Following on from the release of Galaxy comes a new uploaded set from Alabaster, and actually (as Shimotsukei pointed out the other day) his first ever downloadable set. This one takes the form of a Live PA, something he has only done a couple of times at CODEX, showing off what a quality back catalogue he has built up over the years.

The set goes back as far as a release on Druggy’s Acid Rack and finishes in 2016 with Galaxy, including a few of my all-time favourites. Acid Maker, Oxyale, IoliteĀ  and both Rebuild tracks are all in here, as well as Void, a track I played at my very first Hell’s Gate. There’s a nice flow to the set as it heads towards the newer Rebuild/TYFTH releases, and it covers the full range of those distinctive Alabaster melodies – just staying the right side of ‘too uplifting’ and often heading into properly melancholy territory.

Glance up to the top of this page and you should notice ‘TYFTH Forum’ alongside all the regular headers – it has taken a while, but now TYFTH finally has somewhere more useful for discussion. As long as user registration goes smoothly the basics seem to be in place, but bear with me in the event of any technical wobbles.

The haphazard early design ideas have been dialled back to something that hopefuly resembles the new site theme, but if you have any feedback on font sizes, background colour choices etc then please let me know and tweaks will follow.

Also, feedback’s welcome on the subforums as they stand – I’ve gone for NRG/Freeform Discussion, New Releases/Mixes/Events, Production/DJing Discussion and Off Topic. I’ve no idea how well subscribed the forum will eventually be, but even with what’ll surely be a smallish number of initial posters that feels like a workable setup.

That’s about it for now – no matter the size, I hope the TYFTH forum will end up as a welcoming spot for veteran Horsers and newcomers alike to share some thoughts. In a perfect world there wouldn’t need to be much moderation (I’ll be the only poster with the power of mod for now), but a short list of Forum Rules would probably be useful either way. For now, common sense is the way to go, and judging by the site’s comment threads over the years we don’t have too much to worry about.

I’ve gone for the old faithful, the introduction thread, to start us off, but feel very free to launch off into a new topic of your choosing!


What’s happening here, then? Since the album release I’ve been neglecting my to-do list and instead TYFTH and music-related stuff has been pretty scattergun as I fit it around Real Life. Time to change that, starting with a spruce up of the site itself in preparation for the new forum.

As I’m usually safely tucked away in WordPress’ dashboard it has taken a while for me to realise quite how antiquated and user-unfriendly the site’s theme has become. The design was great, for sure, and that aesthetic tied in perfectly with a lot that went on here, but goodness me there was wasted space everywhere, now-redundant sidebars and cramped space for images and video. While I’m sure there are a million other options I could have gone for, with a few tweaks I think this might do the job very well – it’s intentionally a lot more minimal, has a nice amount of room for images (and even a new header), and also includes some actually-useful features like a ‘recent comment’ box on the right.

My reckoning is the new useability will make up for any pining over the loss of dark twirly design touches, but do let me know what you think. The other factor is the upcoming forum, and this will definitely allow more space for it – unfortunately the pilot version will likely be a desperately basic, vanilla effort, until I work out a few styling tricks. If anyone would like to help out on that front, please get in touch.

No more time this evening, but a few posts to test this layout will be on the way soon, and there could even be some forum action over the weekend…

Something else I’ve been meaning to mention for a while is Psychic Formers, a new psy/freeform compilation, featuring the ever-present Hyphen and a lovely comeback track from ikaruga_nex.

Variety looks to be the goal here, and while there are also quality, high bpm tunes from Ata and polysha, the rest of the album takes a gentler stroll through some slow paced, melodic psy. This could be another chance for new listeners to join the scene, then, though the release is currently only announced for this year’s M3 event, taking place in Tokyo on Sunday.

Slightly belated notice of a new(ish) set from me and Shimotsukei that went online recently and was part of Lucky Lotus 6 back in June. We decided to make things more interesting than the usual ‘one half each’ setup and try a more aunthentic back to back, alternating every few tracks. It all came together far easier than I was expecting, and there are a fair number of rarer/unreleased tunes amongst the classics.

Big thanks of course to Lucky Lotus and Shimotsukei for such a nice opportunity to take on something different, and I hope we’ll have a chance to give this another try in the future. Tracklist is below, and the set is downloadable on the FINRG SoundCloud.

01. Tyranoid vs Strongstream – Spiceļ¼Epice
02. Epyx & Cyrez – Game Over (Tyranoid/Strongstream Remix)
03. Epilim – Rapid Fire
04. Carbon Based & DJ Rx – Reptile
05. Pain On Creation & Fea – Unconsciousness
06. Epyx & Cyrez vs Fea – Untitled 4 Evah (Unfinished edit)
07. Nomic – Neptune
08. Alabaster – Galaxy
09. Re-form – Cyanide
10. Epyx & Cyrez – Neverlasting
11. Le Dos-on – Rising Sun
12. Proteus – Venla
13. DJ RX – Hellfire
14. A+D+A+M Lab4 – Psychopath
15. GULD – Hannya 2
17. Betwixt & Between – Matsukin (Remix)
18. Nomic – Mutantit

In Praise of Shadows finally has a release date, and it’s the day after tomorrow – you will be able to order the compilation on Saturday, or head along to CODEX where you’ll be able to pick up a copy on the day. Orders placed online will be sent out asap – probably the following day, depending on the response.

The compilation will cost a fairly standard 1500 yen, but some good news is that postage will be free (or absorbed within the cost of the CD, whichever way you want to look at it) and will take 6-8 days to most countries via airmail. I’ll have a simple guide to the ordering process over on the Music page, but of course feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions. The online store side of things is another expedition into uncharted territory, but I’ll be doing my best to make things as smooth as possible.

I’ll be promoting the release in all the usual places, but as time always seems to be short these days some word-spreading from the Horsers would also be really appreciated. How about thoughts on music sites etc. that might be interested in reviewing the album? I have a couple of places in mind, but I’m open to suggestions.

Apologies again for the silence here lately, but it was for a good cause – and hopefully things will pick up again after this weekend.

This year is turning into a vintage one for freeform releases, and now we can add the soon-to-appear CODEX EP courtesy of Raqhow and the CODEX crew. The release was a nice surprise for me too, so I’ll be looking forward to each preview as much as anyone – Hyphen’s Ignition is the first, and bodes very well indeed. Keep an eye on Raqhow’s SoundCloud for more until the release at CODEX7.