Thursday 23 July 2015

Piotr Utkin - Pathfinder Fighter

Piotr Utkin - True Neutral Human Fighter (Level 1) (with lawful leanings)
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 11, Con 13, Int 9, Wis 10, Cha 10
Skills: Profession (farmer) 1, Ride 1
Feats: Endurance, Toughness, Catch Off-Guard (fighter bonus feat: no penalty for improvised weapon; opponents flat-footed when using improvised weapon)
Trait: Freedom Fighter (+1 bonus with improvised weaponry)
Gear: Basic farmer stuff, scythe/pitchfork

Appearance/Personality: Like most in the area, Piotr is broad shouldered, fair skinned and fair haired, with blue eyes. He's not as smart as his friends, but his family don't worry - a middle child of several, there are others who can run the farm whilst his strength means he's invaluable in getting the physical work done. He particularly enjoys the calm and rhythmic nature of the reap.

Background: Piotr is a couple years older than Svetlana, Anya and Devin, and a few years older again than Misha. He was an important member of their group - his strength and steadiness assisting den building endeavours and, on one memorable occasion, rescuing them from a fight with a group of merciless older children on a trip to Restov.  Nonetheless, they didn't always treat him as well as they could, playing on his gullibility and his desire to fit in: Piotr often played the king in their games; he didn't notice that the king was usually an old, ugly, bumbling fool, instead was flattered that they saw him as a leader. Devin was perhaps particularly bad for this (not from malice, but because it was easy to cause humour at Piotr's expense) but Svetlana didn't stand up for him as often as she maybe should have done, and even Anya could be guilty of laughing with them. It was a family-like meanness, though: if anyone else tried to use him the same way, they would jump on them and defend him swiftly and precisely: Devin can leave deeper wounds with words than any punch Piotr could have thrown.

It's fair to say the half-elf fascinates him. Piotr remembers the tinker who came through on her birthday. He remembers the fuss she made afterwards - he knew she was wrong, there was no way the human tinker could be her elven father, but his loyalty to his friend meant he supported her silently, letting her rant at him in the days afterwards until she shut up and hid her hurt deep down and never mentioned the mystery of her father again. He enjoyed the feeling of closeness her rants gave him, even if he thought she was crazy.

His first kiss was with Svetlana, when they were teens. For her, it was just a kiss, another game. For him, though, it really mattered. Svetlana would have tried to let him down gently if she'd known he was falling in love with her (or at least thought he was), but somehow she never realised. They'd started to drift apart; now in his early 20s, Piotr's duties at the family farm were significant and he was starting to see his younger friends (particularly Devin and Svetlana) as childish in their inability to settle into traditional roles - even Anya frustrated him a bit, seeing her position as a hunter as wilder than respectable for an expectant mother. 

Svetlana, however, was as unaware of this as she was of his infatuation when she approached him for his company on her adventure, and he misinterpreted her need for adventure as simply a need for change. He suggested she might want to settle down with him, become a wife - after all, they were both too old to still be playing at adventurers. She backed off, startled, having thought his past talk of fighting and adventure was still current.

They argued until she ran off, angry to hide an uncomfortable undercurrent of fear at his reaction. He was her friend and she loved him dearly - but like a brother. And he couldn't expect her to give up who she was to stay here - he clearly didn't know her at all. And how come she hadn't realised how he felt? She kicked herself for her naivety... but the encounter was soon behind her as she followed the adventure to her new life and she didn't often think of it, assuming all was as well with him as with her. After all, he had the quiet life he'd wanted...

He stayed home, nursing his hurt, refusing to speak of her. His anger worsened on hearing just months later that she was not only engaged, but to a king - to the role he'd normally played. She'd told him she didn't want to settle down, but that had been a lie. He simply wasn't good enough for her...

I forget whether he's now engaged to another villager or not. If he is, how does Svetlana feel? Jealous, perhaps? She wouldn't admit to it, but maybe the strength of his attention flattered her.

Or maybe not. Maybe she'd just be relieved he'd forgiven her for unintentionally hurting him, relieved he'd moved on. 

(Edit to clarify: the latter is the case. Piotr may prefer to believe she's at least a little jealous his attention has shifted, but Svetlana never saw him in the same light and would be relieved not to have to worry about his feelings any more.)

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Misha Volkov - Pathfinder Druid

Misha Volkov - Neutral Good Human Druid (Level 1) (with lawful/neutral leanings)
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 18, Cha 11
Skills: Diplomacy 1, Handle Animal 1, Heal 1, Knowledge (nature) 1, Perception 1, Spellcraft 1, Survival 1, Swim 1
Feats: Animal Affinity (bonus to Handle Animal and Ride), Nature Soul (bonus to Knowledge (nature) and Survival)
Traits: Erastil's Speaker (bonus to diplomacy; diplomacy a class skill)
Spells: Create Water (0), Discern Health (0), Divining Rod (0), Calm Animals (1), Commune with Birds (1)
Animal Companion: Barsuk, female badger
Languages: Common, Druidic, Gnomic, Sylvan
Gear: Basic survival gear, spell components, and a quarterstaff.

Appearance/Personality: Fair skin, white-blond hair and ice blue eyes common to the region. Maybe slightly shorter than average, but as broad-shouldered as most in the remote community. Misha is the youngest of three siblings, with brother Maksim the eldest and sister Marya in the middle. Often mistaken for shy, Misha's quietness comes more from an inner calm and strong sense of self that means he doesn't feel the need to compete for attention to know he's real. 

Background: Misha is the only vegetarian in the village, particularly odd in a family of hunters. It is not part of his druidic training but a personal decision he took when he was old enough to understand.

With Anya, Devin and Piotr, Misha is one of Svetlana's childhood friends; he's also Anya's brother-in-law. Whilst the youngest by a few years, his wisdom and intelligence have given him an emotional maturity that found him better suited to their company than to children his age. They were also the group whose games took them furthest into the forests, allowing him to indulge in his love of the wild.

It may be that Devin's fast talking got them out of most of the trouble his imagination had led them into, but sometimes it took Misha's calm to soothe things over. Adults often forgot he was part of the group until he spoke, and whenever he interceded forgot he was so young.

It surprised no one that the druids took an interest in him from an early age. In many ways, this was a blessing to the community: being so remote and with no dedicated cleric or healer locally, childhood mortality is high, but with regular visits from the druids, far more of this generation survived.

In the months before Svetlana left, the druids had found a place for him in their ranks. She regretted this meant he would not accompany her but could see he was on his own journey. He does miss his friends from time to time, but  is leading the life he was born for.

Musical A-Z - Q

Let's see if you correctly guessed which bands would come up here... Part of me wanted to go away and discover new Q bands, but that felt like cheating. I Also feel like I should be a fan of Quiet Riot, but I only know 'Cum on feel the noize', and while I like it I don't have the emotional engagement with the song or band for it to meet the ephemeral criteria for inclusion.

This is my favourite Queen song. My big sister sang it quietly to me when my dad married my step-mum: a hugely powerful memory of being overwhelmed by love on a day I found very difficult (my step-mum and I have patched things up, but we had a very unsteady relationship at the time).

By happy coincidence, this is Husbit's favourite Bowie song. 

Queens of the Stone Age

Back to being a teenager. This was the first QotSA song I heard, on a mix-disc either from a friend or free on the front of Kerrang! magazine. Despite my music tastes, I was mostly a very straight-laced teenager and something about this song titillated me - gave me that feeling of rebellion without actually having to actual rebel and risk getting into trouble.

Anyway, I'm off work for this week for a training course. It's being run from New York so I'm doing it online (for some reason my employers weren't prepared to send me to NY for the week...), which means I'm running on American time but in the UK, which feels a little weird. The nice thing is that I'm having time to write in the morning before work rather than trying to squeeze it into my increasingly full evenings, and I'm still getting to sleep in (I'm definitely an owl). I'm also getting so see how Cat spends her home-alone days.

I set up in my normal corner of the sofa yesterday, only to be hounded out of it by the puss (who proceeded to sleep in my spot all day), so I moved laptop and course gubbins to the other side and today she's either been on my lap or outside... Contrary feline!

What do you mean you wanted to sit here? This is *my* spot

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Reading Challenge 2015 - Reading about Writing

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
First published October 2000
Challenges covered:
    - Non-fiction
    - Unread book by loved author
    - Based on a true story
    - Memoir

This is a book I've been meaning to read for years. My brother leant it to me at the same time as The Dark Tower series and I found it as interesting and helpful as I'd hoped. Inevitably, the focus was American English and I would love to read a similarly accessible and honest book about writing on British English. However, a lot of what he says applies across language. I found it good motivation to read - it made me want to write! There were a few comments I wanted to make on it. King claims many people think if you're a mediocre writer you can never become a good reader but I've never heard that said and, like King, would argue that it absolutely isn't true. To improve your writing, like anything, you need to practice, a lot. You need to study methods and tactics, and you need to read a lot. To read things you enjoy, things you don't like. Work out why you like or dislike what you read and be open to criticism. And be prepared to research not just how to write, but also the topics you want to write about.

The short story at the end of the version I read was very good, too. Strongly captured a mood.

Elements of Eloquence - Mark Forsyth
Published November 2013
Challenges covered:
    - A funny book
    - Non-fiction 
    - Book by an author not read before

I really enjoyed this. It catalogues various rhetoric techniques, with a brief explanation and examples of use. To be honest, I'd have liked a little more explanation and a few more examples on each, but as an overview it was fascinating. My one concern was that he said other books will argue about each point of rhetoric, about what it actually means and whether x, y or z demonstrates the right qualities, which has had the unfortunate side effect of dissuading me from looking further into the techniques. Which is daft, because these are exactly the useful sort of things to consider when learning to write well! That aside, this is another accessible book on writing and I definitely recommend it.


Sunday 19 July 2015

Anya Volkova - Pathfinder Ranger

Another of Svetlana's childhood gang, Anya's the only one who's cameoed in the game so far - she was Svetlana's bridesmaid and spent time in New Stetvon for the wedding

See also Svetlana, Devin, Misha and Piotr.

Anya Volkova (nee Kuznetsova) - Lawful Good Human Ranger (Level 1)
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 11
Skills:  Climb 1, Handle Animal 1, Heal 1, Knowledge (nature) 1, Perception 1, Profession (hunter) 1, Stealth 1, Survival 1, Swim 1
Feats: Athletic (bonus to climb and swim), Run 
Trait: Free Spirit (+2 DC to intimidate her; +1 saving throw against language dependent/sonic descriptor effects)
Ranger Abilities: Favoured enemy (animals +2)
Languages: Common, Gnomic
Equipment: Basic outdoor survival gear/hunter's pack, shortbow, dagger, leather armour, bottle of Chekhov family mead. 

Appearance/Personality: Anya has the fair skin, pale blue eyes and strawberry-blonde hair common in the village. Her build is sturdy; athletic: she hunts with the eye of an eagle, swims with the joy of an otter, climbs with the speed of a squirrel and runs like a leaping hare. She laughs easily and often and comes across as very laid back in comparison to her friends (except the calm Misha). She is hard to insult and quick to stand up for those she thinks are being picked on.

Background: Anya is very close in age to Svetlana, making her a little younger than Piotr and a little older than Devin and Misha, and is third cousin to Svetlana's mother. Her father, Ruslan Kuznetsov, is the village blacksmith, a role her brothers are likely to take on.  

Anya gravitated to her charismatic half-elf cousin and often acted as scout for the group when they played further from home than they ought - picking up a love of the wilderness that found her spending a lot of time with Misha's family, hunters and trappers who proudly traced their lineage back to the hunters saved by Erastil burning the oak that gave the name to the village pub. In an effort to tame the wild bunch, Devin's mother taught them tasks that required focus and patience - lockpicking and the like. Whilst Anya enjoyed these, she never dedicated the time to them she did to understanding the natural world.

She is bright and enjoyed school, but declined in surprise the suggestion by Olesya Chorkina that she move to Restov and continue her studies there. The teacher had expected Anya to attend university and pursue an academic career and put her decision not to down to the bad influence of her friends rather than the fact Anya genuinely preferred her more practical life.

It did not surprise anyone when Misha's elder brother Maksim asked Anya to marry him, nor how readily she agreed. The two had always been close and their wedding, in its elegance, had all the simplicity Svetlana had wanted in her own.

It was Anya who discovered the cellar of the Burning Tree was 'haunted' shortly before the fortuitous arrival of the ragged 'exorcist', Alexei Vassilev. She'd come to tell her cousins of her recently discovered pregnancy, and the shock of bottles flying round when she went to fetch supplies nearly caused her to fall. Alexei took the ghost with him and left the leaflet that drew Anya's best friend away, then Natasha (Svetlana's mother) left to be closer to her daughter in the Dawnlands (and opted to stay there rather than move again after Svetlana's relocation to New Stetvon). Natasha's parents were beginning to feel too old to run the pub themselves - had already handed the running of the orchard and brewery to younger family. Heavily pregnant, Anya was unable to hunt so it made sense for her to spend more time at the inn. Once the twins arrived, she was grateful for the extra space the inn offers, but ultimately she hopes to pass the pub to her sister-in-law, Marya, and return to hunting with Maksim. 

Sunday 12 July 2015

Placeholder Post

Sorry guys, you're not forgotten. I've been feeling pretty run down and non-creative for the past week, and various Real Life commitments have eaten my time on top. I blame the heat: I'm really not built for the summer. (It's raining today and glorious.)

You may have noticed I've been focusing on trying to catch up a bit with my 2015 Reading Challenge progress and making my way through the Musical A-Z rather than telling the current Pathfinder or Aberrant tales. In Pathfinder, we're undertaking the Starstone Trial, and as this is meant to be a secret thing my GM has asked I don't reveal our progress through - which is fair enough, as he and the other players are overall kind enough to co-opt the story to put up here. I think our version has also been shaken up to suit our characters. I know our Golarion is different to canon and particularly that fewer people have survived the trial and all who have done so received divinity. So I'll return to that story once we're dead or gods.

In Aberrant, we left it with a press conference about to be given by the NPC Alastair. My GM's going to be sending me a copy of the speech to kick me off on that. Then there was some fuss and bother and a scene borrowed from the film 'Kingsman: the Secret Service'. In the film, Colin Firth's character has an epic fight scene in a church. The choreography is exciting - it has a feel of comic book art, at least to me - so the scene was borrowed for Adam's vengeance after his home was attacked, with one of his workers and his dog being killed. This was the week before the attack on the church in Charleston and, whilst the church in our game was a cover for a very unpleasant anti-nova organisation (the ones behind the bombing of the film premier), it's still a bit too close for me to be comfortable writing about just now - especially with other churches being burned down since. Adam seems to have gone on to carry out further violences I didn't know about out of character either, so I could hand-wave the whole thing whilst writing from Chrissie's perspective, but I feel more comfortable offering an apology, of sorts. Even an inept one like this. I'll get back to the novas when I've got the press release.

I've got a few characters I want to write up too - Svetlana's friends Anya, Piotr and Misha, for a start, but also a Jedi cat I played in a Space Munchkin game run by a friend at uni to introduce his housemates to roleplay, and a pair of fantasy siblings, orphaned in a fire blazing through the poor quarter. I have some big ideas for Bethany and Eric and that might end up being a short story rather than just a character write-up. Kismet's been on my mind too - I've been accidentally developing and fleshing out her history at odd moments.

Also, I've been reading through the Lords of Gossomar and Shadow bundle and have been rolling ideas around in my mind there too - both worlds and characters. I've been particularly inspired by a series of tweets from Frank Winters (RPG Union) about treants as player characters. It got me thinking about both a more traditional, Lord of the Rings-style race, somewhere between hobbits and ents (druidic, gentle, life-giving), and a darker tribe, dangerous and deadly with a grudge against mobile life (like the forest that snares and torments Snow White in the 1938 Disney film). That could create a very interesting forest covered realm (have you ever read The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K LeGuin? It's not my favourite book, but it is my favourite title and she is one of my favourite authors).

I was really pleased with the entry that won the bundle and have had a lot of people suggest I develop the idea - a lot of support and advice, as well, from people who know about writing and that's been excited. I certainly have characters and what might be the glimmerings of a plot, so watch this space.

Anyway, I will get back on track soon. Meanwhile, enjoy a photo of Cat exploring the car.

Sunday 5 July 2015

Reading Challenge 2015 - Choose a Book by Its Cover

I'm working through the Lords of Gossamer & Shadow stuff and enjoying what I'm reading - but annoyingly my tablet broke and I read pdf's more slowly from the laptop so it's going to be a little while before I'm ready to give decent comment. Cool concept so far, though, and I reckon character gen is less complicated than I first thought. 

They say never to choose a book by its cover, but that was one of the challenges. I had done that previously, with The Children's Book, and felt stung, but these books were far more satisfying and examples of why it isn't always a bad thing.

Theatre of the Gods - Matt Suddain
Goodreads gives an expected publication date of 15th September this year for this cover art, which is a bit weird because I read it around about March...
Additional challenges covered:
    - More than 500 pages
    - Author I'd never read before

A man who is not a wizard is accompanied by his servant on a dangerous mission demanded by the Queen: to, as he claims to be able, travel to another dimension. His ship is captained by a depressed teen and crewed by slave children. They are hunted by assassins and the full weight of the Pope's army, and have stowaways in the form of a blind girl and a deaf boy, both with unusual powers.

It's not like anything I've read before: the pace is frenetic and the story jumps around to give a character's backstory or fill in some detail that was forgotten earlier as the narrator tries to get the tale from the protagonist, M Francisco Fabrigas. I was drawn in by the cover art and convinced by the blurb on the back - the sales assistant had read and recommended the book, so that helped too (my local bookstore might be a chain, but the staff are there because they love books). I'd recommend it, but it wouldn't be for everybody.

Published June 2011
Additional challenges covered:
   - Popular author's first book
   - Author I'd never read before

I like old photographs and camera trickery, so the front cover caught my eye when I first saw it before Christmas. When I saw 'book by cover' on the challenge list I thought I should check it out and I did enjoy it.

The book begins in the USA, with a young man feeling frustrated with life. His grandad is then killed by what everyone else believes to be wild animals but he thinks more is going on, so ends up with his dad travelling to Wales to visit the children's home his grandad spent most of the war in. It was bombed out, but he discovers the children survived and are living in a time loop to hide from the same creatures that killed his grandad.

The photographs were fun, but it was fairly obvious that the pictures had come before the story and at times I found the way they were pushed in frustrating. Another thing breaking the fourth wall for me was that the place described felt much more like and English seaside town than Wales - "whitewashed cottages", when (Portmeirion aside) every old building I've ever seen in Wales has been grey stone and on the road, with no "muddy gravel streets", much less a grid of them (towns in the UK pre-date cars and were not built with future-proofing in mind but rather grew organically, so unlike the US there are very few places laid out in grids). It's telling that the film is using locations in Cornwall for the island. Also, the name of the island - "Cairnholm" - doesn't feel very Welsh. Ynys Carn, maybe?

There were other issues for me as an English reader familiar with Wales, the Welsh accent and the Welsh language reading this book written by an American for an American audience: I found the description of the language awkward because I'm coming at it with an English ear. It's a bit of an annoyance of mine, that British authors have to translate their novels to American English for the American audience but American authors(/publishers) feel no compunction to return the favour.

I'll probably an eye out for the film (Tim Burton directing sounds ideal), but the story never lived up to the promise. It was a cool concept but never found traction because the author seemed too focused on shoving in and describing the photos, letting the plot and particularly character development fall by the wayside. It felt under geographically under-researched and that was frustrating for somewhere I consider home. I don't know if I'll bother reading the sequels.

The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman
Published Jan 2015
Additional challenges covered:
    - Published this year
    - Female author
    - Mystery/thriller (I'm not 100% certain it does meet this, but there's certainly mystery)
    - Book with magic
    - Author I've not read before

Patrick Rothfuss's Slow Regard of Silent Things comes out in paperback later this year, so I'll reserve judgement until I've read that, but this might be my favourite book of the year. Whilst this is the author's first novel, she has written for roleplaying games and I think that comes through - I kept thinking what a fantastic concept the Library would be for a game. I mean, so many ideas just spiralling out of my mind...

The main character, Irene, works for the eponymous Invisible Library, an extra-dimensional place whose inhabitants' goal is to collect books from across the dimensions and, in the process, stand in opposition to Chaos. Librarians have no family or, less commonly but in the case of Irene, are the children of librarians. Worlds seem to be arranged on a scale from high magic, no technology to high tech, no magic, with plenty of crossover in the middle (I reckon ours to be no magic, medium tech), and the Librarians are sent out to gather books - either on simple shopping sprees for common books, or on more dangerous missions for those that are rarer or more unique. The collection and protection of books is the Library's overriding purpose, but the senior librarians no doubt have their own intrigues and agendas.

So anyway, junior librarian Irene is sent off to a world with a chaos infestation to track down a particular copy of Grimm Fairy Tales that is unique to this world. Her boss gives her an apprentice, a haughty but good-looking young man called Kai. The relationship between them is refreshingly calm - none of this tired "but I work alone so I hate my partner who I'll come to love by the end of this cliche buddy-cop movie book" - their initial wariness is down to not being used to working together and they try to get past that and work as a team. I enjoyed the dynamic. Before leaving, Irene's rival, Bradamant, appears and tries to take their mission. The handling of their relationship - the revealing of their history and their character and the way they deal with each other - was also handled well.

Things are, of course, not what they seem in the realm they've entered - a steam-punk Victorian London with fairies (agents of Chaos), werewolves and vampires. There are twists and turns and mortal danger and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I am really looking forward to the sequels and, if I don't manage to run a game using the concept, will probably end up writing some fanfic based in the same universe.


Friday 3 July 2015

Musical A-Z - P (Updated)

As you may haev seen, I won something over on RPG Knights! Am currently downloading my prize and thought I'd get this sorted while I wait... I think DriveThruRPG is having a bad day!


I recently found out about the racist comments made by the leadsinger and it saddened me because I love their music. I really enjoy this kind of metal and think they are/were very talented. It's left me in a quandry!

Papa Roach

Another song with teenage nostalgia - although much less happy. It was a huge song for me in that it spoke to me about my depression (and connected me deeply with another friend in the same boat). The line "It all started when I lost my mother" cut particularly deeply. But fortunately friends at uni reconnected me with the song and gave it much happier memories. (I didn't go to Reading the year they were there but I had fun when I did go so it seemed an appropriate video)

Paul Weller 

Another bittersweet I'm afraid. I worked in a pub/club during my uni holidays. My boss, guy called Steve, learnt to sing and did Paul Weller covers as 'The Wild Woodsman'. I didn't listen to Paul Weller until after Steve was murdered and his voice has never seemed quite right to me: Steve's just seemed that bit stronger. He's someone I miss a lot - one of the best bosses I've ever had. Club never seemed quite the same without him.


May have mentioned before Husbit and I have eclectic but varying musical taste: you've no doubt noticed my strongest preferences are in rock, punk and metal, whilst his are more the dance end of the spectrum. The drum and bass stylings of Pendulum make a good middle ground, and we both really like the band (although he's the only one lucky enough to have seen them). This song will always get me dancing.

I didn't find the actual music video, but this amused me. You might say I'm easily entertained... 

Peter Andre 

Hanson, B*Witched and 5ive... but I think this is the only thing on the list I'm vaguely embarassed by... But again, it's all about the memories, and I was young and foolish and on my first school trip where we stayed away over night. Safely encased in canvas, the girls sang - or rather, shouted - the chorus late at night between the tents, to the annoyance of the teachers, parents and boys.

And that's not a six-pack. What he did was shave some hamsters and tape them to his stomach. Fact. :p

Pink Floyd (updated to include)

Oh my goodness! How could I forget Pink Floyd? They are one of my Dad's favourite bands - possibly his favourite. I grew up listening to them and have always loved this song. I think it's very beautiful. Not seen the video before. 


Turns out I don't know Pitchshifter as well as I thought. Listen to them when I'm out or round friends but turns out I didn't know what any are called! Oh well...


Right up until this morning, the song was going to be Pure Morning. Maybe Bitter End or Meds. But I got Every Me and Every You in my head as I was leaving work so switched. Love Placebo. Bought an issue of Kerrang! in the way back when because it had a Placebo meets Judge Dredd comic and my dad's a Judge Dredd fan. Showed it to him and turned out he already knew and "quite liked" Placebo. The teenage me cheered at that!


Another in the Venn diagram of Husbit & my tastes - although he's just pointed out he thinks this is one of their worst songs. Apparently, his opinion is popular because it didn't get on to the album. I love it though. This and Breathe alternate between top spot as my favourite. Husbit would have picked Voodoo People (and has pointed out I could have mixed it up with Pendulum and given their remix of it).

Professor Elemental

My lovely friend Pat introduced me to the good professor when I was having a bad day a few years back. Been lucky enough to see him live when he played a gig at the end of my local pier. Great fun.