Category Archives: music

bandcamp friday, if you like it fast and hard

It’s almost the last Bandcamp Friday of 2020, and maybe it’s the last Bandcamp Friday ever, so I decided to make a list of great music I got in 2020 and list it here. The post turned out to be rather big, so I split it up into several posts by genre (sort of) because y’all don’t like reading long posts anyway.

So here’s post number one, and it’s all about hard techno and industrial style beats. Don’t forget to stuff them in your Bandcamp wishlist!

I was looking for the Man Made Evil TOA remix when I ran into Dither’s full album The Architect on Bandcamp. This is a banger of an album if you like your beats on the industrial side of techno. It’s not just a collection of tracks, but it really is worth the name album, as it takes you through a musical landscape from beginning to end. Well-balanced and full of good tunes.

Foreign Objects by Strange Arrival is another hard industrial release I like a lot. Fits in nicely with things from TOA and PRSPCT.

Helios Is Dead by Mutagenesis is a great dark techno/industrial album if you’re in for something a bit different. It’s atmospheric, noisy and industrial sounding. I’m not sure what genre this is exactly. Doomcore? Darkcore? Who cares, it goes boom boom boom and it sounds great.

PRSPCTXTRM 019 by Fracture 4, more top-notch banging industrial. This is an older release, but because of Bandcamp Fridays I went through the PRSPCT back catalog and dug up this gem. Fracture 4 never disappoints!

More beats tomorrow, so stay tuned.

chilling in covid times

Times are tough and stressful for everyone right now. So perhaps a bit of ambient and chill tunes can help to relax a little in this taxing times.

I blogged about Moby’s Long Ambient release a while ago, and I recently found out he also released a second installment of great, long ambient tunes to chill to for free. I love to put these on when I try to get some sleep on a flight. But I guess I won’t be doing that anytime soon.

Check out LA1 & LA2 here.

Also check out my other ambient posts if you want some more music to chill too. Plenty of good free stuff in there to soothe those nerves.

battle beats vol two breakcore compilation

A while ago I saw this Facebook post in a breakcore group pass by with a call for submissions for a compilation album on some net-label. So I checked some of my unfinished tunes and found something suitable to finish and submit.

So here it is. The album turned out to be a “glorious mess” of very different types of breakcore tunes. Check it out if you want to be surprised and feel like listening to a something different. I bet you’ll find something cool you like in there. If not, no big loss. You can listen to the full album here and on Bandcamp, and download for free if you want.

download cover art for all your albums, with powershell

Album covers are nice eye candy when you’re using a media player like Foobar2000 which automatically picks up a cover.jpg file in an album folder. The problem is that I have a lot of mp3 albums I ripped from my CD’s from way back and those don’t have any fancy cover art files.

I looked around for some tools that could automagically download covers for my albums but didn’t find anything handy. Since my music is structured in sub-folders like \ I thought this should be easy enough to parse and get pictures for.
If only there was a service that could easily provide those…

I tried the Musicbrainz API’s but that turned out to be hard to use and didn’t give me any covers for some test albums either. Then I thought of Last.fm. They have a lot of cover art, and their URL structure is the same as my folder structure… hmmm.

And here it is, a Powershell script which runs over your folder structure, tries to get the album page from Last.fm and then saves a cover.jpg image from the album page metadata.

A few things to know:

  • Your mp3’s are expected to be in a folder structure like (artist)\(album)\*.mp3
    E.g. The Prodigy\The Fat of the Land
  • If a folder contains any JPG or PNG image, it will be skipped. So that means you can run the script multiple times, and it will only download images once.
  • The “Various artists” folder is skipped by default because it didn’t fit the search pattern. If you store these type of albums in another folder, you might want to update that line with the correct folder name. If it does happen to process that folder in your case because of a different name, nothing will go wrong. It simply won’t find any album matches.

To use it, copy the code below in a file called get-albumart.ps1, or whatever name you fancy. Then run it as follows to get those pretty cover albums:

.\get-albumart.ps1 d:\music

And as always, this script comes as is, without any kind of warranty and you’re free to try it at your own risk. I wrote and used it and it worked great for me. I hope it works for you too. If Last.fm sues you because you’re downloading every image they have on the site because of your huge album collection? You didn’t get this script from me OK. Nope. Not me. ;-)

param ([Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][string]$path)

$progressPreference = 'silentlyContinue'
pushd
cd $path
$artistFolders = ls -directory | where { $_.name -ne "Various artists"}

foreach ($artistFolder in $artistFolders)
{
    $artist = $artistFolder.name
    write-host "::: $artist :::" -foregroundcolor green

    cd -Literalpath $artistFolder
    $releaseFolders = ls -directory
    
    foreach ($releaseFolder in $releaseFolders)
    {
        $release = $releaseFolder.name
        write-host "$release" -foregroundcolor cyan
        cd -literalpath "$releaseFolder"

        if ((test-path *.png) -or (test-path *.jpg))
        {
            write-host "- Images found, skipping."
        }
        else
        {
            $url = "https://www.last.fm/music/$($artist)/$($release)"
            $r = $null

            try 
            {
                $r = invoke-webrequest $url -usebasicparsing
            }
            catch 
            {
                write-host "- Release not found, skipping: $artist - $release" -foregroundcolor red
            }

            if ($r -ne $null)
            {
                $s = $r.content -split "`n" | where { $_ -like "*`"og:image`"*"} 
                $img = ($s -split '"') | where { $_ -like "*https*.jpg*" }

                if ($img -ne $null)
                {
                    write-host "- Downloading image for $artist - $release from $url"
                    invoke-webrequest $img -outfile cover.jpg
                }
                else
                {
                    write-host "- No image for $artist - $release from $url" -foregroundcolor yellow
                }
            }
        }
        cd ..
    }
    cd ..
}

popd
$progressPreference = 'Continue'