REVIEW: DIGITONIUM BY TURKUAZ

Over the past two weeks I have had the pleasure of listening to Digitonium, the latest album from the Brooklyn funk/soul collective Turkuaz. I had never heard before but now I am fan. Overall Digitonium is playful yet complex record featuring a whopping 24 tracks. Clocking in at seventy nine minutes total run time, it can seem to be bit of a behemoth, though this is not to discourage the average listener, as the songs are very digestable individually. Turkuaz’s Digitonium is a foot taping good time.

As previously stated Digitonium is unmistakably a concept album from cover to cover. Coming in one of my favorite album cases of the past few years. The album plays as if it were the soundtrack to a retro video game with songs that are equal parts infectious and driving in a similar fashion to the soundtracks of Mega Man, Castlevania and that ilk. Particularly I found Murder Face, European festivity nightmare, Digitonium, and King of Computer impossible to at least bob your head to. Songs flow into on another like as if they were to rivers merging, the changes in rhythms can be seamless at time and honestly it can be hard to discern if the song has changed or just switched up its melody. If you have the time, give this thing its seventy nine minutes in one straight run through, you will not regret it, but you will see the records flaws.

This album could use an editor. Not because it is just long, a work should never just be judged by length, unless we are talking about solely commercial success. Rather several of the tracks do not seem complete, well thought out, or even necessary. Mostly these are the smaller tracks that add transitions between songs, they carry no weight and disappointingly add little effect to the album, these small pieces of polish are what a good record to a great record and Digitonium does not do them. This complaint is mainly seen near the end of the album specifically in tracks such as The Time Has Come and Bermuda just leave so much to be desired in both the suspension and overall power, it seems as though they could have been left out and nothing would have been lost or gained. Similarly this problem is glimpsed at just briefly in the track Zynth where there just does not seem to be enough material to warrant its 5 minutes length.

Wholly, Digitonium is a fun album, it is groovy, bouncy, and has had me awkwardly breaking into dance all around campus. As whole it is a good album just could have used a couple more coats of polish. Individually Turkuaz has made some exciting funk songs, and it’s great to see another band giving its hand to an under indulged genre. I am giving this one an uplifting 9/10

The Uruk-Hai by John Howe

Geek Wish List: What the Fantasy Genre Lacks

Minas Tirith, Tower of The Morning by John Howe. The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien's World (MJF Books, 1992)

Minas Tirith, Tower of The Morning by John Howe. The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s World (MJF Books, 1992)

This is Lee Neuschwander on The Geekwave. Here, we only talk nerdgasmic stuff. Sadly, however, some things we simply can’t talk about because of time restrains. When people talk about (G)eek stuff, the longest conversations are best, where people talk about what kind of stuff we hope will happen in our favorite shows, books and video games.

To clarify, I’m talking about the moment you and your friend are debating what epic or dramatic moment will be in the next episode of Walking Dead, or contesting probable time periods in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed.

We all have these wants, maybe even needs, in some cases, for things we think should happen in the (G)eek universe. This blog serves as my “Geek Wish List” if you will, and I hope it inspires one of you to make those ideas a reality. My fingers are seriously crossed.

To start us off, I’m going to talk a bit about one of the better known universes, Peter Jackson’s rendition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. In the first three movies we see the Fellowship travel from the quiet Shire to the high elves of Rivendell, and finally, to the Orc-infested pits of  Mordor.

Along the way we meet humans, elves, dwarves, trolls, orcs, goblins, a Balrog, a Smeagal, spiders, ents, assorted wizards (the Istari), and of course, hobbits young and old. During such films we often learn about cities built and populated by races of legend. In this epic, however, we only see the last of the great eleven strongholds, in its decline. Never do we see a dwarven-city not long past its glory. This is my biggest wish for the Lord of the Rings.

To see a functioning or prosperous redoubt in Lord of the Rings that ISN’T human or hobbit. Something dwarven would be nice because no one has shown dwarfs in their prime. This could possibly be due to a racial predujice against dwarves or perhaps because everyone was so enthralled about the actions of humans and elves that they just forgot about the dwarves living underground. Books and video games shout War of the North and Shadows of Mordor, yet we only see glimpses from of old. Most of the time it’s a flashback.

The Haven of Morionde by Roger Garland. The Lost Road.

The Haven of Morionde by Roger Garland.The Lost Road. Tolkien’s World (MJF Books, 1992)

Turambar and Glorund, The Book of Lost Tales, Volume 2 By John Howe

Turambar and Glorund By John Howe. The Book of Lost Tales, Volume 2. Tolkien’s World. (MJF Books, 1992)

Throal, the Dwarf Kingdom by John Howe

Throal, the Dwarf Kingdom by John Howe. (Throwl – The Dwarf Kingdom An Earthdawn Sourcebook byFasa Corporation).

The best flashbacks show fabled cities with Celebrimbor, the elven-smith who forged the 13 rings of power, in Shadows of Mordor.  We catch glimpses of the great cities, but never for long enough.  I really want to see a game or movie that takes place during or before Sauron plunged Middle-earth into this long dark we hear so much about.

A story about the events leading up to the Great War of the Ring where man and elf fought together would be mind-blowingly epic! Maybe a chapter from The Book of Lost Tales or Tolkien’s Silmarillion. Imagine seeing the most ancient tales rise from legend to HD screen. Imagine. Back when the Great Mines of Moria didn’t reek of goblin, and Lord Elrond still had faith in the hearts of Man. A time when humans were united under a single great King. An Elessar.

I admit the battle shown in Fellowship of the Ring was awesome, but it was just a fight scene as prolog to set-up and explain events in the first film. I also concede that a lot of what happened before the War of the Ring can be found on the Internet. Even there, I still don’t see what the old cities looked like, or elaboration of the small dramas that led to the end.

John How's, The Fall of Gondolin

The Fall of Gondolin by John Howe

Bottom line, I want something that shows us what happened in the glory days of Middle-earth up to the present point in the story. Maybe that’s where I’ll find the awe, majesty, and sheer nerdgasm I experience watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Attack on Weathertop by Carol Emry Phenix

Attack on Weathertop by Carol Emry Phenix. Tolkien’s World (MJF Books, 1992). Weathertop is strategically important to Middle-earth. Elendil the Dúnedain of Arnor, built this watchtower where he installed the most powerful of Arnor’s three Palantíri. (Wikia)

Next week, I jump straight to the good stuff. The other high-budget geek-listed, involving the creative mess that is Star Wars the Old Republic. I delve into lore not covered in the games, like the Battle of Bothawui. And more discussion on choice events that deserve some limelight.

The Geekwave Episode 12: The Game Awards 2015

The Game Awards are almost here. This is one of Solar’s favorite events of the year, the big award ceremony for all members of the Video Game Industry. In this episode, Solar, Logan, and Lee talk about the nominations, argue about the merits of specific games, and try to predict who will win. Tune in to find out more!

Also in this episode, we talk about the new My Little Pony movie, mini-chainsaws, the new James Bond movie Spectre, and Golden KitKats.

For you audiophiles, we know quality is a little lower than usual this week. Our production room is having issues. We apologize, and hopefully it will be better next week.

We hope to see you all on #selfiewithyourturkey day!

D.GLOVE: MY GLASS CEILING

My first run through of D.Glove’s album, My Glass Ceiling definitely captured my attention. But not for the right reasons. This album has a lot of moments that seem like generic reiterations of popular music themes. The issue was lack of lyrical creativity.

In my least favorite chorus, D.Glove repeatedly says, “I just want to go down in history.” Not a bad thing as far as historical impact goes. Even though it is a positive desire his word choice loses creativity points.  Other notables include:

“I’m taking life day-by-day”
“Baby I would never ever go nowhere without you,
“When you’re not around me I always talk about you”
“My sunrise, My sunset, It’s one touch”
“It’s one breath, It’s our life, lets live it together”

This chorus feels slightly more thought out, and I have to give it praise. I would say D.Glove can improve his word choice.

The other major aspect of Hip-hop music, and music in general is the beats/production quality. Overall, D.Glove’s production quality was solidly satisfying. On-track, was number three titled, “Together.” The beat resembles an EDM song you’d hear at a rave. D.Glove combines Hip-hop and EDM by trying rap over the beat. For me, it missed the mark.

I noticed songs 4 and 5 have almost the exact same beat. Once again, I have to dock D.Glove for absence of ingenuity. His beats were all quality, but at times they didn’t mesh with the Rap.  These details didn’t jump out until the third playback, at which point I was hitting skip on almost every track.

D.Glove released his album My Glass Ceiling with the best intentions.  His themes and song concepts are all very positive, but something  miss-fired in the delivery.

It frustrated me to hear D.Glove’s basic and repetitive choruses, knowing he’s better. He gets props for crisp and clean production, but Beat flow and rapping didn’t work. I hear D.Glove’s potential, which is why I look forward to improvement.

Overall I’d give My Glass Ceiling by D.Glove, a stout 4/10

Chronicle On Air w/ Jonny P. and Conversation on Racism

This is a conversation with Elyse Jost, an opinion writer for the Daily Utah Chronicle, and Sydney Duncan, an African American student at the U. Sydney is from Texas. We touch on unique perspectives concerning racism in the South, and in America at-large. The conversation was sparked by Elyse’s article, about the prevalence of racism on Greek Row at schools such as SMU. Very provocative, I hope you all enjoy it!

Generation N.

Today for campus news we cover the Million Student March happening nation wide with commentary for and against it concerning the protest on campus that happened Friday for free tuition and deft forgiveness.

Local news we shared Utah BLM’s master leasing plan dealing with oil fields things that effect the climate.

National food for thought around the news U should know is the refugees coming in to the state from Syria and a raise in concern over terrorist being present in their ranks.

World news we touch on ISIS and how they attacked France and other countries recently, spreading fear, with commentary on how we should respond with more love, even force, and reformation.

“Reciprocity,” Filtering Through the Noise, Part C

Language & Communication (LNCO)Language & Communication (LNCO), lies at the center of the University of Utah campus

Part C

How will connectivity improve thoughtful engagement? What’s the main motivator for social media? Can it improve democratic society?
Texas-born, Avery Holton is a voice for “connectivity” at the U. His award-winning studies recently identified a gap between personal identity and journalistic enterprise. Our conversation picks up at LNCO 2149, where personal identity, relationships, and culture come together around the challenges of social media.

Get that Amazing Idea Out of Your Head

 

Troy D'Ambrosio Executive Director, Lassonde Institute, University of Utah

Troy D’Ambrosio, Executive Director, Lassonde Institute, U of U April 2014

Are you creative, intentional, collaborative? Do you seek outlet for your phenomenal ability and skills before you graduate? 

This conversation is about doing something with your education as you learn. The payoff is all about U.

Innovation is using leftovers to fuel your life with something wildly tasty. Forever. Warming to the topic of innovation culture and “intentional community” at the U, Troy D’Ambrosio lit up like a Christmas tree, as the campus Shuttle squeaked behind us along Ft. Douglas Blvd.

This is the Innovation Ecosystem we live In.
This is Student Innovation in 2015, at the U.