Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
jason on 02/08/2010 at 06:00PM
Anticipate Recordings is putting on a showcase tonight at Littlefield in Brooklyn. There will be live music from Ezekiel Honig, Sawako, Alexander Kaline, a DJ set by Borne, and visuals by Joshue Ott (details).
The Anticipate night is part of the NY incarnation of Poland's esteemed Unsound Festival, which is hitting venues throughout the city with an exciting set of music, art, and workshops until Feb 14 (check out ISSUE Project Room's write-up for more).
Anticipate was founded in 2007 by Ezekiel Honig, a NY-based electronic musician and sound designer. A few months ago, Pushbinlou featured Ezekiel Honig's It's Getting Cold Outside EP, released on Philadelphia's Unfound Sound netlabel in 2005 (not to be confused with Unsound Festival!). Here's a track form that EP
Anticipate is primarily a label dealing in physical objects -- some limited to as few as 50 copies, others distributed far and wide through Kompakt. In 2007, they released a free Creative Commons set of field recordings Japanese-born sound sculptor Sawako, recorded while on tour around the world. It was released under a Creative Commons Attribution license, encouraging the world to remix. The first volume of remixes featured members of the extended Anticipate family, including tracks from Sawako herself, Ezekiel Honig, and this one from Portland-based artist Strategy (Community Pool tapes, Kranky), while the second volume (cover art pictured above-left) featured a set of highlights from the CC-powered open call for submissions.
Last year, Sawako stopped by WFMU for a live performance on Bethany's Stochastic Hit Parade, which was featured by PushbinLou here.
mwalker on 02/08/2010 at 08:30AM
Unsound Festival New York kicked off last Thursday evening (2/4) – marking the first incarnation of the innovative performance and lecture series outside its homeland of Poland. Founded in Kraków in 2003 by curator Mat Schulz, Unsound Festival explores the intersections between “electronic, experimental, independent, post-classical, and club music scenes.” After only four days time, the festival is already crowded with stunning highlights. I caught the opening night show at Lincoln Center featuring a terrific set from Finnish DJ/composer/drummer Vladislav Delay (whose Tummaa album was probably my fav release of 09) in collaboration with German video artist Lillevan. Still recovering (in a variety of ways) from a startlingly fresh sequence of programming at Le Poisson Rouge last night: performances of classical music touchstones Pictures at an Exhibition (Moussorgsky) and Bolero (Ravel) were followed by an absolutely resplendent, mind-blowing set of abstract electronic improvisations from the North American debut of the Moritz Von Oswald Trio, featuring surprise guests Francois K (!) and Carl Craig (!!). Levon Vincent closed the event with a blistering DJ set that carried on until the very early morning hours (I’m lame and only made it until about 3:30am…)
ISSUE Project Room will host two events in the festival this week. The “Electronic Bridge” program on Tuesday night (2/9) serves as the first in a thread of thematic shows under the Eastern Promise banner, seeking to highlight a number of important Eastern European artists generally underexposed in the U.S. The “Electronic Bridge” will feature a diverse array of experimental electronic music from Zavoloka (Ukraine) and Zenial (Poland), as well as a set from NY local Bora Yoon in collaboration with composer R. Luke DuBois on the live video tip. To whet appetites for what should be a fantastic show, I’ve compiled a dope little mix featuring works from the artists on the program.
Check here and here for more info on the two shows at ISSUE, and here for a full schedule of the rest of the festival.
macedonia on 02/06/2010 at 02:00PM
At 36 years of age, I find myself growing more restless by the day. There are times that I feel twice my age, destined to become the ranting old coot that throws stuff from his front porch at passersby just because I can. I resent the fact that my waking hours are spent at a place doing duties I could care less about and then having to steal back time and fight off sleep to do what I'm passionate about. I resent a lot of sh*t, actually.
With that being said, it's nice to look upon the youth and see boundless potential, to know that there are heads coming up behind me that are light years ahead in possibilities. Consider the young lord out of Hollywood, Florida named Black Ant, beatmaker in training. Judging from his Free Beats Sel. 3 collection, he is well on his way to being a pad-punching, knob-twiddling Jedi. Joints like the horn-drenched "government funded weed" and the head nod-inducing "Underdog" make me smile, plus they have me excited about what this hip-hop wunderkind will be creating in the next five years.
Sit back, relax, and take a minute and change to achieve bliss with the spaced-out selection "Oh K." And once it's over, remind yourself that the brother's still in high school...
jason on 02/05/2010 at 08:45AM
When Mike Mangino and Chris Shepard started writing music together in the late 1970s, their goal was not to develop a repertoire and play gigs, or even to perform live in front of any audience. Everything they needed was right there in Piscataway NJ: a basement full of musical toys and instruments, novelty space microphones, a TR-606 (the same "Roland" who was listed as a member of Big Black), a SH-09 (Cabaret Voltaire's favorite synth), and -- perhaps most importantly -- a tape recorder. Every Monday night, they'd write a new song from scratch. A couple hours later, the song was recorded, never to be performed again.
By 1981, this dedication to spontanious creativity had already produced countless recordings, and the duo began releasing cassettes as Smersh via their own Atlas King label. A definitive Smersh discography may not even be possible, but this one lists more than 30 Atlas King cassettes. As these tapes traded their way across continents, Smersh developed a devoted following in places far beyond Piscataway, leading to releases on dozens of other labels from across the globe. A 15 song sampler featuring some of the many highlights from Smersh's vast discography, spanning 1983-1993, is now available here at the Free Music Archive.
My obsession with Smersh began relatively recently, when I first heard the song "Sweet Little Bishop" in the WFMU library, off a 7'' released by Sweden's Börft label in 1991 (listen). Then it got stuck in my head for several days straight. My subconscious couldn't remember what it was at first, mixed it up with some bizarre Prince song. But then i remembered that mysterious Smersh 7'' -- the one that stood out amongst the other Börft stuff in the library (Swedish artists like Frak and Enhänta Bödlar, who are also uncategorizable and each worthy of their own post!). I set about tracking down as much info as possible find about Smersh...
bennett4senate on 02/04/2010 at 03:45PM
One of the biggest problems facing filmmakers and online video producers is the high cost of licensing copyrighted music to sync in their work. Many a YouTube account has been shut down for using copyrighted music without permission, and the process of securing permission can be a major barrier for non-commercial/non-profit producers.
The FMA provides a much-needed resource for interesting, soundtrack-worthy, Creative Commons-licencesed music.
This post is the first in a series hightlighting (mostly) instrumental tracks culled from the FMA that would make for great video soundtracks. All the tracks in this series have licences that allow for derivitive works.
If you make a video that uses a track from the FMA, link back to the site and let us know! We'll be featuring videos that we like on the frontpage of the FMA, and we'll keep digging for interesting music to set your movies to.
(*Be sure to hit "i" to check the song's license type before you use it in your video. And it's important to note that not all of the content in the FMA is licensed for derivitive works. If you're not sure, check the description of the different CC license types at http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/.)
BTurner on 02/04/2010 at 11:36AM
(Poster left Henry Owings, photo right Greg Cristman) We were honored to have Teutonic titans Faust headline the first night of WFMU Fest (which ran October 1-3 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and also included the likes of TV Ghost, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Talk Normal, VeeDee, Pissed Jeans, Drunkdriver, Sightings, Aluk Todolo, Cold Cave, and the Guinea Worms); it's a rare occassion for these living legends to hit American shores. They without doubt had a healthy hand in shaping modern experimental, industrial, electronic and even pop music; in Julian Cope's words, "there is no group more mythical."
For those who were hesitant to see what a nearly 40 year old band held near and dear to their hearts could be up to, doubts were instantly dispelled as the crowd was treated to a heavy dose of Faust IV-heavy classics and crazed improvisations that seized the moment (coupled with live painting and cement mixer action). A few weeks back Faust OK'd a broadcast of the set, and I had an opportunity to chat at length with Jean-Herve Peron and his dog (streaming archive from my January 19th show is here, and you can go right to the interview segment here), and now we're happy to say you can grab the entire October 1st WFMU Fest show on MP3! Severe thanks to Regina Greene, Jean-Herve, and Scott Williams for the fantastic mix. By the way, a few other of that weekend's artists (namely Talk Normal and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks) have all posted some Mp3s from WFMU Fest on the Free Music Archive. Enjoy!
lizb on 02/03/2010 at 11:00PM
I've been enjoying a number of artists from the Swiss Creative Commons label Das Andere Selbst lately: mellow, chirpy, gurgly, experimental pop with an oddball edge. My faves include Exteenager (Elia, who runs the DAS label/site), GB (pka Gateau Blasters, coming to the U.S. this Spring), and Mela Zeta (from Italy).
Related to the DAS label is Wildrfid, who put out some great limited-edition 12" records last year by GB, Uiutna, and Cancelled. Also affiliated is Zonoff, a site with plenty of Creative Commons MP3s and vids for the taking.
JoeMc on 02/03/2010 at 10:35AM
OK, first things first: She's not really Canadian.
She was born in Virginia and grew up in Tacoma. But she went to school in Vancouver, and that's where she got involved with Canadian cuddlecore band Cub (remember Betti-Cola?), and started making her own music. Not long afterwards, she hooked up with those New Pornographers dudes, and before you know it, indie superstardom.
But Canadians love her. CBC Radio calls her an "honourary Canadian," and that's where the track below is from, courtesy of new Free Music Archive curators CBC Radio 3.
But here's something I didn't know that I just found out: Her latest album actually debuted at #3 on Billboard's Hot 100 when it came out last March. So I guess Americans love her a lot, too.
doncbruital on 02/02/2010 at 02:45PM
Few musical outfits navigate the borderlands of spacetime as nimbly as EXCEPTER does; fewer still are those whose means of producing music (electronic improvisation--that heady universe of conceptual exercise) comment so groovily on that music's end. It's real simple: Excepter uses their futurist setup--the vast majority of which comprises synthesized sound, artificial-like--to get at something real primal, real natural. All well and good--shouldn't all music work on a primal level?--except these folks take it a little further: their synthwash grooves propel the listener, y-yes indeed, to realms animalistic, realms kind of, w-well, savage.
We all know and can recite by heart, for example, their simple ode from 2008's Debt Dept. entitled, even more simply, "Kill People" (there's a video too). We can thrill to fistpump remixtrax from industry juggernauts Carter Tutti and J.G. Thirlwell. We can access their backcatalog of tropical coverart and free podcast archives. Obviously these guys are no slouches on the tech end of things, and yet despite or perhaps by dint of this obstinate propensity for mechanized means, the group's rawness sticks out, wild and unadulterated--enhanced, in fact--by all the electronic spookiness. An Excepter show (for instance) means being confronted not with a clean, standardized exercise of technological prowess, but a rabid and insatiable one; a shaggy, wild-eyed (and wild-hatted) critter, all the more dangerous for those thunderous beats and synthattacks it seems so prone to pounding and howling into unholy existence. Unlike any other electroacoustic progenitors I can think of, Excepter takes hold of that staid improvised form, wrestling it from its button-down gallery atmosphere and installation hoitytoitiness, and it makes the thing scary.
Hours of this stuff is available on the band's FMA page, as well as via their own internet presence (go to their website, click around). They've a new album a scant two weeks away from release, and in a universe wherein noise-improv-ers stubbornly barrage the market with release after release after drab release, theirs is a prolificacy you can trust. So go for it, mirror Excepter's brave savagery-through-tech model, and take a computer ride into the wilderness.
herr_professor on 02/02/2010 at 09:00AM
Balún are quite different from many of the artists in the chip music scene, even the exceptional ones picked by myself (humility). They are a mixed gender four piece from San Juan, Puerto Rico who "build electro-acoustic melodies for imaginary films". The chip console sounds is just one detail in their complex arrangements that include acoustic instruments, vocals, electronics, and a wonderful sense of space and ambiance that is often missing from the more traditional chip musician's work.
Uploaded for your perusal is an earlier free EP from Observatory Online, that only hints at their tiny wall of sound that is expanded upon in the just released Memoria Textil, out today on their Bandcamp page as a pay what you want download.
We are still working on Blip Festival uploads, so more on that next week, in the meantime enjoy the title track from 'While Sleeping".
See you in seven!