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Space history time, cadets!

Raise your hands, how many of you know of Laika? You know, the first Conqueror of Space? Sputnik 2?

From Wikipedia:

Laika (from Russian: Лайка, a breed of dog, literally: “Barker”) was a Russian space dog which became the first living creature from Earth to enter orbit. At one time a stray wandering the streets of Moscow, she was selected from an animal shelter. Originally named Kudryavka (Russian: кудрявка), she was renamed Laika after her breed type. After undergoing training with two other dogs, she was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 and was launched into space on 3 November 1957.

I may not be a dog person, but Laika is one of my childhood heroes. Unfortunately, the Russian space program was under pressure from the government to launch Laika into space in time for some Bolshevik anniversary of overthrowing something-or-other (they have a lot of those), and they were forced to send poor Laika into space without a retrieval plan. Laika died in the first ten hours of her flight, but survived long enough to prove that living creatures can survive weightlessness and all the other rigours of life outside the narrow band of atmosphere that we happen to be able to survive in.

A tribute to Laika; the video for Moan, by Danish tech-wizard Trentemøller.


Beat-Boot-Ique has released a science fiction mashup compilation today, which features a Viper Pilot track! Hardly a surprise to find something by me on a science fiction compilation, yes, but this is the only place you’ll be able to find this particular song. I’m in some very good company on this album, and there are some standout tracks which have been put together by some very good producers to be found here.

Read the introduction to the album (including a highly informative and well written history of “space age pop”) at

Download the album at

Please help spread the word! If you like the album, mention it in your blog, or post about it it on any science fiction (and related) boards you might read.

Signing off,

A highly chuffed Viper Pilot

Quick update from the communications deck today.

First up, a big thank you to everyone who’s downloaded and had a listen to the Parklife Sampler. Over 60 downloads isn’t really a lot in the grand scheme of things, but it certainly warms the cockles of my heart to see so many people hearing something I’ve put together for you.

Secondly, everyone needs to keep their eyes on this space come Friday. There will be a big news flash posted (I’m sworn to keep to standard fleet security procedures until then) that should appeal to the vast majority of my fellow space warriors.

Until then, see what Bonobo is up to. This guy is an absolute wizard in the production suite, and I have had the pleasure of seeing him do a DJ set in Melbourne which blew my socks off. I can only hope that some day I will have a fraction of the skills he displays.

The Parklife festival is hitting Australian shores in September, and perhaps some of you aren’t sure if you ought to buy tickets or not.

Fear not, Viper Pilot will provide the tools necessary to help you make the decision. I’ve put together a 35 minute mix set featuring a healthy chunk of the artists who will be appearing at Parklife this year.

Download: Viper Pilot’s Parklife Sampler



Riot in Belgium – La Musique
Muscles – Ice Cream
Wolfmother – Woman (MSTRKRFT Remix)
Digitalism – Jupiter Room
Freq Nasty – Boomin Back Atcha (Nu Skool Remix)
Lyrics Born – I Changed My Mind (Rattlesnake Mix by Stereo MCs)
Adam Freeland – We Want Your Soul


Parklife Sampler

Not much to report at the moment. Enemy fleet movement seems quiet, and we’re busy stockpiling arms for what’s likely to be a bloody summer.

Keep yourselves amused during this break with this Kanye West video:

Oh, by the way, here’s what Kanye looks like. If you look closely, you’ll not notice him at all in the video.


I’m not 100% sure what it is, but I really dig this video. The photography is excellent, the content is wonderfully surreal, and the actors do their bits very well.

First off, let me apologize for the flood of Victorian-era wireless transmissions that have been flooding the network for the past few days. Some kind of bug in the broadcast hub was causing the tape loader to access the archives instead of the current reels – at any rate, the technicians have finally had a chance to sort this out now that they’re done rejigging the old fusion core on the fleet’s medical ship to accept the fuel rods we lifted from that outpost on asteroid 44b/Whiskey.

With that out of the way, I’m trying out something new here at the Briefing Room today. I’ve asked Windows Media Player to generate a list of only five songs (out of the 5200-or-so items in my library, and I tend not to rip entire CDs, so there’s quite a selection of different artists in there), and you lot get whatever comes out of my wordhole as a result.

Here we go!

>>> initiating random number generation sequence…
>>> loading library into quantum-state hard storage…
>>> inverting vector analysis waveforms…
>>> outputting results in a recursive Hasslehoff matrix

1. Mix Master Mike – Rebel Enforcer

For those of you not aware, Mix Master Mike is the Beastie Boys’ tour DJ. The man is an absolute monster on the ones and twos. Mrs. Viper Pilot and myself saw him play at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens a couple of years ago, and I swear to god he somehow mixed System of a Down into his set (!!! – a band as time-signature-challenged as System of a Down would be untouchable by a DJ without some form of supernatural ability granted upon them by the 108 celestial brothers, but Mixmaster didn’t even sweat). Mix Master Mike features prominently in the turntablism documentary Scratch, which is stupendously good (easily as good as the heavy metal documentary Headbanger, which I found quite enjoyable despite my indifference to metal).

2. DJ Food – The Riff

Another artist I’ve had the privilege of seeing live. Kind of. DJ Food is a DJ collective, having had at least four members at various times, and I’m not exactly sure which incarnation I saw. At any rate, whoever I saw, I saw in Saskatoon at Louie’s opening for Kid Koala. Between the two of them, my mind was blown and I’ve been a Ninja Tune fanboy ever since.

This track is off of Kaleidoscope, which is an excellent album, but I’d rather point everyone in the direction of Raiding the 20th Century. Raiding the 20th Century is a word/mix project by Strictly Kev (under the DJ Food moniker) which takes the listener through a history of cut up music through spoken word and Strictly Kev’s impeccable mixing. Bonus, it’s free. Download from the link – now!

3. Stereo MCs – Graffiti Part Two

Well, who hasn’t heard Connected at some point in the 90s? Poor lonely Stereo MCs, all alone in English hip-hop for so long, now forgotten and trampled upon by the likes of The Streets, Dizzy Rascal and Wiley (who I like, to be fair, but they’re certainly not from the same camp).

This track is from Deep Down and Dirty, which I won as a door prize at the premiere screening of Rider Pride. Rider Pride is a short film starring Brett Butt (from Corner Gas) who plays a manic Saskatchewan Roughriders fan who ends up having to go to work on the only day my beloved Roughriders have ever hoisted the Grey Cup.

4. Coburn – We Interrupt This Program (Einmusic Remix)

Erm. I read a few music mags, I listen to the odd podcast and the radio, I trade music with like-minded folks, and sometimes I end up with music in my library that I don’t remember ever getting. I suspect I read about this outfit in an issue of International DJ or something (and then queued up a download of a few of their tracks to sample), and no doubt they got a good plug, but this track is kinda so-so for me. Go listen to DJ Food instead.

5. Meco – Star Wars Theme / Cantina Band (12″ Disco Mix)

Well. How’s that for the electrons lining up every once in a while? Here I am fighting a spacewar against tepid music, and the last weapon I pull out of the trunk of the Viper MkVII is MOTHERFUCKING MECO! YEAH, BITCHES! EAT THE HOT LEAD OF STAR WARS DISCO MUSIC!

Your life isn’t complete until you’re heard Disco Star Wars. Seriously. Talk to me if you haven’t heard it yet and I will try and establish a sub-etha link to you. The force is a sham – only the mighty power of SCIENCE FICTION DISCO will save you if you’re fighting off a horde of kill-bots.


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Looking for music by Viper Pilot? This blog is the current home of Viper Pilot's Munition Works, where he stores all of his mashes and mixes.

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