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Messages - HdE

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Music / Re: What's everyone listening to...?
« on: 07 September, 2021, 01:16:18 PM »
I much prefer the remixed version - I know what you mean about the vocals, but the original version is one of those late 90s / early 2000s 'loudness war' production jobs and a lot of the nuance is lost in favour of volume. I've got a whole bunch of albums that could do with a remix on that basis.
Whichever mix you've got though, it's an underrated album imo and in places quite poignant. I think I'll give it a spin later today!

You're not wrong! I remember being quite disappointed that the original mix was such a full-on assault. Especially after wondering for so long if Test For Echo would be their last album.

I need to give the remix a deeper listen. There's a few instances where I really appreciate being able to hear additional detail. But I also detect a few elements that were straight up *not there* in the original mix, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

I'm basically just a bit sore about how Secret Touch (my favourite track on the album) has been handled in the remix. Don't get me wrong - just as with everything else on the album, it's nice to hear a more sonically cleaned up version of it. But when it gets to the part where Alex Lifeson lets rip, it feels like all the guts have been shovelled out of it. 

Music / Re: What's everyone listening to...?
« on: 07 September, 2021, 10:55:26 AM »
Having treated myself to a new CD player recently, I'm currently having a MASSIVE adventure with my CD collection, revisiting a lot of old discs and seeing how they benefit from being played on decent kit for the first time in a decade or more.

Over the weekend, I discovered what a difference headphones make. Like a fool, I'd been using my expensive studio monitors. Swapping over to an old pair of £30 Kitsounds (I kid you not!) has opened up a lot of those albums and made them sound much livelier.

Something I've checked out recently is the remixed version of Rush's Vapor Trails album. I remember the original 2002 master copped a LOT of very justified criticism for its production. (One drummer pal of mine told me 'I love the songs, but all I can hear is clipping.)

The weird thing is... I'm not sure I actually prefer this mix. To my ears, there's more detail and plenty of stuff that was previously hidden leaps out of the mix. But it sounds like Geddy Lee's suddenly been put in a box with a mic and pulled way forward from the rest of the mix. His bass is where it should be, but the vocals suddenly sound TOO clear.

It's weird, but I think I prefer the energy of the original mix.

Music / Re: What's everyone listening to...?
« on: 20 August, 2021, 08:48:30 PM »
Thanks, Hde, I’m 3 albums away from Anoraknophobia, so I’ll be getting around to that one soon. That’s the one that invented crowd funding!

I need to dig it out again now that my new CD player's arrived.

Since you asked me about the post AoS albums, I've actually picked up Sounds That Can't Be Made and F.E.A.R. on CD. Figured it'd be rude not to have something completely fresh to listen to on my completely fresh player.

So far, I have to say I'm a bit mystified by the claims some have made that these represent Marillion's best work. They're good albums, but neither of them have got that hook that drew me into my favourite albums of theirs. F.E.A.R. leans a bit too heavily into ambience for my liking on a first listen. But I reckon it could grow on me.

Still listening to Sam Brown's 43 Minutes more than anything else right now, though. That album's so, so good!

Music / Re: What's everyone listening to...?
« on: 13 August, 2021, 08:04:21 PM »
That’s cool that you used to play it live! Which albums after AoS stand out for you?

Gaahhhhd, that's a tricky one...

Truthfully, I kind of tuned out after 'Somewhere Else,' so I've yet to properly listen to anything they've put out since that. I'm telling myself I'll catch up on them all when their next album releases. I've heard bits and pieces of 'Sounds That Can't Be Made' and quite liked those.

Of the albums I can give a qualified opinion of since AoS, 'Anoraknophobia' is probably my favourite. I think there are some really strong songs on there, and I love how the band sound. 'This is the 21st Century' is probably my favourite track from it.

That's another one folks would do well to look up on YouTube / Spotify or whatever. It's hard to believe it comes from the same bunch of musicians who knocked out Kayleigh and Lavender in the 80s!

Music / Re: What's everyone listening to...?
« on: 12 August, 2021, 07:32:36 PM »

I didn't know she duetted with Fish, I'll have to search that out.

Yeah - it's a weird one. Just Good Friends was on the album Internal Exile, I believe. But the album version is sung entirely by Fish. I've no idea why, but the version with Sam Brown seems to be a single-only type deal. Maybe in this age of endless digital remasters and repackaged editions there's another way to get hold of it? It's quite nice.

I've been getting into Marillion a lot recently... I've been going through their catalogue in order, and am so far up to Afraid of Sunlight, and that may just be my favourite yet. Definitely the best Hogarth-era album so far, IMO.

Afraid of Sunlight is one of my favourite albums of all time! Some truly fantastic songs on there. Out of This World and Gazpacho are particular favourites of mine.

I have especially fond memories of Afraid of Sunrise as well. I played that a couple of times at gigs during my spell as a no-name local musician. Really lovely song. As much as Marillion still seem to be a bit of a laughing stock to those who have no real knowledge of their music, it ALWAYS used to get a great reaction from folks.

Music / Re: What's everyone listening to...?
« on: 12 August, 2021, 12:45:33 AM »
She's Joe Brown's daughter isn't she... or did I dream that...

She is indeed!

Music / Re: What's everyone listening to...?
« on: 11 August, 2021, 09:24:30 PM »
A very odd (and too lengthy to summarise) sequence events has recently led me to pick up a copy of Sam Brown's recently remastered album '43 Minutes.'

Sam Brown will either be a name you already know or find yourself asking 'why does that sound familiar?'

This is the same Sam Brown who had a chart hit in 1988 with 'Stop!' and went on to be a backing singer for Pink Floyd, Barclay James Harvest, Deep Purple and Gary Moore (among others.) She may be more recognisable for her frequent appearances on 'Later... With Jools Holland.' Being a massive Marillion-head, I was mostly aware of her due to her duet with Fish on 'Just Good Friends.'

Sadly, she lost her singing voice in 2007 as a result of a cyst on her vocal cords. Which is a tragic loss to music.

I've been investigating her solo albums recently, and 43 Minutes has proved to be a real surprise. While it's very much her own album, with her own stamp on it, it's reminiscent in places of Kate Bush and Tori Amos. There's some very strong song writing on it. It's a concept album, which comes as a surprise, and it deals with some HEAVY stuff (I'll not elaborate - but if folks are interested, everything's just a Google search away.)

Really great stuff. And probably the best album I've bought in ages. It's sent me down the rabbit hole of checking out everything she's done. And even though I always knew she was good, I'm having a lot of 'holy shit' moments where I discover certain performances.

If you guys appreciate truly great female vocalists, go check out her lead vocal on Pink Floyd's 'Great Gig in the Sky' from the Pulse tour. Or any of the live stuff she's done with the late Jon Lord.

She had vocal range that was a mile wide. And having seen interviews where she comes across as a very down to earth, likeable lady, I don't mind telling you that I've actually had a little cry over the thought that she'll never sing again.

Games / Re: I've got a Totally Unoriginal Gaming Show on Youtube now
« on: 23 June, 2021, 02:11:21 PM »
Not actually pertaining to video games, but I think this might be of interest to certain folks on the forum.

This evening at 6:00PM UK time, I'm going to be putting on one of my soon-to-be-regular show and tell streams on Twitch. The idea of these is that, each week, I'll turf out something cool from my Stash of Interesting Things and put it on camera for your edification.

This week's artifact is a very special HD Blu Ray release of the '90s cult classic anime CYBER CITY OEDO 808, which I'll be talking about at length. If you remember this one, or have any fondness for it, why not swing by for a bit and we can share some memories!

My channel can be found via the link below - don't forget to whack the 'follow' button over there if you'd like to keep up with my weekly streams! That'll help me a lot as I work toward affiliate status on Twitch.


Games / Re: I've got a Totally Unoriginal Gaming Show on Youtube now
« on: 02 June, 2021, 01:42:08 PM »
Quick heads up that I'll be attempting to do another Twitching today at 5:00PM UK time.

Nothing video game-y, mind. I've had a rather juicy product of the anime / giant robot variety arrive via my postal portal. As it's quite fancy, I figure it might be worth trying a stream around that for an hour or so.

What's in the box? What could it be?!


Also worth mentioning: I'm coasting along on maybe an hour's sleep today, so God only knows what state I'll be in by the time I go live. So if you do drop by, prepare to see me in my natural state - i.e. running on fumes, and quite likely to have a narcoleptic episode live on camera.

See... I don't half give you lot value for money!

If anyone was waiting on the stream today, sadly my computer said 'no.'

But then, after a full day of techie wrangling, I said 'SCREW YOU, COMPUTER!' and I'll be going live at 9:30PM instead.

Drop by and say hi, if you like. The game looks cool as hell, so it should be fun!

Quick heads up for a thing I'll be doing tomorrow that's come about at fairly short notice.

Over on twitch, at 6:00PM BST, I'll be doing a blow-by-blow breakdown of the recently revealed gameplay footage of HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST.

Here's the obligatory promo image:

You can find me on Twitch via this link:

We can probably look forward to gaffes aplenty, as this'll be the first time I've ever streamed on Twitch!

Announcements / Re: Dave Evans, R.I.P.
« on: 07 May, 2021, 05:31:28 PM »
I've had one of those days where I stayed up way too late working on things last night and got up very late in the day. News of Dave's passing is the first thing I've seen online.

Won't lie. I've had to take time away from the computer to process. I met Dave in person once, at the ICE convention in Birmingham, and he was the kind of guy you instantly warmed to. An absolute gent. Unfailingly supportive. And really funny, too.

My thoughts go out to his family. What an incalculably sad loss.

Games / Re: I've got a Totally Unoriginal Gaming Show on Youtube now
« on: 30 April, 2021, 06:43:35 PM »

My latest block of content ends with a bang tonight, with a girthy, fulsome (some might even say 'heavyweight') review of TITANFALL 2.

Watch it here:

Then go and buy it. You'll thank me later.

Games / Re: I've got a Totally Unoriginal Gaming Show on Youtube now
« on: 24 March, 2021, 06:06:11 PM »
New video alert! WOOOP! WOOOP!
New video alert! WOOOP! WOOOP!
(Feel free to add some drum 'n' bass under that. Seriously - you'll thank me later.)

Continuing my sporadic exploration of console conversions of popular arcade games, I take a look at the NES version of ARKANOID. Basically breakout on steroids.

I remember playing a few different home computer versions of this back in the day, and being blown away by the expansion on the simple bat and ball formula. The Nintendo Entertainment System's conversion went a step further, as it released with its own dedicated controller, which SHOULD have made it the ultimate conversion, right?

Turns out the ravages of time didn't much care for that detail.

Watch the review via this link. You know you want to.

Games / Re: I've got a Totally Unoriginal Gaming Show on Youtube now
« on: 09 February, 2021, 05:38:49 PM »
New video is up, folks!

Leaning very heavily on my 'I'll review anything, me' credentials, I dial things back considerably to look at a ZX Spectrum game that seems awfully familiar. It's almost like it looks just liek somehting else, but I can't quite put my finger on what...

Watch it here:

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