The Musk-rat Cult – The Black And White Album (SIRO104)

Yeah I Know It Sucks

The Musk-Rat Cult - The Black And White Album

Artist: The Musk-rat Cult
Title: The Black And White Album
Label: Sirona-Records
Catalog #: SIRO104
Keywords: Psychedelic Drone Ambient, Experimental, Electronic
Reviewer: RTF

The Musk-rat Cult is a shadowy organization out of Västerås, Sweden led by its mysterious bearded leader who is also behind the project OSIS and perhaps a few others. His dark, bushy beard tells of his infinite travels through time, space, and lands of which we cannot even dream, and he has translated this knowledge into psychedelic drone ambient rituals centered around the ultimate and oldest dichotomy: that of black and white. In true drone fashion, the seven pieces that make up this almost-fifty-minute full length are based around simplistic repeated phrases, muted held tones, and lots of echo. Spacey, subtle, and often rather sparse, these tracks are not so much songs as slowly unfolding emotions. A wise, fully-bearded sage, the leader of the acolyte Musk-rats has…

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Sirona launches a MASSIVE playlist showcasing underground artists. (#underground #undergroundmusic #netlabel )

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Sirona Records recently launched a new music player on their website, which features HUNDREDS of tracks from Sirona releases.

When I say hundreds, I mean 228 and counting. This playlist will likely grow massively in the coming weeks.

So do your self a favor, head on over to their website to access the endless showcase of underground talent.

GREEN HELL: A JAY CRIMSON FILM (Now Showing!)

TUNNEL TO THE UNDERGROUND & CRIMSON’S CORONER PRESENTS

GREEN HELL: A JAY CRIMSON FILM

Ladies and Gents, we present to you GREEN HELL: A JAY CRIMSON FILM.

Two drug addicts in search of their next fix unintentionally stumble upon a strange experimental liquid that alters reality and brings the EVIL out of people.

This movie was written and directed by Tunnel to the Underground’s very own Jay Crimson (noclassjay3x) who writes Crimson’s Coroner, and was edited by me (justinthomassquires).

Jay approached me at the beginning of the summer (2013) with a movie he had filmed back in 2006 and 2007. He had a very rough edit of the movie and wanted to re edit and reshape the entire thing. After review of his rough cut I gladly jumped on board.

I began heavy post production at the end of the summer and worked into late October. After we finished post production we had three local showings where the movie was received well (Special thanks to Bryan Keefe for being our projectionist). 

Now we are happy to share this movie with the entire world.

LIKE GREEN HELL ON FACEBOOK to stay up to date on all things GREEN HELL.

TELL ALL YOUR FUCKING FRIENDS. ❤

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Pixelated Horror: Lone Survivor and The Last Door

In the past year I have been turned on to video games that are independently developed.

What is it that turns me on about indie games? Mainly it’s the fact that I find the games I am truly looking for coming from the indie guys.

I am not as old school as mario, but I am very attached to my days sucking the tit of the very first playstation.

As each generation of gaming comes to pass in the mainstream, I become less interested. This is because newer games stray farther away from what originally got me into gaming in the first place.

I am a big fan of survival horror, puzzle solving type games. Or games that immerse you into atmosphere in general.

I think that is why I found these games I am about to blog about so interesting. They borrow heavily from some classic horror games, while totally immersing you into the dark world in which they hail.

(Some Spoilers Ahead)

So first we talk about…

LONE SURVIVOR

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Lone Survivor is a 2D survival horror game developed by Jasper Byrne. It borrows really heavily from Silent Hill in a very non apologetic kind of way. And to that I say GOOD.  As far as I am concerned Konami and Silent Hill have been regurgitating the same old garbage since Team Silent left the house after Silent Hill 4. So,  playing this is almost like playing the Silent Hill I have been waiting for, for so many years. An ORIGINAL take, free of Pyramid Heads.

Even though it borrows from Silent Hill in atmosphere and mood, it still holds it’s own candle in many ways. The gameplay and dynamics are pretty damn original, and are true to the survival horror genre.

You must forage for food and eat regularly to keep up your health and vitality. You can combine food items to make a more energy efficient snack, and some items you can’t eat until you find another item needed in combination. Such as a can opener to open your canned goods.

Some other cool survivor horror elements include having to use your ammo and health rations sparingly. The bullet to monster ratio is very one sided, just like it should be in any good survival horror (Resident Evil take note…)

Oh yeah, and Lone Survivor is pretty fucking trippy too.

Most of the dialog is so bizarre that  it has you scratching your head.

Not to mention you can take different pills before you sleep, so that you can meet up with weird entities in dreamland who help you out by giving you different kinds of rations (depending on what pill you take) ect.

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Some other ways this game delivers the survival horror goods is how it uses location based puzzle solving, sending you back and forth between a series of locations in order to find different pieces to the puzzle. This immerses you into the game in a solid way, making you familiar with you surroundings. It even gives you a map (which will remind you of your first trip to the school house in Silent Hill).

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One more thing to touch on before I move on is the art direction. This game is pure pixelation. You can tell that  Jasper Byrne was gun ho about making this game a pixel fest, and it works extremely well.

Even though at first your brain is kind of like “Where the fuck is the definition?” you will be surprised with how well your noggin fills in the blank spaces. After playing for a few minutes, it wasn’t hard to really take in the entire atmosphere. This game probably would not have the same appeal if it wasn’t pixel art. It adds to that grainy raw atmosphere I crave in a horror game such as this.

And oh yeah, it has monsters in it.

I will leave you with the trailer.

Follow Lone Survivor on Facebook HERE

Visit the official website and play the demo or purchase the Director’s Cut HERE

Ok so, next on the pixel horror fest list

THE LAST DOOR

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Okay I just started playing this game, and boy oh boy am I excited about it. (Special thanks to that guy tooth_eye for suggesting this game)

The Last Door is a Point and Click Horror Adventure game.

First thing that excites me (horror elements aside) is the modern approach that the development team (Game Kitchen) took on the production of this game.
1. They used the crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter to partially finance it.
2. They are releasing it in episodes, which is awesome.

Because of this production’s nature (crowd-sourcing), you get to see a more intimate relationship between the fans and the producers.
From what I can tell, they even let either their beta testers, or project backers write some of the object descriptions. At this point I’m not sure which (beta or backers?).

So the production itself is extremely organic. They release an episode and get feedback which directly effects the production of their next episode.

Now let’s get into the game itself.

As I said earlier, The Last Door is a point and click horror adventure game. It is puzzle oriented. And just like Lone Survivor, it uses location based puzzle solving, sending you around the same locations until you have milked it for every mystery it has to offer.

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Speaking  of locations, the atmosphere is Gothic and Lovecraftian in nature. That fact alone is enough to make me wet.

This game is also uber pixelated, leaving very little definition to your character and his surroundings. But like I said before, your brain fills in the blanks beautifully, and you play through it just as easily as you would most high def games that currently run on the newest of graphic engines.

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This game is much more story oriented, which is something I enjoy. There is a solid plot unfolding as you get further into the game. It is revealed in both dialog and through notes and memoirs found throughout your locations. That is a classic survival horror move.

The story is of course full of mystery and horror, fans of Poe and Lovecraft will get their kicks.

Anyway, I am only into Episode Two (of Three) thus far. Only because I am a cheap bastard and cannot afford to donate to gain access to the third episode at the moment. But, as soon as I can I will, because this is something worth funding.

The first two episodes are free to play on their website.

Here is the trailer.

You can play the first episodes and donate to the cause HERE

And you can follow The Last Door On Facebook HERE.

Now I will say this, and this is in relation to both games mentioned in this post. The fact that both of the indie developers opted to use pixel art is significant.

It allows you to use your imagination, and what the game lacks in definition, your brain fills it with something usually more horrifying than any graphic can portray. Especially in dark areas.

Whatever, I am just trying to say that the pixel art works for these games more than it works against them. It is a style all on it’s own, and lately it is becoming more acceptable which is cool. I know I enjoy it. I also enjoyed it when I played the indie game Anodyne earlier this year as well, it worked to the same effect.

So, take note guys and gals. Support your underground and independent developers. They have ALOT to offer.

Technology has given us the gift of collaborating directly with those who produce media for our own enjoyment. Do not take that for granted. Help fund indie projects when you can spare the money. Especially if it’s something that you wouldn’t mind playing.

These guys are putting out games I WANT TO PLAY.

And on that note…

New Sour Milk Theorem song is slow, heavy, and makes you ready to walk into the rain.

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Sour Milk Theorem is a one man melodic metal band I have been following for many years now.

Any time SMT releases new music, IT IS REALLY GOOD.

This new song is no exception. IT IS REALLY GOOD.

Take a listen to “Waking To The Rain” on soundcloud now.

It is slow, heavy, and melodic.

Enjoy ❤

Follow Sour Milk Theorem on FACEBOOK and SOUNDCLOUD

Look for the new Sampler due out soon.

GREEN HELL: THE ONLINE PREMIERE!

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Tunnel to the Underground and CRIMSON’S CORONER will be hosting the online premiere of GREEN HELL: A JAY CRIMSON FILM.

So what the fuck is GREEN HELL anyway?

Well, it’s a drugged out horror flick made to play like a damaged VHS tape.

Jay Crimson (who writes a column on this blog called Crimson’s Coroner) contacted me early this summer and asked me if I wanted to edit this horror film he had been sitting on since 2006-07. Upon review of his rough cut I hopped on board. We wrapped up post production by Halloween and had our first local premiere, followed by two others.

We now would like to share this thing with the world (for a moment in time at least)

Thus we will be hosting the video on youtube and letting it stream for a week.

You will be finding the main page here on the blog November 24th, and the movie will stream until the 30th.

You can join the official facebook event page HERE to keep updated. Or just keep checking back at the blog.

In the mean time. CHECK OUT THE TRAILER!

Tunnel Tips: Balancing Priority and Passion (Part 2)

So In my last post I talked a little bit about the balancing act between work and passion, and how using time management helped me face my fears and accomplish my goals.

In this post I am going to touch on some effective time management techniques I have been using lately. I will also talk a bit about keeping that brain of yours upbeat and healthy.

Okay so the very first step taken in my time management regimen was tackling the wake/sleep schedule demon.

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Being an insomniac most of my life, my most manic and creative moments came late at night when the rest of the world shut down. This was always frustrating, especially because of my desire to work with others on projects.

It also added to my fear of having a solid job. Waking up early for work sounded like a nightmare to me.

Changing this mentality was key to time management.

If you’re like me then you might like sleep a little too much. Staying up all night and sleeping 12 hours into the afternoon won’t get you anywhere. You wake up a slug and typically remain one until the night when you magically transform into a wise owl.

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The first thing you have to do is fall out of love with sleep.

Instead of smothering yourself with sleep you need to take only as much as you need to function. This can be anywhere from 6-8 hours.

You also have to try and get a solid sleep. So take some time at night and settle yourself down.

Take a shower. Put on some comfy clothes. Avoid things that make you active or anything that triggers critical thinking. Shut down.

Now personally I sought to do the whole 9-5 routine so that I could be productive during the day hours. So I hit the sack around midnight and wake around seven or eight.

Next step in time management is a simple yet effective tool called the calender.

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Tools like a calender help you visualize your day and helps you plan ahead. The calender has helped me immensely.

Make plans? Write it down. Want to set a goal? Write it down. Do something special on that day? Write it down so you can look back.

I save my calenders and put them into a time capsule. This way I can look back to figure out when I did certain things, or you can simply look back and reminisce.

It beats letting several non productive months pass you by. It sucks wondering what you did to pass the time.

You can take it up a level and get yourself a planner as well. Most of us have the tools right on our phones. Which is awesome because you always have your tool with you.

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When I write something on my calender I copy it to my phone and visa versa. So my desk calender serves as home base and my phone is my travel buddy.

Next crucial step to time management is planning ahead.

One thing that really messed my head up was waking up wondering what I should do with my day. It kind of stops you dead in your tracks. It also takes time to figure out an effective plan of action.

I solved this problem by keeping a daily log.

At the end of the night before I cool down for bed I write an entry in my log.

In this log I recap my achievements for the day. I write down any lessons I learned. And I list my goals for the following day so I can wake up with a plan of action.

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If I know what hour my event is taking place on the following day then I punch it into my phones planner.

Now you must keep in mind that nothing ever goes according to plan. So try and not to be too ocd about any of these tips. You have to be organic and bend with the wind. But it never hurts to have a little direction.

So I am going to wrap this blog up here. In my next blog I will touch on keeping that brain of yours up beat while you adventure through life’s challenges.