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Zebulebu (Antarctica)

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Code Zero
Code Zero
by Stel Pavlou
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FAO: alexzefrog, 5 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Code Zero (Paperback)
Ummm... look at the cover mate.

"Prosentiert" and "Ullstein" were German last I checked...

The book itself is OK - hackneyed and not a patch on 'Decipher' but still an OK read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 16, 2008 5:26 PM GMT


VMware ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers
VMware ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers
by Edward Haletky
Edition: Paperback
Price: £36.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some good content - but dreadfully presented, 21 Oct. 2008
I agree with the earlier reviewer, who noted that whilst there is some useful information here - some of it at a relatively advanced level, its buried in what I can only describe as the biggest mess of a technical manual I've ever seen.

There appears to have been almost no proof-reading done at all - page after page of spelling mistakes, grammar that makes entire paragraphs look like they were written by a five year old child and information that is very poorly presented all add to the feeling that this book was deliberately rushed out to print.

Compare this with the excellent 'Mastering VMWare Infrastructure 3' by Chris McCain - which is well-written, concise, informative and (most importantly) proof-read before publication!


Spooky
Spooky

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blissed-out, gorgeous early 90s indie, 19 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Spooky (Audio CD)
Lush were leaders of the so-called 'shoegazing' style of indie that was popular in the early 1990s, and this, their debut album, is also their best. Ethereally beautiful, with jangling, sweeping guitars and the high, soft vocals of Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson, 'Spooky' sounds like The Cocteau Twins with more of a pop sensibility.
Some of the tracks on here are simply superb. The jangly pop of 'Nothing Natural', sits fantastically next to the winsome beauty of 'Tiny Smiles', whilst 'For Love' is simply a fantastic pop song. Although equally adept at writing catchy pop songs and blissed-out, drifting pieces, Lush's true genius was undoubtedly in the latter. 'Covert' and 'Ocean' are perfect examples, with their spacey feel and almost whispered vocals.
The only thing that lets the album down somewhat is the production. Robin Guthrie had worked with Lush on their previous EP releases and they decided to stick with him. Unfortunately, he appears to have robbed the band of commercial success, because the thin, reedy production can surely be the only reason Lush never made it big.
However, the music is so superb that it can't stop me giving it five stars. In fact, the highlight of the album 'Untogether' is so great that they could have stuck ten nursery rhymes on the rest of the album and it would still have been worth spending ten quid on.


Absinthe
Absinthe
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £23.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre, yet addictive stuff, 18 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Absinthe (Audio CD)
Fans of Aphex Twin's ambitious 'Selected Ambient Works Vol II' should check this album out if they can track it down. Championed by Mike Patton (whom he has worked with in the past), Naked City are maverick saxophonist John Zorn's 'ambient' project. I use the term 'ambient' very loosely here - most of the music is certainly not what you would call 'relaxing'!
Eschewing any attempts at song structure, rhythm or meter, Zorn and cronies have created a sonic assault on your eardrums quite unlike anything you will have heard before. Some of the tracks are almost noise, whilst others are so sparse as to make you wonder whether there is actually anything going on in them at all.
It isn't easy listening. In fact, at times, its downright difficult. But any fan of experimental music should give it a go. Its definitely a 'mood' album. I have to be in the right mood to listen to it, but when I've had a bad day, I can sometimes stick this on and it really chills me out.
Intrigued? You will be, when you listen to it.


Kid A
Kid A
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.89

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising, 17 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Kid A (Audio CD)
Following the groundbreaking 'OK Computer' was never going to be easy. Perhaps one of the most critically acclaimed records in years, Radiohead's previous album was a true classic. Its impact and influence on rock music will only be fully understood in years to come, but there is no doubt that the hyperbole surrounding it was more than merited.
Nothing in the Radiohead camp is ever simple, and with the recording sessions for Kid A supposedly bringing the band to the point of splitting on more than one occasion it is perhaps somewhat fortuitous that this masterpiece ever saw the light of day. Surely the record company can't have been too happy with it, as the album is perhaps one of the least 'immediate' albums ever released. Largely instrumental in many places, with traditional guitars eschewed in favour of electronic widdling, the album was greeted with a collective 'eh?' by the music press upon release. Many saw this as Radiohead's final release, proof that they had imploded or, as several put it, 'disappeared up their own arses'.
Fans were seemingly undaunted by the 'experimental' nature of the album, however, and bought it in droves. The first week of its release saw it top the US charts, despite receving almost no airplay and precious little promotion. So were these fans right? Is the album a work of genius, or a pile of toss? I put it firmly in the former category, in fact I'd go so far as to say that, in some places, it even outdoes OK Computer in its majesty.
The opening track 'Everything In Its Right Place' sets the tone for the album perfectly, with Thom Yorke's twisted couplet 'Everything in its right place - Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon' wailed over bonkers samples and wildly ululating keyboards. Listeners beware. Despite the esoteric nature of this song, it ranks as one of the more immediate moments on the album. The title track is next, with a bizarre time signature lending the whole song a jazzy feel. Often reduced to nothing more than an electronic drum loop, complemented by a sprinkling of almost childlike keys, the dreaminess of the album really begins here. This is certainly an album you could fall asleep to (and I don't mean that in the sense that its dull!).
'The National Anthem' follows - and those expecting a stirring rendition of 'God Save The Queen' are in for a rude shock. A pounding beat and thumping bassline slowly builds to a crescendo, augmented by Yorke's insane ramblings and accompanied by an increasingly berserk saxophone. If you think this is strange, the ending manages to top it off completely, by letting the sax fade out to be replaced by a ten second sample of 'anthemic' strings. Twisted genius.
One of the highlights of the album is up next, in the shape of 'How To Disappear Completely'. A marvellously understated piece, with the first appearance of 'real' guitars on the album together with shimmering, oceanic sounding strings providing a beautiful backdrop to Thom Yorke's haunting vocals, this is truly a beatiful piece of music and must rank as one of the finest songs Radiohead have ever released. Fans looking for deeper meanings in Yorke's lyrics will have a field day here - 'I'm not here - This isn't happening', he mumbles - trust me, this one will stick in your head forever.
'Treefingers' continues the relaxing theme, with its soft yet somehow menacing keyboards and ambient floatiness. Another highlight. The song most reminiscent of Radiohead's earlier work is plonked slap bang in the middle of the album at track 6. 'Optimistic' is the most 'traditional' rock song, complete with guitars, bass and drums no less! It could have easily come from the sessions for OK Computer, and feels somewhat out of place here in such experimental surroundings. Nevertheless, it remains a great song - and Yorke is once again on fine form - 'You can try the best you can, the best you can is good enough', he tells us. If its as good as this, then it certainly is.
'In Limbo' and 'Idioteque' are real oddities. The former is eerily reminiscent of 'Bishop's Robes' - an earlier B-Side - in its dark, moody feel. A clean guitar arpeggiates over another backdrop of almost organic sounding samples and synthesized strings. Spooky stuff. Plunging headlong into 'Idioteque', the listener is once again reminded of how inventive Radiohead can be. This is Radiohead's first (and only) attempt at techno! Seriously, there is an almost trance-like quality to this song, with its relentless beat, loosely cut together samples and more bonkers ravings from your favourite fruitloop - 'Laugh until my head comes off' being a highlight.
Morning Bell is second to last and the penultimate track serves as a reminder of what Radiohead do best. Melancholy and almost dirge-like in nature, this song is, amazingly, both relaxing AND disturbing. The juxtaposition of the frankly upsetting lyrics - Cut the kids in half is a case in point - and the ethereal beauty of the melody is anothe rmark of genius.
Finally, the last track is arguably the best on the album. 'Motion Picture Soundtrack' might be a strange title, but there is no denying the beauty of the song. Introduced by what sounds uncannily like one of those old orange Bontempi kids' organs, the song rises to an emotional crescendo through the use of a strings, keyboards and a shimmering harp. Adding what sounds like a sampled soprano to the mix before fading out with just the harp, this is an utterly compelling piece of music and a fabulous way to finish the album.
Like the title of the review says, Mesmerising.


Songs For The Deaf
Songs For The Deaf
Price: £3.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best rock album of 2002, 17 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Songs For The Deaf (Audio CD)
Queens Of The Stone Age are a strange band. Sprung from the ashes of the mighty Kyuss, their first album was a superb cocktail of seventies-influenced psychedelic metal, with track after track of hook-laden riffs and choruses providing a refreshing alternative to the already stagnant Nu-metal scene so prevalent at the time of its release.
Their second album, however, was something of a disappointment, with half the album arguably as good as the first but the other half frankly too weird for its own good. It seemed that the majority of songs where Nick Olivieri sung were simply exercises in bog-standard hardcore or bizarre arty noise (a trumpet was even heard on one of the songs fer chrissakes!)
Thankfully, 'Songs For the Deaf' marks a return to form for the band. With Dave Grohl providing drums and former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan guesting on vocals on a few of the tracks, QOTSA have come up with the perfect album for the summer. 'No One Knows', 'Go With The Flow' and 'First it Giveth' are the catchiest tunes you will hear all year, and Lanegan's whisky-soured vocals complement 'The Sky Is Fallin' and 'Hangin' Tree' perfectly.
Of course, the ubiquitous stupid 'oddities' that were present on the last album are still here, but thankfully they have been marginalised to the idiotic electronic noodlings of the 'hidden' track - apparently called 'The REAL Song For The Deaf' - which can be found by rewinding the album past its apparent starting point, and 'Six Shooter', which is, quite frankly, crap. 'Mosquito Song' would be included in the 'pants' file if it weren't for the fact that it's actually quite good.
Aside from those follies, this album is superb. Queens have seen fit to introduce half of the songs using parodies of popular US radio DJs and this works extremely well. KLON ('LA's infinite repeat') and KRDL ('We spoil music for everyone') are actually quite funny little snippets (although they can get irritating if you're just waiting for the damn song to start) and the Mexican DJ introducing 'First It Giveth' is seriously funny.
Anyway, enough warbling - go buy it! I guarantee you won't be disappointed.


Ready To Die
Ready To Die

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, with a few super tracks but ultimately a mixed bag, 17 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Ready To Die (Audio CD)
Biggie Smalls' feud with Tupac (which eventually wound up with them both dead) somewhat overshadowed the fact that his first album was a rough gem. Upon release, heads were divided over whether the album was a classic, or simply an updated version of the posturing of 80's MCs like Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane. The truth is somewhere in between, with some truly classic cuts interspersed by some crap ones and a healthy dose of misogny, violence and drug references thrown in for good measure.
The best tracks on the album are slickly produced, contain superbly greasy samples and Biggie's distinctive lazy, menacing rhymes. The worst sound cobbled together, and contain too much postring to be taken seriously. When it works, the album is mesmerising. 'Gimme The Loot' and 'Juicy' are both anthems and 'Machine Gun Funk' is superb, with its catchy guitar lick sample and booming chorus.
The basslines on the best songs are rumbling monsters, felt rather than heard (like the best basslines hould be), and the crisp, clean production on tracks like 'Everyday Struggle' make them ideal summer boombox tunes.
However, there is a downside to the album, namely the often ridiculous cartoonish lyrics. East Coast rap was in a transition phase when this came out, moving between the politically conscious era of Public Enemy to a more gangsta style favoured by the dominant West Coast G-Funk scene. When pulled off, this was superb (witness Nas' superlative 'Illmatic' debut) but Biggie only half manages it here.
Worth having in your collection.


BLACK SEEDS OF VENGEANCE
BLACK SEEDS OF VENGEANCE
Price: £8.65

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 17 Sept. 2003
Words fail me. I've never been as impressed with a death metal album as I have been with this one. From blastbeats to slow, groove-oriented riffs and encompassing everything in between, this is an absolute monster of an album.
I've been impressed with Nile's other stuff in the past but nothing really prepared me for how out and out evil this sounds. Of course, this is precisely the sound that Nile should be aiming for (being a death metal band!), but what really sets them apart from much of their ilk is the lyrical content. There isn't an unhealthy fixation on satanism, no silly imagery and none of the cartoon gore-splattered lyrics so beloved of past death metal bands.
Instead, we get a lesson in archaeology, with much of Nile's lyrics about ancient Egypt and the pantheon of deities associated with that civilisation. Indeed, as well as the lyrics, the music is often eerily reminiscent of Egyptian melodies. There are gongs, tibetan horns, chants and Aeolian scale solos scattered all over this album, which is probably what makes it sound so fresh.
The musicianship on the album is outstanding. Apparently it took eight months to record - listening to it, you can see why! Time changes aplenty make it an effort to listen to straight through at first, but once you've gotten used to it, the album just seems to blow past in a furious aural assault. The vocals are gravel-throated in the extreme, but manage to not sound cheesy in the process, and the production is fantastic.
Standout tracks for me would be 'The Black Flame' - with a deathly slow intro reminiscent of very early Cathedral, followed by a tearing riff which gives way again to a slow, doomy passage filled with percussion that literally sounds like its been recorded in a tomb. This track segues into 'Libation Unto The Shades Who Lurk In the Shadows' - a spooky, short acoustic piece with some extremely spooky vocals - which serves to set the mood perfectly for the rest of the album.
If I have one complaint to make, its the ridiculously long track titles. Half of the time spent writing this review was getting the spelling of them right! Still, thats a small price to pay for such a fantastic album. Along with Hate Eternal's 'King Of All Kings', this is the best straight ahead death metal album for five years. No kidding.


Let No One Live Rent
Let No One Live Rent
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £5.73

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed, but in places brilliant, 17 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Let No One Live Rent (Audio CD)
One-time collaborator of Massive Attack (most memorably on the superb 'Sly' from the 'Protection' album), this is Nicolette's debut solo album, released in 1996. Something of a mixed bag, with some great tracks, but a few clunky ones, and a couple of bog-standard fillers, this album nevertheless merits checking out, if only for the superb 'Don't Be Afraid', 'We'll Never Know' and 'No Government'. These three tracks alone are worthy of spending the dough to track this down.
Listeners expecting the relatively easy ride of Massive Attack are in for a shock - whilst there are some pretty chilled-out tracks, the majority of the album is quirky, bass heavy and very, very uncommercial. Nicolette's unique, breathy vocal are similar to some of the old jazz chanteuses she so obviosuly admires (especially Billie Holiday), but the music is far from jazz. If a parallel can be drawn it is with 'Post' and 'Homogenic' era Bjork, the eclectic nature of some of the songs here rivals the more bonkers moments on those two records.
Of t he aforementioned highlights, 'No Government' had the potential to be a massive single, but somehow flopped. The eerie, dischordant intro is quickly replaced by a mahoosive stomping bass and a diatribe about modern politics which wouldn't sound out of place on a Billy Bragg album.
Of the other two, Don't Be Afraid' is a superb opener - Equivalent to 'Kid A' era Radiohead with its electronic buffoonery and menacing vocals, whilst 'We'll Never Know' is a well-crafted bit of agit-pop with some percussion production that sounds similar to Plaid's best work.
However, the album is not without its faults. Some of the tracks are sparse in the extreme and appear to be little more than attempts to pad the album out. This is foolish, because it ends up turning what could be a classic into simply a very good album.


Origin Of Symmetry
Origin Of Symmetry
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £4.06

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of monumental significance, 17 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Origin Of Symmetry (Audio CD)
Dismissed, somehwat bizarrely, as Radiohead clones on the release of their debut album, Muse's sophomore effort is a monumental piece of work. THose Radiohead comparisons (made universally by the music press after the release of 'Muscle Museum' as a single - even though it sounds nothing like Radiohead really) are truly banished by the immense intro riff to 'New Born'. If Radiohead wrote anything like this their record company would throw a fit.
The whole album veers back and forth between the angular, heavy riffage of the aforementioned 'New Born', 'Micro Cuts' and 'Hyper Music' and the breathtaking emo-metal of 'Bliss', 'Plug In Baby' and 'Darkshines'. There's even a superb cover of the old Nina Simone standard 'Feeling Good'.
Despite being immediately accessible, 'Origin Of Symmetry' has pulled off the neat trick of remaining one of my favourite albums two years after its release. Part of this is due to two incredible tracks: 'Citizen Erased' and 'Megalomania'.
The latter track is a bizzare cross between Queen's 'Who Wants To Live Forever' and Faith No More's 'Jizzlobber' - Huge organ riffs looming huge in the background throughout as Bellamy screams over the top (figuratively and literally speaking) 'Paradise Comes At A Price'. I know, written down it sounds terrible but I swear when you listen to it it's fantastic.
Even better is 'Citizen Erased'. It starts off with a mammoth riff, downtuned to B with the guitars seemingly played through a bass amp. Honestly, I have some pretty diverse music tastes, but I have to admit that even I was blown away by the heaviness of the riff. A fantastic, catchy chorus gives way to a magnificently OTT guitar solo before the piece de resistance - a two minute outro which is possibly the most beautiful piece of music ever written.
Matt Bellamy's singing can take a little getting used to - Jeff Buckley is an obvious reference point - and the guitar riffs are often eerily reminiscent of early Rage Against The Machine, but as neither of these would be considered particularly bad influences by any sane person it isn't that much of a problem.
Well worth a listen!


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