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jason on 06/30/2010 at 09:00AM

Creative Commons workout mix

"Bhangra Workout with Ravi" via Gurumustuk Singh on flickr // licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (and most of the tracks on this mix are licensed similarly, but please click the "i" for the full license)

This Creative Commons NonCommercial workout mix is inspired by a little piece of current events:

Last month, Australia's Copyright Tribunal increased music licensing fees for fitness classes by 1500% per class. Now, Australia's gyms are faced with the question of whether to pass this new cost -- averaging over $20,000/year -- on to their customers, or to search for alternative solutions.

One solution is to play recordings that are not covered by the agreement to begin with. The blanket license for recordings (but not compositions) is overseen by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA). Their catalog includes the discographies of hundreds of Australian labels & artists who've opted to join the collecting society, but its primary licensors are the four multinational major labels.

In other words, "Real Music". Or at least that's the language the PPCA uses in its press release. This doesn't mean to say that PPCA members are any more "real" than independent artists (though it may seem implied). Rather, it's referring to the hundreds of fitness centers across Australia who are phasing out original music in favor of cheap cover recordings that aren't subject to PPCA control. The trend was recently spotlighted in this Wall Street Journal article, and these Britney Spears knockoffs are apparently big business for anybody who really wants to make money through music.

For those who want something a little real-er than mock pop tunes the next time they're at the gym, I made this mix of Creative Commons-licensed workout-ready tunes. All of these tracks (except the liberally-licensed Juanitos) are licensed under NonCommercial terms (click the "i" for the complete terms). So other than the Juanitos, these tracks wouldn't fly in a for-profit gym, but they could be used in school gyms and non-profit YMCA types of fitness centers. As long as the song isn't being used to enhance somebody's business, these artists would bee happy to see you getting in shape to their music. So feel free to download and bring this with you on your next trip to the gym. And if you find yourself having to use this to block out another knockoff "Oops I Did It Again" again, now you'll know why.

More about each artist after the jump or by clicking the "i" button next to their track. As always if you like what you hear, you can tip the artist by hitting the $ symbol on their artist page.

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lavenders on 06/29/2010 at 06:30PM


Asura is an ambassador from the universe of beautiful fuzz and melody. He has brought greetings from this land in the form of brilliant soundwaves. These messages paint a picture of a world that shines with delicate rays and bold love. Asura’s elegant transmissions are warm and familiar like the sky above your home but filled with forms that keep ears electrified with exploratory urges.

Asura was joined on this voyage by the voice of sound navigator Ana Caravelle. She floats in to gracefully guide us to new, glowing angles. Soak in these sights and bask in the bright light. After you’re entranced by this initial contact you can continue your discovery of Asura’s world by visiting the welcome center at

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doncbruital on 06/29/2010 at 01:00PM

Pulse Emitter ist Kosmisch

While the reader is, of course, already well aware of the undeniably extraterrestrial qualities of the modular synthesizer, c'mon, let me go on about it a little anyways. To be honest, I sort of can't help but get really stoked just thinking of the way in which the instrument allows Sound, that most elusive creature, to be created from scratch and manipulated at the purest, most basic of levels, getting tweaked and shaped, proceeding constant through time on a slow evolutionary scale, yeah, a cosmic scale even, waveforms like planets, their orbits being drawn by an unseen hand at the module controls. I can't underline this quality enough: folks, if you ever really need reminding of the interstellar nature of things (like, if start taking the seasons for granted, or otherwise forget how cool the sun and moon are), just turn on a synth jam, let it draw you into its orbit, surrender to its gravity--and you'll be right as rain.

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pulse emitter, portland
herr_professor on 06/29/2010 at 09:04AM

The World Cup of Chip - Japan

Live at Blip Festival '08

Ok, so this whole WORLD CUP OF CHIP thing has been fun, but it has also been the kiss of death for the featured country, with both France and Italy going down to tragic elimination. A number of my other world cup choices have also been elminated before we could write about them, so it remains to see what we have in store for our last week, but we must soldier on as today's country, Japan prepares for its knock out round match. And representing Japan is Fuckoka's own, USK.

USK is perhaps the perfect chip music/lo-bit/rave performer, with high energy pounding beats and blips to shake chipmusic fanatics and interested outsiders alike. He is also a frequent collaborator and remixer, as well as amazing live performer who has played the Blip Festival and opened for diverse acts like Deerhoof, and in a bonjovian display of hubric hyper-prowess, rocked them all.

Here's hoping the energy from his 8bitpeoples release PICOPICODISCO is enough to propel his country into the next round. Pump the music so loud they can hear it over the vuvuzelas halfway across the world and see you guys right here in seven days for the final round of the World Cup of Chip.

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usk, deerhoof, 8bitpeoples
andrewcsmith on 06/28/2010 at 12:00PM

Preparing the Past

Video still by Christy Edwards

"I often have the experience of missing the present time as it is happening," Aaron Siegel says. Siegel and Mantra Percussion were last heard on the FMA in January with "Science is Only A Sometimes Friend," but collaborated again at the beginning of this month for "Preparing the Past," with video (above) by Christy Edwards. The piece, with two vibraphones, two glockenspiels, and piano four-hands, is less a continuous thread of events than a series of stases—like sonic tableaux—that build on one another and exist simultaneously. In these three movements, the first two of which were premiered last year at Roulette, Siegel examines stages of memory and fixing of moments: recording, scrutinizing, and re-imagining.

At the core of this is the desire to look at the same event from multiple angles—that is, in fixing the event, to move through the event and re-create it as your own. But rather than attempting to move toward the truth of a memory, all of these repetitions just make the event more enigmatic. In a certain way, the repeating glockenspiel figures are evocative of writing; the second movement, Scrutiny, repeats a rising, classically unresolved chord in many different forms that all seem to be basic variations on the same event. There is no harmonic or melodic motion, and the repeated action borders on the neurotic; the scrutinized becomes inscrutable.

This is where the final movement, Re-imagining comes in. In this, the pieces break apart—each member of the ensemble has a similar but staggered line—and float separately. When they overlap it's mostly on accident, and each voice moves on its own through a series of chords. This re-synthesis is more of a enzymatic denaturing, as each individual part is left as a shred of an original thought. Listen below to the entire performance, featuring Mantra Percussion on glockenspiels and vibraphones, and Emily Manzo and Anna Dagmar on piano.

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aaron siegel, percussion
jason on 06/28/2010 at 09:00AM

Almighty Defenders live at Primavera Sound -- Hallelujah!?

photo credit: Berto Garcia, Creative Commons by-sa via Flickr

The Almigty Defenders are a twisted-gospel/garage-punk supergroup featuring members of Black Lips, King Khan & BBQ. When I say "gospel," I mean these guys are inspired by 70s soul, 60s garage and 50s R&B, but the spiritual message is slightly warped. During their rowdy live set at Primavera Sound, they don't just encourage the crowd to "Take Jesus Christ," but to "take him by the balls...and squeeze". They had some strong words for the pope as well in this beguiling set of spirituals, and survived more than a gag (a Defender vomited onstage, which upset the security guards) to keep the party going late Saturday night at the Vice stage.

Vice released The Almighty Defenders' self-titled debut LP late last year, which is surprising turn-around considering the group had only formed in February 2009. Even more surprising is the group's origin story -- according to Wikipedia:

During the Black Lips' January 2009 tour of India, following an incident at a rowdy show during which Cole Alexander kissed fellow bandmember Ian St. Pe and exposed his private parts on-stage, the Lips fled the country while rumors of their arrests circulated the internet. The tour was canceled and the group members fled to the Berlin, Germany residence of King Khan, where Sultan so happened to be recording tracks with Khan for the King Khan and BBQ Show's upcoming "Invisible Girl". Over the course of eight days, in a typically booze-sloppy Black Lips fashion, they laid down 11 tracks with Khan and Sultan. On June 17, the full group made its live debut, performing a set in choir robes at the North by Northeast festival.

The Defenders' choir robes were in full effect at Primavera Sound, where highlights included the group's epic "The Great Defender", "The Ghost With The Most", and "Cone of Light" (full setlist after the jump). The album version of "Cone of Light" is available for download from Vice Records' FMA collection, where you can also find music from related projects Black Lips and King Khan and The Shrines and great great bands like Pierced Arrows, Growing, The RaveonettesAcrassicauda and Lullabye Arkestra.

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macedonia on 06/26/2010 at 10:18AM

Offset Your Reality...

Daughter doodles from day care. March 30, 2009.

I have long since given up on any ambitions to become a WFMU DJ.  Time and logic continue to be enemies in that regard.  However, I can console myself through this resource by letting others know about music that excites me with every blog post and mix that I create.  For that, I want to take this moment to thank the people at WFMU who have worked so hard to make this archive a reality and for allowing the rest of us out there a space to talk about and champion the sounds that make life on earth bearable.

This mix is dedicated to all those who have a need to offset their reality.  Thank you for listening.

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BTurner on 06/25/2010 at 01:00PM

Afrirampo webcasting last show ever 6/26 over UStream

Afrirampo Pica and Oni, the Japanese duo Afrirampo, have decided to call it a day after eight years, and are performing what's promised to be a three to four hour blowout farewell over UStream TV Saturday, June 26th at 7PM Osaka, Japan-time. I had the pleasure of hosting Afrirampo live on two programs here at WFMU (both sessions for download below via the Free Music Archive) during their span, and each time it has blown the collective minds of myself and many listeners. Not just a guitar/drum duo, these sisters harness an entire universe of sound from every recess of their brains and bods and splatter it against the walls at their leisure, alternating from dense, prog-like barrages that constitute what could be a de-testosteroned Lightning Bolt (whom they toured with in 2005 here), to reverb-drenched spaced out excursions though a jungle that evokes the Creatures or Bjork (if Bjork had been raised by actual wild animals), but wilder and more free than any of those above bands while still incorporating structure to their songs. The band calls themselves "naked soul rock", and it doesn't get any more naked the Baka Ga Kita, 2004 recordings of the ladies cohabitating for a month in Cameroon with an actual tribe of Baka Pygmies. Just one side of a diverse, fascinating discography where the band never quite established any particular genre leaning, instead focusing on the joy of sound. We'll miss ya, Afrirampo!

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afrirampo, video, japan
dvd on 06/25/2010 at 11:00AM

Breton Folk Music on Transpacific Sound Paradise

Louise Ebrel is an acclaimed singer of Breton's emblematic traditional call and response vocal style, kan ha diskan, as well as the daughter of Eugénie Goadec of Brittany's renowned Sœurs Goadec.  She dropped by WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise last month for a brief performance with singing partner Ifig Flatres, a leading voice among Brittany's new generation of traditional vocalists and part of the new-roots ensemble Oktopus Kafé

In these duets the kaner (lead vocal) begins the verse.  After a brief overlap, the diskaner (secondary vocal) takes it up and the process is repeated.  Throughout the tune, the vocalists employ nonsense syllables to fill the space between lines.  Louise and Ifig sing in Breton, an insular Celtic language brought over to present-day Brittany from the British Isles during the Early Middle Ages.  The language is now considered endangered and is mostly spoken in Western Brittany.     

The artists were here for a Breton style Fest-Noz - "Night Festival" - held at Connolly's, 121 W 45 St. on Saturday May 22, 2010. The festival was presented by New York's Breton cultural society BZH-New York.  Their performance at WFMU was part of an episode of Transpacific Sound Paradise (hosted by Rob Weisberg) featuring music from Brittany.  You can view the playlist and listen to show in its entirety here.

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JoeMc on 06/24/2010 at 02:00PM

Crapple Dumpkins for the Germophobe (Roy Atwell, mp3)

Charles Korvin about to take the plunge courtesy Evelyn Keyes

For almost a week now, I've been fighting off a bad cold. Last week I couldn't call it what it obviously was; but now that summer is officially here, I can say with conviction that I have an especially annoying case of that seasonal favorite known as the "summer cold."

Summer cold? Ha, there's nothing cold about it. Particularly since last weekend, with the thermometer darting into the 90s, the last thing I want to do is sip tea and crawl under the covers. Having a cold in the winter is natural; you put on your sweater, daub your runny nose, and keep the Fisherman's Friend under your pillowcase. Having a cold in the summer is just wrong. It's hard enough to be comfortable when you're feverish and stuffy, but add in grotesque humidity and heat and you feel as if suffocation would be a mercy.

One of the only consistent comforts of being sick in any season, and it's one of the best reasons for the invention of television, is that you can sit on a sofa watching DVDs all day and no one accuses you of being an indolent sloth. Being somewhat perverse, one of the films I chose to watch during this past week of joy was about an epidemic of small pox. This is sort of like watching airplane disaster movies on a plane, but hey, at least when everyone's dying from small pox, a summer cold doesn't feel so dire.

The name of this particular film was The Killer That Stalked New York. Grammarians among you will notice from the choice of relative pronoun that the filmmakers are not talking about a killer who, but a killer what. The "what" in this case is the small pox. A sweaty blonde diamond smuggler played by Evelyn Keyes carries it in from Cuba (a land of plague, apparently, even in 1950) and proceeds to infect man, woman, and child along the way to her rendezvous with her sleazy husband. The sleazy husband, a musician (ha!) played by the dimple-chinned Charles Korvin, has been making time with this Sheila's sister while she's been off smuggling for him. It's okay, though--the jane has the last laugh. Or at least, the last grimace. Although she's covered with sores and doomed to die, he goes first, off of the ledge of a building, about 20 stories up. Splat.

Anyway, The Killer That Stalked New York put me in mind of just how flimsy we all are, and how the smallest thing, often something we don't even know is there, can make us ill. That's right about when I found Roy Atwell on the FMA.

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roy atwell
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