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since 04/06/2008


Dubstep Allstars, Vol. 5 (Mixed by N-Type) - N-Type 05/07/2008

Dubstep Allstars All Get Five Stars From Me

Dubstep Allstars, Vol. 5 (Mixed by N-Type) - N-Type Dubstep Allstars Vol.5 is the fifth album in the series of mixes showcasing the talents of the UK's most rapidly evolving and contagious genre. For those unfamiliar with Dubstep, it is a genre that has emerged in the past decade or so, but has begun to pick up speed in the last two or three years. It is a carefully crafted mix of heavy sub-basses, reggae, jazz, and other electronic subgenres such as Drum 'n' Bass and Techno. Perhaps its most distinctive characteristic is the famous 'wobble' bass line (a brilliant 'wup wup' noise that you have to hear to believe) accompanied with atmospheric and resounding syncopated drums. Having emerged from Croydon, Norwood and Brixton, Dubstep looks set to take over dance floors worldwide. This Allstars instalment is mixed by one of the leading DJs in the scene; N-Type. Although the tracklisting says that the album has 38 tracks, N-Type has actually thrown in well over 50 tracks in to the mix - including the massive hit 'Night' by Benga. At a mere £7.99 this album is almost a gift. Each track blends seamlessly into the next, meaning one can easily listen to one song on its own, or dance to one huge 70 minute mix. Although N-Type has not stuck to the 'traditional' rules of Dubstep by incorporating more vocals and MCing than usual, rest assured that this is one of the best albums to introduce anybody new to the scene to the wonders of the genre - especially as it includes a variety of some of the most critically acclaimed artists in ...

Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust - Sigur Rós 29/06/2008

Sigur Ros are as Cool as Iceland.

Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust - Sigur Rós Background: For those unfamiliar with the band, Sigur Ros are a four-piece Icelandic dream-pop/post-rock band with influences ranging from Coldplay-esque vocals and piano melodies to massive atmospheric orchestral arrangements. The band was named after one its members' sister, and is translated to English as "Victory Rose". Sigur Ros are renowned for their famously incomprehensible yet beautifully sweet lyrics. In fact, Sigur Ros have invented their own language - Vonlenska (also dubbed as Hopelandic), which according to the band's website is "a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music". On the 23rd June 2008, Sigur Ros released the band's fifth studio album "Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust", which is the Icelandic for "With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly." It includes the band's first ever song with English lyrics. Members: Jón Þór "Jónsi" Birgisson - Guitars and Vocals Georg "Goggi" Hólm - Bass Guitar Kjartan "Kjarri" Sveinsson - Keyboards, Flute, Oboe, Banjo Orri Páll Dýrason - Drums (Joined in 1999) Ex-Members: Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson - Drums (Left in 1999) Key Track Analysis: 1. Gobbledigook - 3:08 The album opens with one of Sigur Ros's most lively and upbeat tracks in their history. It is a brilliant mix of stampeding, pulsing drums and simple guitars - all mixed with Jónsi's brilliantly catchy vocals. For once, Sigur Ros have written a song that everyone can sing along to without the need of a pocket Icelandic dictionary. This ...

Seeing Sounds (Parental Advisory) [PA] - N.E.R.D. 18/06/2008

N.E.R.D See Sound but not Sense..

Seeing Sounds (Parental Advisory) [PA] - N.E.R.D. --- Background: --- N.E.R.D is an acronym for the band's basic belief that "No-one Ever Really Dies". Having reformed this year, the band has come back with a massive mix of different musical styles and influences ranging from jazz to hip-hop, rap, soul and rock. Evidently lead singer Pharell Williams has noticed this, saying "We didn't care about genres; we're not doing this for the money." According to drummer Shay Haley, the album is named after the neurological phenomenon that is synesthesia. This is something that I myself actually have, and is when a person sees music, letters or words as colours. Pharell opens the album with the spoken lyrics: "I'll never forget I was like 7 years old, I closed my eyes and that's when it started; I started seeing sounds...whoah" Admittedly, the first time I heard this album it sounded like complete and utter nonsense - merely a lot of noise all happening at once. Yet, having listened to the album in its entirety a few more times, it really grew on me as I uncovered different layers to it. --- Band Members: --- Pharell Williams - Vocals, Piano, Guitar Chad Hugo - Lead Guitar, Piano, Backing Vocals, Bass, Saxophone Shay Haley - Drums, Backing Vocals --- Track-By-Track --- 1. Time for Some Action - 3:43 As mentioned in the Background section, this song opens with Pharell recounting his childhood memories of seeing sounds. He is accompanied by a xylophone and plucked strings - reminiscent of the Desperate Housewives ...

Silent Cry - Feeder 16/06/2008

Feeder Provide Food For Thought

Silent Cry - Feeder Background: Silent Cry is Welsh band Feeder's long-awaited album; following the hugely successful 2005 release "Pushing the Senses", which received mixed critical responses. The Guardian described the album as a "kind of emotional aural soup that will baffle the spikier members of their original punky fan base", whereas Q Magazine thought that the album would "Finally establish Feeder as major league players". I think the latter was definitely the more accurate review - as the album ended up at number 2 in the album charts; bettered only by Athlete's "Tourist". Nevertheless, this album seems to be a stepping-stone to success for the three-piece band; although admittedly I doubt that this album will surpass the sales of Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" to clinch Feeder's first ever No.1. Feeder have recorded an album that is largely heavier than "Pushing The Senses", although they have retained their catchy melodies for which they are so famous. That said; are also a handful of songs such as "Silent Cry" that sound as though they could have been on their previous album. Feeder have kept their integrity intact and produced an album full of top-class songs. There is now no doubt that Feeder have established themselves as major league players in the Britpop genre with Snow Patrol and the likes. That said, Feeder are by no means a highly respected musical act - they are the kind of band that is everybody's secret guilty pleasure. They write the kind of poppy, catchy songs that ...

Creative Zen 32GB 15/06/2008

Zen There Were None

Creative Zen 32GB It seems that unfortunately Apple has managed to shake off one of its leading competitors in the race to produce the cheapest and most stylish mp3 player. A few years back, the Creative Zen:M was actually a better product than the 5th Generation iPod. But nowadays, lets face it - mp3 players aren't just for playing music. They are about video, photos, ease of use, size and style. Zen released this product in late 2007 in time for Christmas; but it was no match for the iPhone and iPod Touch - both of which have a touch screen and internet access. Nowadays, this is a product you should steer well clear of. The iPhone is not only much brighter and beautiful; it has a Phone, Camera and an application store. Apple have been successful in demolishing the opposition and making this Zen model completely redundant. The Creative Zen 32GB is nice and small, fitting into your pockets; but it lacks all the things that consumers have come to expect within the last 8 months. Another problem with the Zen is its lack of suitable software. iTunes is one of the world's most downloaded music programmes - so the Zen software is not only outdated and slow, it also makes the Zen even more unappealing. Finally, the Zen lacks a touch screen - with the alternative of cheap plastic controls. The screen is small and lacking brightness; making this a useless product unless you literally don't want to look at your mp3 player. So in conclusion; i strongly advise you forget you ever heard of ...

Viva la Vida - Coldplay 14/06/2008

Coldplay Play it Cool..

Viva la Vida - Coldplay Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends is Coldplay's long awaited album and is a groundbreaking comeback record from the critically acclaimed X&Y of 2005. That said, musically, it is very different to their previous releases; with a completely new range of influences coming together to make this album even more awe-inspiring. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the album has been co-produced by Brian Eno - a world reknowned musician that is heavily influenced by classical, ambiental and african genres. Tracks such as "Violet Hill" still bear resemblance to the catchy acoustic/pop songs we heard on their previous albums, such as tear-jerker "Fix You". Yet it is hard not to fall in love with the brilliant string and orchestral arrangements or the strong beats that appear in many of the tracks. This is one of those records that you can listen to time and time again, with hundreds of other influences including bands such as Sigur Ros and Massive Attack. Chris Martin still provides his trademark sublime lyrical content, along with his hauntingly warm vocal texture. This is definitely a must buy album. Welcome back Coldplay. NOTE - i was lucky enough to get my hands on a pre-release copy of the album so i am not sure whether the order of the tracks is the same as below. I am going by what was on my copy. 1. Viva La Vida - 4:04 From the first violin pluck we can hear the sound of the new and more musically matured Coldplay. Brian Eno's influence is unmissable from the ...

Garmin Mobile XT Europe GPS software miniSD Memory Card 14/06/2008

Garmin Helps You Go the Distance

Garmin Mobile XT Europe GPS software miniSD Memory Card Garmin are a relatively new company when it comes to GPS (Global Positioning Systems), yet with this product the seem set to face up to competitors TomTom and the like. What is it? In a nutshell, this is a microSD (memory card) that slots in to your Windows Mobile, Palm, or Symbian phone; which in turn gives you a GPS navigation system at your fingertips. You need never get lost again - wherever you are in Europe. It also provides coverage where you wouldn't have normal phone signal - which means you have directions when you need them the most. In fact, you can even check for traffic, weather & CCTV cameras. The card itself is tiny, yet provides state-of-the-art 3D graphics on your handset. It makes TomToms sound pointless and means your car will never get broken in to for your sat-nav. Perhaps the best feature of the Garmin Mobile XT is that it also has voice directions. There is literally nothing better about an expensive satnav than this. In fact, this product is better due to its portability and ease of use. Please note that if you are a Blackberry user, this product will not work for you - however Garmin have made a similar product especially for the Blackberry: To Buy or Not to Buy? Buy. If you travel much and have a Windows Mobile, then it seem stupid not to. There is nothing i can fault about the software, it seems reasonably priced and is much more portable than a satnav. 5/5 Minimum ...

Apple iPod touch MA627ZO/A 16 GB First Generation 14/06/2008

Touch and Go..

Apple iPod touch MA627ZO/A 16 GB First Generation The iPod touch 16GB is boasts pure class. It is a machine that even the most cynical amongst us will find hard to fault. It has a variety of features such as WiFi enabled Safari, video, music and much more. However, I have to admit that my iPod is jailbroken (hacked using the free software - ZiPhone) and this has made it possibly the most beautiful machine i have ever touched. The jailbroken version of the iPod touch allows you to fully customize the iPod, as well as play Playstation and Game Boy Advance games for free. To add to this, it has a scratchproof screen and is ultra slim. The WiFi feature is also especially useful in the UK, where BBC iPlayer can be accessed for free so you can watch any BBC programme for free on your iPod. On the other hand, the iPod touch is extremely expensive if bought new. Furthermore, the iPod touch lacks some of the features present on the iPhone. I am aware that many people are put off the iPhone due to the fact that it is on a lengthy expensive contract, but if it is unlocked, the iPhone is an even better product due to its camera and phone features. A problem people find in both the Touch and iPhone is the lack of a flash player - meaning much web content is not viewable. Also, the iPod touch only has internet in WiFi points whereas the iPhone 3G will have internet everywhere. Therefore i would recommend you consider avoiding the iPod touch, and opt for the unlocked iPhone 3G coming out 11th July '08. However if on the ...

Sony Portable Reader PRS-505 14/06/2008

The PSR-505 is in My Bad e-Books.

Sony Portable Reader PRS-505 There was a time when Sony was one of the most trusted and successful electrical brands on the planet. But it seems that with this product they have let themselves down considerably. What is it? The purpose of this device is to provide you with e-books that you can read on the go, and from the 6 inch screen. But i'm afraid i'm going to have to throw the book at Sony (sorry bad pun). This product is in fact completely pointless - why spend the best part of £200 on an electronic device that is harder to read than a real book? Is it Worth my Dosh? Simply put - no. To add to the fact that it is hard to read, it also has constant faults - such as flickering black screens between turning pages. The PRS-505 is simply a high maintenance, high-price, low value product that has no unique selling point. For a few quid extra you can get your hands on an iPhone, that apart from having all the brilliant features it does, will also let you listen to audiobooks, and if you're REALLY that desperate to read a novel on a portable device, you can read the PDF file on your iPhone as well. Verdict I find it almost embarassing that Sony have released this product, as there are other things a million times better and considerably cheaper. The Sony online book store is appalling and expensive. I say, avoid this piece of junk at all costs.

Apple Time Capsule NAS server 1 TB 14/06/2008

Time Capsule Saves Your Time, Work and Skin

Apple Time Capsule NAS server 1 TB About the Product Anyone with a computer knows how important it is to back up work and vital files; and the likelyhood is that we have all lost something or other in the binary vortex of computers. However, as anyone that has read my other reviews will know - Apple provide the Time Machine software for free with every single mac they sell. This connects to the Time Capsule (Apple NAS server) to backup every single file you've ever created. And the best thing is that it does it automatically. So, unlike the tempramental System Restore feature we see in Vista and XP, your data is completely safe with Time Capsule. The product comes in models of either 500GB or 1TB (equal to 1000GB) as well as 128-bit encryption, giving you total reassurance and safety. And the best thing is that it can connect to any number of macs in your network - because it works completely wirelessly. The Time Capsule also works with OS Tiger or PCs as a data storage device - but works much better with OSX. Moreover, it can connect either wirelessly or wired to your printer so you can print from anywhere in your home. It looks beautiful and glossy and can sit anywhere in your home. This is definitely worth considering if you are a mac owner - especially if you work from a mac or have several computers in your house. As is the case with all Apple goods, the only problem is the price. Yet at £170 its hardly a bargain, but it isn't going to burn a hole in your wallet. Besides, losing your work ...

SanDisk Sansa Shaker 1 GB 14/06/2008

Sansa Shaker - Help Your Kid be a Mover and Shaker

SanDisk Sansa Shaker 1 GB SanDisk are perhaps known best for their memory cards that we use every day in our mobile phones - probably without even knowing it. Yet with the Sansa Shaker (released March 2007) they have created a product that is perfect for introducing kids to the wonders of music. What is the Sansa Shaker? Everything about the product has "touch me" written all over it. It features easy navigation buttons for ease of use with the kids, as well as its wonderful "shake" feature. This is where the child shakes the Sansa to change to the next track. Furthermore, there was a feature that i found should be included in all mp3 players. How many times have you shared headphones with a mate whilst listenening to a song? The Sansa has two headphone outputs so that music can be shared - brilliant! Alternatively, its built in speakers allow kids to share their music with everyone whenever and wherever. Finally, SanDisk have included a memory card slot so that extra memory can be used apart from the built-in 1GB of the product itself. Who Should I Buy it for? The product is aimed at children - which i think is great due to its affordable price. It is also quite robust - evidently designed to bear the brunt of being thrown around by kids. Yet, i can see this being used by adults on the move as well. Sure, the colours are a bit childish - but this is perfect for commuting or going for a jog. Definitely consider this for your favourite nephew's next birthday or Christmas.

Behringer Xenyx 2442FX 14/06/2008

Behringer Xenyx - A Bedroom Musician's Dream.

Behringer Xenyx 2442FX Behringer has gained a deserved reputation amongst musicians on a budget for its ability to produce high-quality, low-price equipment that will rival the quality of the likes of brands such as Korg, whilst still letting you keep a roof over your head. The Xenyx 2442FX proves just that. At around £199.99 RRP, the model retails at half the price of it competitors. Yet it pains me that people still buy from companies such as Korg, Boss, and Casio - all that they are doing is buying the brand name. Behringer know that musicians often aren't made of money, which i find refreshing, and means that Behringer are amongst the brands i can trust. What Does the Xenyx 2442FX Do? The Xenyx is a 24-Input powered mixer that has 10 Phantom Power Microphone Preamps; several channel inputs for 1/4 inch jacks or phantom inputs; a state of the art 24-bit effects processor with delay, reverb, flanger etc; and 38 various different outputs. Behringer have ensured that this mixer is simple and ready to use straight out of the box. Literally simply plug and play. The Xenyx also comes with USB functions, allowing you to record to your PC with much greater ease. And if this model is too big or has too many inputs for you - Behringer have designed different Xenyx models with 5, 10, 12, 16, 18 or 22 inputs; all of which are lower priced. This is a great product for professional recording quality on a budget. Definitely consider buying this product to improve your sound - and make sure you avoid ...

Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo 14/06/2008

Once You Go Mac, You Don't Go Back!

Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo Apple have recently released a new model of the extremely popular MacBook, that has sold hundreds of thousands worldwide. The main modifications of this fifth upgrade are the increased RAM (up to 4GB), the larger hard drive of 120GB, and the improved Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Why Shouldn't I Buy A Cheaper Laptop from DELL? Well, maybe you should - it depends. The entire mac range is in my opinion much better than windows-running laptops for several reasons: * Firstly, the mac OS is much easier to use than windows - and runs considerably quicker and more smoothly. Gone are the days where your computer takes hours to turn on; the macbook powers up between 15 and 30 seconds. It also comes ready to use straight out of the box. There is loads of extremely useful software already on the laptop that you'd have to buy if you were using Vista. iLife '08 provides you with iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband, iWeb & iDVD. You only have to feel the macbook to fall in love with it. * The macbook is also perfectly sized - with a glossy 13.3 inch screen that does not compromise a pixel of perfect crystalline viewing resolution due to its TFT display. The macbook looks as beautiful as it feels. * If you're thinking "but what if the mac OS won't support the applications that I need?", then you have nothing to fear. Apple have cunningly included Boot Camp - which is basically Windows XP if you want to use it. But trust me; once you go mac you won't go back. Okay - So What's the ...

We Are The People - Feeder 14/06/2008

Feeder Provide Food for Thought

We Are The People - Feeder We are the People is the first single and opening track off Feeder's 11th release, "Silent Cry". Immediately, anyone that has experienced the massive Feeder anthems from their 2005 album "Pushing the Senses" will notice that the band has come back much heavier - with more distorted guitars and less acoustics. That said, they have still managed to retain their catchy melodies and Grant Nicholas' vocals are spot-on as ever. This song is a perfect opener to the rest of the album, and is a definite must-buy for any Feeder fan. Alternatively, you could choose to buy the whole album, with eleven more superb and addictive tracks such as "Itsumo" and "Silent Cry". It retails at £8.99 at HMV and is released on the 16th of June 2008. Having listened to the album - i recommend waiting until the album is released, and buying it immediately! Here are the track's lyrics: "What do you say? What do you think about miracles? Miracles are somethings you dream about We are looking for a new way out Slipping away,losing all sense of reality Sacrifice, love and democracy We burn it all down Cos all our lives We're waiting for something new Waiting for someone like you We are the people Who let this whole thing go Just like the people you know We are the reason We're blinded by the goal We are the people, you know Burning away Light in the sky so you can bring us home Further, further down an open road We've torn it all down Why do we pray, why do we talk about ...

Apple iPhone 3G 16GB 13/06/2008

iPhone 3G - It's Your Call

Apple iPhone 3G 16GB The iPhone is one of the Electronics industry's most famous, critically accliamed and popular machines of all time. It has sold millions worldwide and is commonly seen as a symbol of both style and wealth. Now its manufacturers Apple have unveiled the 3G model that will hit the stores on the 11th of July 2008. What makes it so different? Well the answer to that question is - many things : *The iPhone is a portable telephone, internet browser, Global Positioning System (GPS), video/music player, and a 2MP camera - all of which are in one product that sits snugly in the palm of your hand. It even has Youtube and BBC iPlayer! But the thing that makes it so different is its scratchproof touch screen and crystal-clear image resolution. It holds days worth of music and video that can keep you entertained for hours on end. *The new 3G iPhone is set to be even slimmer and twice as fast. Needless to say, the new model will also use the 3G video network, to enable anybody to have high-speed internet wherever they are and regardless of Wi-Fi hotspots. *Furthermore, the new model boasts an SDK (software development kit) which will mean that applications can be made by anyone for the iPhone. To enable customers to download these applications, Apple has introduced a new application - AppStore. This is where applications ranging from pianos played by touching on-screen keys to games played by tilting the iPhone can be bought from the device itself. *The GPS navigation ...
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