Music of 2008.

End of the year, let's summarize how the electronic music scene looked like in 2008? Generally there was a lot of talk about how the "synth" genre is dead, no-one innovates and so on. Well, I for one tend to disagree, there was a lot of really interesting releases this year, as you can see below.

5. Negative Format - Gradients

Negative Format returns with yet another release that is both trance, EBM and dreamy sound scapes. The track Hues of Grey is probably one of the best tracks NF ever did. Looking forward to even more tracks from NF in the future.

4. Ayria - Hearts for Bullets

Ayria or Jennifer Parker released a very very good record 2008. She describes her music as "Tit-zerEbb" style, greasy bass-lines, great hooks and hard beats. Together with Jennifer's voice this makes for a very very pleasant musical journey. Best tracks include "Girl on the Floor" and "Invincible".

3. Informatik - Beyond

This release really came as a surprise for me, I have heard Informatik before but I have never really gotten into their music. Beyond on the other hand really blew me away! Catchy synth-pop tunes with a powerful voice and awesome hooks. Listen to the tracks "Nothing Greater" and "Don't be Afraid" and be amazed!

2. Standeg - Ultra High Tech Violet

Another surprise! By mid 2008 Standeg released a free digital EP called "Rushing Pictures", after listening to this EP day out and day in they finally released "Ultra High Tech Violet". This is innovative release mixing trance sounds, intriguing melodies and very fine details. This is one of those releases where the more you listen to it, the more details you notice. The music is like a futuristic sound track for a sci/fi future. Best tracks are "25 hours", "Homes & Gardens 3.0" and "Image in motion". Haven't you bought it yet?

1. KieTheVez - Non-Binary

I have been talking about innovations and complex music for a futuristic world. But sometimes plain old beautiful will just work! KieTheVez is a Swedish synth-pop band from Gothenburg, they released a couple of records during the 90ies but have been silent for 11 years before they released "Non-Binary". This is pure synth-pop bliss! Haunting, beautiful and with great sing-along values. This might not be innovating or complex, but it's still great and it tops my last.fm list for the year! Smash hit is "One world for the next" but the disc is filled with awesome tracks.

Worth to mention as well is that the best gig of the year was Interlace at electriXmas, they have just released two new songs "istatue" and "nemesis" that can be found at their myspace page. If the new material will be anything like these two songs then it's going to be one of the strongest releases they ever made.

This years disappointment is Imperative Reaction's "Minus All" which is pretty dull record compared to the rest of their material. To bad, they used to be one of my top groups.

Now I am looking forward to 2009 with up-coming releases by Interlace, Combichrist, Depeche Mode, In Strict Confidence and hopefully a new Headscan release.


Long overdue post

2008 was a crazy year...

This is the reason I haven't been posting stuff to my blog that often. I really hope that I can get back into it during 2009. So much of my creativity was lost into my day job, so much of the fun was stripped away. This is why I have resigned from my post at Procera Networks.

From the 12th of January I will start my new job at Purple Scout. I have been hired to structure their newly founded development group, to create processes and infrastructure for in-house development projects.

Purple Scout is a workplace where I think I can find my creativity again. Hopefully this will mark my return to open source and XMMS2, which I miss so much. In light of my new position I will also try to blog a bit more about driving a development team and development processes which has been inspired by both GTD and my work with the XMMS2 community.

Also watch out for more blog posts about this years best music and books later on.


Slow summer? We NEED you!

As you all know XMMS2 was accepted for Summer of Code even this year. We are always very excited about SoC since it really brings a lot to us and the student.

The application process is OPEN now and it will end the 31th of April. Please have a look at our proposed projects page and submit some awesome projects to us!


FOSDEM presentation video

If you haven't got enough of XMMS2 and FOSDEM you can see a video of me doing the speech here: http://exodus.xmms.se/podcasts/FOSDEM2008-xmms2.ogg.


FOSDEM presentation

I am back from FOSDEM. It was a great experience and it was fun to finally meet everyone that was in place from XMMS2. I would also like to thank Google for the money we have received from Summer of Code, we spent them well on hotel, meat and beer. :-)

My presentation is posted in video cast format over the new XMMS2 Mediacast blog. I will try to make a post to that blog at least once a month with audio or video casts. If you have any ideas on what to cast please post it in my comments below.

When doing all this I also switched to feedburner on all my blogs including XMMS2 News, so if that gives you any problem, please tell me.

Now if you only could reclaim lost sleep :-)


Some pictures from FOSDEM

Above you see Auke, me, tilman and anders in some discussions about S4 and friends.

And above a here you see rafl, wose, theefer and nesciens listening to ramblings.

Nice tshirts for everyone!

This is me on stage, doing my thing.

From left to right starting at the top: me, theefer, anders, auke, wose, rafl, walluint
From left to right starting on the second row: nano, tilman, nesciens


First day at FOSDEM


I am at the FOSDEM now together with 9 other XMMS2 devels and a lot of other people. In place here we have: Me, Daniel "nano" Svensson, Anders "anders" Waldenborg, Tilman "tilman" Saurbeck, Sebastien "theefer" Cevey, Florian "rafl" Ragwitz, Erik "nesciens" Massop, Auke "auke" Schrijnen, Sebastian "wose" Woetzel and Sebastian "wallunit" Noack.

Yesterday was the beer event at Delirium Cafe in the center of Brussels. It was very fun and most of us got a bit too drunk :-) Before this we had the time to talk about some XMMS2 issues and status in the hotel lobby. This was our conclusions:
  • Next version DrLecter will contain: airplay, visulizations and we will try to get TEST1 out this weekend.
  • Next version will not contain: result/value split, service clients, xmms_value_t unification or a cool GUI
  • Version DrM? will contain the above changes and will break the client API pretty bad.
  • Lengthy discussion about S4 and GenIPC also occured.
I will blog about each change a bit more in depth later. I will also try to be more communicative with our public from this point on. I will try to resurrect our news letter and publish more posts about improvments in XMMS2. I encourage you all to the same.

So far the trip here has been very very productive and it's fun to meet everyone that you talk with on a daily basis.


Leaving for FOSDEM

I am leaving for FOSDEM now. See you all there :-)


Less than a week with the Air

I got my Macbook Air last Friday and now I have had some time to migrate and use it in my everyday work, so let's cut to the chase: This was the laptop I was waiting for! This might not be the laptop you are waiting for, but for me it's perfect. It's thin (you've got to see and feel it for yourself before you understand), light and don't have a lot of unnecessary ports and things I don't use (like DVD and firewire).

I switched from a 1:th gen Blackbook to this new gadget, and performance wise I don't feel a big difference, a full compile of the xmms2 tree with c++ bindings takes around 2 minutes when using both cores, this is not very long time. I haven't noticed the slow harddrive (no I didn't go for the SSD version) that much yet, only when Mail.app decides to write a lot of changes to disk (try to remove a whole folder sometime). When compiling Qt it got a bit hot at the left corner and the fan's where running but otherwise it has been very quiet and cool.

The lack of a Etherenet port is just a small inconvience, I use the Ethernet port at two different customers, that's all. Rest of the time I am wireless with wlan or 3g via my phone (why do people cry about no-built in 3g, the phone via bluetooth works just fine!).

Keyboard, screen and trackpad are fantastic, feels like working with a big laptop and you never feel confined to something that doesn't really fit you. I had the chance to try it on the Airplane the other day, while it still have a big footprint (because of the 13.3" screen) it's really a lot easier to handle, it fits into the pocket infront of you and it doesn't feel clumpsy to have in your knee (like the blackbook did).

I think Apple had me in mind when creating this laptop. A thin, light OSX laptop that is designed to bring everywhere.

Oh, and I will use it as my only computer (of course storing and stuff like that takes place on my mac mini at home), I don't have the need for something with more power or storage, I just need to bring it all the time.

Update: Something I don't like is that the battery is not user replaceable, it's a shame. But I guess the laptop wouldn't have been this sweet with it. I hope the figure something out for later revs of it though.


FOSDEM presentation

Just finished my presentation for FOSDEM. I am going to treat you all to something a bit different this time so I hope that you all will show up! For all of you that can't show up for the presentation I will post my slides online later, I am not sure how much sense they will make without my sweet voice though :)

Getting pretty hyped for the whole FOSDEM thing now. Hope to meet a lot of interesting people and that we'll gain some traction for XMMS2.

Oh, and this is all written on my MacBook Air btw, I will post a review of it later.



I am going to my first FOSDEM this year. I am not that excited about the tracks given this year, but I am looking forward to meet a couple of XMMS2 developers. So far it seems that we are going to be 8 regulars at the FOSDEM conference. We are living at the NH Atlanta downtown. Keep in touch if you want to grab a beer with the XMMS2 guys (or even buy us a beer :-)).

Hope I will get my Macbook before I am leaving :-)

My take on Macbook Air

To each it's own. I have been holding of upgrading my current laptop to see what Jobs pulled out of his hat at the conference. I love my Blackbook with just one exception, it's a bit heavy and bulky. Since I have around 180-200 travel days a year I have long craved something smaller that still runs MacOS X.

Enter the Macbook Air. Reading peoples comments on this new laptop it seems that more people are disappointed than people who are happy about it. I just think that people are expecting wierd things. A small laptop like the Macbook Air are not for everyone. It's not a powerhouse, it will not have the latest features in terms of innovation, it's innovation will be that they have managed to fit all that silicon into a small case.

Jobs where talking about compromises, he said that all the other companies that makes subnotebooks make compromises with the screen, keyboard and size. Apple also had to compromise to get it that thin. The compromises was: non-user replaceable battery, no ethernet jack (and no firewire, mini-dvi) and just one USB 2.0. When you are buying a subnotebook you compromise yourself to get the small form factor and the light weight.

I think the Macbook Air will fit me perfectly, I don't have a problem with using a ethernet dongle, I only use ethernet when I am at customers that doesn't have wifi (which of them I know two :-)) so that won't be a big problem. The non-user-replaceable battery on the other hand is a downside that I don't like but I can live with.

I am biased, I like Apple products, but I think that in this case people are expecting something else than they got. If you don't like the small size, the underpowered cpu or the lack of connectors, go for a macbook or a macbook pro, they will make you happy.

Now if I just could get that approval :-)