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OMG! It's got a plug! (Winchester)

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Electronic Sound Patterns (Remastered)
Electronic Sound Patterns (Remastered)
Price: 6.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Electronic Sound Patterns from BBC Radiophonic Workshop co-founder, 3 Mar 2013
Although not as well known or as revered as Delia Derbyshire, Daphne Oram was an unlikely looking pioneer of electronic sound and music. In 1958 she co-founded the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and was its first studio manager but left shortly after to open her Oramics Studios for Electronic Composition. Here she developed the Oramics, a drawn-sound prototype synthesizer that, along with the use of multi-track tapes, was used to create the music found on this EP.

Originally released in 1962 as part of Vera Gray's Listen, Move and Dance - a series of (now much sought after) recordings designed to be used in school children's lessons to stimulate the imagination in art and craft and creative pursuits - the music here sounds, some 50 years after its initial release, somewhat primitive and it's the sort of thing that could be produced quite easily nowadays using an iPad. However, in 1962 it was considered, along with other electronic recordings of the era, to be ground-breaking.

If you're familiar with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop sound then you'll have a good idea of what to expect from this EP - weird, textured electronic sound patterns and progressions that probably sound quite spooky if listened to in the dark. 3 stars and worthy of investigation.

Deutsche Elektronische Musik 2: Experimental German Rock and Electronic Musik 1971-83
Deutsche Elektronische Musik 2: Experimental German Rock and Electronic Musik 1971-83
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 14.89

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deutsche Kosmische Musik 1971-83, 26 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Three years after the first installment, Soul Jazz Records return with a second volume of Deutsche Electronische Musik. A two disc set featuring 27 tracks, it clocks in at a generous 2 hours and it's even better than its predecessor. Much like Volume 1, Kraftwerk don't get a look in (probably something to do with licensing rights) but, when the music is this good, it doesn't really matter. Most of the leading lights - Amon Duul II, NEU!, Faust and Can - are represented but there are plenty of lesser known artists to be heard too.

Comprising of electronic and progressive sounds with elements of psychedelia, this is both experimental and forward thinking music that occasionally incorporates aspects of various musical strands that were emanating from around the globe during the same period. Synths and keyboards underpin much of the music but there's a fair amount of first rate heavy rock too and even some folk. Mind blowing percussion, guitar freakouts and the relentless repetition often associated with Krautrock - it's all here.

It's very difficult to select highlights from a collection this strong. Agitation Free's 'You Play For Us Today' is a trippy tension builder with hypnotic guitar and the percussion on Can's 'Halleluwah' (albeit a heavily edited version) still takes the breath away. Featuring lush female vocals, Broselmaschine's folkish 'Nossa Bova' does have, as evidenced by the wordplay of the song title, a Brazilian vibe. 'China' by Electric Sandwich is an eight minute mind-bender with tribal beats and phased guitars. The abrasive and appropriately titled 'Krautrock' by Faust closes the album and ultimately sums-up the whole scene and sound in less than 12 minutes.

Regardless of whether you're a connoisseur of Deutsche Kosmische Musik or just interested in experiencing something different, this compilation deserves a place in your collection. Featuring a sumptuous 48 page booklet with extensive notes and archive photos that's housed alongside the CD jewel case inside a cardboard slipcase, this is sure to feature near the top of most end of year charts.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 13, 2013 5:41 PM GMT

The Awakening
The Awakening
Price: 38.09

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giallo Progressive Rock, 10 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Awakening (Audio CD)
Consisting of four horror soundtracks and two studio albums ('Roller' & 'Il Fantastico Viaggio del Bagarozzo Mark') on six CDs with a playing time of 5 hours and 20 minutes, this is a superb box set of the work of Italian prog rockers Goblin. 52 of the 99 tracks are bonuses although most of them have appeared at some time or other on the various individual reissues of these albums.

Progressive rock with elements of jazz and synthetic funk, the synthesizers, keyboards and pulsing bass, underpinned by solid percussion, are, unsurprisingly, to the fore more often than not. Although the overall sound of much of the music is firmly rooted in the 70s, it retains a timeless appeal except for 'Tenebre' that, as good as it is, will always be stuck in 1982. When removed from the visuals of the films, the soundtracks work perfectly as standalone albums but the highlight here is the studio album 'Roller'.

The CDs are housed inside replica mini LP sleeves and presented in a sturdy cardboard box alongside a brief booklet.

Disc 1: Profondo Rosso (1975) - 77:43 (27 bonus tracks)
Disc 2: Roller (1976) - 41:00 (2 bonus tracks)
Disc 3: Suspiria (1977) - 45:55 (5 bonus tracks)
Disc 4: Il Fantastico Viaggio del Bagarozzo Mark (1978) - 40:33 (1 bonus track)
Disc 5: Zombi (a.k.a. Dawn of the Dead) (1978) - 52:15 (7 bonus tracks)
Disc 6: Tenebre (1982) - 62:34 (10 bonus tracks)

Noise Art
Noise Art
Offered by positivenoise
Price: 9.35

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Extreme Art Noise, 31 Jan 2013
This review is from: Noise Art (Audio CD)
Featuring 16 home recordings made by underground film maker, painter, sculptor and poet Jeff Keen between 1975 and 1995, Art Noise is an appropriate name for this collection because there's not a single melody to be heard and, in the most part, it's a difficult listen. A very difficult listen if the truth be told and definitely not recommended for listeners of a nervous disposition.

Made up of spliced DIY recordings taken from television, film, radio, the local environment and using an EDP Wasp synthesiser, an Atari, a ZX Spectrum and probably the kitchen sink, this is experimental noise in the extreme sense and it makes the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's output sound tame in comparison.

Manipulated industrial noises, machinery, distorted spoken word, layers of primitive electronic sound - it's a Kaleidoscope of abrasive and surreal noise that's almost impossible to listen to at times. Nonetheless, this will come as no surprise to collectors of Jonny Trunk's label's output. Clocking in at 39 minutes and produced with the assistance of Keen's daughter, it comes with an extensive booklet featuring artwork by Keen and two very well written short essays.

AVG Internet Security 2013 and TuneUp Utilities 2013 - 4 User 1 year License(PC)
AVG Internet Security 2013 and TuneUp Utilities 2013 - 4 User 1 year License(PC)
Price: 37.44

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars AVG Internet Security: 3 Stars / TuneUp Utilities: 4 Stars, 25 Jan 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
**AVG Internet Security 2013**

I installed AVG Internet Security 2013 on a laptop running Windows 7 with AVG 2012 already installed and the installation was very straightforward. I did a custom installation and opted NOT to install email protection (I use Yahoo! web based email and they provide the necessary security) or the AVG firewall - the Windows firewall is more than adequate.

There is one very annoying aspect to the installation. You have to uncheck three boxes where AVG offer to be your default search provider, set AVG secure search as your homepage and install a pointless browser security toolbar. It's quite ironic that Internet security software should attempt to hijack your browser...

The layout is OK and appears to mimic Windows 8. There are five tabs - Computer, Web Browsing, Identity, Emails & Firewall - that show the status of the ones you have installed and if everything is running OK they're clearly marked as 'Protected'. There''s also a Scan tab, a Speed Test tab and four further tabs - that I object to being on a paid for anti-virus package - where AVG try to flog you more of their software.

Going into the Options drop down menu (I'm not sure why it not one of the tabs), you can setup AVG to carry out scheduled scans, decide when it should update (I've set it to update every 15 minutes), select what action it should take when finding a virus, scan individual files and folders, select what notifications you want to appear in your Windows Taskbar, etc. It's all very comprehensive.

When running a scans it works away quietly in the background. There are four scan speed settings with the lowest using less RAM if you're working on your PC. It'll depend on how much data you have on your PC but it manages to scan mine in under 1 hour.

AVG Internet Security 2013 appears to be a decent anti-virus package but time will tell. A couple of years ago AVG 2011 let a Trojan get onto my laptop and it only discovered it during a scheduled scan. It was able to quarantine it but not delete it and I had to use the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to delete it.

***Update: Despite declining their offer to set AVG as my default search provider, set AVG secure search as my homepage and install the AVG browser security toolbar when installing AVG Internet Security, a week after installation I received a pop-up offering the options again. Totally unacceptable and I now rate this 3 Stars***

**TuneUp Utilities 2013**

There's plenty of free utility software available but TuneUp Utilities carries out all the functions under one roof and, with TuneUp 1-Click Maintenance, one click of your mouse. It digs deep into the workings of Windows and you can tailor it to your requirements. If you regularly maintain your PC you might not notice too much difference but if you don't you should notice improvements in boot-up and shutdown times and the overall speed of your PC. It can optimize your PC, clean it, fix problems and you can also use it to customize Windows.

The menu layout is a little confusing and could be better but once you get used to it, it's quite easy to use and what certain functions will do is clearly explained. Any task that it carries out can be undone if you find that it negatively affects your PC's performance.

The best feature is TuneUp 1-Click Maintenance where with a single mouse click you can enable it carry out any or all of the following and clear out all the junk that accumulates on your PC:

- Clean the registry
- Defragment the registry
- Remove broken shortcuts
- Clean up Windows and programs
- Clean up browser(s)
- Optimize System startup & shutdown
- Defragment the hard drive

I regularly use free utility programs to maintain my PC but TuneUp Utilities 2013 is still well worth investing in. It's reduced the time it takes for my PC to startup and shutdown and it's so much easier to maintain with one program. Provided you take the time to understand the sometimes confusing array of tabs and menus and what certain functions will do, you should definitely notice an improvement in the overall performance of your PC.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 1, 2013 10:46 PM GMT

iGadgitz Black Genuine Leather Pouch Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy S Wifi 4.0 8GB MP4 Player (YP-G1CW/XEF)
iGadgitz Black Genuine Leather Pouch Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy S Wifi 4.0 8GB MP4 Player (YP-G1CW/XEF)
Offered by iGadgitz
Price: 5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A basic, cheap and effective case, 16 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For the price, this is a really decent case for the Samsung Galaxy S MP3 Player. Once the device is inside it you have you have no access to it except the headphone socket and the charging point, but it's ideal for protecting it whilst listening to music on the go or when it's not in use. The device fits snuggly inside it and is protected by soft padded lining material. It also has a neat release strap. There are other much more expensive cases available which allow you full functional control of the device but if you're after a basic case, you won't go wrong with this.

Philips Jamie Oliver 650w Hand blender HR1680/01 Metal Bar Chopper with 3 Accessories
Philips Jamie Oliver 650w Hand blender HR1680/01 Metal Bar Chopper with 3 Accessories
Price: 29.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More than adequate except for the chopping bowl, 15 Jan 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a well made kitchen appliance with the handle, which houses the motor, feeling weighty and solid. Comprising of blending, chopping & whisking components, a chopping bowl and a whisking beaker it does what it's supposed to do and does it well. However, compared to my last blender the chopping bowl is tiny. For example, if you want to make a guacamole you could fit the avocado inside the bowl but nothing else. It's described as a 'compact chopper accessory' and the blades are very sharp and it does chop well but given the price tag of this appliance, I'd have expected something more substantial.

It has two speed settings - fast or very fast... All of the inter-changeable parts are easy to change and clean. The whisking beaker is large and deep and has a sealable lid (a nice touch if prepping food). The blender is effective and is perfect for soups and produces a smooth and evenly blended purée with ease. Being hand held you can use it directly in the saucepan or pot.

In summary this is a very good multi-purpose kitchen appliance let down by an inadequate chopping bowl. If you don't need a large chopping bowl then it should fulfil your needs but, if the truth be told, I think it's over-priced and I suspect that you're paying an extra 20 for the endorsement and photograph of Jamie Oliver on the box. 3 stars.

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Upgrade Edition for XP or Vista users (PC DVD), 1 User
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Upgrade Edition for XP or Vista users (PC DVD), 1 User
Offered by Kryonet
Price: 179.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Windows Simplified, 15 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I installed this on a laptop running Vista to give it a new lease of life. I was tempted to do a clean install but decided on the upgrade option instead. If you're upgrading from XP you'll have to perform a clean install. For safety purposes (you can never be too sure with Microsoft!) I removed all my files to an external hard drive prior to the upgrade. The upgrade was very straight forward and it took about 4 hours (with a few re-starts in-between) to complete.

I did initially have a problem after I'd installed it - I kept getting a Windows Update prompt to install the same five security updates for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 every time I switched on my laptop. Eventually I un-installed Microsoft .NET Framework 4, re-installed it and everything has been OK since.

My laptop isn't running that much faster but Windows 7 is so much easier to navigate and work with and all of my software - Firefox, MediaMonkey, MS Office 2007, VLC, etc. works just fine with it. You should consider defragmenting you drive after installation - mine was a complete mess.

This is, by some distance, the best version of Windows that I've used and I wholeheartedly recommend it to users of XP or Vista.

System Requirements (as stated on the box):

1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor.
1 GB RAM (32-bit) / 2 GB RAM (64-bit).
16 GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20 GB (64-bit).
DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver.

Before installation commences, an automated scan of your PC is conducted to check that it meets the requirements.

Samsung Galaxy S 8GB Wi-Fi MP3 Player with 4.2 inch Display - White (discontinued by manufacturer)
Samsung Galaxy S 8GB Wi-Fi MP3 Player with 4.2 inch Display - White (discontinued by manufacturer)

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent multi-functional bargain, 27 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For the price this device is being offered for at the time of writing this review, it represents excellent value. Although advertised as 8GB it's comes fitted with an 8GB micro SD card (therefore, 16GB capacity on board) and apart from telephone facilities, it more or less provides all the features offered by a Samsung smartphone - MP3 player, Internet, Android Apps, camera, GPS, voice recorder, FM Radio, etc.

It's fairly intuitive to use, connected with no problems to my wireless network and works with my Bluetooth headphones and speaker. The screen is big enough to watch BBC iPlayer videos and the built-in speaker is OK, but you really do need to hook it up to a speaker or headphones to experience decent sound quality (the headphones that it comes with are not that bad). Files can be transferred using Samsung's Kies software or alternatively you can just drag and drop files in Windows. I found Kies to be very buggy and find it far easier to drag and drop files - when you connect it to your PC both the device and memory card are displayed in Windows. I've fitted a 32GB micro SD card (15 from Amazon) and extended it's capacity to an impressive 40GB.

On the downside, it's running a 2 year old version of Android and it comes with some useless pre-installed games and other apps that can only be uninstalled by rooting the device. Another negative is that you need to have your headphones plugged-in to listen to the FM Radio. Nonetheless, if you want an all singing and dancing pocket-sized device minus the telephone features, look no further - this is an excellent multi-functional gadget and a bargain too.

Battery life:

Playing MP3 files ripped at 320kbps, using wired headphones with the screen display turned off I'm getting a very impressive 19-20 hours with the volume at level 23 (it goes up to 30). When playing MP3 files and using apps and the internet etc. the battery life lasts for 5-6 hours.

***Update: I've been using this device for over a month now and it's quite noticeable that its Internet speed is slower than that of my iPad and Windows laptop when connected to the same BT Infinity Wi-fi network***
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2013 12:39 PM GMT

Braven 650  Aluminium Wireless Portable Speaker for Smart phones, Tablets, Silver (discontinued by manufacturer)
Braven 650 Aluminium Wireless Portable Speaker for Smart phones, Tablets, Silver (discontinued by manufacturer)

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding sound and more than just a speaker, 21 Dec 2012
They say that the best things come in small packages and it most definitely applies to the Braven 650. Measuring 15.9cm x 6.4cm x 4.5cm and weighing 370g it's not only a wireless speaker, it's also a phone charger and can be used for hands-free voice and video calls.

Made from aircraft grade aluminium with a silver/grey finish, it's stylish, unobtrusive and very portable. But the real attraction of the Braven 650 is the quality of the sound it delivers. In a word, it's OUTSTANDING. The sound created is huge for such a small speaker and it really does fill the room. It's well-balanced, clear & spacious and best of all, the bass is rich and detailed (which is not always the case with portable speakers). Turn the volume right up and it copes with ease. Granted it's expensive, but hearing is believing and it's easy to see (hear) why it attracts a premium price tag. It's the next best thing to hooking up to an amplifier and speakers set-up.

It simple to setup - both my iPad and laptop found it immediately and paired within seconds. If your device isn't Bluetooth compatible, you can still connect using the included 3.5mm audio cable. I have no use for the hands-free mobile phone and video calls function, but you can set it up so that when receiving an incoming call you can switch to hands-free by simply pressing the phone button. You can also charge your mobile phone from it using the USB socket, although it's not powerful enough to charge my iPad.

The Bluetooth range appears to be very good - it worked upstairs and in the garden and you can easily carry it between rooms. It has two buttons to turn the volume up or down and press them for three seconds and you can skip forwards or backwards between tracks. The literature states that the battery life lasts an impressive 20 hours, but I suppose it depends on the volume you have it at - I normally get about 15-16 hours on a full charge. You can tell when the battery is on the way - it starts beeping a warning sound every few minutes until eventually the reception starts dropping out.

There is the option to daisy-chain it with more Braven speakers but a single speaker is more than enough given the quality of the sound. It doesn't come with an instruction manual, but the quickstart instructions direct customers to the Braven site where a full instruction manual can be downloaded if needed.

Overall, this is a very high quality speaker in every respect. It looks the part, it delivers outstanding sound and it's also more than just a speaker.

Box contents:

* Braven 650 Bluetooth speaker.
* 1 metre USB to micro USB cable.
* USB wall plug (with UK, US and continental adapter heads).
* 60cm 3.5mm audio cable.
* Carry bag.
* Quickstart instructions.

Technical overview:

* 2 x custom HD audio drivers providing stereo audio amplified by left and right channel passive sub woofers.
* 6w total output (3w per channel).
* 10 metre Bluetooth range.
* 20 hour battery life.
* Approximately 3 hours to charge.

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