Osiris4 – [2019] Black Diamonds EP

Simple and effective melodic trance. Digital Diamonds keeps up to its promise.

Long rides, dark evenings behind the keyboard long for meditative, long form music. Netlabel Digital Diamonds specialises in this type of electronic music. This is their 64th release (but not my first review). With only 3 tracks, but over 20 minutes playtime this gives you plenty of time (and me the joy of presenting you two thirds of it all below):

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Aevio – [2019] Bioluminescence

Soothing ambient glitch hop. Skilfully crafted sound textures that excite your ears and calm your mind.

Welcome back to the present (releases of 2019, that is)! This week’s review does not come from my well-fed queue, but instead has been freshly caught. Artist Aevio mixes organic field recordings and synthetic music. The result is not strictly ambient, but calm enough for casual listening.

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Banabila, Grem, Cramer – [1996] Lieber Gorilla : Visionen

Extremely experimental theatre / sound art / pop music album by a Dutch theatre outfit.

I spun the time wheel heavily for this review, looking how far back the netlabel era would carry me. 1996 is the first year for which noticed output on the Internet Archive, my fishing grounds. Look what colourful specimen I caught us here! It features everything from synth rock over quirky, genre-defying instrumentals to pure spoken word tracks. Probably not your usual musical diet.

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Various Artists – [2011] BACKUP11

Exceptional chiptune compilation for Platine Festival in Cologne. Great contributions from well-known artists.

If you want to saviour a varied selection of different classic 8-bit as well as modern interpretations of the genre, look no further. From classic pure console sounds to blends of chip and studio music you can feel served. I can fully recommend each of the 10 tracks, yet will only showcase you the habitual two here:

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How to align and justify text in beamer columns with surrounding text

This is an update to my 2015 post on horizontally aligning text in beamer columns with surrounding text. In this article, I am going to add the request to also justify alignment of all text. At the same time, I am simplifying the solution from last time:

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How to create a nicely formatted Excel table from a pandas DataFrame using openpyxl

When I want to save the current state of a pandas DataFrame for “manual consumption”, I often write df.to_excel('foo.xlsx') within my IPython session or Jupyter Notebook. However, the default style does not look pretty and often needs manual adjustments (e.g. column widths) to be usable.

If you want to create custom reports from pandas, you therefore might want to to this styling programmatically. Package openpyxl does this job nicely. Here is a motivational example that shows you the basic ways of its API. First, have some random data:

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Ant Neely – [2008] Not Fit For Human Consumption

Wide range of styles and techniques on a single solo artist review: pop album, movie score and a little bit of funk.

Ant Neely is one of the few artists on this blog who have their own Wikipedia article. And then there is this single free album, released on Jamendo and CDBaby. The style is… special, in that this album probably is the artist’s business card, showing off quirky production techniques and repertoire from vocal pop to dark cinematic.

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Bit Shifter – [2006] Information Chase

Essential chiptune album from the (g)olden age of Creative Commons music.

Six 8-bit style tracks produced on the Game Boy, the album itself an oldie by now, coming from one of the genre’s great names. While I don’t recommend to listen to hours of chiptunes in a single run, the nostalgic vibes one can get out of this genre well justify exposing your ears to raw sawtooth, blank noise and only mildly filtered sine waves…

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As Above So Below – [2016] Ritos I

Debut EP of “Portugese project doing cinematic postrock”. Special treat: excellently crafted melody lines.

What I like about post rock as a genre is how consistent it is. Once you have heard 3-4 albums, you immediately can recognise it and start concentrating on subtle differences, or bath your ears in the never-ending chord progressions above percussive loops that slowly build up to a loud, but modestly self-restrained instrumental finale. And that’s what awaits you here, as well…

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University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra – [2012] Design and Intent

Live recording of excellently performed classical music. Though not exactly hi-fi, the performance excels.

Without surprise, recordings of full orchestra performing classical symphonies are rare. But the productive university orchestra in Chicago is so kind to provide full recordings of some of their concerts. While they do not (and to not want) to compete with proper (and pricey) studio recordings, they give us an opportunity to try out some classics:

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