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I’m working on something big. I promise.

In the meantime, I have two diversions for you.  One is my gig-of-not-much-prior-notice at the Beetle Bar tonight. The second, is a trip to the edge of space with James May.

I had a killer ending to an awesome weekend.

Out of the orbital habitat and away from the Earthlets for a night out with Atomique two evenings in a row? Mind-bendingly priceless. The spawn are awesome and all, but a touch of freedom was sorely needed for all the adults of the household.

First up was a bit of foreign cuisine, in an establishment of the variety where one is very unlikely to encounter screaming children.  The portions were tasty and smallish; I now tend to expect small with either fine or Japanese dining so I was neither surprised nor saddened by the size of the meals. We then wandered the city aimlessly, unable to remember what it is that people without children do when they hit the city. Courtesy of how much it sucks, we were drawn to the casino. The majority of the population of tragic-town appeared, to our casual glances, to be oversized, underaged or abnormal. One beer later it had stopped being amusing and we went home, nevertheless happy with our night out.

The next night was a friend’s birthday party, followed by me spinning a few tunes at the Beetle Bar. The party was funky and well-catered, and the Beetle Bar was packed with a posse of groovy cats Atomique and I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with lately. You know who you are, awesome folks. Big thank you to everyone who had kind words to say about my sets – and even more praise be to you who rewarded my technique on the midi controller (sigh, that just doesn’t have the same ring as ‘skills on the decks’) with a frosty beverage.

Sunday night? It was pretty special too, because I travelled through fucking time.

The in-laws had cleared out and everyone else in the house had gone to bed by 21:00. I parked myself cross-legged on the floor, game controller in hand, the house illuminated only by the glow of the TV and listened to an album while playing a brand new video game.

It was awesome.

LCD Soundsystem – Us vs Them (Go Home Productions Remix)

The album? The LCD Soundsystem tribute/mashup/remix album Sounds like Silver. The official website appears to have lapsed into oblivion, but there are still ways to get the record.  The game? Forza Motorsport 3. I don’t even rank racing games high on my to-do list; it’s just been a long time since I spent an extended amount of time with a new game in one sitting. It certainly helped that the graphics in the game are staggeringly beautiful.

It was only a short visit to the past, though. I don’t see myself recreating the winter of ’95, where I played X-Com 2: Terror From the Deep an unhealthy amount and listened to The Prodigy’s Music for the Jilted Generation on repeat, so much so that both are fused into one entity in my brain. To this day, fifteen years later, the moment I hear any track from that album I have a pavlovian response and the interface from the game is momentarily superimposed over reality. I’m a sad testament to the flaws of the human brain, I know.

Still, cerebral failings aside: awesome weekend.

A big shout out to the crew members from all the ships in the fleet who came to help me celebrate my birthday over the weekend. Some ridiculously good times were had, so my space-hat is off to all of you.

Speaking of birthdays, I eyeballed April 26 over at good old Wikipedia and was pleasantly surprised to find out I share a birthday with legendary Italian producer Giorgio Moroder (unlike poor Atomique, for whom the most interesting thing about her birthday is that it is also International Stuttering Awareness Day).  I’ve written about guys like Joe Meek and Bob Moog who created the technology, whereas Moroder is one of the people who took the gear and really ran with it. And how.

Viper Pilot – Ballad of the Colonial Roughnecks (Moroder vs Freestylers vs Battlestar Galactica)

Famous for his Academy and Grammy winning soundtrack work as well as his work producing tracks for Blondie, Donna Summer (and scores more), Moroder can really pimp a synth – without him disco would have been even more lame.

Following is by no means a thorough discography of Giorgio Moroder; rather just a collection of some of the badass tracks he’s created over his career. Listening to these, it’s hard to think he was creating music that sounded like this in the late 70s when it sounds so very much like the future.

Giorgio Moroder – E=MC²

Blondie – Call Me (co-written & produced by Moroder)

Giorgio Moroder – The Chase (Vitalic Remix)

Giorgio Moroder – From Here to Eternity

Donna Summer – I Feel Love (co-written & co-produced by Moroder)

Oh, also: Clash of the Titans was laaaame. The script was meandering and the dialogue was lacklustre. While the 3D wasn’t used to any great effect, the glasses did at least hide from Atomique how many times I fell asleep.

As I prepare to welcome a future space-funk warrior princess into my thermonuclear family (T-minus one day to scheduled arrival) I’m going to try and squeeze a few posts in while I can. I doubt much will happen here, though, so this means that these communiqués from the tip of our arm of the galaxy (my current posting, where I am unable to reveal what I’m doing – suffice to say it involves zero-g zombies and the Spandau Ballet reunion tour) may be far and few for the next few weeks.  With tiny humans at the fore of my thoughts, I thought I might share some bits and bobs of baby related tech, tunes and domestic-grade laser weaponry.

Actually, I’m going to steal content from Atomique to talk tech. When not busy educating me about the merits of Madchester she has a side gig blogging at a baby clothing shop, where she does her best to sneak science in between the articles about mothering techniques and store sales.

Baby-related science news and nifty gadgets that Atomique is bringing to the moms of Oz:

Music. Baby music. Man, babies have terrible taste in music. It’s repetitive, the melodies are basic and the lyrics are insipid. Wait, am I describing every ‘dance club hit’ from the early 90s or nursery rhymes? I’m confused. Whose space suit is this?

I was tempted to spangle this post with songs with baby in the title, but that felt like I was rubbing clichés all over myself and doing sexy dances for Russian sailors. Not that I know what that feels like – unless you mean Russian space-sailors, in which case a brother’s gotta work his way home somehow, right?

I can’t really find anything interesting about baby music. Well, kind of. Here’s a nursery rhyme in an ancient dialect of French:

Un petit d’un petit
S’étonne aux Halles
Un petit d’un petit
Ah! degrés te fallent
Indolent qui ne sort cesse
Indolent qui ne se mène
Qu’importe un petit d’un petit
Tout Gai de Reguennes.

Wait, I lied! It’s not actually French!  If you read it with an outrageously bad French accent, however, it reads like Humpty Dumpty. It’s from a collection of fake archaic French songs which all sound like English nursery rhymes when read like Pepé le Peu, called Mots D’Heures: Gousses, Rames (Mother Goose’s Rhymes).

Closely related to babies are toddlers. Toddlers have way better taste in music. That’s not saying much, but I’ll listen to The Wiggles or Yo Gabba Gabba over, say, Aqua or Nickelback.

A perennial favourite of toddlers which had some bangin’ tunes was Sesame Street; even more bangin’ is a whole album of Muppet Mashups.

Finally, we come to Babies With Laser Eyes.  Not every one of you may know this, but quite a lot of technology goes into the modern laser-eye equipped baby:

They’re not as uncommon as you’d expect these days. Frankly, I’m a bit concerned that some of the ‘bargain’ babies with laser eyes we now see coming out of south-east Asia don’t have the same level of safety measures in place as the traditional Swiss and Austrian models. Mark my words, it won’t be long before someone’s house burns down.

Okay, kids – I’m out of here. I’ll get all proud and post reconnaissance images of bub the second in the next few days, and then things may get very quiet. Keep fighting the good fight in my absence.

I obviously watch too much children’s television these days.  I find things like this entertaining:

Tending to one’s miniature versions of themselves eats up a lot of time. I have, however, managed to scrape together a little something for my peeps.

Viper Pilot – Hits From the Billabong

I shall leave it as an exercise for you to dismantle and uncover the ingredients used in this heady, smokey, beat-filled little gem.

Man, sampling is the shizzle. Totally. It’s brought us a lot of killer tunes over the years. I’m not just talking about old-school hip hop anthems jacking beats from old James Brown records, either.

It’s all over the place, these days.  Often, the samples have been  effects piled on top of them and the waveform stretched so they’re not really recognizable compared to the original source anymore (unless you know what you’re looking for, of course). Observe as The Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up is completely dismantled:

Jim Pavloff Makes Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” in Ableton Live

Other times, the producers are danging the samples in front of our faces, right out in the open and we don’t even know it.  Daft Punk have mastered the art of digging for a sample and doing only the most sublte of changes for effect.

Where Daft Punk Got Their Samples From

And, of course, there’s the humble mashup. Mashing takes sampling to the extreme. In some cases it’s a fairly straightforward affair of layering two songs together, but as the below video shows you, it’s not always that simple, and sometimes regular old non-sampled music is guilty of simple copying as well.

Remixed excerpt of RiP: A Remix Manifesto

You have two ways to hear the latest gem from Viper Pilot’s munitions works: turn up to Bootie Brisbane tomorrow night (difficult if you’re not in Brisbane) or go download this month’s Bootie Top 10.  Every month, mashup wizards A+D hand-pick the cream of the crop of bootlegs from around the world and present them for your consumption.

For this release, Viper Pilot has taken Flight of the Conchords and mashed the shit out of them, throwing everyone’s favourite folk-rap comedy troupe together with hip-hop heavyweights Missy Elliot, Busta Rhymes and the Beastie Boys.  Sugalumps is an exclusive to the Bootie Top 10, so run now and grab it – and all of the other slammin’ tracks in this month’s list – from the Bootie Brisbane website or any of the other sites in the sprawling web of the Bootie empire.

I am putting out an all-forces alert – you are required to shore up fallback positions and move all line forces to rendezvous point alpha for Bootie Brisbane!

We’ve been on a small hiatus, but we’re back on on December 5th.  Straight from New York City, DJ Lobsterdust will be joining myself and the other Bootie regulars Guy Davy and VJ Brewski for a night of sheer mashup-fueled insanity.  Bootie officially kicks off at 21:00 and runs for six ass-shakingly-good hours. You will shake your tail, oh yes.

I suppose I ought mention that Bootie Brisbane is coming up again.  Er, tonight, that is. Clicky on the picture-thing of Kiss/Snoop in the sidebar for venue info and the like.  I’m on at nine, and will be dropping some newly-minted Viper Pilot tracks, along with a mind-boggling array of tunes.

Here’s a mash I won’t be playing tonight, because it really needs the video to work:

Viper Pilot Audio

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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