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MauriceK, caught between dev and drums » Music

March 20, 2009

Finding musical cronies…

Category: Music, Spare Time — kaldor @ 2:47 pm

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After almost three years living in Berlin, I imagined it to be nearly impossible to actively play music again. But as the german adage says “Never say never”. Since some weeks I met two cool guys searching for a drummer and so far I can only say, that it is a very good fit.

Musically it is not hard to identify influences, at least for those who know my favorite bands :)

So far, we have a rough mix of two songs. Interested? Well here you go:

Song1:

Song2:

You want song titles? Well, then you’ve never played in a band before. Titles are for pussies, enumerations are for real musicians.

Never the less, I am afraid there will be title announcements as soon as a singer joins this project. Of course we’re looking for a bass player as well to reduce rehearsal room costs ;)

Comments, opinions, suggestions? I don’t care, but feel free to post them right below…

P.S.: I have no clue where the glitches come from, seems the ftp upload messed up. Let us consider this to be our personal way of DRM…

January 26, 2009

Ouch, that late?

Category: General, Music, Spare Time, Development, Haiku — kaldor @ 8:39 am

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Wow, more than half a year again, between two posts. I won’t start apologizing, things like this loose their impact, when you say them too often.

So, what am I up to currently?

Spare Time:

  • Searching for a band to play drums in Berlin, anyone who wants to play something between Opeth, Arch Enemy and Strapping Young Lad?
  • Still doing my piano lessons
  • Still expanding my DVD collection

Anything coding related?

  • More accidently I kind of contributed here, among other commits and joined the KDE on Windows project. This is mostly work related, but as I am searching for a new audio player on Windows, I have to admit, that amarok2 on windows is really cool. Using Qt 4.5 is still breaking some stuff, this is what I’ll try to investigate on during the coming weeks.
  • Haiku related? Hm… nothing serious to talk about, see this screenshot and try to remember, from where you might know this application:

yay a clock

I think that was basically it. I won’t start telling that I’ll write more often, you know that this won’t happen :D

February 19, 2008

In Memoriam…

Category: General, Music — kaldor @ 11:43 pm

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As not much is going on currently, of which I am willing to talk about, it’s time to digg deep in the past. Unfortunately it feels like this.

While I was in my hometown during one of the last weekends. I met our former guitar player Holger. It was nice to see him again and get to hear that life was good to him for the last months. This hasn’t always been like this and that gives me positive emotions :)

One topic of that evening was, that the band page of Dragonfyre still exists and is available here. We’ve decided to shut it down a long time ago, but now I at least have the chance to backup two images, which mean a lot to me.

Dragonfyre Logo

 

Dragonfyre Page Profile

Unfortunately Holger is not on any of these images, maybe I’ll update this entry with some more, if my backup external disk survived the last moving.

Anyway, rest in peace Dragonfyre, it was always an honor to be a member…

December 29, 2007

survey of the (musical) year…

Category: General, Music — kaldor @ 4:12 pm

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Hey ho,

do you feel the same like I do, when you are currently turning on your TV? This was 2007 and these are “the 10,20,50,100 most tragical, emotional, happy, sensational, disgusting moments of the year” shows. I simply turn off TV then and try it again the next day. But after Christmas and before New Years Day you cannot hide from these. Going to the newspaper shop each magazine has a summary of the year 2007 describing “the ….” (you get it).

So, what to do against this? Well write your own :P

Thinking back about 2007 I always consider the music, as I usually combine my memories with certain albums I’ve listened to during this year. Just like with the song “Life” written by Devin Dev Townsend, which still reminds me of a good friend I’ve lost some years ago. So here are my nominees for “Best Album 2007″:

Opeth - Ghost Reveries

Ghost reveries

First thing you might want to ask, wasn’t that album published in 2006? Yeah, but I bought it in 2007, so shut up :)

Opeth was always an inspiring scandinavian band to me. Their extreme mixtures of aggressive, impulsive and melancholic elements is so refreshing. When you’re up to Progressive, but are not willing to listen to the so-called “gay-ish” stuff, Opeth is your friend. Each time you consider the drums to be too easy or too tight, you get learned better, that drummer certainly knows his job and especially how to support the feeling of the song without interfering the rest of the band.

Personally, I’d really enjoyed listening to this album at work. Each time something went wrong or I was in bad mood, all I needed to do is turn on this album, got the headset plugged and within an hour I felt refreshed. Awesome!

Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos

Systematic Chaos When this album came out, I had dubious feeling about it. Their previous albums weren’t too good, actually I really disliked them. And do not tell me, you need to listen to them often enough. I am used to the fact that some DT albums need their time. “Live In Budokan” was such an album. Once I sat together with my drum teacher for a drink and talked about that album, stating that it’s the worst live album they ever made, now it’s my favorite. But Octavarium etc. simply didn’t make it even into my top 200.

But let’s return to Systematic Chaos. Wow, this album got me. Starting up with “In the presence of Enemies Pt1″, which could not have been a better opener, followed by “Forsaken”, one of the best singles ever been done by Dream Theater. It simply grabs into your mind and weeks later you still cannot forget about it. “Constant Motion” is the song, which keeps me nervous, teetering all the time. It perfectly expresses the stress, the always being duty, unable to refresh state of mind. I could go on and on, but one thing I’d like to recommend still is, if you buy the album, get the one with the Bonus DVD. It is simply gorgeous.

Personally, I’d really enjoyed this album having some walks. Being it on my way to work, piano lessons, whereever, this album was on my ears for certain. As Dream Theater escorts me now since so long, it keeps me reminded of a lot of good times, especially with my previous band.

Devin Townsend - Ziltoid the Omniscient

ZiltoidThinking about this album gives me really mixed feelings. It is such a great album and perfectly gets in a row with Synchestra, Ocean Machine and Infinity, though being unique on its own. But on the other hand, we all know that Dev stopped making music for some public (and probably some private) reasons. So that was the most tragical moment in 2007 for me, loosing such a great, inspiring artist.

Anyway let’s talk about the album itself. Concept albums need to be someone’s friend, otherwise you get lost. But that was never a problem to me. I highly appreciate concept albums, as this shows that you develop a story, your music, your message during a longer period (meaning 80min max.) than just trying to describe a certain kind of feeling within one song. Considering this last sentence, I am wondering whether this really fits into the Ziltoid context. Well… certainly it does :) I will not go into details about the story itself, you can easily find some descriptions all over the internet about the ultimate 4th dimensional guitar hero trying to destroy planet earth to get all our finest coffee beans. Hail Ziltoid! This would have fixed a lot of issues within this universe, I guess….

Personally, I’d really enjoyed listening to this album as it always keeps me in good mood. Being it the perfect monologs by Ziltoid himself (”I am so omniscient. If there was to be two omnisciences, I would be both!”, “Pfui and double Pfui!”, “Indeeeeeeeeeda”), the fun style like in “Ziltoidia Attaxx!!!” which keeps you dancing in your mind all the time or the whole positive spirit of the album. Well, positive is something I feel, there are probably other opinions about that, but hey, my blog, my opinion :)

 

So that was my musical year 2007, I am expecting a lot from 2008. Maybe even composed something on my own or with a new band. If you’re located in Berlin and consider these are your albums too and you are looking for a drummer, you found his blog, the rest is just easy mailing :) (/Commercials)

July 17, 2007

Lots of Dong…

Category: Music, Spare Time — kaldor @ 7:44 pm

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Once again it was time for the Dong Open Air, one of the greatest festival, held on an elevation, one can go to during the summer festival season. And once again, it was worth every cent of it. Just as a short summary:

  • Lots of people I thought I’ve never see again and had great talks with them
  • Lots of music I learned to like
  • Lots of party
  • Lots of mead
  • Lots of Whiskey
  • Lots of beer (omg, definitely too much :) )
  • Lots of sun
  • Lots of (enter positive emotion here)

For the ones of you interested in a larger review and some pictures, just continue reading…

(more…)

April 10, 2007

back on the track…

Category: Music — kaldor @ 9:01 pm

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Hey there,

it took some time until I was online again, it was a hard fight between julun, T-Online Darmstadt and T-Online Berlin (although the links are the same, and the company is also, their department know nothing about each other…).

But at Eastern I invested some spare time making music on my computer, and this is the result.

Yes, you see right, I’ve installed a pretty neat plugin for online mp3 streaming. Hopefully it works for all of you. Let me know, if not.

Regarding the song itself: in theory it was supposed to be a ballad, but it seems like they are the hardest ones to write :) Although it has some speed parts (they are supposed to be the chorus), I think it is still a more groove oriented song. Next I will add the guitars and that might change the sound and feel of the song quiet a bit. Especially I am proud of the keyboard stuff as they are recorded by myself. It is really cool watching some progress so early. As some of you already know, I take piano lessons since some time now. Not counting my vacation and school holidays (music school is closed then. Not that you believe, I still go to school ;) ), I had five lessons until now and I believe the result is very ok for that. If not, well, shut up :P

Seriously, give it a chance and listen to it. If you really like it, here is the direct link for download: link

Feel free to comment on it. Unfortunately I needed to moderate the comments again as the spam flood seems to break through the math test. This is very sad, as I hoped to get rid of them.

Updates to come…

November 7, 2006

Hesitating posts…

Category: General, Music — kaldor @ 9:25 pm

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I just could not resist.

We all know youTube has some great stuff, but a friend showed the link to a Meshuggah song. Meshuggah is most probably one of the craziest great bands in the world, and the video some sort of shows their creativity :)

Here you go:link

November 5, 2006

With madness in the limbs…

Category: Music — kaldor @ 3:16 pm

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After some talks yesterday about a certain drummer with a friend, I think he is definetely worth blogging about. So today’s topic is: Akira Jimbo.

Akira is a famous japanese drummer. He started drumming at a very old age of 18 during university. His drumming is mostly known because of heavy usage of triggers and MIDI during his play. You might want to take a look at one song from him available at DrummerWorld:

Sunshine

It is one of the examples what makes him unique. At YouTube you can find a lot more examples of his playing. I thought for the most readers, a play-along of the Mission impossible theme might be best to follow.
So beside his heavy usage of MIDI pads, what makes him unique you might ask? Well, from my point of view it is mostly the fact, that he usually has no leading hand. Most drummers play the four bar on the left feet and also eight,quarter, 16th notes with the strong hand. Akira only uses his left feet for staying in time and plays the melody with the “free” hand. It is most impressive.

In addition to this, his playing to the metronom is absolutely great. Most drummers (and also me) get too static when the click goes in eighth or even 16th notes. I personally concentrate to much on being on time than letting it roll and stay straight automatically in these cases. Therefore I prefer 4th notes on the metronome as it gives me freedom to improvise between the two clicks. But Akira has no problem letting it still sound extremly variable and refreshing.

I hope I could give you a short impression of one of the drummers who inspire me day for day. Of course I could write about all the other drummers like

but it is just a capture in time. Maybe this will come at one point in time…

October 31, 2006

A new star is born…

Category: Music — kaldor @ 11:44 pm

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During the last weekend we had the first meeting for a new project called voXager.

It all started when the Keyboarder of Dragonfyre contacted some people asking wether they are willing to join his project. All we knew at that point in time was that the style is going to be Space-Metal. What is Space-Metal one might ask? If I haven’t had some talks aboutthat earlier if could not give you an answer.

Space-Metal basically was born by a project/band called Ayreon, which was founded and mostly composed by a fantastic dutch artist called Arjen Lucassen. The base structure belongs to progressive rock, but is has much more MIDI and synthi influences. Some songs aremore pop or even electro. It is definitely the most variable and flexible style beside progressive. I guess the naming has been done by some strange magazines, which just don’t have a clue how to categorize it.

So, as I mentioned, last weekend this project was founded, and currently the line-up is the following

  • Keyboarder, project lead
  • Drummer and rhythm consultant (guess, who is that ;) )
  • 2 guitar players
  • 2 singers (male and female)

I guess the search for a bass-player will continue, so if you are interested, feel free to contact one of us.Further to thisthe project is opened for volunteers at anytime. This helps us staying more flexible and give ourself the possibility to get more influences to reach our goal.

I am sorry for not having more information currently, but if we manage it, the project will getits own page withconstant updates. You will find a link at the sidebar then.

October 8, 2006

Surprising level…

Category: Music, Spare Time — kaldor @ 2:53 pm

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Hey readers,

it has been some time ago that I have updated this blog, but there was not much to speak about. This has changed now.

During the last two weekends I was able to compare local bands near my hometown Neuss and Berlin, and all in all I have to admit, that Berlin bands seem to be technically spoken in advance. Still trickORtreat (lately added to the blogroll) are my favorites, but the remaining bands on that concert could not really satisfy me last week and on other concerts in general. Mostly because of lack of precision and/or presence on the stage.

After a friend took me to the Midnight Rock yesterday evening I want to give you a short impression of what I’ve seen there.

It started as a usual local concert, only some people were able to arrive in time and therefore the concert hall was pretty empty at that point in time. Beer prices were nice (1.50 for each bottle), so it seems like pre-conditions were perfect for a nice evening.

Following you will get a short review and my personal impression of the bands which tried to catch my attention.

Odyssey of Torture

That band was the main reason for my friend to go to that concert and they got on the band-list only some days before the concert as another band cancelled this gig. Basically they were playing something like Black/Death Metal with some intermediates of other genres. The shouts were ok, the guitar riffs great and mostly solid. The last song including the rap-parts of the shouter seemed to disturb most of the audience, but it was refreshing and well-composed. They had some issues with the slower parts in terms of not being stable timing-wise. Additionally the stage performance was relatively low-profile compared to the other bands. Getting to know after the show, that they are just starting up and do not have much stage experience it was a good show. All in all they were a very good, high-profile opener for a concert.
The drummer: Technically ok, especially short term fast breaks were played fluently and you got the impression, that he knows how to play. His hands were relaxed and the feets made up a good speed. The main job of keeping the band together in time was instable at some points as mentioned above. For my point of view the biggest lack was a missing performance. He was to concentrated on playing than on the gig itself.

Conclusion: Give these guys some more experience on stage and I would bet, that they will be able to establish in the local music scene.

Orphan Hate

In advance this was the best band on that evening. As always when you see a woman on stage with the mic in the hand, you start to analyze much more critical than you would do in other cases. But they disabused. The stage performance was great and they played rock-solid with good laid-back feelings. Song structures were a little bit to basic on some songs, but they knew how to catch the pit, especially with mid-tempo parts. Their ‘Roots bloody roots’ show together with some visitors was an eye-catcher. Definetly worth downloading the songs and await the next show to see wether they are able to keep up this level.

The drummer: Very very solid, nice laid-back grooves, harmonic fills, and a great performance. He knew the set very well and felt comfortable on stage from first note on. His style can be very much compared to my own one, maybe that is the reason I liked it so much :) His bass-drum figures convinced every drummer in the pit I would say.

Conclusion: Rock solid and ready to start up combo. If they manage to keep their line up stable they have really good chances to get attention nationwide.

Requital

To be honest I liked them very much yesterday, but even a day later I have problems remembering a song from them. And this is not beer-related. Their show was quiet ok, although sometimes it seemed like they were on stage to often. Yes this also may happen. Don’t get me wrong, the show was great and as I mentioned I liked their songs, but the presence and performance made the impression that they prepared each headbang in rehearsal room and that the next show will be exactly the same.

The drummer: Solid, like each drummer on this evening. Nothing refreshing or suprising in his style. He knows his genre very well and was able to recall everything needed. But not more. Additionally he was also a drummer sitting behind the drums for playing and not for performing. Finally, if you have longer hairs than me and sit behind the drums on stage, then use them!!!

Conclusion: I am really interested in seeing them again, maybe I was wrong about my impression.

Harvest

Previously to their show I was getting a beer and listened to some people who said, that this is going to be New Metal. So I was interested in watching how a band with that style will fit into this evening. I was quiet impressed that it was not really NewMetal genre music. They were having some more harder and powerful sounds and song-structures. Especially I liked the fun they had on stage. The musicians were really communicating well on stage. They could have been the best band on that evening, which I really did not expect. But they had one big issue:

The drummer: Don’t get me wrong, he was playing very very well. He had some interesting fills and his bass-drum was mostly ok. But: If you are playing on a local concert, never, really really never, try to play a drum-solo. And especially if you play one, then expect other drummers in the crowd. Maybe it was nice to see this for a non-musician, but for a drummer this solo was a big pain in the ass. Nothing special, only combining some senseless parts and laughing during playing like you were the reincarnation of hopefully-still-long-living Mike Portnoy made you really ridiculous.

Conclusion: After watching their page today I got to know, that they were playing with Chimaira, one of my favorite bands forever. And also they had some show experiences with StuckMojo, etc… So this really finished my impression. As they tried to celebrate themself yesterday after the show I was thinking maybe they are just very self-confident, but guys: Calm down. I don’t know wether you bought yourself into these shows (like support acts for Slipknot do), or you really got an offer but if you will stay that ignorant you will fall even before you climbed up.

Blood red angel

It was said they were doing thrash-metal, but it was more or less a powermetal show. It was the last band I was able to see due to missing tram-support in the night at that part of the city, so I was really concentrated on them to get a good final impression. Especially showing the harvest drummer, how it can be done as I did not see him on the Orphan Hate show. Very quick you realized that it was not their first show, they were performing really well, lots of hairs got lost on stage and they had great fun. One big negative attribute was the photographer, because as soon as he tried to take a picture the band focussed on him, not on the pit. Unfortunately after 15-20 minutes it went boring and so I left a little bit earlier to catch my tram in time.

The drummer: Good show, nothing to complain about. A little bit to less presence on stage, but very well keeping the band in timing and greatly communcating with the other guys on stage during the show.

Conclusion: Nice, unfortunately somewhat boring after a certain amount of time. And: Krefeld is NOT next to the Netherlands. Ok, maybe for Berlin people, but then I would be dutch and as far as I know, I am not :)

To summarize all the drummers on this evening, I really learned, that the technical niveau is much higher here in Berlin. And I will accept this challenge. Seems like it is time to perform own stuff here in Berlin. Hopefully there will be some guys escorting me…