All posts by Ratan X

Because I’m lazy

I was really excited a few months ago about a new project I started that I’m calling Sarkeesian. But I’ve yet to make any new music for it. I have a song or two planned, but it’s been moth balled for a few months now and I’m finding it hard to find the energy to make it.

But have no fear, for I’m getting new ideas. The ep in question is a “pludnerphonics” experiment. But sometimes it’s not so easy to take other people’s sounds and make them sound totally different. And then find a way to make them fit together with a bunch of other sounds.

Plunderphonics is not as easy as you think! Or not as as easy as I thought, rather.

Brian Eno’s Reflection

Brian Eno is back with a new “generative” album called Reflection. It’s very much in the style of Neroli, Lux and Thursday Afternoon and is really excellent. I was a bit disappointed with last year’s “The Ship,” but this album more than redeems it.

Also, just for the record, I will continue to release music no matter who is in The White House. I’m bitter and angry all the time, so I have no need to “reflect” upon my mood during changing administrations, unlike some Irish wankers.

The Sheltering Sand

I almost forgot! On Christmas Day 2016, I released the first full-length Abandoned Shorelines album. Called The Sheltering Sand.

This is my first release of all-new Abandoned Shorelines material, and my first release of all new ambient material since XXII by Rural Citizens, back in August 2015. And I think it’s really great stuff. Some of my best work yet.

Of course, it’s totally free to download.

Watch out on News Years Day when I release a new XR1300 album. I’ll make a separate post for it when the time comes.

Sand cover

Song for a cold Friday evening

I can’t claim to be a house head. I never really searched it, but I saw a documentary about it the other night and they played this song.

“Can You Feel It” by Mr. Fingers.

I prefer this version of it, even though it seems like it was pitched down, making it nearly impossible to find a legit copy online. The only versions I found online for sale are slightly faster and pitched up. I like this version better. It sounds a lot dreamier. But the other instrumental versions are good, too.

One little whinge about Sierra

I’m disappointed that Apple hasn’t added a simple, but needed, tweak for Finder. And it’s something that bugged me in Mavericks (I never did upgrade past that on my last machine).

Why is it so hard to have both tabs and new windows at the same time? This has been a feature of Linux for years now, but Apple seems to not want to implement it into macOS (and can I just say that it’s nearly impossible to not call it OS X?).

A bigger whinge for another day is how restrictive macOS is becoming. Like I said the other day, Apple peaked with Snow Leopard and it’s been downhill since then.

I’m not quite ready to move to another OS full time (it pains me to even think of having to use Windows at home), but I’m becoming less and less impressed with it all the time.

GarageBand is a perfect program, but I’m not sure how much longer I will keep using macOS just for it. Especially since there are other DAWs that I’m sure would be beneficial to my musical experiments.

If things get too bad, I guess I could always dual boot a machine. Windows for DAW stuff, Linux for everything. Most of what I use is open source or has an open source equivalent.

But I’m sure every version of the Mac operating system had something I bitched about. And thought was the final straw. But over 14 years later and it’s still my main OS. Go figure.

Back with new music

A little over 3 years ago the hard drive died in my old iMac and I successfully replaced it. I wasn’t so lucky this time. Something bad happened to the power supply and yada yada, I have a new iMac. Its pretty swanky. I bought a refurbished unit, which might come back to haunt me. Hope not.

macOS Sierra is… well, I’m not hating it, but it’s still not as great as Snow Leopard was. But I gotta stop living in the past.

Anyway, today I was finally able to upload two new releases, only a few weeks late.

Animal Drone by Abandoned Shorelines and Intercrural Love E.P. by XR1300.

I have tons of stuff in the queue. Full length albums from both bands. And some experiments from Sarkeesian. And more “ambient revisions” from Abandoned Shorelines. So the next few months should be good…

Computer update

I’ve made a decision on what to do. I ordered a new 2 TB hard drive and it should be here by Monday. It’s going to be a bit of a pain to install, but I’ve done it before and I can do it again. Given my current financial situation I cannot afford to buy a brand new iMac. So spending about $75 on a hard drive and doing the work myself was the most economical and sensible solution.

I hate to admit it, but I almost thought of building my own PC.  I was kind of envious of the “battle station” threads I see on /g/ and used some of their sources like Logical Increments, but the machine I had picked out was just as expensive as an iMac. And I quickly realized that I didn’t want to run Windows for a DAW, and neither Windows nor Xubuntu is any kind of substitute for OS X.

I’m still muddling around on my iMac, but I can’t do any lasting work on it. I do not trust the dying hard drive, so I still can’t make any music. Also, this iMac is pretty old (over 7 years) and El Capitan will be the last OS I can run. But I am on Mavericks right now, so I’ll take the time to download and install EC on the new drive later.

So, this isn’t the end of Ratan X. Just a new(isn) beginning.  When I installed a new drive back in Dec 2013, I told people I’d be happy if I got another year out of my drive. And I ended up getting nearly 3. Again, I’ll be happy if I get a year out of this new drive (and for nothing else to fail). Hopefully by then I’ll be on better financial footing and be able to get a totally new machine. Whether that is an iMac or not is anybody’s guess. Depends how I like El Capitan and the reviews Sierra (and beyond) get.

And then I hit a wall.

OK guys, bad news. My computer is on its last leg. For the longest time it was humming along just fine, but in the past few days it’s gotten pretty bad. I’m having hard drive problem (bad sectors).

The good news is I was able to make a good backup of everything. The bad news is that I’m not really sure if I want to replace the drive in my 7 year old iMac or buy new. I’ve been amazed that my  machine has lated this long so far. But the downside of that is I might spend money on something futile. My computer could develop another problem and go kaput after I spent all the work on replacing the drive. It’s a real pain in the ass to replace a hard drive in an iMac. Or any Apple product. This is the one downside to owning an Apple product.

Buying a brand new computer isn’t really an option. I’m not that rich and while spending $2000 on a computer in 2009 was a bit of a gamble, it’s an even bigger gamble today than it was then, financially speaking. Also, the new iMacs are literally impossible to upgrade or replace hardware in. I had a hard drive crash back in November of 2013 and was able to put in a new drive and hum along for nearly 3 more years. But I’m not sure that would happen again. And I don’t want to spend nearly $2000 on a machine that might die after 3 years.

Thinking of an iPad, since it has Garage Band on it. But I think it would be a pain to use compared to a desktop. I want an iPad anyway.

While I far prefer OS X to anything else out there, the only thing that is really tying me to a Mac is GarageBand. And I’m almost thinking of ditching it for something new because it’s made me lazy. But there aren’t any good DAWs for Linux that I’m aware of. And switching to Linux full time isn’t really something I can seriously consider. Despite the fact that i mostly use my computer for music creation and watching anime (and browsing 4chana and 8chan).

All of this means that I have back ups of my sites and GarageBand files (and the exported .aiff files from those projects) both in the cloud and on a local hard drive. But how long it takes me to release them is anybody’s guess. Depends on what I decide to do with my computer.

New releases by Sarkeesian, Abandoned Shorelines and XR1300 when? Was supposed to be October 13th 2016. But now, not so sure.