Fletch

Without a doubt, a passing that has hit me the most. Depeche Mode wrote the soundtrack to my youth.

Alison Moyet today on Twitter:

I have just heard the news. Since we were 10. Same estate. Class mates to label mates. He who kept faith with all the old gang and they with him. It doesn’t compute. Fletch. I have no words.

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Half A Million Right There

Half A Million

I discovered last.fm 16 years ago and is one of those services from the olden times I still enjoy to this day. Being able to look back on my music listening habits over that time frame is a wonderful thing.

Today marks a bit of a milestone with 500,000 tracks scrobbled. And the track that nudged the count across the finish line none other than Pet Shop Boys' We All Feel Better In The Dark. (don't we though?).

Here's to another 500,000 tracks and/or 16 years, whichever comes first.

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Vangelis

Very sad to read that Vangelis has passed away. An absolute legend of electronic composition. What a body of work. I had to put on the Blade Runner soundtrack this afternoon, and then just bask in his back catalogue.

Jean-Michel Jarre today on Twitter.

Dear Vangelis,
We will all remember your unique touch and your moving melodies forever.
You & I have always shared the same passion for synthesizers and electronic music since so long…
May you Rest In Peace,
JMJ x

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The Tease Is Real

I like browsing ebay for old synth gear. Making a list so that when we win the lottery, I'll know what I'd like. ebay likes to send me tease emails.

You can spend a lot of money window shopping this way let me tell you.

And, er, if anyone would like to actually buy me one of these, that would also be pretty great.

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I’m Over You

The b-side from INXS's What You Need wasn’t an album filler track. Instead a newly recorded synth affair performed entirely by Jon Farriss.

When Michael Hutchence died, they should have made Jon the singer. You really have to pay attention to hear it’s not Michael singing this. So good.

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2020 In Music

At the beginning of every December, Spotify releases their personalized year in review. A smidge early for me as it only really accounts for 11 months of the year. Does December not count?

And lo, now that December is over, here is the last.fm 2020 in review.

I scrobbled 24,627 songs, from 1,844 artists and 3,787 albums. A hair more than 2019, yet way off the pace from a decade ago when my job allowed me to have my headphones in constantly.

Top artists:

Depeche Mode
Killing Joke
Actors
Clan of Xymox
The Cure

Top Albums:

Makeup And Vanity Set – 88:88
The League Unlimited Orchestra – Love And Dancing
Vangelis – Blade Runner Soundtrack
Actors – It Will Come To You
Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again

Top tracks:

The Chameleons – Swamp Thing
Actors – PTL
Then Comes Silence – Strangers
Linea Aspera – Synapse
Actors – We Don't Have To Dance

Here's to a productive music listening experience in 2021!

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Headphones

As a self confessed music nut, I've owned more headphones in my lifetime than I can possibly recall. I can think of no other gadget I've used more in every day life. I've likely spent a wee bit of money on them if I'm honest, the cats…they chew. What are you gonna do?

I've been partial to in ear monitor headphones for years. When you get them fit just right, there's nothing better. I had a not really that cheap pair of Shure sound isolating chaps for years until they gave up the ghost. Um, someone decided to leave them on the floor and tread on them.

These days, Apple Airpods Pro are in my ears every day.

Inertia Creeps

The Good:

Sound quality is excellent. Not Shure excellent, but they're really good. Noise cancellation just works, but flipping to what Apple calls 'Transparency' mode allows outside noise in. Super handy for when you need to hear your own voice on conference calls. Auto connect as you put them in your ears nice. Pulling either air pod out of your ear pauses the music like magic. No cable means nothing cats can chew on.

Take Some Getting Used To:

My first foray into the world of bluetooth headphonery. There's still some room for improvement for the switching between devices. I find I play a game of "no I want to connect them to my Mac, not my phone" more often than I'd like. Remembering to charge them.

Overall I'm very impressed. I suspect it will all be fun & games until one of the cats decide to bat an airpod under the fridge.

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2019 In Scrobbles

So how did the year shake out music wise? last.fm says:

2019 In Music

Looks like I listened to slightly less music this year than the past couple, 23,958 tracks.

The kiddo loves her some Twenty One Pilots so they’re usually a goto when we're driving to school. Hometown and Cut My Lip are two favorites.

The new Drab Majesty album this year was particularly good. I saw a bloke with one of their t-shirts in Starbucks the other week and got chatting about gigs we’ve been to.

In November I discovered Preoccupations and they were the find of the year. If Editors and Interpol had a child, its name would be Preoccupations.

Boy Harsher are an electroclash band and when they get going I defy anyone to not nod your head. Good driving music.

Rush. Because Rush.

Keychains & Snowstorms is Soft Cell’s 10 disc box set. And it’s amazing. The remix of Meet Murder My Angel is sublime. Bless Spotify for having it.

In 2018 Orbital released Monsters Exist and I still loved it this year. The synth melody on The Raid is the best.

And my old muckers Rammstein. Their new album is great. Go watch any of their 2019 concert footage on YouTube.

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