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macedonia on 02/27/2010 at 12:35PM

Percussion Lab is in the building. Somebody say HELL YEAH...

game changer, boundary pusher, thy name is Percussion Lab...

It's not like happy days weren't already here at the FMA, but you gotta stand up and take notice when the forward-thinking heads over at Percussion Lab come through on some curator status.  If you've been to their website, you already know that electronic music is in trustworthy and loving hands just by sampling a few of their DJ and live sets.  Our Lady of Clicks, Cuts, Bleeps, and Bloops has blessed the Archive something serious with their generosity.  They have already uploaded fantastic live recordings from the likes of Daedelus, Caural, Machinedrum, Ezekiel Honig, and Percussion Lab head honcho Praveen, just to name a few.

For the purposes of this entry, I'm going to shed light on a DJ set that remains a favorite of mine.  Letherette first dropped this gem of a mix over a year ago and it remains as engaging and hypnotic as the day it first hit the Web.  It is a collection of beat sketches and unfinished instrumental thoughts, fragmented sentences that run into each other and suggest moments of poignancy, paranoia, and the butterflies that sit in your stomach when you're around that special someone.  It's a head-nodding good time and I've been fiending for their debut release ever since, which has yet to drop. 

(Praveen, seriously, I know you've got connections.  Tell them Letherette boys to quit holdin' out on that heat.  Two thousand ten is their year...)

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dj, glitch, hip-hop, electronic
jason on 02/26/2010 at 03:46PM

New York Noise legends Ike Yard return

Ike Yard, NYC March 2007 Photo: Tim Saccenti source

Founded in 1979, the downtown art band Ike Yard created a new sound by tapping into the UK post-punk dub of PiL and Joy Division, the Neue Deutsche Welle of DAF, and the krautrock experimentation of Can. Their 1982 album 'A Fact A Second' (released on Factory Records) has stood the test of time and is considered a classic in the minimalist genre. -John Allen/WFMU

Ike Yard disbanded in 1983, but reunited a few years back in conjunction with their 1980-82 retrospective CD on Acute Records. The lineup features three of the four original members -- Stuart Argabright, Kenny Compton, & Michael Diekmann. On January 29, 2007, WFMU's John Allen hosted a set of new music from Ike Yard.

A track from that session, "Traffikers", will be released on a new Ike Yard full-length titled Nord, coming spring 2010 from Denmark's Phisteria label.

This month, Phisteria releases the Öst EP -- the first new Ike Yard recordings in 27 years. The 10'' is limited to 250 copies, with two new Ike Yard tracks, and two remixes from Phisteria acts Waldchengarten and Hinsidan.

In the interim, Ike Yard founding member Stuart Argabright has had many other projects. His short-lived group The Dominatrix wrote the techno-clash song "The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight" in 1984, and the music video was featured at the MoMA's Looking At Music series. He has also done significant -- even Emmy-nominated sound design and soundtrack work. Argabright visited WFMU in 2009 with Outpost for a tribute to JG Ballard. Enjoy a first-wave Ike Yard clip after the jump

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jason on 02/25/2010 at 11:46AM

Remixing the news Feb 25, 2010

:: In the aftermath of #musicblogocide2k10, the Electronic Frontier Foundation offers Practical Advice for Music Bloggers Worried About DMCA Takedown Censorship

:: Talking Fair Use :: Future of Music Coalition evaluates Public Knowledge's proposed Fair Use fix [PDF] from a sound recording/music perspective. A look back at the "Girl Talk riddle" and a call for discussion (link)

:: "Joel Tenenbaum, the second P2P defendant to take his case all the way through trial, is on the hook for $675,000 in damages. But according to his lawyer, Tenenbaum only caused the record labels $21 in damages." (ArsTechnica). Tenenbaum could have settled for $3,000-$12,000, but decided to take a stand. With the support of Harvard University professor Charles Nesson, Tenenbaum was back in court this week to push for a new trial in this landmark case.

:: We've known the former Tears for Fears-founder was a CC supporter since his 2008 interview from the Creative Commons blog by Cameron Parkins (link). Yesterday, Mashable interviewed Curt Smith about Twitter and Creative Commons. (link). In a blog post "About Creative Commons" (link), Curt Smith wrote: "One misconception I should like to clear up about Creative Commons is that all music released under a CC license is free....I invested a great deal in the recording and release of [CC-licensed album] Halfway, pleased, and charging for it is a way for me to recoup those expenses and to have the funds to invest in making more music."

:: youtube yanks the original rickroll video. why cant the rec biz figure out how to monetize it? (via WFMU Twitter)... it's back now!

:: Macedonia: Grassroots Effort to Preserve Folk Music Online :: a very cool Creative Commons-enabled project, spotlighted by Global Voices. The project inspired Brazilian youtuber onesef76 to record a series of Macedonian folk performances like the following (video after the jump)

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Nat_Roe on 02/24/2010 at 04:06PM

Judge Judy: Teeth Mountain v. Shams

Lord, this one sounded too good to be true when I heard it was in the works a few months back.  And it also helps confirm my suspicion that all the stuff on Judge Judy, Maury, Springer, what have you, are totally made up.  On Monday's episode of Judge Judy, Teeth Mountain's Kate Levitt accused Jonathan Coward, AKA Shams, of killing her cat by throwing a TV on top of it.  The witnesses are Andrew Burt from Teeth Mountain and Narwhalz, who unfortunately doesn't speak much in court but who distinctly refers to Judy as "Mama".  For you animal lovers, this story is not true - although Shams does fuck around with dead birds on stage and burn them as part of rituals or something.  I'm not sure if they're dead when he finds them.

Teeth Mountain are on tour right now in the Northeast US, making their way to Mexico in March -- tourdates here. More Teeth Mountain on the FMA here

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wmmberger on 02/24/2010 at 11:15AM

T, H & D - Suite: Castle Blue Eyes; Towering Heroic Dudes live on WFMU's My Castle of Quiet, 17thFeb2010

THD_WFMU4a I would never dream of imposing my will upon any of the great musicians I've had on the air over the years (except to say, "uh, play now"), but I really wanted to title this session "Suite: Castle Blue Eyes." Why? Bad rock joke? Not necessarily, as Towering Heroic Dudes sit firmly on the wooden front porch of improvised noise; they're friendly, approachable guys, whose "organic" nature is plainly evident in their creations, which are basically lurching, giant paramecium in search of constant sonic nourishment. (Hell, I have no doubt THD have a lot more to offer socially than CS&N at their peak! Those guys were probably dicks! And why aren't THD playing the big, outdoor stage at the Sonoma Jazz Festival?)

MUoo2 copy I've been listening to this session over and over, and I continue to hear new layers of communication and activity each time I do. Gentle piano gives way to violence, metallic scrabbling accompanies vocal murmurs, and sheets of digital noise drive past like suspicious white vans. Enjoy!


THD have CDrs out on Obsolete Units and Phase! Records, and a tape on Cryptic Carousel.

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bondad on 02/23/2010 at 01:00PM

New Farmer (feat. Mia Doi Todd)

About a month ago, John gave me an album entitled Follow The Music: A Commemorative Sampler of Elektra’s Pre-Rock Era. Essentially a collection of folk music, I quickly became enamored with a number of different elements of these recordings. The intentional: the simple forms of the songs, the directness of the lyrical meaning. As well as the elements inherent of the time period in which they were recorded: The fuzzy, consonant-shy vocal sonority, the time constraints of recording vinyl, the hiss and scratch of vintage technology. Using all these elements as criterion for the composition, I began. This simple song encapsulates an entire relationship in three and one half minutes, and features one of Los Angeles’ most creative musicians, Mia Doi Todd.

I hope you enjoy “New Farmer”.


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los angeles
herr_professor on 02/23/2010 at 10:00AM

God is my Binärpilot

When the Micromusic trend first started gaining traction in the late 90's, a key aspect of it was blending of chip music with existing styles in a club friendly way. One of the earliest and most prolific of these early artists has to be Binärpilot. Similar in approach to Psilodump, Binärpilot takes chip instruments and produces them using the same tactics as an experienced club producer, allowing the chip sounds to more easily compete with their expensive mainstream cousins on the beefiest of systems.

Binärpilot also is a big fan of the free music movement, with every one of his releases available for free, as well included in this giant torrent on The Pirate Bay. His seminal Commodore64+ release Remember C64? is uploaded for your approval, enjoy my favorite track Otosclerosis, and see you next time.

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bennett4senate on 02/22/2010 at 01:00PM

Mardi Gras Hangover

I spent last week in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. It was my first time there, but let me tell you, its a magical, musical place.

The young white music hipsters in the old-time jazz bands dress kinda like turn of the century baseball players (at least on stage), play washboards, and can smoke a cigarette for a whole song without changing facial expressions or ashing. One club over, a brother in an all white suit who sings like Stevie invites his uncle on stage - who just so happens to be Meters bassist George Porter Jr. - to join him in covering a Donny Hathaway song. Outside, a Cadillac with 26" rims, painted in stripes like a pack of Lifesavers, is parked in the middle of four lanes of traffic, with a chick in black tights 'walking the dog' on the bumper while the latest track chronicling the Saints' improbable Superbowl victory blares from the stereo. Slightly-too-peppy Christian missionary teen groups put on choreographed hip-hop dances in front of the cathedral, and a child prodigy trombonist is the frontman of a brass-rock jam band that just signed a 5 album deal.

After losing track of how many high school marching bands I had seen in the parades, and about halfway through my daiquiri-to-go (from a place called 'Jazz Daiquiri'), I was rid of any lingering doubts of New Orleans' status as a geyser of awesome musical expression.

The one act that I missed down there was Quintron and Miss Pussycat, the husband and wife duo who have been playing organ, soldering homemade drum machines, puppeteering, and hosting shows from their base of operations at the Spellcaster Lodge for some years now. I did catch their show at the New Orleans Museum of Art, which contains Miss Pussycat's puppets and Quintron's Drum Buddies. Quintron has moved his studio into the museum to record and album over the duration of the show, and surrounded himself with a nice selection of paintings from the museum's storage holdings.

Check out Quintron and Miss Pussycat's broadcast on WFMU from last year, Live from the Spellcaster Lodge on Sound and Safe with DJ Trent, or their 1995 Live WFMU Christmas Eve special right here on the FMA.

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new orleans, quintron
andrewcsmith on 02/22/2010 at 12:00AM

Steve Gunn, adding

Steve Gunn's playing shimmers like a raga-inspired blues, or maybe a blues-inspired raga. It seems like it's all plucked guitars, roots and open strings, and cymbals.

In this music, every beat is the same. There are moments, here and there, where it starts to feel like it settles into something like a simple rhythm, the threes and fours we're used to hearing. It doesn't take long, though, because Gunn turns it around again and the "accent" (or what we're used to hearing as an accent) is somewhere completely different. After this happens enough times, the mind just shuts off. There's no use trying to re-calibrate every five or ten seconds.

Or, properly, "that part" of the mind just shuts off: the part that likes to keep time. Not that likes time, but that likes to keep it, and package it, and remember it for later in more easily-digestible threes and fours. When that part acquiesces, there's an entire universe to be found–the universe that consists of addition, not multiplication—a universe that does not remember multiples.

Steve Gunn's latest work, Boerum Palace, is available as of last November from Three Lobed Recordings.

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mwalker on 02/19/2010 at 09:00AM

the collective consciousness

This Friday (2/19/10), ISSUE’s first-ever Artist-in-Residence Collective returns for their second monthly concert. The ensemble consists of Shannon Fields, Laura Ortman, Matt Lavelle, Shelley Burgon, Ryan Sawyer, and Jon Natchez (long-time collaborators from their 10+ years of work together in the now-concluded Stars Like Fleas). For the second residency concert, Jon Natchez and Matt Lavelle will present works to be performed by the collective. Shelley Burgon and Ryan Sawyer will lead the ensemble on 3/26/10.

To get everyone amped for the second installment of the residency, Shannon Fields and Laura Ortman have shared the recordings from their fantastic first performance. I‘ve included all three compositions from the show in a mix included below.

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