Tech Sessions at the Unzyme Proving Ground

Ville injects some beat repeat effects to his biomechanical drum kit. Fabio appears in a cameo role. The system fails us once again. Daniel gets accustomed to the strange ways of the mixer and the anomalies of the MOTU sound card.

A new worm is born (via meiosis). The worm gets a new, lovely violet dress. A balance is found. Lighting system gets a new standard positioning, DMX fixtures are color tagged and their positions mapped. Songs get played.

Pet Shop Boys announce new album, Super, out on April 1st 2016

When I heard the news about the next Pet Shop Boys album a few days ago, I got very excited. Suddenly they had released a new song, Inner Sanctum, which I had not anticipated at all. I put it on, and immediately enjoyed the very electronic vibe of the song. Releasing such a song as the first single, is a pretty bold move. It’s not your typical radio single, but more like a club banger with just a few vocal moments. This is experimental Pet Shop Boys, and a very successful experiment indeed. It sounds like they had fun creating it, and weren’t stuck in any predictable PSB format, if there ever was one.

Having heard “Inner Sanctum” I immediately preordered their new album, Super, and booked tickets to a very special PSB show at the Royal Opera House in London on July 20th 2016. I’ve seen some very cool experimental Pet Shop Boys shows before, including Battleship Potemkin in Newcastle in 2006, which was epic and something completely different. This new production at the Royal Opera House sounds like it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and the venue itself would be worth the trip to London. When I bought the tickets, there were only a couple of seats remaining, so I expect the tickets to sell out very soon. This will be my third time to fly to the UK to see the Pet Shop Boys. I’ve also seen them in Tallinn, Helsinki (twice) and Pori.

Pet Shop Boys is my biggest musical inspiration, though I do listen to a wide variety of other bands and styles. Listening to “Inner Sanctum” led to a trip of various PSB interviews on YouTube, like their 2014 interview with the “Electric” producer Stuart Price, who has also produced “Super”. Electric was a step to a new direction, as all previous PSB albums have been. Super promises to be a “purely electronic” album, further exploring the energetic dance ethos of Electric.

I got more interested in Stuart Price’s work after reading the news of him producing another Pet Shop Boys album. I was rather surprised that I hadn’t paid much attention to him earlier. Turns out that he’s been working with many other artists that I like very much, including New Order, The Killers, Brandon Flowers, Keane and Hurts. Zoot Woman, one of his projects, has also been recommended to me many times. Now there is a big list of Stuart Price productions on my “check this out” playlist. Seems like I could learn a thing or two from Stuart.

Bomb track: Kate Boy – Self Control

I found this awesome band, Kate Boy, by accident. I was looking for Laura Branigan’s classic hit Self Control on Spotify, and saw this song on the list as well. At first I thought it was a cover version of Branigan’s 80’s hit, but no! It was something much cooler than a cover song. It immediately caught my attention. Could this be my new favorite band? Quite possibly.

I gotta respect the unescapable rhythm and deeply infectious melody of Self Control. And it’s no exception in Kate Boy’s discography. Pretty much all of their songs are melodic and are dressed in very cool rhythmic synths. Energetic power-pop with lyrics that are more interesting than your average radio pop songs.

I highly recommend checking out Kate Boy’s debut album One. Very cool stuff, and might just inspire some new Unzyme songs as well.

Ps. It’s no miracle that they’re based in Sweden.

Bomb track: Man Without Country – Laws of Motion feat. White Sea

I was listening to XPLAIN’s wonderful music, and found Man Without Country through her Facebook page. I had heard many of MWC’s remixes before (Miike Snow and Moby to name a few), but hadn’t realized that Man Without Country is much more than just a remix team. They’re great songwriters too. Today I listened to Man Without Country’s song called “Laws of Motion” and I was blown away. What a melody, and timeless sense of beauty. I strongly recommend getting to know this band. There’s a certain 80’s appreciation in their sound selection, but mostly they sound very contemporary. Seems like I’ll be spending the next few days listening to Man Without Country.

Bomb track: Bon Jovi – Who Would You Die For

This new Bon Jovi song is one of my favorites on “Burning Bridges”, which is not your typical Bon Jovi album. There are several gems on this album, though it’s not a coherent masterpiece such as “These Days”. Other great picks from the album are “Blind Love”, “A Teardrop To The Sea” and “We Don’t Run”. Though not my favorite, I quite enjoy “Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning” as well. It’s the only song on this album that is co-written by Richie Sambora. His influence can be heard clearly, especially in the chorus. The track would fit nicely on “Have A Nice Day”. Almost every track on “Burning Bridges” includes some sort of “Ooooh” vocals, which gets kind of old after a few spins. This is a refreshing album, and has great moments, but it’s far from Bon Jovi’s best work.

Facebook advertising brought us fake likes and seriously diminished our reach

We advertised on Facebook a few years ago and got lots of likes. The sad thing is, too many of them are fake likes, and now they’re seriously crippling our reach to the real people who would actually be interested in what we do. So, instead of helping us, buying Facebook ads has made it a lot harder for us to reach even the audience that we used to have before the campaign. And now, to get the message through, we are asked to pay to boost the post. Having spent way too much money on Facebook advertising already, we refuse to pay more. If there was an easy way to delete all the fake likes, we would do it.

If you’re an artist who has done the same thing, spread the word and stop paying for Facebook ads. But if you do, it’s a good idea to check the organic matter percentage of your followers. Skynet might already be self-aware.