13 May 2006


The Garden of Tranquility

Drawn with Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment pens. 0.2, 0.3, 0.5.

The sky is too plain. I will plan and embellish it later. Some serene. Not a dramatic angry sky.
Angels & Demons

Swift pen and ink illustration done using Rotring 0.2, 0.3 and 0.5 pigmented pens. Sky is done using Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment 0.1 pen. A straight literal interpretation.

Illustration Friday theme: Angels and Demons

12 May 2006


Horus Rising

Woo! Dan Abnett's 'Horus Rising' has finally been released. I'm reading it now.
Fitness Test

All the hard work paid off. I passed my fitness test yesterday. I am elated.

However, running with a bunch of guys ten to thirteen years younger is sobering. In the first round, I trailed them by a few hundred metres. In the second round, most of them were out of sight. By the last round, I was running alone! HOO!

Kitten wants to be on my lap!

Photo of my kitten taken a few weeks ago.

11 May 2006

Kenny the Mugger

Digital pencil drawing using Painter.

Illustration Friday theme: Fat

10 May 2006

Smiling for Godot

Ever you ever known a kind of friend who smiles and listens? A kind of friend who answers in non-committal platitudes. A kind of friend who has no opinions in front of you. A kind of friend who you assume is your friend?

I have known 'inoffensive' people like these. 'Friends' like them to be precise. They have opinions, but just not in front of you. They only ever listen because everything they do is measured by gains and benefits. And if the action does not benefit them in any way, they will remain quiet. They are supposedly 'good' listeners. The inaction.

They are non-confrontational. They are inoffensive. And best of all, they are insincere, having passed secret judgement on you when they first placed their eyes on you a long time ago. They have placed you.

I wonder about these 'friends', these people. They will appear and disappear from one's life just like that. You know very well, in times of crisis, they will not be there for you. They will ask in their own insincere, inoffensive way but they will not care.

Sadly, there are so many of these in Singapore.

In Asia.

The nature of societies in Asia. Asia just seems to be teeming with these sorts. I have had my encounters with them.

Are there any REAL people left? I wonder sometimes.
Fat Floater

This is a piece done using Painter. Baby steps. A learning piece. The digital medium is challenging. Digital pencils and colour pencils.

Illustration Friday theme: Fat

09 May 2006

'Eulogy for the Sick Child' Imperative Reaction

01. Scorpio
02. The Longing (For Detachment)
03. Forced
04. Compressed/Terror
05. Flatline
06. The Sick Child
07. The Settling/Flight
08. Syntax
09. Overcast
10. Predicate
11. Out:Obsolete/Vision
12. Life In The Walls
13. 3 1/2 Minutes Of Pain
14. Scorpio '06

Imperative Reaction is one of the rare American-based electro-industrial bands out there. It is easily one of the best industrial bands the USA has to offer. A piece of great news has surfaced, Metropolis Records is re-issuing the first album in a remastered form. Another piece of great news is that their new as yet untitled album is due for release in the second half of 2006. This appears to be an excellent year for music with releases and forthcoming releases from Clan of Xymox, Front Line Assembly, Imperative Reaction, Covenant and more.

I first discovered 'Ruined' a few years ago and this was followed since by the aggressive 'Redemption' which has an addictive quality to it.
'Artificial Soldier' Front Line Assembly

01. Unleashed
02. Low Life
03. Beneath The Rubble
04. Dissension
05. Buried Alive
06. Dopamine
07. Social Enemy
08. Future Fail
09. The Storm
10. Humanity (World War Three)

Amazing great news! Bill Leeb, Rhys Fulber, Chris Peterson, and new member Jeremy Inkel have got together and created 'Artificial Soldier', due out later this year.

This should be most interesting. Quoting from the webpage on the Metropolis Records website:

"Heavy pounding beats, atmospheric strings, percolating melodies, dynamic synths and Bill Leeb’s trademark vocals couldn’t be fused together any tighter if you tried to do it at an atomic level. As if all of those factors weren’t enough, two guest vocalists appear on Artificial Soldier - Eskil Simonsson from Covenant (on “The Storm”) and Jean-Luc De Meyer from Front 242 (on “Future Fail”)!"

Eskil Simonsson from Covenant! And the legendary Jean-Luc De Meyer from Front 242! Simply amazing.

'Suffer Well' Depeche Mode

1. Tiga Remix
2. Narcotic Thrust Vocal Dub
3. Alter Ego Remix
4. M83 Remix
5. Metope Vocal Remix
6. Metope Remix

The Tiga remix features a stronger thumping bassline with additional production work in the form of clockwork beat and disparate pre-set sounds. The variable speeds in the different basslines utilised are of interest. The structure and form are retained. It is one of the stronger remixes in this MCD. After Tiga's dismal remix of 'Shake the Disease' in the Future Retro compilation, Tiga has much to atone for. This thoroughly conventional and linear remix does it. A very like-able mix.

Narcotic Thrust Vocal Dub? Ugh. A house mix. Pianos and all. Fast forward.

The Alter Ego Remix is among the stronger ones in the single, probably the best of the lot. A carefully crafted remix with the inclusion of various unusual aural effects gives a highly variable feel of anxiety and edginess retains the darkness found in some of Depeche Mode's earlier work This track can surpass the original single.

M83 Remix. The initial production work was promising. Then, the female vocals kick in and the single is lost amidst the vocals. The inclusion of female vocals overlaying Gahan's vocals doesn't do this single justice. Gahan's vocals and the track is lost in the repetitive female vocals 'sometimes it's ....'. Ack.

Metope Vocal Remix. Relentless muddy trance-beats with the of vocals with the usual additional production work. The feel is murky, dirty and organic. An underwater feel maybe? This one is alright.

Metope Remix. Inconstant speed in the loops. Complex loops and beats. Undanceable remix devoid of vocals. Faint traces of the original track remain.

Well, I think the single is worthwhile. Much more than the remixes of 'A Pain that I am used to'.

08 May 2006

Ketchup



I love ketchup. I used to have large amounts of ketchup with my fries, eggs and more. Over the years, I have tried different kinds. Here are my ratings:



Heinz has remained a great favourite. Sadly, I haven't seen any Bonnie Hubbard ketchup in years. It's probably been discontinued.

It is a shame to see some fine grill restuarants with serving poor ketchup.

Note: The more bottles there are, the better it is.

Fix

Function: transitive verb
1 a : to make firm, stable, or stationary b : to attach physically
2 : to influence the actions, outcome, or effect of by improper or illegal methods —fix noun —fix·er noun

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
West Ham 2 Spurs 1

Arsenal 4 Wigan 2

There are a lot of long-suffering Spurs fans in Singapore and worldwide. At the very last match, Arsenal pipped Spurs for the fourth place and the automatic Champions League qualifying place. If for once, the Spurs fans thought that Spurs would finish above Arsenal, they were wrong. I guess the suffering goes on for them...

And to top it off, Arsenal is no longer the boring one-nil team of the early nineties, Arsenal has adopted a graceful continental style of football that was once the trademark of Spurs.

Tottenham Hotspurs has been a perennial underachiever. Perhaps, the dream of being one of the big 6 is unrealistic.
What is in my Creative MuVo V200 player?

The stuff I have encoded in WMA format in my player.

1. Clan of Xymox - Weak in my Knees (MCD)
2. Covenant - Ritual Noise (MCD)
3. Covenant - Skyshaper
4. Depeche Mode - Precious (MCD)
5. Diary of Dreams - Menschfeind (EP)
6. Diary of Dreams - Nigredo
7. Front Line Assembly - Rewind
8. God Module - Artificial
9. In Strict Confidence - Seven Lives (MCD)
10. In Strict Confidence - Where the Sun and the Moon unite (EP)
11. Negative Format - Moving past the Boundaries
12. Front Line Assembly - Circuitry (MCD)
13. Front Line Assembly - Plasticity (MCD)
14. Front Line Assembly - Mindphaser (MCD)
15. Front Line Assembly - Prophecy (MCD)
16. Front Line Assembly - Iceolate (MCD)
17. Front Line Assembly - Everything must perish (MCD)
18. Front Line Assembly - Millennium (MCD)
19. Front Line Assembly - Surface Patterns (MCD)
20. Front Line Assembly - The Blade (MCD)
21. Front Line Assembly - Vanished (MCD)
22. Front Line Assembly - Virus (MCD)
23. Front Line Assembly - Fatalist (MCD)
24. Front Line Assembly - Columbian Necktie (MCD)




It is time for a change. I was in the mood for Front Line Assembly earlier. Some tracks from the newer Depeche Mode singles will go in as will Funker Vogt's 'Fallen Hero'. God Module and Negative Format will stay.

I am expecting a CD order from Amazon six months after I have placed it*. The order includes more Negative Format, God Module CDs.

Note: MCD - CD Single. Indicates the single with all the remixes and B-sides. EP - Extended Play.

*26th December 2005!