German electronic music shaped my music tastes more than any other. As a young boy in Scotland in the early 1980s, hearing Kraftwerk for the first time had such a huge impact on me that I immediately archived all my Beatles and ABBA records and sought out anything I could find by Kraftwerk, Nena, Alphaville and the rest of the Neue Deutsche Welle. I even signed up to learn German at school for the sole reason of being able to understand [...]
There haven’t been too many great electronic albums so far this year, but that’s no problem: I’ve been going back to check out some releases from last year that I’d initially missed. Here’s a short selection – a late delivery – of electronica from 2011!
Asura – 360
Asura expertly mix in trance ambient and World Music elements into their sound. Sometimes I find pure ambient music [...]
You might have thought the launch of Spotify’s app platform might have heralded the demise of web-based Spotify apps and tools – not so! There’s been a bumper batch of new Spotify Resources: here’s a look at four of my favorites.
For me, the Holy Grail of Spotify apps is something that’ll efficiently help me manage my ever-expanding collection of playlists and albums. It’s been a fundamental problem [...]
The latest Spotify desktop client update includes the most-requested feature on the support forums: gapless playback! It seems this update was strongly driven by community user requests, as several other new features – crossfading, persistent play queues, hiding of “purchase” buttons – have all been requested by users in the past.
Here’s a brief look at the key new features:
Gapless Playback and Crossfade
Spotify is now over three years old but the debate rages on in some quarters about whether it’s a “good thing” for artists to have their music available for streaming. Has is moved enough music fans from illegal torrent sites? Does it cannibalize physical and download sales? Do the marketing and promotional benefits outweigh any potential loss of sales? Over what period of time should album profits now be measured? Each record [...]
Spotify recently soft-launched a new community forum at community.spotify.com. Built on the Lithium platform, this Official Spotify Community is a forum for Spotify users to help each other out, but it’s also frequented by several Spotify staffers keen to point users in the right direction. Community Manager Rorey says the forum’s goal is “to give folks a place to collaborate and support each other when using Spotify, [...]
My HTC Desire and 7” Samsung Galaxy Tab went on ebay at the end of 2011 to fund my purchase of an Asus Transformer Prime. Through a £499 pre-order on ebuyer.com, I was lucky enough to receive this amazing Android tablet a few days before the official UK release and have now had a week or so to play about with it. Here are my impressions!
The UK version of Asus Transformer Prime is the 32GB Prime + Dock combo, tightly [...]
Lots of great new Spotify sites, apps and plugins launched over the past few weeks: here’s a look at some of them!
Utubify Android – Spotify Music Videos
The makers of Utibify (the site that lets you watch music videos on YouTube based on your Spotify playlists) now have a super-slick Android app. Just enter your Spotify username to start watching full-screen music videos of all the songs in your published playlists. [...]
Here’s an end-of-year list of my favorite movies, TV shows, books and games from 2011. I’ve added links to Spotify where soundtracks are available. Happy New Year!
My Favorite Movies of 2011
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Attack the Blocks
Midnight In Paris
The Adjustment Bureau
X-Men: First Class
My Favorite TV Shows of 2011
Game of Thrones
In 2011 I must have listened to over 100 new electronic albums, give or take. And while I felt the quantity of good synthpop releases had fallen compared with previous years, the number of quality electronic albums in general was a joy and inspiration. Here then are my Top 20 Electronic Albums of 2011, covering synthpop, electro-industrial, psy-trance, “hauntronica” and all the synthetic sounds in between.
20. Michael [...]