A New Mix: Filthy Shed Seshions I

FILTHY

Well, well, well.  What started as a filthy, dirty, and grimey mix last year while I was living in a shed became a filthy, dirty, and kind of grimey epic mix spanning across the deeper side the real deal dubstep – at 140bpm of course.  What was interesting about this one is that the 25 minutes or so that started the whole basis of this mix didn’t actually end up making the cut in the finish, which had never happened to me before.  Really fun to watch these things change and morph as you play with different tracks and figuring out the puzzle of how they will eventually fit together.  Regardless, what this means however is that ‘Filthy Shed Seshions II’ will be birthed at some point – hopefully not too far into the future.

Really stoked on this one.  With everything from your classic Kryptic Minds sound to the futuristic genre pushing Goth-Trad to the newer Deadbeat (140 Deadbeat?!  Yes please!) to the Latin grooves of Mala to some Radiohead sampling iTAL tEK, this one is sure to keep you moving until the finish line where it eventually chills itself out.  Sit back, turn up the bass, and enjoy!

Downloadable here: https://soundcloud.com/skoisirius/filthy-shed-seshions-i

::: TRACKLISTING :::

Dusk + Blackdown – Drenched
Godspeed You Black Emperor! – The Dead Flag Blues
Dusk + Blackdown – (Keysound Rain)
Kryptic Minds – Hybrid (Biome Remix)
Biome – Two Way
Killawatt & Thelem – Kaba
Kryptic Minds – To Feel
Gantz – Cave Dance
Pinch & Shackleton – Torn & Submerged
Dusk + Blackdown – Iqbal’s Groove
Formless – Hidden Realm
Gantz – Choke
Pangaea – Neurons
DJ Madd – Secrets
Headhunter – Clone
Goth-Trad – Departure
Deadbeat – The Elephant In The Pool
Kryptic Minds – Askum
Biome – First Light
Mala – Calle F
Vancore – Who Am I
Oceania – Grow Wild
Vaun – Listen
iTAL tEK – Deep Pools
Kryptic Minds – Time Flies
Hyetal – Black Black Black
Vaccine – Anaesthetic

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Way. Too. Much. Hop. Volume One.

GRILLZ

So about a month ago I needed to take a break from this dubstep mix I’ve been working on for way too long…and for whatever reason, I decided to break it up with going into some hip-hop, which I’d been randomly listening to non-stop for a week or so.  I proceeded to go through my entire library (all 2.5TB’s) and pick out a selection of tunes based around hip-hop in the sub-genres of gangster rap, R&B, underground hip-hop, trip-hop, glitch-hop, and head-hop (like Prefuse 73, etc.).  By the time I was done going through all this music, I had something like 150+ tracks picked out – obviously way too many for a mix.  Whatever, I decided to go for it anyways.

Through a complete process of randomly choosing tracks, I tossed a bunch together, finding as many seques from these albums as I could to add some comedy, and ended up with an almost 2.5hr mix.  At that point, I decided that was enough.  Anyways, if you enjoy rap/hip-hop, and the sub-genres that follow, you might get a kick out of this nonsense.

Sirius Sanuk’s ‘Thug In My Nug Vol. One” is able to be streamed here:
http://www.mixcloud.com/skoisirius/sirius-sanuks-thug-in-my-nug-volume-one/

and downloaded here (by right clicking and hitting Save As):
http://datachurch.com/subs/skoisirrius/Sirius%20Sanuk’s%20Hip-Hop%20Marathan%20Volume%20One.mp3

Thanks again to Datachurch.com for hosting the mix, as Soundcloud’s annoying copyright protection algorithm banned this one from the get go!

Ah yes, specifically for the blog post, I decided to type out the whole tracklisting, in case anyone actually cares to know:

1.  Handsome Boy Modeling School – Look At This Face (Oh My God They’re Gorgeous)
2.  The Clonious – Fogged Spacesuit (Album Version)
3.  Andre 3000 Segue
4.  The Notorious B.I.G. – The World Is Filled (feat. Too Short & Puff Daddy)
5.  Sir-Mix-A-Lot – Posse On Broadway (206 Represent!!)
6.  Mariah Carey – Breakdown (feat. Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony)

7.  Andre 3000 Segue
8.  Roots Manuva – Witness (1 Hope)
9.  Warren G – ’94 Ho Draft
10.  504 Boyz – I Can Tell
11.  Devin The Dude – Reefer & Beer
12.  Warren G – Gangsta Sermon
13.  Geto  Boys – Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster
14.  Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber
15.  Portishead – It Could Be Sweet
16.  Prefuse 73 – Silence (Interlude)
17.  Dj Krush – What’s Behind Darkness
18.  Andre 3000 Segue
19.  Pras – Ghetto Superstar (feat. Mya & Ol’ Dirty Bastard)
20.  Whatha Want To Do Segue
21.  Too Short – Cocktales
22.  Snoop Doggy Dogg – Lodi Dodi
23.  Niggaz & White Girls Interlude
24.  Tyrese – Sweet Lady
25.  Outkast – 13th Floor (Growing Old)
26.  Snoop Dogg’s Moment Of Silence
27.  Machinedrum – Uptown
28.  The Wizard – I Got
29.  Mo Thugs Family – Ghetto Cowboy
30.  Ja Rule – Put It On Me
31.  Notorious B.I.G. Fuckin’
32.  Brotha Lynch Hung – Rest In Piss
33.  Busta Rhymes – What’s It Gonna Be?! (feat. Janet Jackson)
34.  N.O.T.O.R.I.O.U.S.B.I.G.
35.  Madlib – Montara
36.  Digable Planets – Graffiti
37.  Radio W Ballz
38.  Andre 3000 – A Day In The Life Of Andre Benjamin

There ya have it folks.  Expect at least one (or two) more of these escapades before the summer’s out.  Oh yah, FYI: I wouldn’t put this on with your kids around.

Injoy!

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‘Cloud Atlas’ Is Not To Be Missed, In Either Format.

 

Living in the sticks of California usually during the summers in the States, I am quite often fairly out of touch of the world of what’s coming out soon as far as films, as it’s not something I keep up on as much as music, and we usually don’t get all the great options bigger cities get when films do make it out to the small theaters around the small town I live in.

Some time in the early fall a friend of mine (can’t remember whom at the moment) mentioned this film coming out soon that they were excited about.  From the trailer they had seen it seemed like a flick that would be right up my interests alley, with bits of action, sci-fi, and a thick story, from what they could tell.  What was even more intriguing was the fact that each main actor in the film played a number of roles, something that is not often done in cinema.  The name of the film was ‘Cloud Atlas‘.  I immediately looked it up when I returned back to my shed, and was instantaneously excited, as far as I can remember, last year was pretty dull as far as films in my opinion (though I need to go back over some lists and see what else came out to see if I missed anything).

Upon doing some research on the film, I found out that not only did it have a stunning cast including Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and more, they all in fact do play multiple roles throughout the entire film – a few of them up to seven different characters!  Beyond the great cast, the film has three directors (rare!) with Tom Tykwer (well known for Run Lola Run) originally spearheading the project, and the brilliant Wachowski Brothers stepping in to co-write the screenplay, and eventually co-directing the film, thankfully, as they definitely helped shape the final transition from book to screen exceptionally well (especially in the story of Sonmi-451).

Fast forward to the end of October, and thankfully ‘Cloud Atlas’ was given a wide enough release that it made it out to Grass Valley.  As soon as I had the chance I went to check it out.  With a running time of nearly 3 hours at 172 minutes (in the States – in China 39 minutes were cut out due to nudity, and specific conversations, which I would be curious which ones), I knew I was in for somewhat of a ride.  These days when I’m about to shell out $10 – $12 for a film, I’m usually down for it to be at least 2 hours long, if not longer.

From beginning to end, I was captivated by the extremely thick dialogue spanning across six different eras throughout time, and with this dialogue, each era being vividly represented by stunning set design, locations, and cinematography overall.  Along with this blast of thick visions of the past, present, and future, comes the continual complete change of character by each actor and actress, adding an odd array of conceptuality to the film.  The makeup and costuming is done so well, that until the end of the film, you don’t fully realize just how often the actors and actresses are changing form through the six eras of time, though a few of the characters it’s extremely obvious, as it’s not easy to change a South Korean into an Irish redhead.

Being a huge geek and sci-fi fan, the story surrounding Sonmi-451 for me was potentially my favorite piece of six inside the movie.  Set in Neo Seoul, 2144, the Wachowski Brothers shine throughout this segment, with stunning visuals, spot on acting from Hugo Weaving (a favorite of theirs) and Doona Bae, and an overall post-apocalyptic concept that any fan of Philip K. Dick or Stanley Kubrick will absolutely love.  I could personally see this portion of the film being taken as a side project and expanded upon, but I doubt this will end up happening.

Even though I was fully captivated the entire length of the film, the moment it closed I was already longing for…something…more…yet, I hadn’t a clue what, or why I felt this way.  I felt fulfilled by the film and was taken aback by how the directors had chosen to take six periods of time, and completely shuffle them up to a random point of confusion, yet somehow bring it all back around in the end.  Even then, something was still missing.  Having not known the film was adapted to the screen from a novel, the longing started to make sense.  Had I know this, I more than likely would have attempted to finish the novel before seeing the film.  That said, I went out in search of the book and found it a month or so later, after continually thinking about how blown away I was by this film over and over.

FILM GRADE: A-

——————————–

I’m now sitting here in a brilliant little Belgian owned cafe in lower Mcleod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh named Illiterati, where I will trade off my copy of Cloud Atlas, the novel, that I just finished (finally) yesterday.  The sun is setting on the Dhauladhar Range, topping the snowed in peaks of the mountains with a psychedelic orange pinkish hue, letting me once realize just how incredibly thick and expansive, lovely and frightful, and all the time dream-like this life really is.  (Author’s Note: I started this post while I was in India a few months back.  It’s now a few months later, and it’s finally getting posted, but technically, I’m not in India anymore…though I did want to leave this part in.)

This is relevant to this blog post on Cloud Atlas in every which way.

Now that I’ve finished the novel, the longing I felt after seeing the film has worn off as all the holes that they weren’t able to fit into almost 3 hours have been filled.  Reading the book brings you a new, deeper perspective into these six different time periods, and the depth of which each of the main characters within hold while spanning over the 500 or so years that take place as you read.  Without providing too many details here (as the whole goal of this post is to get YOU to read the book and watch the film!), you start to notice subtle differences between the comet-marked souls gliding through time, and how they hold similar stances on life, but continue to evolve as time moves on, with each different life presenting new obstacles and situations to grow from, eventually, gathering enough experience to be completely content with oneself as it rises and falls to the challenge presented.

The stories are written from all sorts of angles including a diary, letters written to a lover, a novel of an account that actually happened written from a different perspective, a last testament before succumbing to capitol punishment, a novel written in the first person, and a tale of life passed down to some children from an elder.  I’ve never read anything like it.

NOVEL GRADE: A

——————————–

The comparison between the two lies in that strange void between so many novels made into movies, yet with the film in this case sticking as true to the novel as those behind it possibly could.  The fact of the matter is that transforming a novel into a film is not an easy task, and most novels when turned into films, if done perfectly, would spit out a four to six hour flick.  We all know most audiences won’t sit through something so long, so the filmmakers have to do what they can to shrink the story while still hitting you with as much important relevant information as possible.

I saw the film before reading the novel, and constantly through I knew there was more to the story than what I was seeing in front of my face.  Towards the end of the film I was craving more depth, and at the end I just sat in my seat, reflecting on how incredible the body of work was, but how this was definitely one of those films where I would have to read the novel to fill my craving for more.

What I am about to say is something that I rarely say, but in the case of Cloud Atlas – WATCH THE FILM FIRST.  Get your mind blown with it’s stunning cinematography (in the scenes from the past) and visual effects (in the scenes from the future), set and costume design, and overall homage to the novel.  If you truly enjoyed it, I urge you to read the novel, to fill in some of the gaps with pure information, written at you in a very different creative manner.

Both the film and the novel come at you in movements, just like a classical piece of music, one could say, just like the Cloud Atlas Sextet itself.

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A Random Sunday Night Tequila Tasting…

3TFound myself over at a fine tequila loving hippie’s house the other night, as we randomly decided to go for a little vertical tasting of the bottles he happened to have lying around.  Below you will find the tasting notes for each of these wonderful products:

: Manana Anejo :
http://tequilamanana.com/

 Appearance:  Very light straw golden pour.

Nose: Very rounded nose, hints of subtle pines, butter, tender agave, and vanillad oak.  Overall, it’s extremely smooth.  In the very back end of the nose there is a tiny element of booze, letting you know it’s there, but making sure you also know how refined this product is.

Palate: Again, extremely smooth overall.  Light hints of butter blended with tip of the tongue.  It’s not anagave and hints of cacti in general.  There is a spice prevalent, but is well built in to the entire flavor, which is refined so well, that it’s fairly amazing for the price of this bottle, which sits around $50 in California.

Finish: You receive a light caramel based blast and finally the peppery spice you’re used to with a tequila becomes present and sits around the tip of the tongue.  It’s not an overwhelming finish, but it’s polite, and compliments the rest of the drink.  Good stuff here.

Overall: 17/20 : This particular Anejo provides a clear look into how smooth an excellent tequila can really be.  If you’re looking for something not too daring, as in spicey, in the fine tequila depart, that won’t blow a hole in your pocket, this is a fine option.  Great enough to definitely not make with a mixed drink, the Manana is something to be served straight and enjoyed slowly to soak in the flavors of refinement.

: Oro Azul Anejo :

Appearance: Light straw with a hint of maple.

Nose: On first pour out of bottle you receive a huge blast of pepper spice, almost daunting in the nose.  Pepper pepper pepper.  After we let the sample sit for 20 minutes, it mellows out into smelling more like a light sugar cane with some hint of a steely presence.  And it’s not a bad thing, rather enjoyable at that.

Palate: The pepper you get from the nose moves to the back end, we’ll discuss that more in the palate section.  The body of the Oro has somewhat of a refined maple syrup aspect buried beneath the layers of pepper that continually hits you over and over.  It’s almost difficult to gain much of anything else from this on the palate except pepper.  What’s interesting is that if you let the sip sit on your tongue, it’s nothing but smooth, but once it’s pepper for days.

Finish: White pepper.  Lots of white pepper.  Hints of spicey nuts that last all the way down the throat.  There’s elements of the soft agave in there, but it’s fairly buried underneath the spice.  A pour right from the bottle sampled is almost the exact opposite, flaunting the buttery fruit elements over the pepper.

Overall: 16/20 : There is more of a complexity than refinement to this than the Manana.  If you let this product sit our and oxygenate for 20+ minutes, it will actually develop other properties, where the Manana sits as it does.  This particular product has elements of different classifications of tequila all smashed in to one bottle.  Bang for your buck – this is a great choice.

: Clase Azul Reposado :
http://www.claseazul.com/

Appearance: Comparatively to the other products, there is the golden straw color, but also present is a deeper amber hue.

Nose: Rich.  Rich.  On the nose you’re going to smell plums, soft agave, refined sugar, and maplely soft cola nut aspect.  There is no burn.  It’s just happiness.

Palate: Soft sugary agave up front.  The body is smooth.  You don’t even want to swallow.  Let it sit on your palate.  There is no burn here either.  It’s like pouring maple syrup right out there tree, that’s been refined to the finest extent, so that no bi-product is able to pass into the flavors, making it as simple and perfect as possible.  Hints of vanilla, cognac, and sherry are all present, but undeniably built so well into the body that you can’t really pick apart all the different flavors.  It’s a blend, it’s amazing.

Finish: Ultra smooth, hints of nuts on the almond tip with maple buried underneath.  Butterscotch.  There’s elements of vanilla from the oak, but no oak.  Elements of cognac, but no burn.  It’s hard to wrap your brain around how perfect this product is, but, it just is.  Candied sugar.  Almost a hat’s off to the perfection the Belgian’s reach with their candied sugared beers.  Fantastic.

Overall: 19/20 : This is in a class of it’s own.  It sits in cognac, sherry, and bourbon barrels for a while before being blended into it’s refined smooth presentation you get when you pour it from the bottle.  At an asking price of around $90 in California, this is definitely one of the more intriguingly perfect bottles of tequila you can buy for this price.  Excellence at it’s best.  I highly suggest doing some further reading on this particular product.  It’s one of the world’s best, and for specific barrel-aging reasons.  They let this sit in sherry, cognac, and bourbon barrels before blending them all and bottling it for the shelf.  Not many other tequila’s go that far in geekery to achieve this excellent of a flavor.  Each bottle is hand-painted and number, complete with a ringing bell as the cork!  Get this when you can afford it!!

3Tcloseup

The above photo provides a clearer look at the appearance of each pour.  Not too much variation, but the extra barrel aging on the Clase Azul definitely shows up in the color.

This concludes my first tequila write up…I hope this inspires some fine drinking, and if any of you have another fine tequila recommendation, please send it over!  Can e.Mail me directly at: skoinfinite @ gmail dot com .  Thanks!

3Tdrunky

Ciao!

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RūdElgin Drops A New Heavy Hitter: RūdE Moods Vol 2

Well well well…it’s been way too long since any info has been pushed through this blogspace…once again.  On that note, here’s a quick lick of information regarding so BASS.  And some heavy BASS at that.

The old homie Elgin Hakala just dropped a new heavy hitting dubstep mix of the most excellent kind.  Deep, dark, agressive, and airy, completely with not a lick of cheesey Americanized falsestep whatsoever.  Having not heard a mix from Elgin in a while, I was extremely excited to see him toss out a mix of the exact same type of true grimey dubstep that I’ve been into for the past couple years.

With an incredible tracklist mixed to keep your body in the groove, this one will be loved by anyone into the deeper side of the step…fans of Kryptic Minds, Biome, DJ Madd, Truth, Versa & Rowl, Osiris Music, Deep Heads, etc will absolutely love this business.  GET IT.

Lights down, heads up, this one’s a percy and it’s for download at Elgin’s Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/rudelgin/rudemoodsvol2

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Spaciously Heavy New Album From Portland’s Natasha Kmeto!

On a random whim today I heard about a brand new album release from an artist I’ve heard a bit from, seen a few times, and met once or twice: Natasha Kmeto.  I first heard about Natasha through a series of events from Live’n’Love Productions up in Seattle, run by an old homie, Kyle.  Somehow Kyle had stumbled across her (as she’s from Portland, OR), and started booking her at random L’n’L events.  Believe I eventually saw her at one of the Photosynthesis Festivals of years past, and I remember being fairly stoked at how avant-garde the approach was to her own music.  I’ve since moved to the middle of no where California, and only heard a tiny snippets about her, here and there, until today.

It’s not often I toss down $10 for a 30-minute album without having heard most of it, but knowing she’s in the extended Fam, I went for it – and I’m quite happy I did.  The album starts out with the title track ‘Crisis‘, potentially my favorite off the album after a few listens.  Synth heavy and semi-retro sounding, her gut-wrenching vocal pulses wash over you as a very minimal trap beat exercises itself beneath all the other layers.  If all trap sounded like this, I’d listen to a lot more of it.  The album progresses into ‘Idiot Proof‘ which brings to the table a more vocal oriented track, letting everyone know that she ‘needs peace from all the things she’s supposed to be’.  Not knowing Natasha well enough, I’m not exactly sure what she’s talking about, but she gets the point across easily in minor chords with a very distant house beat in the background, surrounded by heavily arpeggiated synths.

The album is very mature, spacing out the tracks where her voice is the focal point, with many tracks consisting of clever vocal layers without any real singing in between.  I rather enjoy when someone who does get into vocals, uses them in this way, so that the entire album isn’t dominated with literary opinion, allowing other tracks to emotionally speak for themselves, without getting the ego involved.  ‘Take Out‘ is another vocal heavy house oriented track that has a very spaced out 80′s synth-wavey atmosphere, again, politely spacious – making it is quite obvious that Natasha truly knows how to make sure her sound voids are never messy.  Though it seems strange to admit, the album really has a dark and futuristic R&B setting going on throughout, which turns out to be quite rather brilliant.  I can’t really say it sounds like much else I’ve heard, even lately.

Overall, the spaciousness, the darker tones, and the very minimal usage of many points in electronic music make this album quite a solid output in my book.  My one complaint – it’s just too short!  Multiple of these tracks have me going strong at about two and a half minutes, and then they’re done!  I’ve never understood why certain artists love to build people up, just to drop them…Mount Kimbie and Odesza are a few others to name randomly – the builds are there, it crescendos, and finishes.  Personally I enjoy more time inside these fantastic spaces created by the artists.  That said, it’s not my music, and Natasha has created a short, but incredibly solid LP here.  Highly recommended!

More info on Natasha and the link to purchase the album (on tape for $7 if you’d like!) below:

http://www.natashakmeto.com/
http://droppinggems.bandcamp.com/album/crisis

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Excellent News: A New Machinedrum LP On NINJA TUNE Is On The Way.

STOKE.  Checked my What.CD Top10 List before bed, and what did I see?  A new Machinedrum single?!  Well that’s about as good as it gets these days in the more progressive side of bass music as far as I’m concerned.  After “Room(s)“, his last major output in 2011 for Mike Paradinas’ Planet Mu, I become completely infatuated with Travis Stewart’s Machinedrum moniker all over again (as I had once before in the Merck Records days).  “Room(s)” took a look at current bass music rooting itself in juke, and spashed elements of breakbeat, jungle, drum&bass, house, and dubstep all over itself.  There’s even a gorgeous pure ambient track to finish the album out – I’d honestly never heard anything like it!  The album got me into the whole juke/footwork sound, along with expanding my palate as a whole, surrounding my intellect with just where bass music was and could be headed at that point in time.

Back on track – so to see this new single pop up, and listed as being released on Ninja Tune (only one of the best labels of the past twenty years), you could pretty much say I had a minor freak out.  Downloaded it right quick, popped my Sennheiser’s on, and let myself bask in more glory.

Immediately something is different comparatively speaking against “Room(s)“.  The tempo is all the way up at 172bpm!  We could be looking at a drum&bass track here, but no, as the track unfolds, pitch-shifted vocal edits (most likely Travis himself as on “Room(s)“), and a very broken kick drum open the track up.  About two-plus minutes in, it fully let’s itself go into a whirling drum&bass backed juke oriented head bobber.  The drum work is excellent, of course.  Politely layered and spaced well, hi-hats and snare rolls float on top of the jukey kick drum.  The new speed doesn’t muck up at all where he has been on the last album.  After a solid minute of getting hit hard, the track breaks down into a beautiful and spacious forty seconds of bliss before dropping the broken juke oriented kick drum all over your ears again.  These broken parts I can see dancefloors having an interesting time with, but when he really lets the track go, it really is clearly made for some serious breakbeat style dancing – whatever your pleasure.

Suffice to say, I am extremely excited for this release – “Room(s)” was in my Top 3 of 2011, and I could place a safe bet that this may make that same list for 2013.  Here’s the track on Youtube for ya:

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A 66Psych Fest Experience by Sam Love

Originally posted on Sound Blast:

This year’s Austin Psych Fest helped me envision the future of music festivals and what psychedelic music is bringing to the fields. Some of my favorite anticipated acts were Om, The Warlocks, Clinic, and Acid Mothers Temple. I’ve chosen to only highlight a few of the distinctive bands that my mind absorbed and swirled around to. The Black Angels, Deerhunter, and a newly discovered favorite of mine, Man or Astroman?

austin psych fest

Last year at Emo’s, I cut out early during The Black Angels‘ set to catch Peaking Lights, so I really wanted to be there for their Sunday performance. I absolutely love this band; I feel I owe it to them for cracking my eyes to an entire genre of heady rock music today, mostly by way of Psych Fest. They made magic on Sunday night. They opened with “Vikings” off of Directions To See A Ghost which was super…

View original 608 more words

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A coherent transmission from the Realm of Boards of Canada…FINALLY, as it’s only been eight years!

Well, well, well.  Looks like all the tricks in the past few months have finally, and truly, led up to something!  This evening on BBC Radio, the first ‘single’ (funny saying that about something BoC releated) off of the new Boards of Canada album was officially released over the air.  This subsequently spawned a load of Tweets and Blogging from anyone and everyone paying attention including, but not limited to: XLR8R, Helios, Warp Records (duh), Richard Devine, Tycho, Bleep (duh), Detroit Underground, AND even Boards of Canada themselves (who all of a sudden have a Twitter account with around 16,000 followers and growing, which you can find that account here: https://twitter.com/boctransmission.

Along with the announcement comes the ability to purchase the single digitally from Bleep, which can be done here: https://bleep.com/release/44127-boards-of-canada-reach-for-the-dead .  NOTE:  If you pre-order the album in either format (Vinyl or CD) you will instantaneously get a download of an MP3 of ‘Reach For The Dead’.

Even further, and more exciting, was the drop of an HD video of your usual nostalgic visuals to accompany the new track on BoC’s official webpage: http://boardsofcanada.com/.

Though, since I love you all, here is the video, embedded, so you don’t even have to think about clicking away from TravelsAndTuness:

The track itself…how is it?!  It’s Boards of Canada.  I mean, I’ve only heard it a few times now, so I’m not going to spout out some random nonsense of an opinion after hearing this so recently.  Something I’ve had to learn over and over with new music I’m excited about is simply to not expect anything!  Let it flow over you, and form an opinion later!  That said, the track is very moody (surprise?!), has a bit more crispness to it on the drums then many BoC tracks I’ve heard, and is full on deep in synth (surprise?!), riding throughout almost the entire five minutes.  It’s fantastic.  It’s Boards of Canada.  There’s a whole album coming out we can all process and think too much about very soon…in about two weeks!

This is where I would normally say: WINNING!

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Jeddah International Airport. It’s like jail, but with AC.

You take off from Indira Ghandi International Airport with the destination of NYC.  You’ve found this incredible deal for the flight, Delhi to NYC, for $530.  The airline is Saudia Airlines, which recently just joined SkyTeam Alliance, meaning that’s got to be a decent airline at this point.

Leg one of the journey: Delhi to Riyadh.  Quite surprised at how pleasant the trip is.  Friendly and helpful service, big clean cabin, they even took my request as needing more legroom due to my knees.  Foods decent enough for airplane food, they even have a veg option for those of us that don’t eat animals.  So far so good.

Quick stopover in Riyadh to let some humans off and clean the cabin quickly and take off for Jeddah.  I knew already I was going to have an 11 hour layover in Jeddah, so I was prepping myself for the whole airport forever task.  Here comes the fun.

We land in Jeddah after another quick and easy 1 hour and 10 minute flight.  Simple.  Walk into the Jeddah airport, look for the transfer desk to figure out what gate I’ll be departing from, and you get this really odd looking face from a guy who just hands you this random piece of paper saying that you’re a transit passenger.  No gate information, it’s dated March 30th, and it’s actually May 1st.  Okay?  He says to proceed upstairs.  I do so, find myself going through a thick security detail (of course) and end up walking through a duty free area (no alcohol, of course, it’s Saudi Arabia), and once through the duty-free zone, a bunch of chairs,a large amount of faces covered women, and sheiks everywhere.  Fair enough, it’s a Muslim country.

I walk around for a maximum of about two minutes to discover that the transfer/transit area is maybe the size of the tiniest wing at a normal airport (but smaller than that even), with 10 gates, all leading underground, as it’s all bus to plane here for international travel apparently (they’re in the process of building some ridiculous $40 billion dollar airport through the means of crazy corruption according to a guy I chatted with on the plane to NYC).  There is three shops to buy things at.  One coffee shop, one snacky sweet shop, and one fairly under-par ‘restauraunt’.  Fair enough, if they have water, and something half-way decent to eat, I can deal for 11 or 12 hours.

Here’s the catch.  I just flew in from India.  I have very little cash left on me (on purpose), as it’s all in Rupees, and I don’t like getting ganked for exchanging currencies at airports.  I plan these things accordingly for a reason!  But here in this very small confined space there are NO currency exchanges, and NO ATM’s.  I ask around about this and they all shove me off semi-rudely saying, ‘No this is a problem, they are all outside the passport control area, where you can’t go’.  Specific quote: “This is your problem.”

Okay…so I start to ask what I can do about it, as I’m here for 12 hours and I need water and probably some food at some point.  They wave me off, somewhat rudely (mind you these are security guards).  I head back in thinking of course that one of these three shops will take credit cards, as it’s an airport.  NOPE.

Great, so I have a 12 hour layover with no Riyals, no water, and no food.  There are no comfortable places to sit, basically no power outlets for charging anywhere, no free Wifi, and I’m fairly at a loss at this point.  It makes no sense!  Don’t places like this WANT you to be spending money while you’re waiting around for 12 hours?  Then why is there no ATM or currency exchange, or simply, why don’t they take credit cards?!??!?  Mindnumbing.

Thank gods for the $100 bill I keep for crazy random circumstances like this.  Apparently, I figure out, if you buy something at the duty-free shop with American Dollars, Euros, or British Pounds, you get Riyals back in change.  Wow.  This is the only option.  If I wouldn’t have had this bill, I’d be in this chair filled room, with no water, no food, no nothing (let alone place to kind of rest or wander around LIKE EVERY OTHER AIRPORT IN THE WORLD – at least that I’ve been to), for 12 hours.  Absolutely incredible.  It’s like  jail, but with AC and a place to pray – if you’re Muslim.

The first few hours just kind of drudgingly go by until I figure out you can purchase 30 minutes – 2 hours of Wifi from the ‘restaurant’ for about 15 Riyals, which is around $4.  Ok, normally, I would never do this, but at this point I’m down for the charge, as I for whatever reason do not usually succeed to well at reading books or novels in airports.  Success on one front.  Next I see one of the guys from the plane handing over the same type of slip (that I got from the information booth guy as I stepped off the plane) to the restaurant, and they’re giving him food!  I head over and ask about what’s going on, and apparently this slip is good for one ‘free meal’!  Wow, exciting, and kind of amazing to me at this point in the whole experience.  I hand over my slip and get back a tray with a tiny bottle of water, a huge bread bun, two strips of airport chicken, some rice, and an apple.  Beggars definitely cannot be choosers, and as vegetarian as I am, I’m hungry, and down the hatch it goes!

I go over and purchase a coffee and finish my water, and life is slowly returning to my system.  I find a decent table in the corner near one of the only power outlets I can find to huddle around for the next 8 hours.  From then on it was the same sort of routine over and over again.  Any backpacker or Westerner within a certain frame of mind would head to the restaurant from getting off the plane, see me, and start up the, “Did you know there’s no ATM or currency exchange or place to smoke or alcohol or…” conversation with me.  The delirium has set in already and every single one of these interactions I have becomes excessively hilarious until I finally get asked about power outlets by this man that appears to be a fairly young and chilled out Indian!

Turns out he is (from Mumbai), and we end up having a brilliant chat about my last months in India, where he’s from, what he does (he works on shipping boats in the Mediterranean for nine months out of the year), what I do, and then has a load of tips for non-touristic spots to hit with the Enfield next time I’m in India.  STOKE.  Exactly what I needed.  A little taste of India, and a little sliver of feeling like I’m not going back to the States.  Perfect.

The next single-serving friends I run into happen to be a Canadian and a Columbian, coming off an excursion through the Philippines headed to Istanbul.  Obviously the American (myself) and the Canadian have a fair amount to chat about, and Kelsey and I end up chatting and sharing some music while Edgar somehow takes a nap on the hard-as-a-rock bench chairs in one of the sections of the prison.  This definitely passed a lovely chunk of the rest of the time, and before you know it, my plane is boarding.

Having been through a fair amount of airports in the world and the States at this point, I couldn’t have imagined anything like this existed.  I later find out that Saudi Arabia has NO tourist visa!  Absolutely incredible.  They are so wealthy, that they literally don’t care about making money from tourism.  The wealth is also at the top 4% of the people or something of the sort, with King Abdullah heading up that department worth around $18 billion (interesting side read on rich royals: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_richest_royals).  Corruption is thick, and widespread.  If you’re not Muslim or have invested business in the country, you’re basically not welcome.  These types of circumstances just keep piling up.  Rather unfortunate as well, as even though I want nothing to do with Islam, I have a fascination with world religions, and would love to see Mecca someday – not possible…unless I convert and have proof of it.  As I’d say in India, “SANAKI!” (crazy).

Boarded my flight tired like I hadn’t been in a while, immediately passed out, and the journey back to the States continued…

Some further reading on the craziness of Saudi Arabia I found from trotting through Wiki articles after writing this:
Mecca, Saudi Arabia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mecca
With this fort: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajyad_Fortress
Built to protect the Kabba: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaaba
Destroyed to create: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraj_Al_Bait_Towers
Built by: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Binladin_Group
Who will eventually build: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_Tower

Insane.

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