Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
lavenders on 11/20/2009 at 06:51PM
Javelin cruised into the dublab studio for a stunning session in support of the DUBLAB DECADE PROTON DRIVE fundraiser. Their new, live action is like a day-glo disco soundsystem energetically exploding into a million rays of right-on light. Dig this version of “on it on it” and look forward to a full-flossed-out final version on Javelin’s upcoming release on Luaka Bop due in April 2010. Expect hall & oates (haulin’ oats). Infinite thanks to Javelin for their creativity and support of dublab. We hope their positive energy inspires you to take action and give a proton grant today!
andrewcsmith on 11/20/2009 at 12:03PM
Malapert was a 17th-century astronomer who tried to refute Galileo. Malapert is a moon crater. Malapert is "impudently bold." Or, if you can imagine a freaked-out T-Pain collaborating with The Theatre of Eternal Music, you're not quite halfway to Ma La Pert. Jennifer Walshe, the New York-based Irish-born composer, and Tony Conrad, the New York-defining video artist/composer/performer, performed at ISSUE just last week, using "voice, violins, viola, bass, autoharps, autotune, keyboard, shells, broken plastic, words, parts of words, stories, chanting, jigs, screaming, shouting, broken drum skins, bells, green furry outfits,breastplates, wire, bird call, and old lady dresses."
I've uploaded the whole first set, mostly because excerpting it just doesn't seem right in this case. It's got all the trademarks of a Tony Conrad set, which can be defined as: Violin Drones + ? = Tony Conrad Set. But it wouldn't be quite so malapert without Walshe, whose crazed autotuned recitations and vocalizations really make the event what it is, which is either a moon crater or a misguided astronomer or maybe something else.
Irene_Rible on 11/19/2009 at 05:40PM
After listening to the live P.G. Six recording posted a few weeks back, I have been discovering the variety of post-Tower Recordings projects available on the FMA.
Tower Recordings were a group of friends in upstate New York who began releasing their mysterious, ramshackle bedroom folk in 1995 on a few different small labels, but my first exposure to their music was after the release of their album Furniture Music for Evening Shuttles. I had never heard of them before, my reasons for picking up the album had more to do with my curiosity on what their take on Eric Satie’s self-proclaimed “furniture music” would sound like. “Furniture music” was proto-ambient music, an idea proposed by Satie, who wanted to create repetitive music that was only meant to be heard in the background. Banal today, but a radical proposition for music in Satie’s time (see WFMU’s LCD article “Flabby Preludes for a Dog: An Erik Satie Primer" for a detailed account).
But what I heard was far from background music. Furniture music perhaps, but only if you’re in the living room of some highly evolved, avant-garde race of ESP record collectors living on Mars. Years ahead of the "freak-folk" fad and Finnish underground music that emerged a decade later, the album contains dissonant experiments with noise, lots of tape manipulation, hints of pagan folk, meandering jams, and an eerie cover of an Os Mutantes song that devolves into a nonsense language before being invaded by a Brother Ah rallying cry.
jason on 11/18/2009 at 05:00PM
Back in October 2006, Martin Atkins (PiL, Killing Joke, Pigface) spent a month in Beijing China exploring the megacity's blossoming underground music scene, recording, and signing bands to his Invisible imprint. This resulted in two fantastic albums as part of Bloodshot Records' Invisible China series: the mixtape/collage album China Dub Sound System, and the compilation Look Directly Into The Sun: China Pop 2007.
The Washington Post's David Malitz recently tipped me off to the fact that one of the bands featured on this compilation, Carsick Cars, is playing two shows in the NYC area this weekend. Malitz calls the trio "a perfect combination of the Clean and Sonic Youth", and I'm gonna go ahead and second that -- check out "Panda" below and hear for yourself. Joining Carsick Cars on this tour are psych-folk artist Xiao He and the venerable PK14. The recent show at Brooklyn's Glasslands was sold out, so if you can make it to Ding Dong Lounge on Friday or Secret Project Robot on Saturday, be sure to get there before "show o'clock"! This tour coincides with the release of Sound Kapital, a new book of photographs by Matthew Niederhauser, which also comes with a compilation CD. There's a great review of Sound Kapital in the Washington Post's style section, and a photography exhibit at the Govinda Gallery if you're in the DC area.
At soundkapital.net, Niederhauser observes how -- even in spite of China's Internset censorship practices -- mobile phones and web access have propelled the formation of this underground music community. "These technologies allow people with special interests and idiosyncratic tastes to readily connect with each other and access an exponentially broader realm of music, art, and news from both home and abroad." These technologies not only allow localized community building in Beijing, but also help build global communities based on shared interest and shared musical influences, like The Stooges and the Velvet Underground. Check out these early Carsick Cars demos, covers of "Sunday Morning" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog"
mpvernon on 11/18/2009 at 11:30AM
I acquired Glass Candy's debut album Love Love Love in 2003 when it was released and it still gets regular play on the CD player. Glass Candy has a somewhat campy sound that wavers between goth, punk and disco. Often billed as Glass Candy and The Shattered Theatre, Its primary attribute is the tortured voice of Ida No who often sounds like she is channeling Siouxise and Deborah Harry at the same time. She also reminds me a lot of Wendy O. Williams on the more turbulent songs. Johnny Jewel's pulsing electronic riffs are also instrumental in giving the music a somewhat ominous sound.
doncbruital on 11/17/2009 at 04:13PM
...and make way for TALK NORMAL at your raiding party's head, for if the mundanity and affected effortlessness of gentlest rock and roll is what you're looking to combat, best let these folks lead the way. As danger's thrill, primal atmosphere, and ritualistic stirring of the soul can be hard things to come by in music (never mind that's what it's there for), attend their shows and take rigorous notes. Special attention ought to be paid to the way in which their dead simple setup of guitar-and-drumkit rhythmlock seals out meander and complacency, high-pressurizes to the fore active engagement and confrontation, and precipitates no small amount of attention-narrowing till all you can detect is the strabismic/spasmodic interplay of suggestive silence and noisy wash, energies potential and kinetic, withhold and release, numbing out the dull constancy of lazy inattention. Oh, that rhythmic part? It's groovy and dance-prompting as they get, and--see what I'm saying?--fun.
Yeah, I like these folks, and of course you do too; after all, you saw them tear it up at last month's WFMU Fest and have been rabidly eyeing their packed and multi-region-representative tour schedule while their debut full-length Sugarland on Rare Book Room stomps in the background. If this isn't true then surely it's because you've been taking breaks to watch their video for "In a Strangeland" over and over, or tracking down their prior self-titled release along with the excellent Secret Cog EP, or, yeah, indulging in some of the WFMU-rattling sounds they unloaded on Marty McSorley's show back in June, available for your immediate and unrelenting perusal/obsession on their FMA page.
herr_professor on 11/17/2009 at 10:08AM
One of the biggest such events of the year, The annual Chip Music fest, Blip Festival is quickly approaching a collision course with NYC Dec. 17th, 18th, and 19th. Furthermore, fans of WFMU and the FMA will be happy to known that both a live stream and archived recordings will be made available to fans and interested observers of chip music, so stayed tuned here for more details.
One of the more interesting performers on this years bill is The J. Arthur Keenes Band. In reality the brainchild of a single infuriatingly multi-talented composer Dan Mclay, the recently released Pamplemousse may be one of the most inventive and diverse chip release of 2009. Combining chip music sounds and melodies with various forms of electric and acoustic instrumentation along with an acerbic and poppy singing style shows Mclay at the height of his powers, and his listeners deep in the sway of his magical blend of Brian Wilson, Weezer, and whatever gear your roommate found in the alleyway this week. Enjoy Catfish Lagoon, and join us next week for another Blip artist from the 2009 roster.
pushbinlou on 11/16/2009 at 08:42PM
Let's give some big props to LibreCommeLair a very cool net label out of Montpellier who were nice enough to upload some very tasty electonic/dubstep tracks from Volatil. Volatil is an Argentina/UK project that started out as a solo project for Nicholas Hardmeier. Nicholas soon added vocalist Frederico De Gennero and then made things really interesting by adding dubstep DJ Satta B.
LCL have provided tracks from two Volatil releases (Litalov and Refixed). Although the vocals can be light and airy at times there is always that dark bass sound underpinning everything. El Muerto (Epic rework) is the perfect example of what these guys are out to acheive. All of the tracks thrown up here by Volatil on FMA are total keepers but if you want to cut to the chase you should also check out "No bans" and "Flesh & Bones". Here is hoping that LCL have more goodies in store for us.
mwalker on 11/16/2009 at 09:00AM
This Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. at ISSUE Project Room, Matana Roberts, a fascinating and immensely talented composer and performer, will present, with violinist Mazz Swift, the second in a series of monthly concerts as part of ISSUE’s Artist-in-Residence program. As part of her ongoing Coin Coin project – a series of musical portraits and narratives exploring family history and bloodlines – Matana is utilizing this series of concerts to experiment with a new musical form dubbed a “Happening.” These Coin Coin Happenings present an installation of sound collages or “sonic landscapes,” allowing Matana to experiment with and explore musical materials in a duo context before later reworking and incorporating them into full-blown, large ensemble Chapters. A performance of Chapter I of the Coin Coin project will be presented on December 9 at ISSUE. Read more about the project here.
I have upped an excerpt from Matana’s last Happening: a gorgeous collage of sound fragments and images, reconstructing a personal portrait out of lingering memories.
Pre-recorded motives – an elegant, wistfully harmonized clarinet theme; the aleatoric clang of church bells; a haunting, acapella incantation of an old lullaby; an ethereal, delayed saxophone melody hung against a smeared gauze of resonant sound remants – loop, shift, and return in ever-changing patterns, subtly altering the tone of the music and providing a tangible formal backdrop.
Atop of these fixed beds of sound, Matana spins a series of poignant improvisations, free and lyrical, on the saxophone and clarinet, folding in spoken word passages containing fragments of interviews and phone calls with family members searching and probing their memories. Supported with incredible sensitivity by percussionist Mike Pride, playing set and hand bells, Matana weaves these drifting images and recurring themes into a seamless patchwork of powerful cohesion. The performance develops as a natural, non-linear narrative, with returning motives circling back upon each other in unpredictable but organic progressions, very much analogous to the ways in which our memories swirl and shift in attempts to reconstruct and make sense of the past. As listeners, we experience not the slow formation of a photo-realist portrait, but the gradual sharpening and expanding of color and emotion into an abstract tapestry of vivid feeling and soul.
jason on 11/16/2009 at 05:34AM
WFMU and The Free Music Archive are incredibly excited to announce a remix contest featuring Anti-Pop Consortium! NYC's legendary hip-hop innovators are sharing hi-fi stems & a capellas from "Reflections", a cut off their brand new album Fluorescent Black (Big Dada). After five exploratory years apart, Beans, M. Sayyid, High Priest and Earl Blaize have re-joined forces to craft what may be their finest work yet. Now they're making multitracks from "Reflections" available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, and we can't wait to hear what you do with 'em!
You've got until December 20th to get in the running for prize packages courtesy of WFMU, the Free Music Archive, Anti-Pop Consortium and Big Dada. The members of Anti-Pop Consortium will pick the winners, and we'll post the remixes on the Free Music Archive for further remixing and deep listening. Materials + details after the jump...