Plutonic Rainbows

Belkin Wireless Woes

Decided to buy a Belkin Wireless Charger two weeks ago and it already seems to have had a detrimental health on the XS Max battery capacity. I’ve previously had 100% capacity for almost a year.

Actually, looking at my diary it is exactly a year ago today that I bought the XS Max, so it’s disappointing that I couldn’t keep the 100% record intact - which I’d achieved by careful battery management. Which brings me back to the Belkin and its effect on battery capacity for the iPhone.

Within fourteen days, it has fallen to 98%. This is due to trickle charging.

According to Battery University, leaving your phone plugged in when it’s fully charged, like you might overnight, is bad for the battery in the long run.

Once your smartphone has reached 100% charge, it gets “trickle charges” to keep it at 100% while plugged in. It keeps the battery in a high-stress, high-tension state, which wears down the chemistry within.

I’m going back to my old way of just using the 30W USB-C every few days and try and put the thought of the £50 I spent behind me.

Pegwell Bay

Haeckels, based in Margate capture the essence of the sea with their parfum.

Unkempt beauty, a natural haven to birds, insects and animals of all shapes and sizes but accessible for man to wonder at its beauty and roam the paths of Pegwell Bay. Along the side of each of these beautiful walks is fennel; growing from bulb to high hollow stemmed bush whilst on the salt marsh that lays between you and sea can be seen orchids, salt marsh thrift and marsh grasses.

Remnants of an industrial past lay all around, clues to its history but all this is thrown into a shadow as the natural beauty of this place truly takes over; the senses are met at all sides with sights, smells and textures which makes walking through and experiencing it a special journey.

Available here.

iTunes Store Down

A sizeable number of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users are experiencing an issue with some Apple services at the moment. More specifically, there are some reports about an unknown message that has appeared on iOS 13 and iPadOS. The iTunes Store error simply pops up on the screen unexpectedly and for several times.

The Joker

Given all the hype, you could be forgiven for thinking that The Joker is some deep analysis into the mind of someone tipping into insanity. However, I came away feeling as if I hadn’t really learnt anything new. Great performances but I just couldn’t get with it. Maybe a second viewing will change things.

HTRK - Over The Rainbow

Unexpected, gorgeous new LP from HTRK, a follow-up to their recent Ghostly album ‘Venus in Leo’, it’s the soundtrack to Jeremy Peixoto’s Scientology documentary ‘Over The Rainbow’, mastered by Rashad Becker. A rare and unexpected all-instrumental showreel, their suite of original music is testament to a haunting soul that’s long lurked under the hood of their singular, hugely evocative sound.

The soundtrack strips away HTRK’s signature vocals and drum machines in a commission to fit the mood of Peixoto’s feature - a film that seeks to better understand Scientology through a range of perspectives, from psychologists to former members. Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang use their considerable knack for conjuring haunting, heavy-lidded feels and ohrwurm hooks to map the mood, deploying a trademark, incisive sense of detachment that colours the film’s intersection of real beliefs and ideas of Scientology as a sect.

In the absence of Jonnine Standish’s vocals and Nigel Yang’s 808 boom, HTRK’s musick is pared to its essence of synths and electronics and painted in hazy, illusive strokes from a palette of smudged pastels mutual to both South California and the band’s native Australia. The result is a 13 part mosaic tiling hazy blue cues with aqueous ambient pads and baroque themes, playing out like the atmospheric strokes to LA noir in a way that silhouettes the film’s probing narrative and rhetoric and also reflects its fascination with American culture and the supernatural in a similar way to Eno’s ambient classics or Lynch flicks and their scores.

Ultimately ‘Over The Rainbow’ is an instant play-it-again entry to HTRK’s catalogue, one that supplies a sort of crystal ball window onto their practice and most subtly illuminates the duo’s masterful control of tonal sensitivity and floating, chamber-like composition. A big recommendation to all lovers of classic ambient music, from Pinkcourtesyphone to Gigi Masin, AFX and Eno.

Boomkat Editions

XVARR - Echoes Of Time


Enchanted UK synth alchemist XVARR blesses Good Morning Tapes’ vinyl series with a gorgeous suite of ambient electronics certain to resonate with disciples of 0PN, Eno, Zoviet France, Colin Potter.

An eldritch beauty ripe with autumnal tone and mushied lushness, ‘She Healed Him In Her Sleep’ follows in the creeping vein of XVARR’s acclaimed 2018 tape ‘Serpent Power’ to bloom his sound with an organic, elemental quality and energy that binds Sufi trance to original kosmische and the kind of quietly humming, pastoral vibe typical of early British synth music.

In four tracks XVARR paints rolling sinewave vistas that unfurl with a timelessly slow-burning and romantic vision, ranging from cinematic sentiments that Eno would be proud of, to passages of amniotic ambient atavism and dream sequence arps that seduce listeners to the sweetest soporific states of mind and distract from everyday reality.

The gently elegiac synth-brass fanfare and strings of the title song unmistakably owe as much to 0PN as Eno’s stately early work, while the plangent jangle of ‘Past Masters’ surely recalls the hiraeth and pull of the sea and land found in Zoviet France’s enigmatic rituals. The pulsing ‘Echoes of Time’ most poignantly brims with the Eastern-oriented optimism of ‘60s and ‘70s electronics, channelling Harmonia via JD Emmanuel, and ‘Terminal Manoeuvre’ instinctively dowses a bout of BoC-like nostalgia in 3 minutes of lilting melody and elliptical oscillator wooze.

We could hardly imagine a lovelier fanfare for the change of the seasons. Time it all with sunset, fleeces and freaky fungi for optimal immersion (and possible optical side-effects).

You can purchase the EP here.

New Books

Currently reading ‘The Second Sleep’ by Robert Harris with Ted Chiang’s ‘Exhalation’ due to follow that. Finally, there is a new Stephen King novel, ‘The Institute’ which also looks interesting.

Guardian Server Update

Finally Guardian VPN Firewall has added a UK server to its functionality - it was essentially useless before - blocking all streaming services. If you reset your configuration and are in the UK, you should now see london-ipsec-3 as your host server.