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elizalomas on 08/05/2010 at 05:50PM

DO Trust Don Trust

Brooklyn based Don Trust makes collage style electronica which is alluringly unnerving and achingly satisfying. 

Chopped up coversations, blues vocals and dulcet female tones are overlayed with electronic loops and intensely strummed guitars, laying out a fragmented yard of visual-audio mayhem.

His style in these tracks is reminiscent of one of FMA's all time top tracks- Mercy by Lucky Dragons, due to the climatic effect of the pasted layers of vocals and sounds. 

It wouldn't surprise anyone to hear he also works as a visual artist. If you like the sounds, you will like the sights too.

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don trust
JoeMc on 08/05/2010 at 11:54AM

Guardian Alien: Making Contact

At Cinders Gallery (video capture courtesy stovids)

Some folks believe in guardian angels, benevolent beings that watch over us and protect us from harm. But what if there are other beings out there, also watching over us and waiting to make contact? Anybody who's flipped through, say, The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, or has seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind, has most likely wondered: What if there are guardian aliens out there?

Brooklyn's Guardian Alien wonders this same thing. Loudly.

Helmed by Greg Fox -- a busy fellow who also drums in Teeth Mountain, Liturgy, Dan Deacon Ensemble, and Man Forever (Kid Millions/Oneida) and plays solo as GDFX -- Guardian Alien follow the road to enlightenment previously trod by the likes of Hawkwind and other space adventurers. If we're going to make alien contact, what's going to get their attention more, anyway? A 5-note ditty played on a xylophone or an 18-minute trance epic of guitars, synths, drums, and caterwauling vocals?

Here is a recent attempt at contact from a few weeks ago, recorded at the Cinders Gallery in Brooklyn. Greg Fox is on drums, of course, as well as Casio synth-guitar, with Turner Williams on japanese banjo, Camilla Padgitt-Coles on synth, and on vocals and ecstatic dancing, Alex Drewchin (who, by the way, when she's not chanting to or howling at the stars, leads a completely different musical life as a singer-songwriter).

For more Guardian Alien, check out another live recording, released as Sing Like Talking, also on the FMA here. For more Greg Fox, there's plenty of Teeth Mountain and Liturgy on the FMA, as well as some GDFX, Guardian Alien's immediate precursor, including a great session on Talk's Cheap with Jason Sigal from earlier this year.

Be sure to have a look at Guardian Alien's MySpace page for more videos, helpful advice on how to behave if you are the first human to meet an alien, and other useful teachings. They will also be playing live tomorrow night at Conspirastock (see here for more info) and appearing later this month at Shea Stadium in Brooklyn.

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lizb on 08/05/2010 at 08:45AM

Robot Dance Party

Heads-up, minimal synth fans! A few tracks have recently been added to the FMA from NYC's premier robot dance party band, Mazing Vids. The duo of Ryan and Ryan have been making music together since the early '00s, with cold teutonic beats, scratchy synths, and distorto vox. If you're in the NYC area, catch Mazing Vids live at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn on Aug 29th.

"Drastic Mirth" is the band's most recent LP, released in late 2009, and features the great song "Could You Die" (below). I'm also a big fan of the song "Erector Set," which places Mazing Vids in the same zip code as Espelndor Geometrico, Grauzone, Der Plan, and Crash Course in Science.

Speaking of the oldies... if you dig vintage robot music, there are a number of recent comps and reissues that are totally worth checking out.

Compilations: Cold Waves + Minimal Electronics (Angular), The Minimal Waves Tapes Vol. 1 (Stones Throw), Milky Disco - 1, 2, or 3 (Lo), Neon Beats (Klang Galerie).

Reissues: Deux (Minimal Wave), Esplendor Geometrico LP box (Vinyl on Demand), Kebab (Soft Spot), 39 Clocks (Bureau B), Crash Course in Science LP box (Vinyl on Demand).

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bobw on 08/04/2010 at 03:19PM

Suuns (from Montreal) Live on WFMU

joe, ben, max, liam and bob... and a non-canadian goose.

Originally called "Zeroes," this Montreal-based four-piece had to change their name due to a conflict with another band. They chose "suuns", which means "zero" in Lao.

Their Zeroes EP -- featured at Other Music earlier this year -- is now available as a free download (in exchange for an email address). They'll release their first full-length on Secretly Canadian in October, 2010.

One band that comes to mind when I listen to Suuns is Clinic. Though they couldn't be mistaken for one another there are certainly some common threads in the fabric of their music, like the breath-y, speak-singing style of Suuns' vocalist Ben Shemie. Keyboards often provide a soft addition to the guitar/drums/bass/vocals, and there's a subtle layering of an electro noise compliment.

I discovered Suuns while prowling the web for new bands from the Montreal scene. By luck, they were touring with fellow Montrealeans Palovr, and I was able to snag them for a wfmu live session on July 22, 2010.

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montreal, indie rock
jason on 08/04/2010 at 09:00AM

Welcome INQ Mag to the FMA!

INQ Mag is an incredible resource for netaudio. In addition to highlighting individual release, INQ does the Monographic Podcast series spotlighting some of the best netlabels around, curated by the label-heads themselves. These have helped me discover some incredible sounds, and I'm excited that INQ will be using the FMA as a platform to help spread the good word. As an introduction, editor Mikel posted this mix on INQ-Mag's FMA portal:

We are happy to start this collab with FMA after 3 years researching the netaudio scene on our website Always faithful to our principles of audio as well as visual quality of the releases we have been posting without being closed to a genre, has been a key factor for beeing an enriching experience for us.

In the near future we hope starting to upload to FMA the episodes of our Monographic Podcast, a netaudio mix podcast by netlabel curators.

For the opening ive been diggin on my latest listenings to gather 13 songs of 13 remarkable artists. Some very recognisable names such as Jan Jelinek, Ran Slavin or AGF/Delay, with some emergent artists like or Lazzich. I hope you enjoy the selection...

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elizalomas on 08/03/2010 at 04:45PM

Stanton Moore: An Alchemists' Approach to Drumming

Live grooving at KEXP (photo credit: Ogalthorpe)

Stanton Moore is best known for being a founding member of legendary New Orleans funk band Galactic. Away from this, he has a solo career which spotlights him as all-round inspiring musician, innovator and teacher. His dedication to funk drumming is surpassed only by the love of his home, New Orleans, where jazz was created and where people like him are investing their time and talents to keep it as vibrant as ever.

In April this year he released the book 'Groove Alchemy', an essential investigation into the original elements of funk and groove drumming. He gives invaluable insight into how his drumming is turned to gold: combining masterful, experienced rhythms with the characteristic laid-back lilt of New Orleans.

The release of this book reflects the type of musician Moore is. From providing masterclasses in the Big Easy drumming style, to introducing his own titanium snare drum, to setting up a scholarship for young aspiring musicians post-Katrina, Moore's heart and soul are truely backing every beat he makes.

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herr_professor on 08/03/2010 at 09:35AM

Samurai Sons


Genre Pushing chip music netlabel is at it again with Magnetic Sumo, an 11-song compilation from some of the hardest thinking fellers from the international chip-scene.

Highlights include Alex Mauer, math rock remix of one of Alex's song's by Temp Sounds Solutions (pictured), Rico Zerone, and pretty much everyone on this star packed compilation. Check out the artists when done, and enjoy some smooth funky and freaky takes on chip music hardware.

On a side note, TCTD is taking a summer break, so aside from a few spot posts the next update will be in mid-september. Have a safe and serious summer, and catch you guys next time!

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doron on 08/03/2010 at 09:19AM

The FMA is Looking for a Developer

The Free Music Archive has now been up for a little over a year and in that short time we've come a long way. We have lots of big plans for our roadmap including implementing a recomendation engine, enhancing our api, overhauling search, oAuth integration and lots, lots more.

We are currently looking for an experienced, freelance LAMP developer and are especially interested in people with:

Strong PHP + Mysql DB design skills
Amazon Web Services (EC2 + S3)
Code Igniter
Jquery / Ajax / Javascript mastery
any visual design + flash chops are a plus!

If you have any experience developing music sites and working with things like the Echo Nest API and XSPF playlists those are really big pluses.

If you are interested please drop a line to jason -at- freemusicarchive dot org and let us know about any projects you've been working on along with relevant urls. If there are any music sites or apps that you like to use on a regular basis please be sure to let us know about those too.

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jason on 08/02/2010 at 04:00PM

coolrunnings the band

I noticed -- well how couldn't I? -- the provocative cover of coolrunnings' Babes Forever EP posted on Naturally, I wondered what kind of music could possibly go along with its X-rated (as-in NSFW) but also as in extreme sports) cover art.

Turns out Knoxville's COOLRUNNINGS has already released 2 free EPs and a series of individual songs [including Nick Lowe and Talking Heads covers] these past few months, all in anticipation of their forthcoming full-length. The Buffalo and Babes Forever EPs are both full of song titles that almost match the ridiculousness of the band's name (a movie whose soundtrack [pictured R] I happen to've listened to a lot when I was 8 years-old).

The music is a surprisingly earnest range of detailed-yet-unpolished drummachine-fueled guitar-pop sounds. "Better Things" reminds me of Okay's Low Road/High Road-style one-word anthems. From there the BF EP seems to get better with every song; the spacious "When I Got High With You" and angular dance-punk of "Trippin Balls At Dur Weinerschnitzel". Then the 7-song EP ends by morphing the '88new-wave X '02 dancepunk beginnings of "Slumberland" into an epic Arcade Firey lo-fi symphonic coda, with a choir repeating "you're going to die" over a warped hushed synth. I'm left very much looking forward to hearing where coolrunnings winds up at the end of the debut LP, and hoping they won't need naked skateboarders to help get their music heard this time around.

I'm reminded a bit of Joe McGasko's post from the other day, looking back at a time (1912) when the shocking directness of this cover would've been impossible to fathom. Coolrunnings the Band is very representative of this musical era; I'm surprised by how relevant Cool Runnings can seem.

Speaking of the blochalas blog, once upon a time they hosted all kindsa user-submitted reviews and illegal rips, but in the aftermath of #musicblogocide2k10 now only features music that wants to be free 245 comments on the post marking their decision to only offer legal downloads, and Daily Swarm coverage of their switch

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andrewcsmith on 08/02/2010 at 02:00PM

the way the rocks hold the current (II)

Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal

"Knob-twiddling" isn't quite the word for the force that Philip White puts on his handmade circuits when he starts a set. It's more of a lunge, with an aggressive twist of some knob (encased inside a tupperware container), which then feeds through a few more circuits, and eventually will come out of one of the fifteen speakers hanging over the audience. It alternates between stability—a constant drone, or short repeated pattern—and instability, where sounds continually and unpredictably change.

Philip White's piece, called "the way the rocks hold the current (II)," kicked off the month-long Floating Points festival at ISSUE Project Room, where each performer uses the hanging fifteen-channel speaker system. The piece had something in common with other types of repetition-based music, like Aphex Twin or Morton Feldman or the minuet, where each repetition is a bed on which other sounds might shift and also a short waypoint, building expectations of something that's about to change or stop entirely. These repetitions are a ground, like a time-based theme and variations, upon which White seems to collect his thoughts and spin other patterns until the original ones disappear. It's this barely contained polyphony that keeps the balance between sound and chaos.

White seems to borrow much from free improvisation (exemplified by his duo with Suzanne Thorpe as thenumber46) but there's something unpredictable about White's use of homemade electronics. Those who improvise on acoustic instruments have a certain connectivity and familiarity with their instruments where the instrument is often described as an extension of the performer's body. Yet, instead of a clear connection between the performer and the instrument, White's electronics pull the creation of the sound into another dimension, less connected to physicality. Given this, the sounds that begin his piece—alternately growls, screams, and static—wouldn't be out of place coming from a saxophone or maybe a bassoon. But the sounds are only part of it; this disconnection transforms him into a listener alongside us.

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