Music Monday: Recess by Skillex

Before, in a time far far away, The only music that mattered was from classical giants like Beethoven, Bach and other classical greats who mastered (or was born) to play the piano, violin, etc. Decades and a chunkful of years later, technology has paved way and has opened up door number two in music progression. When people hear of “Dubstep” or “Electronic Dance Music” people usually associate them with Skrillex, Zedd, Avicii (It’s a-vee-chee for those new to EDM, i saved you a possible shame in case you’re planning to go to a rave. haha!) and some others whom you may have heard thru Pandora or Spotify or prolly from that one weird friend with the bass-heavy headphones. Today, for my Music Monday, i’d like to talk about Skrillex’s  “Recess” and how it compares to his previous albums and EP.

First of all, (Intro, please) For those of you who don’t know, Skrillex was a former lead singer(2004) of From First To Last, An American Rock band that’s been making noise even before Sonny Moore(A.K.A. Skrillex) took over the vocals. I actually admire the switch from “rocking and thumping to the moshpits” to just basically “jumping and waiting for that beat to drop” kind of music which are somewhat a little over on the other side of the music train. From here, Skrillex has released a number of albums, including “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites“,”Bangarang” and of course the one that were having a peek at, which is “Recess” Oh, did i also mention that Skrillex also won the Grammy Award for Best Electronic Dance Album for Bangarang back in 2012? 🙂

So about Recess: This album is cool in it’s own way, especially starting off with the awesome song “All Is Fair In Love And Brostep” with help from the Ragga Twins. This track basically has some bad-ass beats and really gives you hopes and expectations that this would be an awesome album. With some renditions from a random scientist that describes (vaguely) How a rocket needs “this much power” The whole song of course does not make sense, But with EDM / Dubstep it’s not really the “what does this song mean” are most listeners after; It’s more of the way it pumps you up and just gives you a surge of energy that you thought you never had.

Another one of my favorite tracks in this album is the self-titled song, “Recess” I listen to this song when i play basketball by myself (#ForeverAlone) And just by immersing myself into the game and the music, i played like i didn’t care. It was awesome. But i guess it would be alot better if i ACTUALLY shot some hoops, but meh, i had fun listening to it and i sweat and that’s always good right?

One of the songs in the album was made into a music video featuring Skrillex’s tours from all over the place with Alvin Risk, otherwise known as Marcio Alvarado. “Try It Out” was a simple dubstep song at first with stable beats. But as it progresses, the beat intensifies, and delivers a much more energetic song that when it started a two minutes and ten seconds ago. The music video altogether was epic, and if you want to watch it, the link to Skrillex and Alvin Risk’s “Try It Out” can be found here.

Also, one of the songs in Recess made it to the Divergent OST. If you guys have seen the movie, the part wherein Tris walks in the bar to meet Tori, The song playing on the background was “Stranger” by (of course) Skrillex. I actually did the *deep breathing* thing in the cinema and said “Whoa! That’s A Skrillex Song!” But of course not loud enough to make me look like a Skrillex fanboy. haha! Anyways, This track for me is sexy. The beats are steady, and the music itself has a slow vibe to it that doesn’t go any faster. But in a sense, i kinda knew how they got this Skrillex song to be played in a Divergent, Dauntless Bar, because the mood was settling, but not in a way that the bar would turn into a sleezy coffee shop.

“Fuck That” is also a nice song. It starts with a simple beat, with a hint of a somewhat transformers-ish kind of transforming sound? Followed by the repetition of the words “Fuck That” and then it goes to a sort of thumping underground beat that gives a decent head dance(yes, it’s the first term that came to my head to describe a slow and steady head bang. Sorry. Haha!)

The tracklist goes on and ends with a rather mellow song called “Fire Away” the song kind of gives a closing finish that isn’t too hyper and too upbeat. Just a nice, EDM (Electronic Dance Music) that you can dance or listen to on a rainy or chill-pill day.

My thoughts on the album? It’s alright. But compared to Bangarang, Recess lacked the hype and boom that Bangarang delivered. This album focuses more on the mellow and chill-pill kind of environment, but with tracks like Recess, Try It Out and Dirty Vibe so as to not stray too far from the booming beats side.

So to wrap this up, I’d give a 70% Recommendation to download this track on iTunes or Google Play Music. But hey! I wanna hear your opinion on his album. Leave a comment or an email to tell me what you think, And also if you have any music that you want me listen to and review with, you know what to do. Peace out!

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The Fault In Our Extinction: Transformers: Age of Extinction Movie Review!

Fast Cars, Explosions here and there, Aliens become the hunter and the hunted, Plus the beautiful city of Hong Kong? That’s what Transformers: Age of Extinction was for me. It was just THAT awesome.

I don’t want to say too much on the movie, because i don’t want to give out spoilers. But i would like to tell my view of what i’ve seen. And what i’ve seen with Transformers was incredible. If you haven’t checked out the trailer yet, do click the link here to watch the trailer from Youtube.

First of all i just wanted to give kudos to Mark Wahlberg for doing such an awesome job at this movie. His acting was awesome, It wasn’t too corny, and it was probably a little weird to see him in a nerd-like father living in Texas, but it was somewhat a pretty good job. The cast was also fantastic and of course to top it all off, Stanley Tucci was also amazing. On his first scenes on the movie, i saw some of his portraits on the wall and kind of reminded me about Steve Jobs. And then the movie went along and he kept talking about design, and inventions and how he wanted to make the world a better place and all i could think about was that awesome apple guy who also tried to make this world a better place.

And who can also forget the girls on the movie? Nicola Peltz was no Megan Fox or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, but she definitely proved herself on the role of Mark’s daughter. And also i’m not sure if you all noticed, But we had some pretty hot girls for Stanley’s Assistants. We have Melanie Specht, Victoria Summer and of course Abigail Klein. Oh and did i also mention Resident Evil: Retribution’s Bingbing Li was also here? 🙂

So alot has happened to Transformers: Age of Extinction, and i am satisfied with what i saw. Although the concept of human failure and ignorance is still evident, it’s kinda sticking out since Transformers 3. It’s sort of being (if not always) the only storyline for the Transformers Series. To be honest, i haven’t really payed much attention to Transformers as a kid, and i have vague memories of childhood as sitting down and watching Beat Wars: Transformers, but that’s basically it. So i guess it’s an added factor if you’ve been with Transformers from the very beginning. Also, don’t bother staying up to wait for a secret ending. There wasn’t any. But nonetheless, you didn’t watch it for the secret ending, you watched it because of this:

Ooops. Spoiler Alert. :)

So i’d recommend this movie for all those who want to see a Maserati, Pagani, Lamborgini and of course a yellow Camaro all in one movie, Robot aliens fighting each other and mankind as we know it and just the simple pleasure of watching things explode. Enjoy watching!

REVIEW: SONY ERICSSON XPERIA RAY

A few years back, Sony was at the top of the charts, bringing electronics to the consumers content. But when the era of cellular phones cease to populate, and the era of Smartphones have sprung, Sony has been having trouble keeping up.  But trying to keep up, does not mean stopping to where they last released a flagship electronic to compete in the consumer market. Last year (2011) Sony has released the Xperia Arc, which seems like the bigger brother to the Xperia Ray. And since then, Sony has started releasing Android-Based Xperia phones to continue on competeing in the consumer’s market.

Now onto the Xperia Ray….which is what this review is all about 🙂

If you’ve been used to using the Samsung Galaxy Note or an HTC Titan or any other big phones out there, then your hands may still be getting used to the Xperia Ray. This phone is anything but BIG AND THICK, which is an advantage to some people with small hands. This phone measures at 111 x 53 x 9.4 mm in dimensions, and weighs just about 100 grams. Being said that this phone is small, some may think that it’s been reduced to a really small phone, and all the good stuff scraped down to a cheaper Xperia, but the Xperia Ray is no slouch. This short stuff still packs a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon Processor, running on Android 2.3(Gingerbread) upgrade-ready to the Android 4.0(Ice Cream Sandwich) an 8MP Shooter, with a little downside on the 512 RAM, and a 1GB internal memory.

But also, this phone is ready to your micro SD’s that support up to 32GB of space. It also supports 2G (GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900) and 3G (HSDPA 900 / 2100 – ST18i / HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 – ST18a). The most interesting bit about this phone for me is it’s display. As time has it, Sony never dissapoints in terms of display, as the Xperia Ray has an LED-backlit LCD,Capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors, and at the size of 480 x 854 pixels in 3.3 inches (~297 ppi pixel density) with a multi touch feature. The glass on the screen also has Scratch-resistance as well as the BRAVIA Mobile Engine, Touch Sensitive Controls, and probably the feature that i love most is the Timescape UI.

Looking more on the physical side, the Xperia Ray comes in Black, Gold, White and Pink. On the front is the awesome display mentioned above, with three buttons on the bottom, two capacitive touch buttons for Previous and Options, and one physical Home Button, as well as a sensor on the top near the earpiece speakers, and a front-facing camera. Going to the back, the back seems to have a matte finish, which gives it’s high-quality feel, and on the mid-top is the 8MP Camera, and just below it is the LED Flash. below the back of the phone is the Sony Ericsson Logo and just below that is the Speaker. On the sides, is a Micro-USB 2.0 port on the left and volume rockers on the right. On the top of the device is the power button, and 3.5mm headphone jack, while lastly on the bottom is the yep, you’ve guessed it: microphone.

Since we’ve got the basic low-downs of the device now comes the really interesting part. After using it a few hours or so, i could feel the battery heating up easily on the back. It kind of bothers me that i have to replace the battery soon, but i hope not, as i am very impressed at how long i can play Temple Run, Facebook, Twitter and stuff without even draining it for at most 6-7 Hours. The camera and display is stupendous, it’s insane. for a small device like the Xperia Ray, i could not believe at how vivid and crisp the details of pictures. There are some downsides of course, as being this is a cheap phone, the processing of some tasks tends to be a bit slow. The boot is kinda slow, and also the loading of some HQ pictures is a bit slow. But if you can wait 5 seconds or less for a picture to load, then you have no problem there.  The sound quality is also decent, i’d say my iPod Nano is of somewhat equal to the sound it brings, and the speakers are also okay.

Physically i’m kinda scared of ever dropping this phone, as it is really small. The presence of this device in my palm is somewhat minimal, it’s almost disturbing, for someone like me who has above average hands. This phone is perfect for girls, or people with small hands, as it fits perfectly at the palm.

The main reason i’m somewhat dissapointed with this phone is it’s memory and processing. It’s kind of small really, because it only has a 1GB internal memory. It wouldn’t really hurt for at least a 2GB internal memory, now, would it? Some of the apps i put in are having a hard time, especially since some of them didn’t come from the Play Store (tee hee). And the lack of a file manager also kind of dissapoints me, as i still have to download a File Manager App. Go here to check out the file manager app that i downloaded for this device.

SO final thoughts: For the budget wise, this phone is a-okay for you. Size and thickness is something that people can get used to anyways, so it’s no big deal in a few months for you. If you have an extra budget, go for something better like the Xperia P. (For a lay-down of the Xperia P specs, gsmarena has the full specs of Xperia P and Xperia Ray.) But for those who are somewhat hardcore, this phone may give up on you easily. The Xperia Ray is sort of a low end phone compared to the Xperia P, as the Xperia Ray can do alot of things but can’t have them all at once. Also the upgrade from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich may be the worst possible move to alot of Xperia Ray users, as it can greatly affect the speed of the phone. Some Xperia Ray users say that upgrading to ICS slows down their phone, so i’d rather not recommend it, unless you want the new version of Android OS.

so that’s it! Hope you enjoyed my review! 🙂

Lobatt? No Batt? What kind of batt do you have, Bring a MiLi Power Crystal on the go! no need to wall-plug, just mobile plug it! 🙂 check out my friend, kjdomanog‘s review on the MiLi Power Crystal here

Also, do check out kimstore for some insanely cheap prices for electronics! 🙂 kimstore is 100% trusted, so you don’t have to hesitate in buying their macbooks and other expensive gadgets 🙂

The Creativity Comeback: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Rumors and Launch

Today, smart phones are dominating the markets these days. yearly, a new model or brand of smart phone is being released, and people are trying their best to keep up with the latest gadget, in hopes that things would be a lot simpler and easier. Last February 19, 2012, The Samsung Galaxy Note was launched, with probably the biggest smart phone to date, with it’s monster-like 5.3 inch display screen, and an added stylus for creativity and with the use of Samsung’s Apps, the Samsung Galaxy Note was the biggest phone you could ever want that could fit snugly in your pockets.

But alas, another monster phone in the name of Samsung Galaxy Note II is coming, and with rumors from Android Central, The new Galaxy Note would feature a bigger, 5.5 inch display, quad core CPU and android 4.1 (jellybean). Sadly enough, the UBP or the Unbreakable Plane display technology will not be featured on the Note II, as Samsung will be reserving it for a future product.

Also to note, Android Central also pointed out, that the device would be released on the IFA this august that will be held in Berlin, Germany.

The Samsung Galaxy Note was indeed a big hit to consumers. It’s insanely huge screen didn’t seem to block Samsung’s road to success on the device, so it just seemed legit enough for a successor device such as the Galaxy Note II. The Galaxy Note II SHOULD and must be at least Quad Core CPU, in order to compete in other Android Phones such as the HTC One X phones or even the bigger rival, the coming of the iPhone 5. Some rumors are saying that the iPhone 5 would also have a quad-core processor, but alas, Apple has it’s way of keeping it’s consumers wanting for more.

Hope to cover the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy Note II on august from the live streams. 🙂 I’m going to post it if ever i get to witness the unveiling at IFA. 🙂

THESIS for Geeks: Things to Consider.

As any college student would consider when he smells and feels the graduating spirit just around the corners of the school campus, there comes one more intense rabbit hole to pass through, and that is where the research paper comes in.

Now a lot of you have been preparing for this a looooong long time, and have already listed up potential thesis topics for you to propose on your deans or superiors in your department, while others just wait for the judgement day to come, as they are masters in cramming. But as one of the unfortunate masters of cramming that i have become, i have learned a few things in making and finishing our research paper in time that we could still make it to the ceremonies. 🙂

When choosing a topic you must consider:

1. THINK ABOUT THE IMPOSSIBLE. work your way from a Space Particle Cannon with Online Coffee Maker into an Information System, Payroll or an AI/K.A.I., or a plausible Thesis Topic that can be proposed. Try to think of the things where the impossible meets the impossible, and how you can add the things you learned along the way to where you are now. Example, think of a web browser as a start. now for starters you’d think that it’s impossible. But through this, you can think of the functions of the browser, and with those functions (like Socializing(Chat, or Network-Based Thesis) you slowly start to think of it as possible. 🙂

2. THE LIBRARY THESIS SECTION IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. in some libraries, they have a section for past research papers proposed by alumni’s of the institute/school. Some of their works require improvement, and tweaks. You may even come to the thought of surpassing their research and maybe constructing a THESIS ver. 2.0. Hey, it’s not impossible. We all have our moments of glory. 🙂

3. THE “ENHANCE MY TOPIC” GAME. In almost ten months of our thesis work, i have never heard or stumbled upon a solo-thesis, unless he/she is in a school that requires him/her to walk the valley of the shadow of death alone. So, if you’re one of the lucky ones, try brainstorming with a twist. Sometimes, bashing each other’s ideas won’t get you anywhere, though it cannot be avoided. Try enhancing your thesismate’s ideas, and fitting yourself into his concept. Like if for example, one of your group mates propose a topic for a Teaching System, try to contribute by say, adding AI capabilities, or UI’s in the system, depending of course on the things you CAN do.

4. FIND A CLIENT / FIND A PURPOSE. Client – Based or not, find someone or something to give life, in your case, find something that needs an upgrade. The easiest way would be inside the walls of your campus. There’s always that department that refuses to convert to automated means because of cost. Sniff them out, and tell them they don’t have to pay for a large amount, and ask them first for a solution. One thing i have learned is that you never give a solution to a person who does not need it. Ask them first if they need a Computerized/Automated System, and how it would help them in their work. A little progress won’t do you any good, it has to mean massive, as in almost 60% of their work made of ease by your proposed research.

5. TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE. Being too confident in one topic? Don’t. Because there is still room for disapproval. Always remember that one epic topic is still no match for three or more topics. Be three steps or more from the error. Expect the unexpected. And hey! If your first topic gets approved, you can be a bro / broette(lol) and share your topic to other groups. In that way you’d have been a really awesome dude / dudette(lol again) for making their think-tanks easy.

And lastly? AIM FOR GOLD. In our group, we used to have this dream of aiming high, so that when we fall, we don’t fall too short behind. I’m not pretty sure if we graduated because of this thought, but it’s nice to think that you aimed to be BEST THESIS, but when you couldn’t reach it, you didnt land too far enough to fail. 🙂

So, i wish you good luck! and hopefully you’ll be wearing the Toga I wore a few months ago. 🙂 Kudos!

REVIEW: Beats by Dr. Dre Mixr

Do also check out my friend, kjdomanog‘s review on the Razer Orca Headphones here.

Generation after generation, Music has been a part of any Generation of people’s growth. Instruments to listen and create music have become portable, precise, and available to the market for people who have taste in music. Such one product are the Beats Headphones by Dr. Dre.

Beats Headphones for some have been known as the overpriced headphones in the market. But with it’s pricey touch, comes reasonably eargasmic sound quality. Though there are other alternatives like Sennheisers or AKG’s the beats still remain on top because of the stylish look, and the Bass-Biased Sound Quality. But this review doesn’t cover the whole Beats line, this is just for the Mixrs that i recently had, and these are the latest line of Beats Artist Series by David Guetta.

As i’ve stated, the Beats Mixrs are the newest addition to the Beats Headphone lineup and comes in two colors, black and white. I got the black one, coz for me i think the white one gets alot of dirt easily, and it didn’t look attractive as the Beats Studio’s did for me. These Beats Mixrs are a On-Ear type Headphones, meaning they don’t cover up your whole ear, unless you have really small ones but that’s another issue. These look pretty much like what a Metal-Framed, Beats Solo HD would look like. The ear cups flip to a 270-Degree Rotation for DJ’s or if your just a normal dude like me, and doesn’t want to be interrupted while listening to your music. You could just flip one ear cup and continue listening while talking to someone.

But if you’re not into the “flippy-ear cups” thing, there is also another option, which is the Control Talk HD cable, which has an in line microphone and controls to pause,play and skip tracks. The control talk HD works on most Apple Products, allowing you to fully use the Control Talk’s functionality.

Another functionality of the Beats Mixrs are the Twin Jacks on the Headphones. Since one of the Signature functionality of the Beats Headphones are it’s detachable cables for improved durability, The Mixrs provide two Cable ports in the earcups to allow DJ’s for easy input and output. Or if someone wants to listen to what you’re listening, you can Daisy chain the headphones for easy music sharing.

 When you buy a pair of beats, alongside the package contains an impressively Hard Shell Case, which is a major improvement, since i didn’t like the idea with the Beats Solo / Solo HD having a soft case. I mean, where’s the protection in that? If you want a case for your headphones, you could just slid them in your backpack. For me it sort of looses the purpose of being easy to stow away. But with the new Hard Shell Case on the Mixrs, i’m pretty comfy with my headphones when they slip through my hands and falling straight through the ground that they won’t break. The only downside to the new case for me is it’s slippery texture. I can’t grab it effortlessly, meaning i have to exert a little force to the tips of my fingers to prevent it from slipping from my fingers when i try reaching for them.

 Also in the package is a Microfiber clean cloth which is pretty standard for beats products. Another thing in the package are Two Detachable Cables, the first cable, having a 3.5mm Headphone Jacks with Control Talk HD, while the other has a 1/4 inch Adapter for you DJ’s that need to plug your headphones into an Amplifier or Studio Equipment with a coiled part of the cable near the L-Shaped jack.

Beats products have also been known for excellent packaging. But you didnt really buy them for the box right? You bought them for the headphones, and i think for a headphone, they are insanely overpriced. If style and functionality are what make the beats overpriced themselves, then i guess Dr. Dre isn’t being fair. These headphones are bass-biased, meaning some songs or tracks won’t sound good, as the Bass can muffle the vocals. I like how the ear cups flip, as most of the time i’m talking with people and don’t get to enjoy my music well enough, So the flipping ear cups work perfectly fine with me. Also, i would like to add that as with any On-Ear Headphones these things hurt. as in REAL Hurt. they begin to hurt after 2-3 hours of continuous use and it can be quite a pain since i’m wearing glasses, and my ears are pressed too hard on the frames of my glasses, which adds to the pain. So comfort isn’t really something to look forward to with these Headphones, Generally on all of the On-Ear Headphones.

So if you’re a long term audiophile,dj or someone with good taste in music quality who’s in a really tight budget, then go for other cheap alternatives like AKG’s or Bose. They sound equally the same, based on some of the Headphones i’ve tried on Power Macs and other retail stores here in the philippines, but with less functionality. But if you just wanna show off that you have alot of money, and can afford High Quality Style and Performance, go for the Beats. There’s nothing wrong really with buying beats, i think the tension just goes to the people who can’t buy them, and is incredibly thrown at how many people buy beats because they think they know what sound quality is. Well, i’m here to say that not only Beats provide awesome sound quality.