So Jean Michel Jarre has released his latest album, and it seems to have polarised a lot of people.
For starters there are some heavyweight names who have collaborated this time around like Gary Numan, Pet Shop Boys and even Cyndi Lauper who pops up on a song about Tinder of all things called “Swipe To The Right”
To say it’s a commercial release is a massive understatement. Their are a good 6 songs that are very modern and pop based. The aforementioned songs are all worthy of a single release along with some more. This is a real change of tact from Jarre who hasn’t really been focused on commercial success for a long, long time. As part 2 of his new collaborative efforts perhaps this is to be expected, but even part 1 had some commercial tunes like Stardust. The Numan song is very much a familiar and well trodden path, and straight away you can tell it’s roots but I kinda like it and it has grown on me over the last week or so. The Cyndi Lauper song is quirky but gets in your head and again I like it. Overall it’s a solid album in my mind, but not really a Jarre release like of old, and this is where the problems begin. Yes, there is Korg minipops and phased string sounds, but it’s very modern with some old skool tricks. Mastered and mixed very loudly too it’s modern in that way too. And it’s a long album at a tad over 74 mins too. So I urge you to have a listen – below are some tracks to hear and I’d like to see what YOU think 😉
I’d give it 7.5 out of 10 if I was rating it, but I reckon your mileage will differ!
I’ve been a great fan of the Awakenings series of gigs that have been held over the last 8 years in Burton-Upon-Trent and it was with great sadness that I learnt that they might struggle to hold this gig as scheduled due to a venue problem. A friend of mine and I have been getting a gig sorted and we were lucky enough to enable the gig to go on anyway at this new venue which is the Lea Hall Pavilion in Rugeley. The performers were once again the dutch guys who I was wowed with back in 2014, that is Ron Boots, Eric van der Heijden, René Splinter and UniSphere.
As I was helping setup the gig we arrived just after mid day to help sort out the vast amount of gear on show (Mmmmmm Prophet-6) and carted it all into the venue which appeared tiny! However, as we got setup (Mmmmmm Prophet-12) and sorted out the seating arrangements it became clear that this would be a nice compact venue which is just about right for the expected numbers 😉
At approx 5pm we decided to go out and get some food as the doors opened at 6pm for a 6.30 start! We disappeared came back, got a chance to talk to the guys and settled down in out seats. First up was René Splinter who played a lovely melodic synth plus piano set. It reminded me of late 80’s Tangerine Dream or Johannes Schmoelling. 30 mins passed by very quickly and after a short break next up was Eric van de Heijden with another 30 min set with added real thunder! Eric also talked through quickly how he composes and arranges his music very quickly – something that interested me greatly. Another interlude followed, one a bit longer as we were awaiting nightfall as Ron Boots had brought his new toys – namely some lights he’d programmed for the occasion!
The light show was superb – but of course it was nothing compared to his set which was a loose tribute to Klaus Schultze, who has been unwell recently. We even had a live drummer! The smoke machine I had filled up earlier was used to great effect (though not enough for me…) and I really enjoyed this set although Sian wasn’t a fan of the 30 min long tune as she prefers shorter stuff! Another small interlude followed before UniSphere took to the stage. UniSphere is both René and Eric together and they played a great set of uptempo synth numbers with Ron providing a nice live light show although the smoke machine did not make an appearance
All in all it was a great evening. The addition of a bar in the room helped as it was very warm and stuffy evening but I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are more pics on my Instagram (3dcandy) and some short videos if you wish to watch them. If you are on Facebook you can check out the Awakenings stuff HERE and there will be many more pics etc. there!
I will leave you with a youtube video showing UniSphere playing Jocular Jive from their excellent CD Endless Endeavor
Recently my contract was up for renewal and I went for a Galaxy S7. I also changed networks from 3 to o2 but that’s a totally different story 😉
I previously had a Note 3 and loved it, I was tempted by the S7 Edge but it was just out of my budget so vanilla S7 it was. The packaging is very svelte and compact and it is very pleasing to see a good quality set of headphones, and adaptive charger (more later) and a surprise of an OTG adapter. I turned it on and found 60% charge and then connected my old Note 3 via the OTG adapter and transferred all my stuff over. Fairly painless even though there was 11gb to transfer. I swapped the microSD card over and job was a good one.
I’m very impressed with it so far. Camera is excellent, it’s water resistant, feels very nice and solid in your hands and as a bonus it’s only a tad over an hour to charge from 11% to full. The battery easily lasts a day and I’m pleased to say it’s been a great addition. Slightly disappointed that I couldn’t have an Edge but it’s cool 😉
So all in all I’, impressed. 9 out of 10 losing one mark for how expensive it is! Gallery of images taken below with my S7!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted here – I’ve been really busy and also ill. Sprained ankle and a nice swollen elbow have reduced what I’ve been able to do. What I have managed though is to get my tattoo of Taz on my shoulder covered up by the excellent Lye Tattoo Studio
Also I’ve done some work on Petra Puma. The Blue dash lights have been sorted and a few more niggling issues solved. A new to me alternator has been fitted and some new led sidelight bulbs as they were flickering. More is planned very very soon and I’m looking forward to bringing you pics of the work. I also attended a meet down in Kent which was bery good to see what and how people had modified their cars and meet some great people!
Next Puma meet is March 6th at Donington so will be good to see some people again! 😉
SO the little Puma had it’s MOT this week….after a quick check over we realised that several jobs would have to be done to get an MOT. The biggest job was rear axle bushes and having replaced them last year for the MOT I decided to replace them with Polybushes from Powerflex. They were also purple to fit in with car colour!
Once both bushes had been removed by drilling through them and then air sawing them out followed by hacksaw to get the outer shell out the new polybushes were gently hammered in and then the axle refitted
We then did a full service with oil, oil filter and spark plugs change. She runs much better now that’s for sure!
Next up was a new bottom arm on the passenger side…
Onto brakes with new discs and pads fitted on the front!
So all done and a nice new MOT with NO advisories. I’m well pleased!
Many thanks to Chris Harrison and Wade Lane Garage for the help!
Been mega mega busy last couple of months – Puma been ok, needs some work doing to it but recently the battery charging light has come on a few times. Checked battery and alternator and both are OK just!