Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Crystal Method- Community Service II


The US electronic group The Crystal Method are back with a new release this week, which will be a first for them too: a soundtrack.Until I will get my hands on that one, a couple of words about their previous album: CS II. Althought never a big fan of them, like the case for Chemical Bros too, this one is a good mix of hard break beats, UK style flavors and their own usual Nu skool stuff. It is hard to belief that these guys started in 1993 along with other veterans like The Prodigy, Orbital or the Chem B. but they are still very much alive on the musical scene today (The first movie soundtrack scored by the L.A. DJ duo -The London movie- was slated for release in the US on February 10, 2006 with the soundtrack hitting stores starting tomorrow, the 24th Feb 2006)

Label: Ultra Records
Lenght: 76:39
Track List:
1. The Crystal Method - Intro
2. PMT - Gyromancer (Elite Force Mix)
3. Elite Force - Ghetto Fabulous
4. Hyper - Come With Me
5. The Doors - The Crystal Method vs. The Doors (Roadhouse Blues Remix)
6. Evil Nine - We Have the Energy
7. Dylan Rhymes feat. Kathrine Ellis - Salty (Meat Katie Mix)
8. The Crystal Method - Keep Hope Alive (J.D.S Mix)
9. Koma + Bones - SpeedFreak
10. The Crystal Method feat. Kevin Beber - Kalifornia
11. Uberzone - Octopus
12. UNKLE - Reign (False Prophet Mix)
13. The Crystal Method - Starting Over (Elite Force Mix)
14. The Crystal Method - Bound Too Long (Hyper Mix)
15. New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle (The Crystal Method CSII Mix)
16. Smashing Pumpkins - 1979 (New Originals 1799 remix)
--Personal preferences--
Stars: 4 out of 5
Likes: 1,2,4,7,9,11,12,13,14
Neutral: 3,5,8,10,15
Dislikes: 6,
Currently they are touring the US in support of the album -mostly DJing gigs, though-! With songs from PMT, Elite Force, Meat Katie, Koma & Bones, Dylan Rhymes, Evil Nine, Uberzone, Hyper, UNKLE, and even the Doors and Smashing Pumpkins, this is nothing but pure quality.

Outside review:
PMT start it up with Gyromancer which is remixed and reworked by rising star Elite Force. This dark and dirty track gives the overall feeling of this disc perfectly. Elite Force also steps in to handle duties on the next track "Ghetto Fabulous." The acid-infused breaks are laid over some crunchy drums and funky bass to bring the tempo up a notch. Next up is the crowning moment of the entire CD and it's only in the number four position on the disc. UK native Hyper throws out one of the baddest tracks present in today's breaks scene, "Come with Me." The intoxicating vocals entice patrons to the dance floor while the banging drums and bass guide them there. Stitched to the Hyper track is a Crystal Method original track. The Crystal Method vs. The Doors (Roadhouse Blues Remix) is a breakbeat rendition of the Doors song "Roadhouse Blues." The vocals are nestled upon a bed of hard-pounding bass and they give an old school-meets-nu skool feel to the whole track. Nothing but superb.
Next up is the UK breaksters Evil Nine. In addition to being their DJ touring partners on this tour, they also are some pretty damn awesome producers. "We Have the Energy" has soulful vocals and a dirty grinding bassline. It is a perfect fit for this mix. Further into the mix finds Koma & Bones doing what they do best on "Speedfreak." The pulsating rhythms of this track are combined with a vocal that sounds like a public service announcement, but you can still shake your ass to it. Fellow Californian Uberzone drops his track "Octopus" into the mix. Unfortunately, only two and three quarter minutes of this track are used, but it shows why Uberzone is one of the most in-demand domestic breaks acts today. James Lavelle and Richie File form the ever mysterious group UNKLE; their track "Reign" appears next with the "False Prophet Remix." This track was an instant success after its release last year and it just keeps getting better. TCM drops their version of the New Order song "Bizarre Love Triangle." Their CSII mix is quite a departure from the original, but it is just as danceable as the first one. The vocals are kept intact and married with a funky breakbeat drum pattern and dark synth riffs. Rounding out this mix is Smashing Pumpkins with "1979." The New Originals give it their breaks spin with the 1799 remix. The hook creeps out of nowhere and before you know it your saying to yourself "is that Smashing Pumpkins?" Totally awesome.

The next step - mastering Stata

After the quest in Micro, I still have one more thing to master and that of course is Econometrics, which I guess, every grad student in econ will agree that is considered the main tool but on the other hand, you don't get much from the class(es). Since I only had it once, way way back and in RO, which was very lame, I have a lot to catch up with.

Like for example, the programming. Never did it before. Thus, now I am studying Stata, the most popular program, in order to recuperate in this way too. Of course, the theoretical stuffs are hard to grasp and in need for at vary least 20 hrs a week of study, but I am trying to combine them both to the best of my abilities. Moreover I have to study from books/help files/websites...:))...things that I kind of dislike and don't usually do. But I guess a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Obviously this I am doing it for myself, so I cannot hurt to be a bit better.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Perfect Weekend

Finally, I got a real break this (long) weekend. Forgot everything else about school and other stuff going on around me and just kick back and relaxed a bit. After all, I deserve this, especially since I didn't get an ease even during the winter hollidays. Since Monday was the President's Day it really was a long weekend.

Me in Albany, Empire State Plaza.

Moreover, I did enjoy the company of my girlfriend and that made all the difference in the world.:). Besides obvious reasons, I did get to do things that otherwise would have lacked from serious incentives like going to classical concerts, mall shopping, sunday mass or walks in the downtown area. Most of these things are characterised by a low frequency and even scarcity in my every day (graduate)life.
This past week, Mozart's birthday attracted some nice events and concerts. We only saw one of it, on Sunday, but it was very nice...Troy Chromatics: New York Philomusica, Andrew Clark, horn soloist, and Robert Levin, piano soloist, appearing in a special program honoring Mozart's 250th (happy) birthday. Both Clark and Levin were great but the latter was trully amazing.

Concert (

For the mass, we went to a close catholic church,St Francis De Sales, on Congress St. It was nice but I was surprised to notice the (old) demographics of the people there..which should be disturbing, at least for the people in the parish. Moreover, the church was interesting from the usual catholic style...more toward the simplitude of a lutheran one. The weather was terrible,thus less walks after that, cause the winds (30 to 50 mphs) have not make this easier at all.:))
The mall was OK. Nothing spectacular, like always. I haven't been there since last May but I don't miss it at all. Nothing worthwhile. "Sales" are just PR jokes and almost always I end-up buying stuff that I don't need, or that doesn't fit me perfectly, just to make up for the lost hours looking for something:))
Not the case this time except the obvious dinner at the food court. Anyways, I have so many clothes that I really do not need more just to overcrowd my closet.

Museum in Albany

Last but not least...good healthy food.Romanian, naturally. Except the wine, which was from South Eastern Australia -Black Swan-, a Cabernet Sauvignon, which was vey aromated and reminded me a little of the blackberry wine that I use to purchase back home from local farmers around Christmass. Excelent!:)

Stuffed birds

But the weekend has ended yesterday. :)) All (good) things come to an end, afterall.
Thus, back to work!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Microeconomics related

I did pass the qualifier exam and I am relief (yep, that's the word). I study throughout the break for it and it did pay off so I am glad. Just don't make me do it again!:)))

Thursday, February 02, 2006

NEC 3550A does the job

I just bought a DVD burner in order to empty both my laptop and my sparehardrive which are kind of full with various stuffs (I did copied a lot of my CDs there and left them back home). For that I've chosen a NEC Silver IDE DVD Burner Model ND-3550A from Newegg which was about 44 bucks with shipment and all. Indeed I told Santa that I want a Plextor:))...but he said that the budget isn't too convenient nowadays. But NEC's 3550 is excellent. Quiet, fast and cheap. Burned three DVDs since I got it. No problem. Speed is good. I wouldn't know how good but it is burning a DVD in 1hour and 20 minutes..which is quite fast considering the fact that I am using an enclosure on my USB 1.1!! The Shuttle desktop (of my dreams) will probably soon follow (Santa promised that) and then I will enjoy it even more I am sure.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

On Career Fairs

Today I participated in a Career Fair organized by our university Career Center. Although I don't need a job yet (and hopefully when I do I will not have to hunt it much:)..) I always like to poke around at this types of manifestations, see what is new, see who's coming and get some discussions towards a possible summer internship or something similar. Although I still don't have a clue towards where I will go after I graduate (and I always felt I do sustain this deficit in deciding even if it's obvious that I can't do this for long) at these career fair I seldom find something interesting. Mainly because our school is a technical one, thus it's logical that most of employers should be looking for engineers or comp science majors. And they do it.
All Fortune 500 companies seem to be interested in attracting almost anything "good" on the market, which puts a smile on my face (even if it's not an objective one) and I got some nice talks with their recruiters. and ...let's not forget about promotional gizmos: Intel has a cool Intel-worker toy in a protective suit holding a centrino laptop (they call it Bunny People without a mention of what happens if there is a crack in your bunny suit..), Microsoft as always--cool toys, but others had some too (saw lights, vents, etc) but I failed to see them all closely.
Conclusion: It was a good day for posting. Bloggs, resumes...whatever makes you happy.