Re-spec

23922336ae3e150bdb414e58fcf930bf

 

Time to spice things up.

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Old Man

I visited my uncle at SGH yesterday. He had a keyhole surgery in his heart to create a bypass, and his lungs were deflated by the surgeons for the procedure. He was usually a lively, spirited man, so it was disconcerting to see him tired, haggard and in obvious pain.

He’s not the titular character of this post, however.

Opposite his bed sat an old Chinese man, with no visitors. He’d just been served his meal, but he was making a fuss about it. He hated the “diet food” the hospital had provided.

In his loneliness, he had projected his anger on to the hospital staff and nurses, demanding they provided him better dinner since he was paying his bills. He lamented that his generation built the country, but now they were forgotten.

It was the eve of Chinese New Year. Everyone else I knew was at a reunion dinner, tossing vinegary vegetables and complaining about the incessant questions relatives ask at family meetings.

This old man sat by the window, by himself. The nurses avoided him. The other patients ignored him.

And I saw myself in him.

I wonder if the same fate awaits me.

[The cards keep showing change-]

Pentacles

I ordered The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck off Book Depository on a whim. I don’t expect to be clairvoyant anytime soon, but I was curious.

I shuffle the deck pretty often while waiting for my music to render or while watching a YouTube video.

What’s quite prominent straight away, is that I keep getting two cards more than half the time I draw: Three Of Pentacles & Four Of Pentacles. Mostly the latter.

The Three is associated with teamwork and determination, the Four is associated with possession, control and stubbornness.

Now, that’s a sign.

Way Out Of Here

I’ve loved the studio version of this song, but the amount of passion and energy they bring into the live rendition blows me away.

Steven Wilson’s music has actually been my inspiration for music production. I use Fear Of A Blank Planet as a baseline to measure other albums against.

Speaking of which, Zynaptic Unfilter is really good at removing excess bass midrange noise from modern metal.

Doesn’t seem to do well with older records, though.

SOP for now:
Perfect Declipper -> Zynaptic Unfilter -> Sonible proximity eq+ -> FabFilter L to master, normalize to -0.01dB and dither.

Symbolic

I don’t mean to dwell
But I can’t help myself
When I feel the vibe
And taste a memory
Of a time in life
When years seemed to stand still

I close my eyes
And sink within myself
Relive the gift of precious memories
In need of a fix called innocence

When did it begin?
The change to come was undetectable
The open wounds expose the importance of
Our innocence
A high that can never be bought or sold

[Chorus:]
Symbolic acts – so vivid
Yet at the same time
Were invisible

[Solo: Schuldiner / Solo: Koelble]

Savor what you feel and what you see
Things that may not seem important now
But may be tomorrow

Do you remember when
Things seemed so eternal?
Heroes were so real…
Their magic frozen in time
The only way to learn
Is be aware and hold on tight

I close my eyes
And sink within myself
Relive the gift of precious memories
In need of a fix called innocence

When did it begin?
The change to come was undetectable
The open wounds expose the importance of
Our innocence
A high that can never be bought or sold

I don’t think there is any modern musician as talented as Chuck. The riff-writing, the mind blowing solos, the clear, visceral enunciation in his vocals, the interplay between him and the rest of the band, the artistic direction when everyone else seems to sound the same- and to top it all off, the mature, poetic lyricism.

Ananth once told me Chuck’s penchant for melody, brutality and technicality were unmatched.

I find more truth in that statement everyday. It’s been more than two decades since this album was released. But it can still stand toe to toe with modern death metal, and usually, it towers above them.

RIP Chuck.

Soy Boy

When I was in school, I had a professor who would make us debate in class. Will India overtake China in economy? Can ASEAN countries reach the goals they set for themselves economically? A team would support the statement, another team of three would attack it.

No matter how we did, our professor would just come to the front and say “The truth is always in between.”

I never liked identity politics, and the Trump train was fun for all the memes that came out of it. But most people who play this game never bother to listen to both sides.

(I am drinking more soy-)