Akira Kurosawa Movies

In July 2006, a Japanese court ruled that all movies produced prior to 1953 were to be made available into the public domain. And so, many movies by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa were made freely available online, and most importantly legally. Those available on archive.org include Sugata Sanshiro (姿三四郎), They Who Step on Tiger's Tails (虎の尾を踏む男達), Stray Dog (野良犬), Rashomon (羅生門), Ikiru (生きる)

No doubt, the list I've present here is by no means complete and is likely to be further updated when reliable sources of the public domain films are made available. The sole film by Kurosawa that I would really like to see available soon is Seven Samurai (1954 - ouch, not really possible). I have not seen all of his movies, but my favourites so far are (in no specific order): Ran, Kagemusha, Seven Samurai, Rashomon.

Kurosawa's films have had a major influence on world cinema and continue to inspire filmmakers, and others, around the globe. "Seven Samurai" is frequently quoted as being one of the greatest and most influential films ever made, and has influenced modern filmaking in movies such as The Magnificent Seven, A Bugs Life, and Star Wars. Kurosawa's works are also influential to society in general. Most notably, the phrase "Rashomon Effect" has entered popular modern day usage indicating a conflicting situation.

Download the public domain movies by Akira Kurosawa here, available for free, courtesy of archive.org:
Format: 256Kb MPEG4 (Other formats are available on their respective sites)

Sugata Sanshiro (1943) - (195 MB) - site
They Who Step on Tiger's Tail (1945) - (149MB) - site
Nora Inu (Stray Dog (1949) - (313MB) - site
Rashomon (1950) - (226 MB) - site
Ikiru (To Live) (1952) - (367MB) - site

The Moonlight Sonata, aslo known as Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27, No. 2, was composed by Beethoven in the summer of 1801 in Hungary, on an estate belonging to the Brunswick family. The composition was published in 1802 and was dedicated to Beethoven’s pupil and passion, 17 years old Countess Giulietta Gucciardi.

Download the piano scores for the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven here (pdf):
Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata

Source: All-about-Beethoven.com
Wikipedia: Piano Sonata No. 14 (Beethoven)

Slowly Minute is is the solo project of 24-year-old Sapporo resident Takahiro Chiba. Takahiro blends crazy melodies that don’t line up with each other into playful electronics and live instrumentation - sounds of harps poking at pianos, beats that feel like the computer is drunk, vocals from a cartoon dreamland, and a strangely cinematic, often hilarious use of classic stock keyboards.

Slowly Minute is signed to indie label Bubble Core Records, the same label for Japanese DJ, Nobukazu Takemura. The track "A Constellation and Shooting Stars", from the album "Tomorrow World", combines a good mix of piano sections and synths to create a totally different lounge music piece, heavily influenced by ambient and jazz. What it really feels like is as if the artist were painting an imagery of what he is trying to present.

Download the track here:
Slowly Minute - A Constellation and Shooting Stars (mp3)

Do visit the artist's page at Bubble Core Records for more info and mp3s.

Emme Wong Lyrics

Here are the lyrics to Emme Wong's (黃伊汶) song 愛失救

愛失救 黃伊汶

和我 從前談論海枯石爛
現在 望我都嫌太浪漫
給我電郵 話你得不到空間
自從來電 變得愈聽愈煩

怎去熱戀 怎麼心淡
然後愛到結尾 只有散
喜愛默哀 何必相愛
心灰到眼淚亦能沖淡 Ha..

* 全數接收 愛已失救
沒有心相戀 由我善後
不會內疚 搶先開口
誰又要同情心 縮開你手
誰人願 勉強搶救
動作比分手 還要荒謬
今次問你 知不知醜
離別你眉頭 都不需皺一皺

一切落空 不必起哄
難道講分手 必須發瘋
不要自己 隨便失控
怎可以透露 極其心痛

Repeat *

看你最終 天天站在原地
請記得 是我不喜歡你
要你看通 被別人拋低的滋味
自知失去你 亦總不會死

Repeat *

誰要和你 潛入深海 巨浪
願望若過多 才會絕望
親我 或留住我 一點不稀罕
未能忘掉我 才絕不嚮往

DJ Mixing Software

Here are some software designed for live mixing between tracks as a DJ would on actual turntables. I have tried many of them and here are some which I think work pretty well for a DJ who wants a good combination of mobility and performance. For best results, use 320K mp3 or Wav when mixing on these software.

1. Traktor

Traktor DJ Studio (now known simply as Traktor) is a software DJ solution developed by Native Instruments. This is actually one of my favourite and most frequently used software if I'm mixing live. I have personally used it in conjuction with a configuration of turntables and an external mixer.

The interface is straight forward and any DJ/musician would find many of its features handy and useful. It also offers a wide variety of features such as support for MIDI controller, EQs, 4 decks, multiple effects, master tempo, etc. The best part about this software is the ability to use it with Tracktor Scratch - meaning you could manipulate the digital tunes on vinyl.

Latest version available is Traktor DJ Studio 3
Download the demo from Native-Instruments here.

2. Ableton Live

Ableton Live is a powerful all-round DJ software. This piece of software is rather unique in the sense that it also allows for composing and arranging track "on-the fly". For this very reason, it is also extremely popular among many professional DJs and musicians. Some people who use Ableton in their livesets and compositions include Armin van Buuren, Sasha, Mogwai, BT, Paul van Dyk, and Daft Punk.

I seldom use Ableton in my sets, in favor of Traktor, partly due to the lower system requirements and functionality. It includes tons of features that I seldom (or never) use when mixing live sets such as track arrangement and sampler. For newcomers, the interface maybe a little daunting but the program provides a nifty little tutorial that'll guide users step-by-step.

Latest version available is Ableton Live 6
Download the demo from Ableton here.

3. Mixxx

Mixxx is an open source DJ tool designed for both professional and amateur DJs alike.

Mixxx allows DJs to mix music live with a clean, simple interface. Futhermore, Mixxx has a number of key features to help DJs in the mix: Beat estimation, parallel visual displays, and support for various DJ hardware controllers.

Mixxx is available for both Windows and Linux. The interface for Mixxx is clean and minimalist. I had only briefly tested this software but it provides basic functionality that any DJ would need for mixing (2 decks, cross-fade, EQ, queuing etc). According to the site, it also supports MIDI controllers. Best of all, it is free (as in freedom of choice and free beer) due to the nature of its GPL license.

Latest version is Mixxx 1.5
Download Mixxx from Sourceforge here.

Long Vacation Piano Score

Here are some piano scores to several songs from the OST of the popular Japanese drama "Long Vacation" on Fuji TV by actor Takuya Kimuya (木村拓哉). The OST was written by Cagnet and contains a wide range of musical styles including RnB, piano instrumental and jazz. I've tried playing parts of the score and found the generally "Close to You" is somewhat easy but "Minami" is rather technical to perform.

Close to You - Piano Piece of Sena 1
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Close to You - Piano Piece of Sena 2
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Minami - Piano Piece of Sena
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Salakavala is a suomisaundi psytrance group from Finland. They group has released many tracks on the internet prior to their album "Fractal Fishing". In addition to that, they also host the popular Finnish psy label Antiscarp.

Suomisaundi, is the dark, twisted metamorphosis of psytrance. It is commonly heard at forest parties at Finland and Sweden but in recent years has proliferated to the rest of the psychedelic trance community worldwide. Nevertheless, suomisaundi is still considered a rather underground sect of the already non-mainstream psytrance genre.

I must say its really something of an eye opener for people who are not familiar with psytrance and the suomi music scene in general. This is exactly the sort of music you have to listen to appreciate.

You can download the entire album in 320K mp3 format here:

Salakavala - Treacherous Tunes
1. When it Comes
2. Oatshaker
3. Antifeidaus (feat. Toletrancer)
4. Fifty Kopecs

Recommended tracks: Track 1, Track 3

Do visit Antiscarp Records for more downloads of Salakavala and other suomisaundi artists such as Mullet Mohawk, Igor Swamp, and Puoskari

A New Day has Come

A New Day has Come
Celine Dion

This is a rather old but cool video by Canadian singer Celine Dion, and here are the lyrics to this great song:

A new day has...come

I was waiting for so long
For a miracle to come
Everyone told me to be strong
Hold on and don't shed a tear

Through the darkness and good times
I knew I'd make it through
And the world thought I had it all
But I was waiting for you

Hush, love

I see a light in the sky
Oh, it's almost blinding me
I can't believe
I've been touched by an angel with love
Let the rain come down and wash away my tears
Let it fill my soul and drown my fears
Let it shatter the walls for a new, new sun
A new day has...come

Where it was dark now there's light
Where there was pain now there's joy
Where there was weakness, I found my strength
All in the eyes of a boy

Hush, love

I see a light in the sky
Oh, it's almost blinding me
I can't believe
I've been touched by an angel with love
Let the rain come down and wash away my tears
Let it fill my soul and drown my fears
Let it shatter the walls for a new, new sun
A new day has...come

A new day has...come
Ohhh, a light... OOh

Psytrance mix


1. Prometheus - One Cell Short of A Brain [Twisted]
2. Puoskari - Dancing Legos [Antiscarp]
3. Derango - Masterdamnit [Inpsyde Media]
4. Transwave - Adoration of The Aum [3D Vision]
5. Aerosis - Take a Suntrip [White Label]
6. Elastic Plastic - xHamburger [White Label]
7. Chi.A.D - Astral Warrior [Nova Tekk]
8. Infinite Dimensions - Apocalypse [White Label]
9. Pandemonium! - A Mad Scientists Night [Metapsychic]
10. Blue Planet Corporation - Antidote (Pleiadians Mix) [Completely Cabbaged]

This is a psytrance mix I did towards the end of September. The set starts out with a good dose of suomisaundi, dark, prog-psy and then transitions into the much harder parts involving old-school goa trance with selected tracks by artists such as Transwave and Chi.A.D.

Download it here:
Feng - Psycho Mix
(51 MB)

光良 - 童話 (Piano Score & Lyrics)

Here's the piano score to Malaysian singer Guang Liang 光良(Michael Wong)'s hit track 童話 (Fairy Tale) also known as "Tong Hua". I don't like the song but some of my friends seem to really love it! The piano score is pretty good though. Anyways, enjoy!

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And here are the lyrics to the song:

童话 - 王光良

忘了有多久 再没听到你
我想了很久 我开始慌了

你哭着对我说 童话里都是骗人的
也许你不会懂 从你说爱我以后
我的天空 星星都亮了

我愿变成童话里 你爱的那个天使
你要相信 相信我们会像童话故事里

我要变成童话里 你爱的那个天使
你要相信 相信我们会像童话故事里

我会变成童话里 你爱的那个天使
你要相信 相信我们会像童话故事里

Talamasca - Obsessive Dream

Talamasca has offered his latest psytrance album for free download on his label "Mind Control Records"!

Obsessive Dream
Format: CD (2XCD)
Label: Mind Control Records (France)
Date: May 21, 2007

Track listing:
01 Talamasca - Obsessive Dream
02 Talamasca - Get It All
03 Talamasca - My Destiny
04 Talamasca - Feelings
05 Talamasca - Supernatural
06 Talamasca - Flashback
07 Talamasca - Overload
08 Talamasca - Spritual Renewal
09 Talamasca - Party Generation
01 Talamasca With Spacecat - On Purpose
02 Talamasca With XSI And DJ Gogo - The Good Team
03 Sirius Isness - Breaking The Matrix (Talamasca Remix)
04 Talamasca With Skazi - Imaginary Friend (Remix)
05 Talamasca With GMS - High Vibe (Live Version)
06 Talamasca With Shagma - This Isn't A Mistake
07 Talamasca With Eskimo - To Be Continued
08 Talamasca - Frenchman In Tokyo (XSI Remix)
09 Talamasca With Yuman - Ambient'n'roll

The album is a full 2 CD album, with the first CD offering tracks produced by Talamasca and the second CD a compilation of remixes of various groups such as Spacecat, Sirius Isness, Skazi, GMS, Eskimo, XSI and others.

The album is produced in much of a full-on (morning trance) style but has some orchestral psy and old-school goa elements laced in it. What I don't really like about the album is the uniformity of mood throughout all the tracks. However there are some notable tracks worth listening, - Overload, Spiritual Renewal. The second CD offers a greater variety of styles as many artists are featured on it.

While I don't find the album particularly prominent or outstanding in any aspect, I would say it is really noble of Talamasca to let people download the entire album for free. This is a rather decent album, but definitely nothing the sort of material you'd expect in his previous Beyond the Mask and Zodiac albums.

Download it from Mind Control Records here:
Talamasca - Obsessive Dream (full album)

Psybient Mix 26/07/07


1. Shpongle - Shpongleyes [Twisted]
2. Testrauschen - Der Panther [White Label]
3. Carbon Based Lifeforms - Comsat [Ultimae]
4. MFG - Hypnotized (Feng Chillout Mix) [White Label]
5. Darkfarmer - Filament [Textone]
6. Astral Projection - Still Dreaming (Anything can Happen) [Trust in Trance]

This is a short psybient/psychill mix I did last night. Just slightly over the 30 minute mark. The set starts off in a surreal mood and gradually progresses, building up intensity and introducing new styles at the same time.

The first track needs no further intro to psy connossieurs really, because any real psy addict would know about Shpongle/Hallucinogen/Celtic Cross/Mystery of the Yeti/Younger Brother - Simon Posford. The second track is a little obscure by underground German electronic music projekt from Munich - Testrauschen. The original "Hypnotized" by MFG (Message from God) was really energetic and trippy but I managed to remix it to sound rather dub-ish and got it mixed with the more electro and IDM sounding "Filament" by Darkfarmer, originally found on textone's Designated Drivers Compilation. Still, the remixed "Hypnotized" still sounds a tad harder than I'd intended it to be. The final track from Astral Projection is actually a chillout version of their legendary goa trance track "People can Fly" from the Israeli group's debut "Trust in Trance" album.

Download the mixset here:

Psybient Mix 26/07/07 (35 MB)


Rakuzen Chulan Square

Here's a brief report of my Sunday lunch at Rakuzen Chulan Square branch, Kuala Lumpur, some 3 weeks ago with friends.

Chawan Mushi 茶碗蒸 (Steamed Egg), Kaori-hako kani sarada 香り箱かにサラダ (Crab Salad), Chuka Kurage 中華くらげ (Chinese-styled Jellyfish), Yanagawa-nabe 柳川鍋, and Yakitori 焼き鳥 (Skewered Chicken)

Sashimi Moriawase 刺身盛合せ

Salmon Temaki サーモン手巻き, California Temaki カリフォルニア手巻き, and Soft Shell Crab Temaki

Shiitake しいたけ (Skewered Mushroom)

Kimuchi Nabe キムチ鍋 (Seafood Soup-based hot pot)

Unagi Kabayaki うなぎ蒲焼

Sashimi Salad 刺身サラダ

Tempura Moriawase 天婦羅盛合せ

Today's Nimono この日の煮物

Soft shell crab

Sushi Moriawase 寿司盛合せ

Overall, it was a satisfying experience. Yanagawa nabe was something new I tried that day and its quite decent. Favourites here are Shiitake, Sashimi Moriwase, and Sashimi Salad. The Nimono was surprisingly good! (I'm guessing its probably even better going down with a good bottle of sake!)

Rakuzen has a really cosy environment, pretty decent food (although portion is a little small), and its good value for money.

Will return someday!

Moonshine at Laundry Bar

Recommended by Armand Tanzarian, Post Rock musician and a frequent collaborator of mine, I was coaxed into attending Moonshine for May. Moonshine is a music show that happens every month at Laundry Bar, The Curve, in the suburb of PJ, approximately 30 minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Four of the best bands in the Malaysian underground scene were featured that night. First up the line, was Estrella, a band which plays jazzy, acoustic music. They were the best band on the night IMHO. Great music for chilling out.

Next up was Furniture, which delivered an ambient, spacey, post-rock set that was made distinct by the vocalist's child-like vocals..

Laila's Lounge is up next. Apparently, they played a rock set reminiscent to Radiohead.

Armand told me that they had saved the best band for the last. They Will Kill Us All (TWKUA for short) was the band everyone in the crowd was cheering for, and they did put on a truly banging set that night. But their music wasn't quite to my liking, its just that they're not quite the usual music I listen to. By the time they had finished playing, the crowd was euphoric, and the music sounded as though it were still pumping in your ears.

And let's NOT forget about getting wasted!!


Photos courtesy of Laundry Bar

Eluvium is one of the more recent ambient acts I've listened to and really got hooked onto. Coming from the indie music label, Temporary Residence. (Which is Explosions in The Sky's label), you can be assured that Eluvium is definately going to be a listening pleasure.

His 2007 album, Copia is an hour long epic journey through ambient landscapes. Eluvium's works are predominantly piano pieces, with subtle intermissions of strings. The music is emotionally provoking at times, yet it keeps its mostly calm, soothing setting throughout the entire album.

1. Amreik
2. Indoor Swimming at the Space Station
3. Seeing You Off The Edges
4. Prelude For Time Feelers (mp3)
5. Requiem on Frankfort Ave.
6. Radio Ballet
7. (Intermission)
8. After Nature
9. Reciting the Airships
10. Ostinato
11. Hymn #1
12. Repose In Blue

For more downloads, visit Eluvium's label at temporary residence.


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