Monthly Archives: March 2016

Auditory Flashbacks: Die Laughing

Tonight’s post isn’t a review so much as a hand­ful of snip­pets from the tal­ent­ed UK goth group Die Laugh­ing. Hav­ing been active from 1986 to 1999, they dis­solved the sum­mer before Y2K and even­tu­al­ly re-formed in 2012 with a new sin­gle, “Tan­gled,” and news that they’re work­ing on mate­r­i­al for a new album.

See­ing as their inter­na­tion­al fol­low­ing nev­er real­ly stopped (due in equal parts to the Inter­net and the peri­od­ic releas­es of their work on oth­er com­pi­la­tion albums) it’s refresh­ing to hear they’re intent on adding more works to their repertoire.

Enjoy …

Auditory Flashbacks: Blutengel

Tonight’s post isn’t a music review (for now, any­way). I just want­ed to share this very beau­ti­ful song off of Bluten­gel’s 2011 album Trä­nen­herz:

Tea Time: Meßmer’s Rosehip and Hibiscus

I’m WAY over­due on post­ing this review, con­sid­er­ing I’ve been drink­ing this stuff for a long time.

Meet Meßmer’s Rose­hip and Hibiscus:

Meßmer Rosehip and Hibiscus Tea Meßmer's Rosehip and Hibiscus Tea

It comes pre-pack­aged in indi­vid­ual paper wrapped tea bags (I’m not aware of there being any loose leaf vari­ants). The ingre­di­ents list notes only three items are used to make it: rose­hips, hibis­cus, and sweet black­ber­ry leaves. There is no caf­feine content.

This tea is best served hot or cold. While it’s a great way to warm up on a win­ter’s night, it also makes some of the best iced tea, if you pre­fer it that way. The flavour is strong yet sub­tle, full-bod­ied with slight­ly earthy tones, and slight but notice­able sour and tangy notes.

The infu­sion is a char­ac­ter­is­tic blood-red hue, which makes for fun con­ver­sa­tion and inter­est­ing spec­u­la­tion about what one is drinking.

While this prod­uct tastes great on its own, there have been plen­ty of times I’ve paired it with a sweet­en­er in mak­ing iced tea to share with fam­i­ly and friends. For this, I’ve found hon­ey gives the best results as its flavour spec­trum runs com­ple­men­tary to the tangy and sour notes of the tea, and high­lights the earthy tones per­fect­ly with­out being over­pow­er­ing. The result is an iced tea that tastes excep­tion­al­ly smooth, which both adults and chil­dren love.

Much like good music, this tea is an export of Ger­many and comes to British Colum­bia as some­what of a niche prod­uct. Not many peo­ple know it exists, and few­er still have had a chance to try it. This has unfor­tu­nate­ly been borne out in the way retail­ers treat it, too: since 2005, I’ve seen both Wal­mart and Cana­di­an Super­store briefly car­ry and then dis­con­tin­ue the Meßmer prod­uct line.

More recent­ly, my girl­friend total­ly lucked out and found some at a down­town Lon­don Drugs here in Vic­to­ria (and on man­ager’s spe­cial, no less!) so need­less to say, I’m stoked at hav­ing it again. Hope­ful­ly they’ll keep stock­ing it!

Last but not least, I cre­at­ed a Food and Drink sec­tion to cat­e­go­rize this post, and it got me think­ing: this is not the usu­al con­tent I share here, but con­sid­er­ing how much kitchen­ware I own and how much cre­ative stuff we do each year in the kitchen, I think I’ve been hold­ing back. Per­haps in the future, I’ll post an occa­sion­al fam­i­ly recipe or rec­om­men­da­tion … there are just too many good things out there, and not shar­ing them would be wrong.


Tools for Audio Geeks: Spek, a Free Spectrum Analyzer

Tonight, I’d like to give a major shout-out to the cre­ators of Spek, a free spec­trum ana­lyz­er I dis­cov­ered recent­ly, which has been extreme­ly use­ful in the course of pro­cess­ing my music collection.

Why use a spec­trum ana­lyz­er at all? Glad you asked.

The main ben­e­fit is you can phys­i­cal­ly see how the encode turned out — peaks, fre­quen­cy cut­offs, bit rates, and oth­er details can be checked with this tool. It can be some­what neb­u­lous on the details if you used VBR, but I gen­er­al­ly find that’s not much of an issue con­sid­er­ing being able to see a track­’s audio spec­trum pro­vides a bet­ter look at the file anyway.

Con­tin­ue read­ing