Tuesday, 31 March 2009

All Work and No Play

It's been a while since my last post and a lot's happened. With the completion of A5 and A6 there comes relief, but also some disappointment.

I thought I’d enjoy A6, which I did in a sense but due to the sheer workload there was stress too. I feel as if I’ve been doing nothing but work and coursework throughout the duration of the last two assignments. I even had to miss things I’d usually watch on TV because there wasn't enough time in the week for anything but coursework, and it still wasn't enough time in the end!

As the deadline drew closer panic set in when I realised just how much still needed doing, and everything was taking forever. The most frustrating thing about this was that I hadn't left everything until the last minute like last time, and I had to work all through the night on the Sunday just before deadline as it needed to be mostly done before making the trek to Wakefield on Monday. Yet still I struggled to complete it; I even forked out for a taxi to Pontefract just to give myself two extra hours. And I was still forced to finish at college!

With all the work and effort I put in I was hoping for higher marks, so I’m slightly disappointed, but I'm relieved at the same time that I passed. My creativity still isn't up to scratch so I need to work on this.

As for A5, I had some trouble with CSS so I need to work on this too, but I'm glad I passed first time.

And now work’s begun on A7 I'm going to try and give more thought to things such as the PARC principles in my designs and hopefully get up to a merit.

Friday, 20 March 2009

A7: Promotional Review

Signal’s Robotron is quite unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. I think it could be classed as Intelligent Dance Music (IDM), as well as psychedelic and experimental electronic.

Robotron puts me in mind of, as the name suggests, robots and machines. Each song has a beat to it with other noises in the background at different levels, underlying the beat. Some of these make me think of a machine or robot carrying out its commands, while others make me think of a signal being sent out – much like the band ‘Signal’.

There are few pauses in this album from start to finish, which I think fits really well with the robotic theme because, like a machine, it never pauses until it’s shut down. The brief pauses that do occur at the end of certain songs indicate to me either the end of the signal or the machine/robot carrying out its last command and awaiting a new one. Some are also quite sudden as if someone pulled the plug, or shut the robot/machine down before it could finish its task.

The introduction sets the theme, sounding almost like static in parts and almost like a helicopter in others. This quickly runs into Ermafa which at first made me think of a machine starting up, or perhaps this has already occurred in the introduction and now the machine/robot is carrying out its function.

The repetitive nature of most of the songs fits perfectly with this theme of a machine, as they carry out the same tasks repeatedly until they either finish or get switched off. Ermafa is no exception to this.

Naplafa has more than one robotic noise going on which repeat throughout, like a machine performing different tasks simultaneously.

Robotron, Malimo and Wismut all put me in mind of a signal being sent out through my speakers, almost like morse code. There is a lot of static present here which fits with the signal theme. The static fades out at the end of Wismut and the machine (or signal) continues into Rawema.

The sudden end to Rawema could indicate either the end of the signal, or the machine being shut down before it could finish, as mentioned previously. For me Rawema is more like a machine, but it could be argued it’s a new variation on the signal being sent during Robotron, Malimo and Wismut.

Datasette again sounds like a signal akin to morse code, while Sporett and Epriex Motor put me in mind of machines again. The latter two also have sudden ends.

And finally the album finishes with Wismut (Version) which is similar to Wismut in some ways, though there is less static and it has a slightly different sound. This too ends suddenly as if the plug has been pulled on the machine.

Robotron is an interesting album and fans of the genre should definitely check it out. Though it may not be particularly melodic, it has a beat you can dance to and its experimental nature makes it stand out from so many other dance tracks. This is definitely an album best appreciated from start to finish, so be sure to set some time aside when you get your copy, and prepare to experience the Robotron!