Back by popular demand! 2007 was the year in which enough people poked me often enough about returning to
what was left of the tracking scene that I finally decided to give it another go. I of course wrote a few more
short essays, but my biggest project by far was The Novus Compo,
a monthly public-voting music competition for -- get this -- MP3s! Sadly, the compo flamed out after a hot start,
and by mid-2008 I had given up on it. Thus ended my last major involvement in what could now be fairly called
the post-tracking scene.
Blog & Essay Archive: Main Page|
2007 -- 2006 --
2005 -- 2004 --
Jul-Dec 2003 -- Jan-Jun 2003
Novus Compo ends - May 1st, 2008|
Due to dwindling participation, I've decided to end the Novus Compo. Full details are up on the
In the meantime, I plan to start writing more reviews over at
Trax In Space and
CTG Music in the near future. I won't start right away, but when I do,
I'll probably also start posting those reviews here, so you won't have to look far.
Watch this space for details. You haven't seen the last of me. :)
(EDIT in July 2014: I never did get back to writing reviews on TiS or CTG Music. Just thought I'd save you some time so you
don't go looking for them.)
Compo news! - January 28th, 2008|
The BarryVan Compo is a brand-new music competition
from Barry van Oudtshoorn, a regular contributor to the
Novus Compo. Very interesting idea... Barry selects a source of artistic
inspiration such as a poem or painting and gives you a month to write a song around it. Then he pre-screens the entries,
picks the top 6, and puts them up for voting for another month. Then he does it again, 6 times a year in 2-month cycles.
The first entry deadline is coming up in the next couple of days, but thus far there has only been 1 entry! Fortunately,
some people can crank out good music fairly quickly, so you still have time to enter. The inspiration this month is
Edward Lear's surreal, absurdist poem "The Jumblies," and I'm looking forward to seeing what people come up with. And of
course I'll be voting when the votepack opens up in a few days. :)
Speaking of voting... The Novus Compo is still up and running, and right now
voting is open for January's Overall Round, featuring the best songs from the genre rounds earlier this month. Voting is
only open through Wednesday, and then February's rounds start up, so hit the website, check out all 5 entries, and cast
Shuffle up and deal! - November 7th, 2007|
It's been a while since the Music Vault section really accurately reflected my own personal
tastes in tracked music. Of course, it was never quite meant to do that, since the main purpose of that section all along
was to stress music that I considered to be "good" on an objective level.
I think it's time to change that. :)
I've done some shuffling of the songs in that section so that it reflects more how much I like each of those songs
personally and subjectively, rather than any attempt at objective opinions. Give it a look and a listen. There are some
very good songs waiting for you, and I think you'll like what you hear!
The Novus Compo: October's round begins! - October 3rd, 2007|
Yeah, I've been quiet on here lately. Got a lot on my plate, but I do at least want to take the time to remind you that
The Novus Compo is still going strong! September's voting is done, and
October's voting has just opened, so check out the compo site to see the results, cast your vote, and maybe even enter
your own song. :)
Stirring up trouble since 1998! - September 14th, 2007|
It may surprise you -- or maybe not, actually -- to learn that long before I managed to
piss off at least one-third of the tracking scene at once with The Novus Manifesto, I managed
to piss off at least one-third of the tracking scene by writing a set of DOs and DON'Ts for
trackers looking to improve their skills. Some were offended by some of the particular tips
I wrote, but amazingly, some were offended that I would dare write any tips at all! I was
stifling people's creativity, they said, chaining people to arbitary rules that they had no
need for and that would limit their true musical potential.
Of course, none of these critics bothered to ask any of the trackers who needed help and
were looking for help what THEY thought. If they had, the critics would've heard that they found
my tips helpful and useful, and while they may not have agreed with or followed 100% of them,
reading those tips still gave them a starting point for improving their musical
skills. And of course, none of these critics stepped forward to offer any tips or advice of their
own, because it's so much easier to criticize those who are trying to help others.
Actually stepping forward to help people in a better way is work! You might, oh, I
don't know, sprain a thumb from answering e-mails or something. ;)
"Bitter, party of one." (Sorry, inside joke there.)
Anyway, I wrote the first version of these tips in 1998, and I made various changes and
edits until 'round about 2001, at which point I kinda left it alone. And so those DOs and
DON'Ts have been sitting pretty much unchanged since 2001, growing increasingly irrelevant
with each passing year.
The time has come to take them down.
I have no regrets about writing those DOs and DON'Ts, and I make no apologies. Those tips helped
people, and I know this because they e-mailed me and told me. But it's been a few years since the
last such e-mail. Given that there's still the potential for controversy, I figure if those
tips really aren't helping people anymore, I might as well take them down.
I'm also taking down the Publicity and Communication pages within the University section of this
website. This here inter-web is WAY different then when I wrote those pages. The links are outdated,
and so is the advice. There are whole new options and ways of reaching far more people far more easily
nowadays. Rather than modernize those two pages, I'm just taking them down as well.
That leaves nothing in the University section except for The Best of TraxWeekly.
THAT I'm keeping
up, because there's some great info there for musicians of all kinds, trackers and non-trackers
alike. And heck, I may still have some more articles to dig up and a few other things to add to that
section, so stay tuned. :)
Just thinkin'. - September 11th, 2007|
I'm feeling extra contemplative today, probably because it's September 11th, and that day always puts me in a sober
and thoughtful mood. But of course I don't like my mental agenda to be controlled by some murderous jackass halfway
around the world, so it was with some relief that a couple of certain someones from my tracking past gave me something else to
think about this morning.
Of course you know by now that I'm running a new MP3 compo, and I was
quite pleased this morning to see a vote and an entry from someone I've had a rough history with: Vizion. He and I patched
things up quite some time ago, of course, but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless. And it's the cherry on top of the
huge showing of support this compo has seen from all corners of what's left of the tracking scene. The reaction has been
almost entirely positive, and the negative reaction has been limited, muted and extremely civil. Votes and entries are
coming in at a pretty good clip, and while it's way too early to call this thing a success, it's certainly heading in the
It's just amazing to me that, after all the fool stunts I've pulled and all the people I've pissed off over the years,
people are still willing to overlook all of that and welcome me back in. Personally, I think y'all are crazy. ;) Hell,
just 9 months ago I was openly mocking Louigi Verona over on the CTG
forums and calling him na´ve for wanting to start an MP3 compo to jump-start the post-tracking scene. And what I am
doing now? Running a fricking MP3 compo. And instead of pointing out this dichotomy, Louigi has smiled, entered a song,
voted and has been nothing but supportive as I do the very thing I was making fun of him for wanting to do. I don't think
the word "irony" applies here (man, is that word overused), but whatever the word is, this hasn't escaped me. Louigi,
you're a fricking saint and a kick-ass musician, and I mean that.
Things are starting to get exciting. There's a buzz building. Trax
In Space is up and running. CTG Music has bounced back nicely
from last month's server issues. Things just feel... different. I think my compo is only a tiny part of this buzz, as it
was already starting to build before I joined in, but I'm glad to be a part of this.
As one brave man said six years ago today... "Let's roll."
Aaaaand they're off! - September 7th, 2007|
September's 5 mini-compos over in The Novus Compo are up and
running! There's some pretty good music there, so you may want to mosey on over, download a few, heck, maybe
even cast a vote. :) Voting runs for 2 weeks, at which point I'll tally up the results and the 5 winners plus 1
wild card song will advance to the overall compo. Voting for the overall compo will run for 2 weeks as well, and
then we'll start it all over again for October.
Okay, NOW I'm back. - August 27th, 2007|
As hinted at before, here it is: my brand spankin' new monthly MP3 compo.
Click the link button, and all the details are right there.
Also, while I was designing a new logo and link button for The Novus Compo, I figured I might as well re-do the link
button for this-here website as well.
I've used this old link button for... geez, just about 8 years. My brother
Andy and I designed it together in his college dorm room while I was visiting him, and I've used it on all of my websites
ever since. It's one of the few creative projects he and I have ever collaborated together on, and it was fun, even if it
was just a link button. I hate to stop using it, and I'm certainly not going to delete it from my webspace anytime soon.
But this... this looks a bit cleaner, doncha think? :)
Anyway, go check out The Novus Compo, and have fun!
*tap**tap**tap* Is this thing on...? - August 14th, 2007|
So, yeah, I've pretty much done everything I can do to make it clear that I have no interest in the post-tracking
scene. And yet for some crazy reason I still get fairly regular e-mails and contact attempts from grizzled veterans and
fresh-faced newbies alike who still want me to get involved again, as if I haven't caused enough trouble already. No,
it's not exactly a deluge of e-mails, but it happens often enough that it's pretty clear that the "Go away and leave me
the hell ALONE!!!" approach has failed miserably, because people are neither going away nor leaving me the
But I've also quit the scene so damned many times at this point that if I WERE to rejoin the scene -- for, what, the
8th time now? I've lost track. Anyway, if I were to rejoin the post-tracking scene, I have no bloody clue if I'd be taken
seriously at all. Not that I'm whining about it, that's just the situation I've put myself in, which is why I resorted to
the "Go away and leave me the hell ALONE!!!" approach in the first place. Which has failed miserably.
I'm thinking of starting a compo. An MP3 compo.
(There. Let's see if anyone's paying attention.)
A funny thing happened on my way to obscurity... - May 6th, 2007|
Long-story-short, I've cleaned up the dead song links here on the site. But hey, admit it: I'm much more entertaining
when I'm telling the long story, aren't I?
If you've already read through the resulting carnage from my last visit to the tracking scene last December
on the forums over at CTG-Music, you're aware that one of my biggest
frustrations when it comes to tracking is that, despite the fact that I clearly want to be left alone, every few months
somebody e-mails me to ask me a question about tracking, or to seek my advice, or to otherwise try to drag me kicking and
screaming back into the tracking scene. This, of course, gets me thinking about the tracking scene, which in turn dredges
up some rather painful and aggravating memories, which in turn gets me quite cross, which in turn makes me want to do
something like, say, storm onto the CTG forums and kick everyone's sandcastles over and what-not. This, understandably,
makes people get quite cross with me in return, and has the effect (highly desired by me, actually) of getting people to
leave me alone for a bit... until the next sodding idiot, blissfully unaware of this pattern, e-mails me and starts the
whole cycle over again.
December's events led to me pissing off several otherwise-very-cool people. In lieu of an apology to them, I'll
simply posit that it would be best for all involved if they continue their current policy of making no further attempts to
contact me. But being the otherwise-very-cool people that they all are, they likely already understand this.
But here I am, updating this here website again. And surely, if you have any pattern recognition skills at all, you'll
realize what has just happened:
Some sodding idiot has just e-mailed me about tracking.
Oh, stop cringing. Your face will get stuck like that some day.
This well-intentioned n00b's e-mail was overall complimentary of novusmusic.org, and he
implored me to "keep it fresh." I sent off a terse reply that me keeping this website fresh was not bloody likely. I'm
sure he hates me now too, which means he can now join the exclusive Club For Otherwise-Very-Cool People Who Think Novus Is
A Jerk. Membership in the CFOVCPWTNIAJ has its rewards, including a 15%-off benefit with Amazon.com.
that got me thinking about my site, and it occurred to me that there must be a lot of links up here that have gone bad
over time, especially in the Music Vault section and over on my now-defunct
Monthly Invitational Compo. And I have some annoyingly perfectionistic
tendencies, so this started gnawing on me, and before I knew it I was up to my elbows in HTML code and FTP uploads.
Of course, I'm cleaning up dead links. But for quite some time I've also been storing megs and megs of tracker files here on
my website, in many cases songs that could be found nowhere else at all, and I've been paying for that storage space every
month. I've also been paying for a whole lot more storage space that, while nice to have handy in a just-in-case sort of
way, has been sitting empty and unused. So, I've taken those megs and megs of rare stored tracker files, dumped the whole
lot of them over onto ftp.modland.com (VERY fine site, by the way, so check it out),
and deleted them from my server. This will allow me to move my site to a significantly smaller server space and will cut
down drastically on my web-related expenses, which is quite clearly a Good Thing.
This also means that, for once, instead of taking out my frustration on your website, I'm taking it out on
mine instead. Quite a bit healthier, I do believe.
Oh, and before I forget... no, I'm not "back," whatever the hell "back" means. Meh.