Weval – The Weight

In this week’s list of recommendations automatically and specifically handed to my by the all-serving algorithms of Spotify I found this newly released gem from Amsterdam-based Harm Coolen and Merijn Schotte Albers, aka Weval.

As usual these days, no doubt the result of me training the recommendation engine for god knows how many hours, it was once again correct in assuming I would like this. So thank you once again Spotify for showing me another gem that I would probably never have heard otherwise.

The songs on Weval range from blissed-out retro-chill-pop to more experimental trips into the land of 60s string reverb. Somewhat similar artists with this sound, at least in my mind would be Washed Out, WorriedAboutSatan and Chrome Sparks, to some extent. There are singing or pieces of singing on all the songs and it’s always run through some sort of effect, like pitch, phaser or harmonizer. The selection of effects heightens the overall retro-feeling on The Weight. It sounds 60s, but yet modern and fresh.

My favorite pieces of music so far are the title track, Are You Even Real, False State of Mind and Same Little Thing.

Released on Kompakt.

 

March 30th, 2019|Blog, I recommend, Music|

LP5 by Apparat is out

Finally the latest full-lengther from Apparat has been released. It’s a satisfying collection of beautifully contemplating ambient pieces built around the pleasant voice of Mr Apparat himself, Sascha Ring.

There are three tunes here that stand out above the other for me. The first one is DAWAN, which was the first single released a couple of months ago. Then we have CARONTE where Mr Ring’s voice is heard through a harmonizer effect supported by a whole section of cellos, violins, guitars and a slightly distorted bass sound. This is also one of the tunes on the album which most reminds me of the sound of Moderat, of which Apparat of course also is a part of.

My third favorite is IN GRAVITAS, the finishing tune on the album, which is the most, I suppose, dance-ish piece on LP5. All in all a great album which I will listen to again and again in the near future.

 

March 23rd, 2019|Blog, I recommend, Music|

A Winter Sampler

It’s time for another recommendation of some great music. I found this expertly selected collection of tracks called “A Winter Sampler” on Spotify. It was released recently on All Day I Dream.

Laid back Deep House music made just the way I like it. I think you will too.

 

Revenant – New brooding electronica from Worriedaboutsatan

Found some interesting releases on Spotify the last few days, like DRIFT Episode 2, the latest EP from Underworld and Radio Scarecrow, a full album release from The Black Dog.

My number one favorite so far though comes from Yorkshire based duo Worriedaboutsatan and is called Revenant. It has six great synthesizer heavy tracks loaded with beauty and dark atmosphere. Released on Burning Witches Records.

 

March 11th, 2019|Blog, I recommend, Music|

Another beautiful modded Gameboy DMG-01 Clear

Here is another modded Gameboy DMG-01. This is my second one which has a great condition original Clear case together with green screen and buttons. I really like this color combination. Of course it has all the usual internal mods as well:

  • White backlight screen, which means you can play games, produce music and perform live in complete darkness.
  • Bivert chip, for improved contrast and less ghosting.
  • Brand new green plastic lens.
  • Brand new green buttons.
  • ProSound mod to the original headphone jack, for improved sound quality, louder volume and less background noise.
  • Bass Boost mod for more sub bass. The thump / bass feel area below 50hz is more prominent now. This will make your tracks kick HARD when performing live.
  • 1000 uF decoupling capacitor on the power regulator. Reduces the hiss and hum that can occur because of the backlight screen.
  • New silicon parts

Available on Ebay right now

March 9th, 2019|Blog, Gameboy, Retro|

Banging big room techno by Pig&Dan

Infinity, the latest EP on Drumcode by Igor and Dan aka Pig&Dan is the perfect example of what big room techno is all about at the moment. It has that unmistakable Drumcode sound that is not afraid to borrow themes from other genres, while still staying somewhat true to the techno spirit. There are some trance influences here that isn’t allowed to take over completely but just enough to add to the overall epicness of the four tracks. And those kicks…  Oh man. Devastating!!

 

March 4th, 2019|Blog, I recommend, Music|

Repairing the 1961 transistor radio Braun T220

My blue 1961 transistor radio Braun T220 works pretty good but since I’m planning to put it on Ebay I decided it was time to do the electronics versions of an oil change: The re-cap. Changing all the capacitors.

Opening it up I could find eight metal capacitors and one biggie made out of paper. When old gear is failing, the first suspect is almost always the electrolytic capacitors. I have previously repaired a Samsung monitor and a Samsung TV where the only fault was a couple of bulging caps. Total cost to fix that was under a dollar.

 


All the old capacitors from the Braun T220

In this case where the radio is close to 60 years, there is no reason to keep any of the old caps. If they haven’t completely failed yet it’s just a matter of time and if you would measure their values they are probably all over the place. It wasn’t that much work. It took me around three hours to de-solder all of them and putting in brand new ones. I had to be extra careful not to break any of the many thin copper wires that were soldered left and right in a way you don’t see in newer tech.

 


The inside of the Braun T220, before the re-cap

Powering on the T220 again I was very happy to find that everything was working and the FM signal now was much stronger than before. Also the sound volume was louder and clearer in a way that I had not anticipated. I guess the radio now sounds like it did when it was new in 1961.

All in all the whole process was pretty fun and much easier than what I had imagined it would be. Everything turned out great, which is not always the case when you start poking around in ancient tech.

 

The inside of the Braun T220, post re-cap

March 2nd, 2019|Blog, Design, DIY, Hardware, Retro|

Five Game Boy DMG-01 ready for refurbishing and modding

The title says it all. Five working Game Boy ready for modding. Perhaps I will fix them all this weekend.

First they need to be cleaned. One or two of the shells look like border-line keep or toss though. If they still look shabby after the cleaning process that then I have a couple of other shells I could use that are in way better shape.

The clear/crystal shell looks like it’s in good shape. No yellowing and no visible dents or cracks, which right there is a great plus. I’m planning to use either red or green screen and buttons on this one.

February 23rd, 2019|Blog, Gameboy, Retro|

Four Tet Live at Funkhaus Berlin

Four Tet is one of my favorite producers of electronica so beautiful it almost hurts listening to it. 4TLR is a short for Four Tet Live Recordings, the moniker he uses for his live gigs.

If you haven’t heard his music already the album Live at Funkhaus Berlin,10th May 2018 is a great introduction. The live versions of the tunes differs so much from the original studio recordings that they almost sound like something brand new. This is an incredible set with lots of atmosphere. You almost feel like you are there at Funkhaus dancing to the amazing music of 4TLR.

 

February 18th, 2019|Blog, I recommend, Music|