Sunday, February 25, 2007

Children of the Bong - Sirius Sounds is my favourite album

Children of the Bong - Sirius Sounds is my favourite album. For me it practically defines my favourite genre, which I call psychill. (It is called Psybient on Wikipedia.) It's the only album by Children of the Bong, and it has a very unique sound and structure.

The main thing I love about the album is the intricate trippy patterns. For me the patterns evoke the fundamental structure of things which generally happen in reality, but they do it without attachment to any particular examples. They're almost like little stories. Sometimes a pattern does this by itself and other times two or perhaps more patterns seem to interact, like one does something and the other performs a response or continuation. It almost seems like a kind of language, although it may only seem that way because it seems to describe things like language can describe things. Sometimes when listening to these pattens it seems like they are the fundamental building blocks of reality and everything is built from them. They're just hard to recognize normally because they're buried by so much meaning and perceptual detail.

I also appreciate the texture of the sounds. They seem especially wholesome solid and satisfying. They also go to very low frequencies, and listening to it using speakers or headphones which can reproduce that feels great. In terms of texture my favourite track is Children of the Bong – Squigglasonica. The squiggles seem so detailed and satisfying.

My favourite track in the album is Children of the Bong – Life on Planet Earth. I love how it builds slowly from something very simple and minimal. It evokes the way how things in life can start out small and develop into something wonderful. It also eventually evokes the feeling of something continuing to exist in a positive way, like it's not just a build and "then what?".

The overall mood of the album seems feels very relaxing, confident, present and happy. The music evokes feelings of being happy outdoors on a a warm sunny Sunday morning. Concern and worry can melt away and I can start seeing everything around me as a symphony of pleasant patterns without much special meaning. The album is truly psychedelic.

[ originally posted in my journal ]

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Spring comes in February in Nanaimo!

Just before last weekend I noticed some crocus buds by Terminal Avenue at the Millstone Estuary. By last Sunday (February 18th) they were in bloom. Then I saw some snowdrops at the small park near Terminal and Stewart. Both of these seemed planted, though the crocus bulbs certainly weren't planted recently. Then I walked through the Millstone Estuary and there I saw some actual wild wildflowers: a big patch of snowdrops and some violets. I also found that leaf buds were opening on a few bushes there. This weekend leaf buds were opening on all the bushes there.

It's so wonderful to see spring come in February! In Southwestern Ontario spring starts with blooming maples in late March and wildflowers in April. I guess the timing here is probably close to the timing in Zadar, Croatia, the city I was born in, but I haven't seen spring there in so long. Here are some photos from last Sunday:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My Firefox extension recommendations

I use Firefox mainly because of the extensions which are available. Here is a list of the extensions which I find indispensable. The list is roughly sorted in terms of importance. The links all go to the official Firefox Add-ons site whenever possible. There you can find more information, reviews and a link to the extension's home page.

I regularly try out new extensions. Here is a list of extensions which seem promising. I haven't used any of these enough to strongly recommend them, but I do think they're at least worth checking out.

  • Second Search because it's a convenient way to use alternate search engines via the search bar
  • Adblock Plus: Element Hiding Helper 1.0 because it helps remove some ads, but these are fairly rare and inoffensive so it may not be worth it.
  • Locationbar² because it allows easy access to parent directories on servers
  • Redirect Remover because redirects waste time and bandwidth. Sometimes they're a good idea though, and those need to be entered as exceptions.

This list was created with the help of Extension List Dumper.


My favourite music is trippy downtempo like Shpongle, Entheogenic and Children of the Bong - Sirius Sounds. When I sort music by genre I place this kind of music in the PsyChill directory. Much to my surprise, I found that has a psychill tag. I know I'm going to find some good music when I check out that and related tags. I recently also found the Psybient article on Wikipedia which seems to describe the genre. That led me to check out Bluetech - Sines and Singularities, which I really liked.
[originally posted on my journal]

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The nature of likes and dislikes

Why do different people like and dislike different food? One could answer by implying that the sensations associated with a certain food are the same for everybody and people just differ in terms of what sensations they like. However, that answer seems circular and unsatisfying. I think it's more likely that different people experience the same food differently. For some this is a pleasant experience and so they like the food, while for others it is an unpleasant experience and so they don't like the food.

My own experiences with music seem to support this theory. I remember when I was mainly listening to eurodance and a friend introduced me to electronic music without vocals. I remarked that it seemed like it might "go somewhere" like the start of a eurodance song but it never got there. Later when I started to like electronic music it wasn't as if I just started liking how I perceived it before; instead I perceived it in a new and more enjoyable way. Later the same thing happened as I explored other genres. It was always like learning a new way to perceive music rather than like starting to like the same perceptions I felt before.