. There's light percussion that comes in occasionally, and more of a melody from the synths comes in at about 1:36. The percussion is still pretty light but it gets better at 1:42, and at a pretty good time also. The melody gets better as well, going back into a high synth. It goes back to low at 1:53, and in my opinion the low synth doesn't really grab my attention. The percussion does help though, so overall it's not that bad. Another synth comes in at 2:03, creating another melody. It's a rather repetitive melody, but it does change pitch at 2:14. At 2:29 the mood changes into something much calmer and much different than what I've heard thus far. Here there's a blend of synths used to create this mood, and I think for once that the blend here is a good thing. At 2:36 it gets even calmer, and at 2:40 there are some light hi-hat hits. It may be percussion, but it somehow maintains that calm mood. At 2:45 the synths get louder, and the percussion starts to become a little more complex. The song goes back into its previous mood at 2:51 with it's percussion and synth for a melody. The percussion unfortunately is getting a little too repetitive also now that I keep hearing the same thing with each section. At least there's some changes with the melody though, but not much of a difference rhythm-wise. The melody, as well as the entire sequence, continues and repeats itself until about 3:23 where the melody has a slight change in pitch and rhythm. At about 3:33 the melody being played drops, leaving no melody, until a new synth takes over the melody at 3:39. Harmonies consisting of more synth are added at 3:45 also. This harmony does drop out at 3:56 though. A different section starts up at 4:00 with a lower-pitched synth as the melody. This new section may have been better with a transition into it, since it automatically went right into this new section. Higher synth will come in a couple seconds later to control the melody. At 4:17 the synth will slow down to playing once every measure. This continues, and at 4:32 most of the percussion seems to exit also. At 4:38 there's one final note from the synth, and then the song will come to a conclusion.

Pros: The section from 2:29 to about 2:51 had to be my favorite part of the song, and during many parts of the song the synth would shift keys and pitches well.

Cons: There was lack of atmosphere and elements once again, unfortunately. Most of the sections were a little too repetitive (including the percussion). Sometimes the synths sounded too blended and messy also.

Overall: There were some parts of the song that were strong, but like the other songs, it still needs work. Atmosphere is a must, and some variety in the song would be helpful also. It's not that bad though, for I still enjoyed listening to it (although having Charlie Brown Christmas being played in my home was sort of a distraction :) ).

Rating: 6.8/10

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Song of the Day 23: 'Striking Chill' by Outspoken

Two weeks ago I was supposed to do Song of the Day, but because of my disappearance from this blog, I had to give up. Now, I'm back and ready to finish what I started. The last Song of the Day was about the track 'Urban Science', and the next track is called 'Striking Chill'. Now, let's get started now, shall we?

Okay, so the beginning starts out very simple, consisting of a very low beat. The beat is a little confusing at first, but it does straighten out though at 0:07. Here is where more of a melody is developed, and the light percussion as well as the beat give an idea of how fast this song is going to be. At 0:13 there's more added as backup for the melody, and at 0:20 I can hear the beat pulse a little more and grow louder. Even more sounds are added at 0:25, which really adds some more effect. At 0:32 the percussion is the main thing that draws my attention. The melody here has also dropped, leaving the added stuff from 0:25 as the main melody (or at least something like a melody). At 0:39 the percussion improves with some rapid hi-hat hits, which actually work quite well with the percussion that first appeared at 0:32. At 0:46 there's yet even more percussion added, making the song so far a very percussion-oriented piece. Unfortunately there really isn't much atmosphere, considering that the synths used are quite simple and I haven't heard any new changes in melody. At 0:58 the melody drops, only leaving that first synth used in the beginning. The percussion comes back at 1:04, but this time it's a little different. The beat at some points end up hitting on a spot that's not even on the beat, but right before it. Met says in his small summary of the song a while back that a lot of people don't like these "funky snare hits". I guess I'm in the minority, because I actually like it. The first spot where I heard it was at about 1:09 by the way. At about 1:10 there's a pretty good sequence from the synth, although simple. However, this sequence does flow, and goes well with the percussion. It gradually grows louder at about 1:18, and stays at the volume being developed until 1:34. Here the percussion drops, leaving just the synth. The synth here sounds a little too blended, and I'm not much of a fan of the way it sounds. The synth does calm down into what it was back at 1:10, with the pulsing beat to come with it. At 1:42, the percussion comes back in strong. This next sequence is pretty decent, as it consists of the percussion (with the cool snare hits), the synth from 1:10, and a new harmony that I first start to hear at around 1:50. At 1:56 there's a very low synth that takes the place of what was going on before (excluding the percussion). The beat simplifies at 2:08 into just some light hits on the hi-hat and the pulsing beat. There's a very small transition into the next section at 2:14, and the song continues. The transition could have been a little bit broader, as it lack certain elements to make it sound great. At this new section the simple synth from 1:10 changes into a much more minor key, with the low synth from 1:56 being added to make a pretty good harmony. This continues until about 2:34 where certain parts of the song (mainly the percussion section). The percussion is gone right now, leaving only the two synths and somewhat of a beat. This section lasts until 2:47. That section lacked some elements and atmosphere, and shouldn't have been so long. The percussion comes back in, although much simpler than before. It does increase in complexity at 2:54 however. More harmony is added at 3:00, but I still don't think that it's enough. At 3:12 the synths go into a new sequence similar to the one at 2:14. I would say that the only difference between the two would be the synth being stronger at this new section. Some synths start to back down at 3:24, leaving mainly the percussion, beat, and the lighter synths that were hardly heard in the song. At 3:39 even more is taken out, having only the synth at the very beginning be played as well as the percussion. At 3:50 the percussion starts to lose its complexity, and at 3:57 it's about as simple as it can get (only small and somewhat slow hi-hat is used). At 4:02, there was a slight pause and then the synth from 1:10 plays by itself to finish the job, and even pulsing a little bit at 4:11. That's the end.

Pros: There was a good amount of pros here. The beat and the speed was overall consistent, and I really like those funky hits on the snare drum. Despite the fact that it was quite simple, it did flow well with everything.

Cons: There was a lack of atmosphere, and a lack of the elements that would make me think "wow" after listening to it. The synths lacked complexity, and the majority of the sections were very repetitive. The small section at 1:34 I didn't really like, mainly because it sounded a little messy.

Overall: It's not bad, but it needs some work. Atmosphere and complexity are a huge factor in making this song better (although the percussion did a good job in terms of that). However, it's a good start (that's my opinion, mainly because I'm not very knowledgeable in composing music).

Rating: 7.2/10

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Okay, so this is sort of a filler post, but it's also a general announcement. I was browsing the blog today and noticed that posts tagged Reogan are at exactly 300. I dunno what's so attractive about nice round numbers, but there it is for you. He still does a lot more work than everyone else as far as this site goes, although as of late he's really been able to ease back and still achieve goals. This is nice, because he's got better things to do believe it or not. Regardless, here's to Reogan. The next few posts coming up, if all goes according to plan (which it rarely does) will be the continuation of Song of the Day by Marim. I've written a new track since her last post so she'll have to add that in as well. I'l also update my prelude post with the description of the new track. I'll get to that later though, because Steam is having a holiday sale and I've got some video games to play. Anyway, enjoy your Christmas!


Monday, December 20, 2010


Felix dashed down the alley, glancing anxiously behind himself. The smell of smoke was everywhere, and his eyes burned with the fumes. Nonetheless, he sprinted out of the alley and down Main Street towards the outskirts of town. Out here, the moaning was louder, and he could tell that time was short. Reaching the Gate of the town he stopped, horrified.

A legion stood, blocking his only escape.

Felix sighed,defeated. He fell to the ground, the fight gone from him. He had been prepared for many things. Werewolves wouldn't have been a problem. Vampires? Easy. He had had a dozen contingencies for zombies.

But it all went to hell when the zombies were on fire.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Sorrow comes, sooner or later.

There is a particular beauty in sadness. A lugubrious perfection in death. Glory in pain. Before long, every being on this earth learns of the utter emptiness life can bring. And so the translators must preserve this scarring beauty as well.

Out of blood come black paintings.

From tears spring the elegy.

Wails become fugues.

To do anything else would be to lie.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Song of the Week 25.5: 'A Day in the Life of a Gambler' by JJT (redo)

It's about time I posted something up here. I apologize for my sudden and long absence that lasted almost two weeks, but I'm back and ready for some song reviews. This one (like most .5 editions) is coming off of one of the early SotW's. My review is basically a redo of Song of the Week 1, which is the one post that started it all. So the song is from Final Fantasy VI (the Final Fantasy series has some great remixes, by the way), and is titled 'A Day in the Life of a Gambler'. For the direct link to the remix, you can click here.

The beginning starts out strong, and through the first couple of notes I knew that this solo piano piece was going to be a jazz piece. The first seventeen seconds acts as the introduction, and at about 0:18 I can start to get the feel of the tempo. It's actually rather slow, but there are numerous little runs to add some flair (especially at 0:24). At 0:36 there's a small break after a series of chords, and it starts up again at 0:39. At this new section the whole song breaks out into a swing, which makes me correct about it being a jazz song. The tempo increases in speed as well. It starts out with some low keys on the piano being played as a bass, creating the swing. At 0:47 a melody starts to appear, which totally fits with the bass being played. Some very quick and short triplets come with the melody, adding even more flair here. Some examples are at 0:51 and 0:54 (0:54 has a little more with this run though). The tiniest detail in the melody here is key, although the song in itself is awesome. At 0:58 I'm starting to hear a lot more runs, which really adds excitement here to the song. At 1:04 I heard some of the bass act as a harmony with the swinging melody. The melody switches into something I haven't heard thus far, with even more bass having the occasional run to back everything up. At 1:16 it's now a small section consisting of bass and treble chords switching off in a swing. This right here is a great example of the bass and melody working together perfectly, for if one part of the song was gone, the section would be chaos. This repeats at 1:20, although at a much quieter and lower pitch. It gets gradually louder at about 1:23 until there's an excellent transition into the next section at 0:25. At 0:28 is the spot where it really transitions, using only a brief pause. This is one of the few times I find a complete pause in a song a good thing since the pause here was in the perfect spot. The bass starts up again at 0:29, but much quieter this time. Having some complicated, jazzy chords increase in pitch, another transition is born until a new melody plays at 1:36. The bass is gone here, getting rid of some of the jazz. There is a nice, lower harmony here though, which really makes this section sound really cool. The entire harmony makes the melody sound complete; without it, this section wouldn't be very much. There is a bit of a very soft pulse heard to create a light beat, although my attention was drawn more to the piano. This section continues all the way until 2:07, where there's a slight pause in the music. At 2:10 the new section starts out strong, with fast treble notes and the occasional bass notes for support. The treble notes here aren't entirely boring; they do indeed play the same note, but there are frequent triplets played throughout. This section lasts for quite a while, repeating itself until some new chords create a transition into the next section at 2:41. Here it goes back into that same jazz feel that I had felt before, with everything swinging away. The melody displayed here is almost the exact same as the one back at 0:47, but this time it's in the form of chords. At 2:49 there are some very unique chords here that create a couple of triplets, which is probably added in there to add more impression to this section (this also happens again at 3:02). At 3:09 there's a small change in the melody to slightly change the feel as well as a change in the key. It gets quieter and lower once again at 3:17, making the melody drop in pitch as well. The melody in this new section is hard to pick out, but it's audible if listened closely. The treble create more of a bass now, which adds a small amount of uniqueness into the song in general. This last all the way until 3:48, where everything slows down into one last, peaceful chord at 3:51 (this is one of those chords where each note is played by itself into the chord, but I seriously have forgotten what that term in music is called). The ending is great, and the soothing chord has that jazz-like ending which always sounds cool in my opinion. The note is held until there is no more.

Pros: Everything that was a part of this song was excellent. There were just some sections such as at 0:47 where the song couldn't have been played any better than that. The entire song had outstanding melodies, and even those tiny little triplets made all the difference to me. Every transition was just about perfect also. I really haven't even begun to say everything cool about it. This song is just about flawless, and I would highly recommend listening to this mesmerizing piece.

Cons: Cons...what cons? There really isn't any that I can think of at all other than having the melody be a little more clear during that last section at 3:17.

Overall: This song is brilliant, excellent, and completely awesome. Everything that was played in this track worked together and flowed with perfection.

Rating: 9.9/10

Friday, December 17, 2010

August 20, 1890

Loathe though I am to follow up a day without me with a day without much from me, I feel compelled to tell you that upon the scanning two thousand words of my novel, I have been declared the reincarnation of H.P. Lovecraft. See the sidebar. This is awesome.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

socks of yarn

floating through the cupboard

my thoughts rebound off jam--



strawberry preserves.

i wasn't even thinking of jam.

where did that come from?

i was thinking of yarn.

floating through the closet

my thoughts rebound off yarn--

yards and yards of



skeins of yarn.

making Christmas lists

and brainstorming--


dreaming of summer,

with the clouds and the sun

and the breeze and the grass

tickling my feet.

tickling my feet?

brothers tickling my feet.

socked feet

socks of yarn

skeins of yarn

jars of jam.

i palindrome i.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Song of the Week 25: 'One Girl in All The World' by The Wingless

I can't believe I haven't covered this track yet for Song of the Week, but I'm finally getting around to it now. This is the track that brought me to OCR back in 2005 (I lurked until '08) and it's had me hooked ever since. I found this track originally when doing a Google search for Super Metroid music or remixes, something like that. So I came up with One Girl In All The World by The Wingless and I loved it so much that I posted 5 OCR track links to my blog when I started it (that would be March of '06 I believe). The links are dead now after djp made some host changes and I never bothered to correct them because that blog is no longer public, but regardless OCR has made a significant impact on my life and it all started with this track. Speaking of the Wingless, I haven't seen him around OCR in quite a while. In fact I just checked his forum profile and it says no activity since 4/16/2010. From what I've seen, The Wingless makes fantastic works of art in the musical field and this goes all the way back to One Girl In All The World's posting date: 10/2/2003. Anyway, I should get down to the actual mix...

The ironic thing about this track is that when I first listened to it often, I couldn't figure out the source tune. Granted, I've never played Super Metroid, but I've heard the source tune in gameplay videos and through many other remixes; this is certainly unorthodox. The track slowly fades in with thunder and rain effects with a single piano note being tapped lightly (that's an E flat). The atmosphere is a good set up for the piano breakout at 0:14. This is an unorthodox sounding piece already to my ears and 0:25 expands the piano with a synth added this time that floats up and plays in tandem with the piano. At 0:36 you've got a subtle pulsing bass that gives the piece more feel. It's a very nice, repetitive groove that enthralls the listener (or at least me). At 0:59 the piece seems to "take off" (remember, I'm writing this from what I feel and think, this is by no means what your opinion should or will be). We've now an abundance of synths with some single note piano support. There's also a subtle synth like choir at 1:05 that took me a while to catch. A synth melody is established and it joins the piano rhythm/melody at 1:09 to form sort of counter melody/melody/harmony thing (I'm not a music expert). A second later (1:10) you've got some reinforcing synth acting as a two note bass. You can really see this track start to come together. 1:21 expands the track with a cymbal that introduces atmospheric effects really giving the track it's superb and flexible feel. Of course there's also the percussion stuff going on now, it sounds like hi-hat more than snare brushes; I wouldn't know, but it's a well employed sample. There's a brief pause at 1:31 when the piano comes down to continue the motif already established. This track really flows through everything, I mean a lot; there's a lot of transitions and changes among the seemingly repetitive motifs. 1:42 ends another cycle with the piano that comes down and now we're introduced to a slower part with a synth lead and piano bass. This is the part where I finally caught onto the "Oh this is Red Brinstar" (the piano bass gave it away). This is fantastic, it feels very loose, but it's held together by awesome atmosphere, superb piano interweaving with the synth, and a general feeling of peace. Also notice the subtle string introduction. It expands at 2:12 becoming more active with piano background, but still retaining the peaceful feel. It becomes more profound now especially starting at 2:18 like it wants to go somewhere, but it's having trouble despite its honest trying. It trails off with a held piano note and the string to near silence at 2:30. The piano pops back in a second later with the beginning of a now familiar motif. Now you can really hear it coming together and the piano gets all showy like it's realizing this track is going to work. 2:43 adds in the two note bass we've heard before that has great reinforcement. A whistle synth lead is added at 2:44 that seems to bring everything we've heard before together. This track seems to speak for itself in an innocent "Hey I figured this out." manner. It leaves us trailing off again at 2:52, but this time on a positive note that seems to say that this trick worked before. The low range string stuff really helps in this section (which is where I'd consider the most coherent and cohesive part is) and it seems to say "so now..." which starts a new story. This is incredibly well woven and it's mesmerizing. At 3:17 it changes keys and keeps the awesomeness going. Now you can hear the lead in the source tune played by the lead synth. I seriously didn't recognize this the first time I heard it and it probably had to do with the mesmerizing piano always going on. The final expansion is at 3:41 which adds the strings in a more prominent manner with cymbal crashes that really create more of a waves on the shore sort of sound. It trails off again at 4:03 and you can hear it start to dissolve now as it nears its end. It seems like the track found its place in this world, or a world for a place. It fades out to end. I fear I haven't really justified this piece's awesomeness in my little writeup hear, djp and the forum goers at OCR do it much better (so check that out here). This is the first song I ever heard from OCR, and I believe it's one of the best I've ever heard to date.

Pros: Mesmerizing flow, piano work, synth work, just about everything. I feel extremely under qualified to review this so just listen to it and decide for yourself.

Cons: None. I can't think of anything that could've made this better.

Overall: The Wingless is talented beyond belief. What else can I say? Awesome.

Rating: 9.9/10

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Conversations: To Play

"So we have to coordinate our schedules?"


"And agree to lie about what we're doing?"


"And coerce an entire extra group into the mix just to secure the one person we need?"

"How else?"

"And then you want to use the time of Authority for recreation?"

"Of course."

"A recreation you admit will be spoiled if a certain undesirable gets into the mix?"


"An undesirable whose arrival is more likely than anyone else's?"

"Other than us."

"And atop that you expect us to pay?"

"The Cookie Fund is donations only, thank you."

"You're mad."

"So it would seem."

"Can we start tomorrow?"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Art II

There are those who can translate.

Though hailed as creators, they are merely finders. Menders. Guides. From the jumbled cacophony of perfection, each plucks but a thread at a time to weave into a tapestry of light. Each selects his own tools. Each her own voice. Each pulls a new thread.

Light becomes melody.

Weaving becomes story.

Voice becomes image.

Beauty is made again presentable.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Salem was nice this time of year. Even if the infamous trials had been held on its namesake on the opposite coast, the city held its own share of corruption and darkness. Herein one found thieves and murderers, mobsters and rapists, lawyers and car salesmen.

Michael fully intended to outdo them all.

Having left his car in a nearby lot, he wandered the dimming streets in search of a target. His options were many, from the young couples lost in each other's smiles to the crazies begging for their bread. In the end, though, Michael wasn't satisfied with the small game. He wanted a real target.

Six feet tall before her heels and lugging a large briefcase, the woman seemed more than capable of making any normal assailant think twice. Michael wasn't a normal assailant. He reached out carefully with his mind, and found the pain was much less noticeable this far north.

For now, whispered Gabriel's voice at the back of his mind.

Shaking his head, Michael nudged the woman towards an alley. Having lived in the city all her life, her every instinct fought him. Michael pressed harder. The woman stumbled and suddenly turned right. Michael followed her into the tiny corridor.

In the shadow, Michael was nearly invisible. There was no glint of cold steel in his hands. He hadn't had a hunt in a long time. He wasn't going to do it the easy way. Surrendering his hold on the victim's mind, he tapped her on the shoulder.

She turned around and saw no one there. Then, realizing where she was, she hurried back to the main street and hailed a taxi home.

Back at his car, Michael grimaced, disgusted with himself.

"Damn it, Gabe."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Filler Post: 12/11/2010

New track up at soundcould for me. I submitted this one to the Nanostudio group; hopefully I'll get some good feedback.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Karachay: Part 9

Wednesday, June 14th 1967
Dear Lyov,
I just got your letter, please do not panic. We are still men, and susceptible to the same ailments that befall those that we cure. No one in this village has died yet, but several people have gone insane. I’m doing my best to deal with them, but it is a great burden.
Mikhail’s drinks are no longer working; I’m not sure if I trust him anymore. He seemed very keen to ascertain the reason why I would send a letter to the government for assistance. Can he not see that we may very soon die in this plague? These farmers cannot bear the strain much longer and I fear that death is inevitable. This plague may be some sort of poison, the bodies you have must be examined; we must figure this out.
My letters to the surrounding villages were answered yesterday. This is most definitely a plague. Although they report no fatalities there is many a report of insanity. I had several villages who wanted to send me their sick so that I might treat them. Can’t they see my hands are full as is? I cannot work without sleep for too long; I must contact the government for assistance before the mail carrier contracts this disease. I know that your situation is more dire than mine, but perhaps my notes on this matter will assist you. Perhaps there is some difference, some link between the cases in these villages that can help us deduce the cause and neutralize it.
Never give up,

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Game Time

The roar


up in arms.

neither heavy,
nor light;

it just is.

We're waiting.

32 minutes

can make all the difference.

Does it really matter?

up to you.

There's only
one thing

left to do.

Get the lights.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Song of the Week 24: 'Waiting For The Sun' by Vitz

I'm going at it solo again. Today I'm going to be taking a look at one of the more unique artists I've discovered via Protagonist Records and now actively follow on soundcloud. We showcased some of Vitz's work in SotW 19 and 19.5 (ironically he took down his original Deadman's Lullaby a few days after the post) and now I'll be taking a look at probably my favorite track of his thus far. The track is Waiting For The Sun (download directly here) and while it isn't on his soundcloud page any longer, it still exists on Protagonist Records. This is probably my favorite for a reason, and a big part of that would be the unique sounds and genre (it was labelled Neo Trance on soundcloud, a rather apt description in my opinion). Anyway, this one is definitely worth listening to, so here goes my writeup.

Some very refined sounds start the track off; a very precise synth sound plays 2 different notes twice, allowing us to enjoy the pristine aspects of the synth in the attack and decay. The sound of water provides excellent atmosphere as it slowly fades in at 0:09 and let's us enjoy the simplicity and nature of the sounds employed. This is one of the reasons I love this track, the sounds no matter how repetitive, always captivate me. The "Neo Trance" bass drum (which is just the four on the floor trance beat) enters at 0:30 with a new subtle synth that works off of the original atmosphere (which the first synth could probably be considered as more so than a bassline). The new synth is also excellently designed just like the original atmosphere and its melody (which is played twice before the track moves on) is somewhat mournful, yet very relaxing: it's the beauty of nature from the perspective of a troubled human. The bass drum drops out as a less subtle synth is briefly added to back up the original atmosphere at 1:02 and add some new tones to the mix: a subtle harmony which continues to be expanded upon despite the fact that this synth is definitely less refined sounding and more recognizable underneath the layers that will soon be built. A piano-esque sound enters now at 1:17 and plays more rapidly then most of the synths in this track, although it's appearance is brief and it adds more atmosphere than melody with it's "ditty". Something that you probably won't notice first time through without me pointing it out is the fade out of the water atmosphere at 1:26. I only noticed it because I'm going in depth here, and I must say that the atmosphere to this point is spectacular; Vitz manipulates each sound exactly the way he wants and it works to perfection. What will soon become the lead synth slowly emerges at 1:32 and as it develops it lets us hear the fantastic sound design that will soon be explored more openly. This synth plays the "melody" of the track for all intensive purposes and it expands fully after the song is put through a filter modulation and a cymbal coming into the new section at 1:48. This section features the lead synth with its intended role, however, a lot of the atmosphere was dropped here to make room for the pulsing "Neo Trance" bass (I typed New Trance three times before I realized that Neo sounds much cooler). The bass drum is also back, this time accompanied by a hi-hat that I never grow tired of (notice the rhythm). I enjoy the hi-hat so much that I almost forget about the very subtle "snare" drum that simply plays on the 2 and 4 beats. The sound that entered at 0:30 is also back this time in a sort of supporting harmony role. There's also some brief atmosphere at 1:56 that really adds a lot as it's briefly played throughout the rest of the track. Now we're beginning to hear a lot of the atmosphere that was abruptly dropped at 1:48 slowly reenter the picture. The sound from 1:02 reenters at 2:04 albeit with a decreased volume allowing for more of a fading feel. 2:19 also adds some more atmosphere that will briefly appear to support certain notes and give them more depth and width throughout the track. The piano-esque sound from 1:17 is also back at 2:24 with its original "ditty" (this is preceded by the bass drum dropping a few beats allowing for more anticipation). Vitz now employs his atmosphere at will along with the already present elements that serve to support the same repetitive lead synth. You'll notice the lead synth slides to different notes and its sound is very mournful it seems. This continues until 3:05 at which time the bass drum drops out with a cymbal (I'd rather say transition sound from now on, cymbal is a word that doesn't bring to mind things of a refined nature). The track continues as usual just without the bass drum until 3:20 when the lead synth finally departs from its original melody. I love the atmosphere with the new melody which progresses until we have a filter mod transition at 3:36. Now we have two synth leads under the original bass drum and sounds that were added back at 1:48. This new melody is less constrained by the time signature, but still within normal bounds. I love to just listen to these two same synths play the same melody on different octaves, the pulse feeling is incredible and it really adds a mournful but accepting feel to the track. The atmosphere adds so much, this is just a general statement, I'm not pointing out specific instances, but it really completes the track and brings out the awesomeness of the lead synth. There's a transition sound at 4:07 which is preceded by the bass drum briefly dropping out (a good anticipation tactic that I incorporated into my current WIP trance-esque track). The transition adds the piano-esque "ditty" sound that's been seen twice before in this track. Right now the track is at its finest, with all elements working together: atmosphere, bass, synths, everything. This dissipates at 4:38 leaving the piano-esque "ditty" without bass, lead or percussion. The rest of the track is fed by atmosphere and the piano-esque melody that leaves us hanging with a delay effect. Wow; good stuff.

Pros: Sound design... I don't think I've ever heard sound design this well done incorporated into an electronic track before. The original atmosphere at the beginning gives you an excellent feel for where the track is headed: mournful, refined, but determined and accepting. The overall atmosphere for this track is just spectacular and the idea of "Neo Trance" is conveyed perfectly (and I don't say perfectly lightly). The hi-hat is also another one of the extremely strong points and it's one of those things, along with the atmosphere, that makes listening to the same lead for a near 2 minutes straight very enjoyable. There's just so many refined and well placed atmospheric sounds in this track to pick apart; I absolutely love it.

Cons: Not much hear. Perhaps the transition at 1:48 is too abrupt, but I can't imagine any other way to do it.

Overall: Vitz has completely blown me away. I've never heard anything like this track before and I doubt I'll hear anything like it again coming from someone other than the man himself. Needless to say, I am very impressed. This track truly is "Waiting For The Sun".

Rating: 9.8/10

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Art I

It starts with a breath.

As blurry vision gradually sharpens and deaf ears learn to hear, the world reveals itself. From the beauty inherent in nature, to the beautiful sorrows of pain, everything speaks. But the true beauty speaks its own tongue, and it can only be felt, not truly seen, not truly heard, not truly understood.

The perfect note falls flat.

The picture blurs.

The words run together.

Truth stops at the wall.

Monday, December 06, 2010

uninspired works

so I was trying to write a poem during work, as I am wont to do, and I decided that I didn't really want to try anymore. so I wrote a few lines that just slid from nowhere into my pen.

Honestly, I'm not listening
and my mind scattered like dust
I'm not feeling inspired
I'm just filled with sleeplust.

The words that you're saying
don't connect in my brain.
It's just a jumble of phrases--
so crashed the thought train.

(i don't know if this is related... i don't even know what I was doing.)

You're still speak, speak, speaking
Your voice's creak, creak, creaking
The time's leak, leak, leaking
And home I am seeking.

and I wrote this in a matter of seconds:

had your own heart broken
after hearing my voice
I wouldn't have spoken
but you gave me no choice.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sonnet XXII "Eternity"

The terror first, the futile flight
To find escape. Then hopelessness
Precedes the demon's whispered kiss
Before he, sated, leaves with night.
And then through pain, a darker fright
Of certain pèrverse endlessness
In dead undying soulessness
And hunger too severe to fight.
But then - the might! The untold strenghth!
The vigor - power - deity
In flesh enshrined! The thought of length
Of blessèd immortality!
In flesh enslaved! The painful length
Of damning immortality.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Karachay: Part 8

Sunday, June 11th, 1967
Three are dead. I do not know which is the worst, the old woman, the boy, or the farmer. The boy was the first. His death had been what the bell tolled for when I last wrote. He had been swimming in the lake with a friend, and he apparently had some sort of seizure; he tensed and spasmed for a minute before drowning. There was nothing of this vein in his family. I don't believe it's genetic.
The farmer was next. The first to contract the illness was the first to die. It was to be expected, of course. Without any sustenance, anyone would wither. By the end, it almost seemed a mercy, for he had clawed at his face and hair so that it was torn and furrowed. In many ways, I am glad for him that he is gone. I worry for his wife, though. And his child.
Now, understand that our village here has had a wise woman by the name of Mother Yeva. She lives alternatively in the village or wilderness. Whenever she is present, she is fed and sheltered by the townsfolk, who believe her ramblings to be prophetic. Though I never believed in such things, I always welcomed her when it was my turn to house her, for the things she said, well! They were vivid as dreams. I found her dead on my doorstep yesterday.
She had been away from the town for a good while, and due to come back any day. Whenever she arrived in the past, she always seemed older and more withered, but her youth was restored with company. The body I found was a frail, shriveled thing unlike I had ever seen her. Upon her neck was some sort of swelling, similar to a goiter. I feel that examination would have borne knowledge, but it is against custom to desecrate a body here, and for a woman of such standing, I would be risking my life.
It is still light out and I already feel need for rest. I hope your investigation bears fruit. I'm certain now that this must be a plague. No mere fatigue, no mere drought could cause this. All shall be well soon enough, though. Whether it be by death or health, I doubt anyone will remain ill by next month.

Friday, December 03, 2010


Zanoc watched her raise the glass to her lips and take a small sip.

"How is it?" he asked, a smile creeping over his face.

"Warm," she replied, smiling.

"Anything else?"

"Um... good? Where did you get the recipe?"

"The NECRONOMICON, you fool!"

"Ah." She took another sip.

"It's Hot Chocolate of Doom."

He watched her look down into the glass before somehow daring to sip some more.

"Stop that! It's full of portent and omens and-and... doom!"

"Delicious doom."

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Fix It


you hope

to preserve?

Not only is your defense

it is also


What have you left

to defend?

It's not you,
it never was you.


what you've been


You've got
a lot of work

to do.

fix it.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Why Does This Always Happen?

Song of the Day is suspended indefinitely.