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2007/09/23 Trip in memory lane
π 2007-09-23 11:51 by Merlin in Public

I was watching Stephen Hawking's Universe - 1997 - Episode 5, and around offset 00:37:00, astrophysicist Alex Filippenko started talking after a little tune that sounded familiar. And then, I was able to quote a couple of his sentences before he finished them.
You'd think it would be weird for a 10 year old documentary I had never seen, but I knew why: I had heard that segment of voice in a mod ages ago (well, it was .xm).
It was actually one of my top ten mods, so it didn't take me long to find it: It was nx-darkstars (get your free copy here if you can play mods (mikmod/xmms with mikmod plugin on linux)).
This was a great trip back in memory lane and I was amazed I was able to remember and find an old mod from 10 years ago (back in the days, I downloaded several thousand mods from an ftp size (1GB's worth, which took a week to download over my ricochet modem), and listened to and sorted them over the next 3 months while working at Network Appliance. I ended up with a sorted personal collection of the best ones at the time (those were the days when mp3s weren't that common yet), and I here's a link to the 7 best in my opinion, access.xm (access denied) being the best one, and still quite good 10+ years later (for those of you who don't know mods, they were music composed on amigas and ataris, using trackers which would take a few samples (i.e. digitized instruments or voices) at a certain pitch, and be able to replay them as any note you needed, giving you a virtual piano with any instrument you wanted. The big win you got by doing this was that you could play 10mn of music with only 20 or 30seconds of digital sample recordings, and would save a lot of disk (or floppy) space. In the late days of the mod scene, some of those compositions were quite elaborate, and are still good enough to be listened to, today, in the age of fully digitized music: mp3s)
I did some web searches to see if I could find jrb-onyx to send him some greetz, but unfortunately, his 10y old contact info is way dead now. It's even too old for archive.org.
Here is the info inside the xm file:
onyx:trance:97 presents
dark stars by Jrb (waiting mix) released 11.11.97 duration 17m25s approx
::voice16 version (speaking samples included, and 16bit included where possible)
::sample credits
 :speaking and spooky synth (inst44) from a cosmology program by BBC
 :Chill's sample library for the drum loop
 :various synths by me
 :spiritseeker, and various other sources. Check samp names for source.
::song info
 not alot to say about this really.  It seems all my new songs are very
 experimental for me now. So it's hard to tell whether people will like
 them or not. I hope you do.  I've been wanting to do an ambient track
 for ages, but for me they're really hard, this track seemed to flow
 into that style kind of well so half the track is slow, or ambient, or
 psymbiant or what ever! :) I think its pretty cool anyway.
::greetings
  -all members of onyx coz they're music is so goddam cool! ;]
  -all members of chill
  -all members of twist
  -all members of UB
  -especially madhatter, matrix3 uranium, orion, vild stereoman,
   substance kjwise, aum, shang- rila, azayaka, and anyone who
   downloaded this track
::contact
::web presence http://orbit.simplenet.com/onyx
::email jrb-onyx(at)netcomuk.co.uk
 email is ALWAYS answered quickly

The Stephen Hawking's Universe documentary series, albeit 10 years old, is pretty good BTW.

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