Thursday, November 23, 2006

Freak crosses

Presenting something that's a bit older than my first Rayman fanarts...


The Tweenies as "rock" stars. This is one of many freak artworks I've done over the past god knows how many years. I don't know how I ever came about with this one, but one thing's for sure I had fun. Milo [purple] is Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, Fizz [yellow] is Marylin Manson, Jake [orange] is Corey from Slipknot [I didn't know his name back then so I just called him "Jake the freak"], and Bella [blue] is the rather cold Alanis Morrissette drummer. My sister coloured this in for me - I loved how she gave Milo all those yucky tattoos on his arms... This was from 2001 as it says, but this ain't the only freak crossover I've done...

Now what the FUCK was I thinking?? Well it's basically James Pond characters going as characters from the Mega Drive game Phantasy Star III, an RPG that despite the poor graphics, sucked me in. You know, when you can't stop playing it. Pond himself is Rhys, Angel Fish [the girl] is Mieu, and Finnius is Wren. What happened was that during my old 'seismic-saffya' days on DeviantART I was in a Sega club where they had a contest about crossing over 2 Sega games. It took me a while to realise that James Pond didn't count because of the other consoles the series was on, like Amiga and SNES. I didn't enter anyway, nor did I finish it.

Most recently was this.
Yes, it's Engie Benjy in Metal Slug attire...well, it's supposed to be anyway. You see, after "accidently" seeing it years ago and in recent days, I saw that this guy treats everything as an emergency, whether someone can't open a jar or a spaceship needs new shoes... Besides Boohbah this is one of the most whacked out things to ever be on TV...whatever possessed Bridget Appleby into creating it I don't know. So I though why now cross this with Metal Slug?

Wait, since when did I liked Metal Slug? Well, that was from earlier this year when a few friends of mine got me to play Metal Slug 3 on a CPS2 emulator [kinda like MAME or something]. It really was a good game I must say, it ran so smoothly and it was awesome making a zombie version of your player spew blood as a weapon! I even did a picture of Engie doing that, but I never finished.

Stay tuned for more strange artwork from me...if I ever find it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Where am I?

I don't know where I'm going right now. It's been long since I posted in this blog, what with the Duckula one and my more recent art blog, where I post about all my old art.

So here's the deal. I've been pretty much lonely in recent times. Both my sisters have been spending more time away from here with their boyfriends now, so I barely get to see them. Sure, we all get our times when we hate each other, but I do miss them when they're away. Least I still have my mum and dad, and Jessie, but I barely have any friends in real life.

So I'm what, coming up to 20 years old, and still depend on my parents. Barely able to find a job because nothing that's on offer interests me, or is interested in me. Still extremely uncomfortable with travelling too far on my own because my parents get worried. Just...where am I?

But wait? What did I do in the past two weeks? Well, for the first time ever, the other week, I took a train. Just me, on my own. I did it because I wanted to find an art shop in Shenfield, a town not far away, that sells Copic markers. Because the last time I went there, I was with my younger sister, and she was very fed up with me going around in circles. This time, I found it, picked a few marker colours, and headed home. However, I lost my other ticket, so I had to buy a single one to get home. I was so glad to have had some money left, otherwise I would have panicked to no end. So basically when the trip should have costed me £4.30 [minus bus fares], it costed me over £7. Add the bus fare, and that's more than a tenner. Oh well, we learn from our mistakes.

It doesn't end there. When I got back to Romford, I nearly got hit by a bus. I wasn't paying attention to the other side as I was heading over to try and catch a red bus I'd probably miss anyway. I just wanted to get home. There's no telling me what would have happened if I hadn't heard that horn...

What else? Well, the other day, I had an appointment at the local hospital. I missed it last year, so I had to wait a full 365-day cycle for the next, and if I didn't come to this one, I'd probably get a little telling me I hadn't come, and probably be thrown out of ENT. So I took a bus to Harold Wood station, crossed that huge road, and got into the outpatients block. Talking to the receptionist was tough, but mum had already rung them up about it, so I didn't need to bring any cards or anything, and got my seat. I never felt to depending on mum being here then.

Eventually a nurse called me in to wait for a hearing test. I then took it [by sitting in a booth with headphones on and you have to press a button when you hear a beep over rushing sounds], and saw my mum waiting outside. I then had to wait to actually see the doctor, who said that even after three years since I lost hearing in my right ear there's nothing much I can do about it. For some reason none of the doctors I've seen about it advocate the use of hearing aids, but I decided to try it, so the doctor is going to forward me to someone who does hearing aids.

It's not nice having only one functioning ear. I hate having to turn my head around so I can hear someone speak. Sometimes I worry about being deaf completely, because when it happened, it happened so randomly, without any warning.

So, two achievements in a fortnight. My mother said to me..."I'm proud of you doing that [taking the bus to the hospital by myself, she couldn't take me because she was working at that very time], well done".

I'm still lost though...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Random Post #1

Because my art blog needed updating.

I think I'll start off with these scrappies I did for my sister at least 3 years back. You see, there's this guy who presents the CBeebies show 'Tikkabilla', and the BBC Schools programmes 'Words & Pictures Plus' and 'The Song Catcher', and we thought he was the best voice ever! His name is Paul Ewing, and he has some kind of weird Cornish's so unique, we love it! So together we came up with some weird portrayal of him we like to call 'What Paul Ewing is like when he's not on Tikkabilla', where basically he's a nutcase who thinks potatoes are 'dodo eggs'...we come up with such weird things, me and Carla...

Beside that is another picture I did for her in 2003, basically loads of craptastic Squidward drawings. Carla really liked him at the time, because she loves miserable, grouchy characters like Ren Hoek and Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh. I also did a drawing of Smithers from the Simpsons earlier for her, which is beside the collage above the Paul drawing but not viewable in this photo, again she liked him at the time. Her room walls are covered ENTIRELY with posters, magazine cutouts and the like...

Oh yeah, I was about to forget...yesterday I spend about £17 in Hobbycraft buying new art materials, like watercolour paper, a graphite stick, some black ink and some white acrylic is the latter beautiful? I tried it out on my latest Count Duckula fanart...and well, what can I say? I think I should get more of these acrylic inks when I can afford them - they cost about £4.50 a bottle! This stuff is really opaque in white, so I painted the moon with it.

Materials used in this: watercolour, Faber-castell PITTs, Copic Marker, FW acrylic ink, W&N black ink, Cotman coldpressed paper [again beautiful stuff, but costing me at least £5].

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

More 2004 stuff

The stuff I have from 2004 just keeps on coming.

Oh dear lord, the state of my room! And check out the hideous rug! It was there to cover up a huge inkstain I accidently made on the carpet the year before. Thankfully it's replaced with a bigger, navy blue rug. When I move into my sister's old room when she moves out, I'll have no rug at all. I didn't have a desk you see, even though this room is the biggest of the house, I have to share it with my younger sister, and she hates seeing all my shit everywhere. I actually can't remember what I was actually doing here...maybe the Foster's Home drawing inside my sketchbook.

Here we go, college stuff. This was from when I started my attempt at the National Diploma in Art and Design, which I sadly dropped out of in the first few days of 2005. After induction, we had to be in groups, which I really HATED, and design some kind of tower thing made from cellotape and newspaper. It was a good thing I brought my shitty old camera along that day. When we were finished with out paper towers, our tutor made us burn them, and take photographs of the fire. OK...weird... Personally I called this a 'paper virus', because of how tall it was and those long bits that stuck out of it.

Now we're talking, old lineart for a Sandy Cheeks fanart. Round about that time I used to like inking with a small brush, because sometimes it could get just as good results as using a nib. This was just about before I learned the art of pentooling in Photoshop.

Finally, some more Ceramics stuff. This was my board for my Ceramics things only - the rest of my overall college work was in another room - and it's mostly of my old tiles and some chalk drawings. Those things are the bottom are my large pot, and my weird-ass tomato thing. The rest of my ceramic things aren't visible in this photo. Now, the drawing of the aubergine...there was one side project we had where we had to make 'angular' models of fruit and vegetables, and I chose aubergine...and well, the final model I made looked sod all like one. I still have this on my windowsill.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Oh Dear...

In case you're wondering, that's supposed to be Will Young. And yes, it's an old college work from 2003/4 I found hidden under my bunk bed. For this project my class had to rip up bits of greyscale paper or newspaper and stick them down to form a depiction of a famous person, using different tones at the same time. I'm not a fan of much of his music [in fact, at the time, the radio used to play 'Leave Right Now' so much it was totally doing my head in], but I chose Will Young because my sisters were, and I thought it'd be some dedication to them.

As the photo suggests, this was done on a massive A1 sheet of paper, so you can just about imagine how long this took, what with the little pieces of paper and all. I made the background - which was made of pieces of old schoolbook covers - just to make it look better. But that face! Jesus, I didn't even make the nose, because I was too lazy too. So as a result it freaked my sisters out a little. Also, he looks like he's got a fat neck.

But meh, that college course was rather school-like, so we didn't create much more than catalogue collages, Photoshop filter abuse and papier mache things. But then, at least those things were practical, which was what I think art courses should totally be, rather than stressing out over paper assignments about artists we don't like or have never heard of.

I think I better leave right now before I fall any deeper into embarrassment...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Round 2

More from my non-college October sketchbook of 2004. Most of this is Team17 worms stuff today.

Starting off with sigworm stuff. Sigworms are characters based on Team 17's Worms which have different features that tell them apart, and were used a lot by users of Team 17's fanart section of their forums. I was such a user in summer 2004, and one of few females there. They used to call me one of the best up there...

That second one there is Christmas themed of a sort, with a Roy Wood [Whizzard] worm, and a worm that gave his friend his heart last Christmas. But the very nexy minute, he died.

Then there are Balamory themed worms. I was bewildered by that children's programme at the time because of its bright colours and strange writing. PC Plum and Spencer are my favourite characters from the show, because of the policeman's stupidity, and the painter's eyes that pop because he can't stop brushing. I made some worms drawings based on Big Cook Little Cook- another stupidly funny cBeebies programme - as well, but I'll be showing you that in a future post.

Next are some rather daft drawings based on my own sigworm, Saffya, which is the very creature in my Blogger photo if anyone was wondering. Why the hell I drew her in a tellytubby suit I have no idea, but it seemed kind of funny at the time.

As a fan of the DDR arcade videogames, I wanted to draw Saffya playing it, but alas, worms have no arms or legs! Team 17 worms however had Rayman style floaty hands that appeared at will. But I could imagine... and I did. I drew this sort of pair of metal legs that she'd sit in, and with pull strings, she'd move around and stuff, much like Masterkaag, the first boss from Rayman 3.

And lastly...this.

I also had this idea of some animation that I never got round to making, where another sigworm makes a clone of Saffya, which goes haywire and another female sig is called to kill the clone. Saffya would try to talk the mutant into not destroying the city, but the authories killed it anyway.

I used to be so good at drawing worms. Where did it all go...?

To be continued.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Round 1

Just posting some old sketchbook things I found lying around. The following is from 2004, in one of my own, non-college books.

This here is 'Charlie Chav', a pen doodle I made in a cancelled class at college. That college used to cancel classes an awful lot, but I abused the time a lot. Spending more time drawing whatever I wanted rather than what the college wanted. This drawing in particular is obviously a reference to chav culture, which was just about being recognised at the time - burberry hat, Nike trainers, gold chain, cigarette...yep, that's a male chav alright! Yeah, it does look fuck all like Charlie Chalk which I named the drawing after, but then, I'm always referring to children's programmes when it comes to my more stranger cartoonings. I love parody of such, so that's probably where it comes from. Oh yes, I can't forget that there were actual chavs [or perhaps wiggers, to make it more precise] in this class, and my last.

One more thing. Never use permanent marker ink in Daler Roweley sketchbooks. It yellows the other pages a LOT.

The next one is even weirder...or perhaps, nothing more than a piece of newspaper wrapped up in black acrylic paint and white acrylic scribblings. I was just experimenting there, after looking at someone else's sketchbook where such thing was in it a lot. Not just with the newspaper, but with the way I was painting white paint over black paint. Acrylic paint can be so nasty in paper sketchbooks, always sticking even though it's dry... The newspaper article is about schools giving kids free condoms I believe... which, I personally think isn't too good. Might prevent teenage pregnancies yes, but not underage sex. I'm talking kids aged 11 here losing their virginities and having children like they always print about in newspapers and Closer magazines...what is this world coming to...?

Alright, enough jibber jabber on the real world, and onto some more drawings.

Army dogs. With plaits and cigarettes. Now just...what? Just to prove that not every thing thing that I draw is cartoon and game fanart. But then, this was modelled after some old Chad Valley toys I used to play with, that my father brought down by accident, so whether that counts or now I don't know. These toys were called 'Puppy Dog Tales', which were like My Little Pony but with dogs, and from 1998. They even made a magazine, bless! It's not often you see anything made by Chad Valley that gets published as a magazine actually, but I believe it has the same address as the office that published the old Puppy in my Pocket magazines [I had LOADS of those still sitting in the loft]. Nostalgia plays a really important part of my will to draw.

Unfinished Little Britain/Worms comic. With worm versions of Lou and Andy. Lou would go and get one of the worms packages, and while he's gone, Andy, who's supposed to be disabled, goes and shoots the enemy worms Matrix style. And Lou would wonder how they were all defeated. Couldn't think of a way to end it, but looking at it now I'd make Andy say 'homing pigeon did it'. This was when Little Britain was HUGE here, they were running the second series which while some scenes were shocking, others were gut bustingly hilarious.

I think I'll take a break here, but I'll be back with some more weirdass drawings.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Gothic Tiles

My younger sister nicked my camera once again, so I had to scan it. My older sister found it while she was clearing out her room. I was scared that the weight would break my scanner...

It's a set of 'gothic tiles' I made in Ceramics while I was at college in 2004. I believe I used white buff clay and black slip. It was my input for a project in which we all had to make about four gothic tiles, making sure they 'repeated' when put against each other. At the beginning of the project, my class visited the Victoria and Albert Gallery in London, as there was an exhibition of gothic art going on there.

The thing was that I thought this was for Critical Studies, my least favourite aspect of my art course, so I took my Crit studies sketchbook instead of my Ceramics one. Nevertheless, I still drew a few of the artworks at the exhibition, and bought some postcards. If only I had both sketchbooks still, I would have scanned some pages and showed them off. If I ever do find them, I will.

When we actually got round to making the tiles, we has to make three kinds - the ones shown here, some flat tiles using red buff clay with markings all over them I believe, and white buff clay tiles with the first letter of our names on. Being called Stacey and all, mine had the letter S, and we made them look gothic too. We had to make all these bumps on these, and I didn't even know what I was doing, so I just shaped the top of the tile randomly, and my teacher thought it was a great example! Heh, the thigns you get when you don't know what you're doing eh... I coloured that tile with zinc oxide I believe - it came out green, and I'm pretty sure magnesium [or was it managnese?] oxide makes clay go dark brown... Both that and the red tile were possibly lost...shame, I would have shown you the S tile, because I was bloody proud of it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Today was a dark day for my artistic world.

A week ago I was in my sister's room when I took one of my Duckula novels to read in. I then had the idea of illustrating that book, so I drew Nanny dancing to music that sounded so bad to Duckula that he begged her to turn it off. Days later, I got to colouring it with Copic markers along with watercolours and colour pencils. After taking this photo, I was almost done, it had a background and everything.

Then I left it overnight, on the floor. While I was a sleep, I heard the sound of a cat vomiting - that cat being a cat we're looking after for someone - and I thought he was dying then. So I turned the light on, looked around...and there it was. A BIG puddle of watery cat vom all over my artwork. And man, was I pissed off? This was something I did NOT need at quarter to seven in the morning! I had to throw it away, much to my sadness.

Of all places the cat had to vomit, he had to do it there. Maybe it was because I kept pushing him away because he was getting too close and stepping all over it while I was working on it. So now I know - NEVER leave or make artworks in a room with uncaged animals. My only choice now is to remake it...perhaps better it even.

This however cheered me up.

I've been chosen as a featured artist on Photo Lucidity, which is a new photography site related to Fanart-Central. This means that the photo of Jess I have there will be on the front page for all of this month. It's not long been up, but damn, I feel honoured to be seen like this! And my little dog Jessie is a star!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Been a while...

Whoa, February? I almost forgot that I had this thing.

So came past my 19th birthday - wasn't too bad but I chose for it to be that way - on the 11th April.

But as they say, for every good time you have, there's always a bad one. On the 16th April, my pet dog had a fit that gave everyone a scare. So much of a scare in fact, that it rediced everyone to ears. My mum was crying, and she said to me as I came in the room, "She's dying!". My parents made a decision to have my dear dog Sandy taken to the vets to be put down.

Then came a miracle. I heard the care come back as I was running though all the memories of having Sandy around, and out came Sandy! As well as my parents. Mum said that by the time they came to the vets, Sandy recovered from her state of ill mentality.

But the miracle didn't last. Three days later, Sandy had to be put down for good. Below is a short video of the very last time I saw my dog before the car door closed and my parents drove her away [that is my voice BTW]...

It was a saddening time for all of us.

The next day however, a shine of light came as dad brought home a new puppy - a Jack Russell and Cairn terrier cross that we called Jessie. She seems to have a 'Scrappy Doo' personality - not afraid of anyone, although she does get scared when she hears a loud noise. And by god she don't half bite when she's hyperactive. Just today I got a small bite mark on my arm that bled...I do hope she gets over that as she grows up.

She does however have the CUTEST face when she's not so hyper, and more sleepy. A lovely little dog if you will...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The end of Seismic Saffya is nigh

On the 22nd November 2002, I joined a website called, the moment I discovered it. I told a friend that I joined, and asked to sprad the word about through the then small Rayman community. I was welcomed and watched shortly after.

I thought it was the best art submission site there could be, because you could upload an unlimited amount of work on there without having to wait days. I had originally intended to submit my art on Side 7, but I was having a lot of trouble getting an account on there for some reason. This wasn't a great time because I had the feeling that whatever I drew had gone to waste, until I found DeviantART. My gallery filled up with all sorts of Rayman and James Pond crap, and I got better at drawing as I went along, got new software and made new friends.

However, it's not always been sunshine and lollipops. I've had all kinds of shit given to me, from copyright violation notes to just plain ignorance. One time, some arsehole posted an extremely immature message on my page because he saw a message I made on a SpongeBob SquarePants fan's page. At another, a young deviant left a nasty comment on one of my old Rayman comics that reduced me to tears. I wasn't one to take such harsh comments, and I'm not one now.

Also, I have the feeling that everything I've done was all in vain. Every moment I spent drawing lineart, colouring in Photoshop, looking for the right materials to work with, every penny I spent on them, all gone to failure. My most successful piece on deviantART was a drawing of Patrick Star in a thong, which received over 100 comments and favourites. However I placed the deviation in storage for the reason that it was only yielding favourites by people who don't give comments, and comments that were nothing more than floods of emoticons and the phrases 'this is so wrong!' and 'I find it disturbing yet funny at the same time'.

Things like this don't help me at all in terms of improving my art. So, I savour any meaningful comment I receive.

In turn I believe, I haven't been making as many comments myself as I used to do. Art that I'm interested in - fanart of my favourite cartoons in other words - isn't as easy to find as it used to be because the browsing part of the site is flooded with either Sonic the Hedgehog (which consists of Sonic X screenshots and sprites that have been manipulated to look like new characters), Invader Zim and any anime fanart. I only add artworks to my favourites at will, as opposed to a few individuals who add absolutely anything that comes through to their inbox. In my case, the same few people add my stuff on a regular basis. They do this to everyone in their watch just to get attention.

But that would be hypocritical of me to say. I'm an attention whore too, because I don't get enough of it. I constantly look at how many pageviews I've got because I know that what I get in a month is what certain deviants get in a day. Some of these lack in the artistic skills that have taken me years to develop, and they're more popular than me. One deviant in particular received 500 favourites for a simple flash animation of Gir from Invader Zim just blinking and rolling his eyes. I spent 9 months on a flash movie, and I only got 7, and 31 comments . Things like that make me fucking sick!

The next bone to pick is how DeviantART doesn't allow the closure of unwanted accounts at one's request. There are thousands of accounts that are left unused, either because one has joined and has since left, or they've been banned. The only way you could ever have your account removed is if you've actually murdered someone or caught up in a legal investigation. All you can delete at your will is your deviations and journals, but nothing more. There are hundreds of things I've said on deviantART that make me wish that I could just wipe out all traces of my existance, but I can't do that.

A certain user, and fellow student of the college I used to go to, has been constantly attacked by a spammer who's laid disgusting messages on her page and those of a few others. And deviantART's moderators are doing nothing but banning the several accounts this person has made just to attack these people. DeviantART set up NINE accounts names 'deviantARTModerator1', '2' etc, and all they say is 'This comment is a violation of the Policy equitette, please be more mindful or we will set administrative action' blah blah fucking blah. Have nine of these is just as wasteful as what this spammer has done all over deviantART. And to not let a user remove their page at their will is a crying shame.

The problems don't end here.

From the day I've joined, I've been a slave to it. I've visited almost every day since the 22nd November 2002, the only times I'd been off it for more than 7 days would be when I'm on a week long holiday. It became a way of life for me. Such a way of life in fact that it was costly. I blame deviantART for the fact that it has taken more than three years of my life in which I'll never get it back. I've been so consumed by how many pageviews and comments I'd get that I could have used the time to do something productive. No fucking wonder I couldn't get a college assignment done. No wonder I got school grades that I was dissatisfied with.

I need to move on. Three years is a time too long for me to be a slave to a website.

I'll still keep my deviations up on my page. It would be incredibly selfish of me to deny the wonderful people of the world of my work, no matter how much of a waste it's been.

Kroc, TRP86, Raygirl, Psyke, Splapp, Melonhead118, Error 404 and the many others I've come to contact with, thank you all so much for the great times I've had. I can never forget any of it.

Soon will come the end of Seismic Saffya. It won't be the end of me, just Seismic Saffya.

I need to go to bed now, it's awfully late.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

It's the music that we choose

Suppose you're like me and you'd rather listen to your music privately rather than blast it so that the whole town can hear. That happens to be something my dad does often. But it's at it's worst when the song bears these lyrics...

"Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?
Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?


That was just the worst song of the year 2005.

The sad truth is that there hasn't been a decent song in the charts in the past year. Not one. The worst example of these shit records is the number of dance records that one might call 'funky house'.

The exact start of such so-called music isn't known, but one of the pioneers of this is Eric Prydz and the song 'Call on Me'. This was a number one hit over in the UK back in 2004, staying at the top for abour 5 weeks. Now, the song just consisted of the line 'Call on me' going over and over again, but that wasn't why the song sold so much. It was because the music video was of sexy girls doing aerobics in skimpy leotards. A real mothfoamer for perverts who only bought the CD just so they can watch the x-rated full video.

The fact that this song contained samples from an 80's record started a huge fad in the dance scene. One by one a song from the 80's and even 90's was victimised - from Roxette to Jermaine Stuart to the New Radicals - and thanks to that, I stopped tuning into PureDance radio and stopped buying Clubland.

So why did I listen to dance music in the first place?

Once upon a time, I was well into the music from the early 90's. The stuff that would always top the charts, like 'Mr Vain', 'I'm a Dreamer' and the like, and as the years went by, we actually did like stuff like Steps, B*Witched and 5ive. This was a time when mainstream chart music was actually good.

But there was one song that made my love for trance music hit the roof - DJ Sakin's 'Protect your Mind' from 1999. But my, this song had samples from Braveheart! What made this any different from Eric Prydz? It was the MELODIC part of it. The song from Braveheart was beautiful, and this song combined that with the mesmorising 'n-tiss' percussion.

As the years went buy, I carried on liking mainstream. Until the day when I got attracted to Scooter and 'the Logical Song'. Again, that contained a sample, and also a guy screaming random shit in the interlude. The only difference was that I had an adolescent crush on that guy. As a result, I was a HUGE fan of trance.

There had been some classics in the mainstream such as 'Pretty Green Eyes'. That song, unlike most other trance tracks, was ORIGINAL, as were some others by Ultrabeat. Songs like that should have been at number 1, unlike DJ Sammy who got his surprise number 1 with his version of the Bryan Adams track 'Heaven' (which was quite good though).

In 2003 I bought a number of CDs of Scooter - the 'Push the Beat For This Jam' album and 'the Stadium Techno Experience', and well as a few CD singles. I loved them both to death, in fact, when I bought Push the Beat I wouldn't have it off my stereo for months! I even had the DVD for my 16th birthday!

However, song by song Scooter got weaker, but there was one song that I loved - 'Jigga Jigga'. This song had a haunting verse of female vocals, which was just beautiful. And that, in my opinion, was where Scooter ended for me.

In 2005, I decided to get into stronger, faster trance. I remember picking up a compilation called 'the Ultimate Happy Hardcore album', which was of 6 CDs. Only the first three had some really good songs on it, the rest was bloody scary. Then I bought the Clubland X-Treme Hardcore album, which was bloody brilliant. I'm still waiting to see if Clubland could release another hardcore album.

Stuff like this made me glad that it's there, because in the mainstream then were TONS of this shit funky house and hip-hop. I was getting really sick of these having samples and covering 80's classic!

Then came the godsend that was my broadband. With that, I downloaded Limewire, with which I could download most songs that I desired. I downloaded lots of stuff that I wouldn't normally be able to buy, like the Waka Laka song, and lots of songs that I heard in flash movies. But then, one day, I decided to give Nightwish a try. Lots of songs came up there. Although this was all goth rock and metal, it was when I heard this line from the song 'Sleeping Sun' I was intrigued...

"The sun is sleeping quietly, once upon a century..."

I wanted more. In the space of a few months, I gathered lots of Nightwish music, as well as that of Within Temptation, another goth rock band with a female lead singer. Some were really scary, while others were beautiful. Each of Nightwish's 6 albums had at least one song that I really liked, for how melodic and wonderfully sung it was. Metal music with an operatic female voice. This was nothing like I've heard before.

Within Temptation are similar, but less operatic than Nightwish. But when I got to check them out, I was gagging for their Mother Earth album, and when I did, I was dreadfully excited by my find. The first song of theirs I got hold of was 'Memories', which didn't sound too bad, but I was yet to hear better. In the end, I found that this band was a LOT better than Evanescence.

These artists really knew how to make the music I really liked - music that is rich with melody. I love all that frilly classical stuff, I love woodwind music, I love orchestral, acoustic the lot! In todays mainstream I heard too little of it, and too much of this 'I wanna make hot love to you' shit.

If you haven't heard any songs by Nightwish and Within Temptation, I suggest you do so. Of Nightwish, I recommend the Oceanborn album, which...well, there's just something about that album that I really like about it as opposed to the other albums. Of Within Temptation, I'd go for Mother Earth. Some of the songs there are dull for those whole really love their heavy metal, but for people like me they're brilliant.

Thank you so much Limewire.