bandcamp friday, if you like jungle and drum’n’bass

For the second “last Bandcamp Friday” post, we’ll dig up some good ol’ drum’n’bass from the digital catalog. Here’s some stuff I enjoyed in 2020 to fill your wishlist with:

Let’s kick it off with The Nightmare Connector by DJ Hidden. It’s a bit of a hard one to fit in a single category, but I guess it fits best with drum’n’bass. Gritty, hard-ass drum’n’bass that occasionally crosses over into hardcore territory. You know that means awesomeness.

SETTIME LP by Limewax is another hard and gritty drum’n’bass album. You know this man if you’re into the harder style drums, so you can expect some hard hitting snares and violently slashes breaks on this one.

The various artists SYNONYMS LP caught my attention because Enduser and The Teknoist are on it. That takes me back to when Ad Noiseam was still a label. Good times. But this is the now, so that means you’ll be getting some breaks-heavy jungle and drum’n’bass sounds for your ear-holes.

Ready for the jungle vibes? After seeing a live-streamed set by FFF I needed to get myself a serious amen fix, and boy did I get me some.

I’ll bundle the FFF stuff, because well, it’s all fantastic sounding jungle/rave/hardcore business and I don’t want to be repeating myself too much. There’s PSPCTRVLT 011 which is a great amen/rave throwback gem. This goes well together with DEFFFORMER, a collab with (you guessed it) Deformer. If you like it a bit crazier and faster, certainly check out the currently free download of Can’t find a dub like this on Murder Channel. It’s so fucking good.

Not enough amens for you? Well check out the Amen-tal label then. It has more amens than Trump has lies. I got me the Amen-talist movement rounds 8, 7, 6 and 5 to get me an amen fix.

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.

wake up Windows automatically using a scheduled task

This seems easy at first, but it turns out to be a lot harder than expected, due to various OS and power settings that get in the way. The idea is simple: you want to have your Windows 10 machine start up at a specific time using a task set in the task scheduler.

When you create a new task in the Task Scheduler, there’s a setting for this, so it looks so easy. It’s on the conditions tab. You activate the option to wake the computer to execute your task, and you’re done. Right? Well, if you’re really lucky that might work straight out of the box.
In case it doesn’t work, here are some things you can fiddle with to try and get it going.

  1. Create a wake-up tasks that doesn’t really do anything. Just run a command like this:
    cmd /c echo %date%
    For a more detailed guide on how to set up a task and the wake timers check this excellent article.
  2. Create a second task that does what you want it to do in a batch script but 10 minutes later than the first. That gives your computer ample time to start up, install any potential updates, or do whatever it sometimes does that takes so damn long.
  3. Deactivate Fast Startup. It messes with your hibernation mode and causes it not to startup again afterwards.
  4. Always hibernate your machine. If you just do a plain shutdown it doesn’t seem to automatically start up again. You can do this with the command below. This is also handy if you want to shut your machine down again, after your task has finished:
    shutdown /h
  5. Enable wake timers in your Power Options advanced settings. See the link below for instructions.
  6. For laptops make sure your Power Options are configured correctly. Mind closing the lid in that case. A closed lid will prevent the laptop from starting up in my case for example. Laptops will also not startup when they are running on the battery by default.
  7. Reboot your machine after fiddling with these settings if it still doesn’t work. This makes sure your settings stick.
  8. If you tried everything and it still doesn’t work, check your BIOS settings and see if there might be a power option in there that might prevent it from starting up automatically.

Give your machine a few minutes if you’re testing this. Yes, it’s annoying to wait, but if you set it too fast, it might not be powered down fast enough to be able to start up again, and miss the timer. That way you won’t be able to tell if it’s actually working.

Hopefully you can now use your desktop or laptop to run some nightly scheduled jobs, without having to have a dedicated always-on machine around. Saves you time and money on power consumption, hardware and maintenance!

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.

automatically delete emails with IMAP Cleanup

Let’s say you have this IOT device like a motion detection camera. Which sends you emails. Emails you keep in a separate IMAP mailbox. Lots of emails. So you want to delete those emails in some automated fashion, because doing that daily is oh so boring (remember, lots of emails).

Wouldn’t it be great if there was like some handy command line tool that would delete the oldest emails and keep like a 1.000 or 500 of them only? Well yes, that way I could script that annoying job and run it daily.

I didn’t find something that already did this. So I figured I’d be able to whip something up in an hour or so using PowerShell, or maybe a small .NET console application using an existing IMAP library.

Well, 3 different IMAP libraries and about 4 hours later I did have something rudimentary that finally did what it was supposed to do. Delete the oldest email, and leave the most recent 1000 (or whatever number you want) behind. That took longer than expected, so to regain as much time spent on this as possible I threw the ImapCleanup tool on GitHub, including binary downloads. I hope someone else will find this useful as well.

Beware though. This tool deletes emails. Be careful which mailbox you point this at, and make sure you test it in advance on a dummy mailbox. Maybe your email server behaves differently than mine, and important emails get digitally shredded by mistake.

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.