Let’s start a new season.

It took longer than I though it would take.
But now this damn thing is back on-air again!
Or, err, rather… It’s back in-action.
Daily updates, mostly music, some personal, some utterly, revoltingly weird.

Today will be music and something else.
A mini-review of a novel I recently read.
And by “review” I mean that I will be quoting some marked passages and explain why I think that they were a good idea.
And by “recently” I mean that I got it Saturday evening and finished it Sunday night.

But first, the music!

A change for the next posts: I will include the cover picture of the track/album/EP/compilation that I want to showcase. Simply to imprint this in all your brains and make you buy it the next time you’re in a record store, looking for some new music and should around seeing it sitting in a shelf. Which isn’t too likely with most of you with regards to most of the music I will present. But it might push SOME of you in the right direction. And that’s a risk I’m frankly willing to take! (Yes, I’m selfish this way.) [EMPEROR BE DAMNED! I always want to do that fucking “shellfish” pun. Stupid punny literature…]

So, behold today’s offering, my old, new and virtual audience!

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ODST OST Cover

Today I will let you listen to a piece from the phenomenal soundtrack to the videogame HALO 3: ODST [2009].
Cards open: I’m a big fan of all the HALO soundtracks. They offer wonderful ambient landscapes of hope, loss, desperation, action and deliverance. They could score AAA movies and would blow some of the current crop out of the water, if they were used correctly. And ODST… Is the best of the lot.

Here you get martial drums, whiskey-fueled saxophone passages, strings, subtle and hard percussion and wonderful electronica.

I’ll showcase this with the help of two tracks. The first being “Overture” and in itself a sampler of the things to come. It’s a bit disjointed at times, yes. That’s why I will later let you listen to a fuller track. But it DOES give you a good picture if you’d like the soundtrack or not. If you feel that you don’t like most of the parts of this track, simply skip to the part where I talk about the book. Or, just wait ’till tomorrow. But if you DO like those parts? Or even just many of them? Stick for a bit more. :)

So, without any further ado… Overture!

So, what do you say? Did you like it? Do you want more?
If so… Follow me and take a look at the Skyline.

Skyline is one of the more martial tracks. It’s interwoven with parts of the over-all Halo theme for great effect to kindle a sympathetic reaction in players of the former games. But even people without those connections, who haven’t played a game of Halo in their life will get the sense of urgency, of frantic desperation to get moving, to get shit done! And then it turns out that things aren’t just like they looked. That the rabbit hole goes deeper and it’s much darker at the bottom than you previously thought. But you still jump in and move on. People depend on you. And you hope that you will survive long enough to keep their hope alive.

Shit.

I can’t stop now. Not now.
I should give you just one further example.
Something on the darker and more mellow side. And it’s a toss-up between “Neon Night” and “The Office of Naval Intelligence”.

But, seeing as it’s night now… And I don’t want to give you the most paranoia-inducing track on the soundtrack… I opt for Neon Night.

For this one… Get out your Whiskey. Go watch the city outside your window.
Or get into your car and drive the Autobahn at night.

Because this track will let you see the city in a different light. [And trust me, that one was NOT intended. But my internal thesaurus is offline now, as it’s late and I’m tired.]

And this is just a small part of the full soundtrack.
It’s on two CDs, each giving you about an hour of listening pleasure.
And it really is a pleasure.

It’s good driving music, it’s good reading music, it’s good thinking music and it’s good relaxing music. Even the frantic parts, yes, because the will give your mind the chance to change gears and think about other things than you normally would.

But where this soundtrack REALLY shines (apart from in the game, that is) is in your car, at night, driving through cities and stretches of Autobahn. It’s Rhine-Ruhr Night-Music. (And when you’re reading an exciting book. For me, who reads swathes of military SciFi and Trans-/Posthuman novels… It’s dead on very often.)

And it’s really damn well composed.

Full marks from me.
I love it.
Bought it in 2009 and haven’t regretted it once.

[I decided to split of the book “review” for the next blog post. I think I should keep topics at least broadly seperate.]