Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
lavenders on 11/09/2009 at 11:54PM
dublab is celebrating 10 years of turning you on!
Throughout this decade, we've been fortunate enough to have some of our favorite creative friends record live sets at our studio in Los Angeles. We've welcomed them with arms and ears wide open, and made sure we're looking sharp for their arrival. We've strapped bass cabs to our backs, carried keytars up flights of stairs and lit countless sticks of incense to enable these spontaneous sounds.
"sprout sessions" have no boundaries and we encourage these awesome artists to play (or not play) any thing/way/where they like! We'd say the sky's the limit, but things tend to get pretty cosmic in our neck of the woods.
We've dusted off our crumbly CD-Rs and scoured our hard drives to bring you some of our favorite sessions from the past 10 years. We hope you enjoy listening to these precious gems as much as we enjoyed gathering them.
Help support another decade of dublab by becoming a proton today!
andrewcsmith on 11/09/2009 at 10:15AM
Robbie Lee and Chris Brokaw both performed as a duo back in August, and digging through our archives--August is considered the distant past in some circles--led us to return to some of these great tracks. For now, we've just got Robbie Lee's tracks but you can check out our past post on Alan Licht and punk memories to see what's up with Chris.
Robbie Lee's performance was a solo set using a hand-powered Medieval-style miniature pipe organ tuned to an 18th-century historical tuning. Moving freely among aleatoric moments, electronic loops, drones, and country western tunes, Robbie's performance has a way of making the familiar foreign and vice versa. In fact, after he sings "men will be drawn to the lure of the mine" from "Dark as a Dungeon" by Merle Travis, the music begins to occupy a space neither foreign nor familiar, but rather like a thought always in the back of your mind, just now coming to the surface.
The whole set is worth a listen, so turn your speakers toward the couch (or bed, or futon) and take a 28-minute vacation from whatever responsibilities you may or may not have.
andrewcsmith on 11/08/2009 at 10:00AM
The words "solo drum set performance," inevitably conjure other words: loud, self-indulgent, maybe even boring. But melodic? Occasionally, delicate? Neither of these were in my solo-drum-set vocabulary before October.
Listen to Sim Cain's playing on the second section of his three-part performance. Moments of oscillation between quick tom rhythms and slightly faster tom rhythms seem like they're accelerating arbitrarily, but it's soon clear that there's some logic behind it. As the toms build up resonance, they begin to evoke melodies (and it also helped that he had a half-dozen toms at his disposal). It was clear that this was a true drum performance: not a rhythm or chops performance, not a cymbal-crashing performance, and not even a performer-performance. The drums were the ones doing the performing.
macedonia on 11/07/2009 at 04:51PM
If you have been following this year's output from Ubiquity Records, then I don't need to tell you that it's been another banner year for them so far. Ann Arbor, Michigan's NOMO is included in their superior roster, releasing the Invisible Cities album back in May. Almost a year after their Ghost Rock album and recorded during those same sessions, NOMO carves a path through jazz, afrobeat, rock, and electronica. Large enough to be a jam band, their discipline gives them the flexibility to be tight yet loose. They can wail with the best of them and remain open to those moments of improvisation where magical things happen.
It's a world party whenever NOMO is on the scene, as evidenced by this live performance in the KEXP studios shortly after Invisible Cities dropped. Dig the title track below...
WM_Recordings on 11/07/2009 at 01:50PM
Five years, 100 free albums, nearly 1000 free tracks. That's WM Recordings in a nutshell for you.
We celebrate our fifth birthday with the release - yes, our 100th! - of a special compilation of cover versions, remixes, and tracks about free, legal music. We hope you'll celebrate with us.
jason on 11/06/2009 at 05:47PM
The legendary experimental imprint ESP-Disk (who are curating a collection of their music right here on the Free Music Archive!) celebrates their 45th anniversary with an all-day event at the Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan this Sunday. ESP-Disk is especially renowned for releasing groundbreaking work by forward-minded jazz artists like Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman. So it's fitting that this 45th anniversary concert is also a benefit for The Jazz Foundation.
Since 1966, ESP-Disk has supported pioneering musicians like Cromagnon, Pearls Before Swine, The Godz, The Fugs, Alan Sondheim, and the Har-You Percussion Ensemble (which Macedonia called The Funkiest Homework Assignment EVER). In 2005, the label re-launched and has been hitting all the right spots with new releases from the likes of Yximalloo, Arrington De Dionyso's Naked Future, Talibam!, and Barnacled mixed in with reissues and previously unreleased material.
Sunday's show includes performances by a few artists whose work can be heard right here on the FMA: the scraping sounds of Totem> (Tom Blancarte/Andrew Drury/Bruce Eisenbeil), the spazztic duo Talibam!, and Flow Trio (featuring Joe Morris, who will also be performing with Mercy to start off the afternoon). I've made this mix with a few more ESP-Disk favorites, enjoy! (after the jump)
BTurner on 11/06/2009 at 03:15PM
Here's a big pupu platter of illicit danceparty music for the next time Bill Murray comes by to meet Williamsburg chicks.
jason on 11/05/2009 at 08:14PM
Back in November 2008, before the Free Music Archive website even existed, we compiled a feature for WFMU's blog previewing some of our favorite artists from the San Francisco Bay Area who'd be joining us here once the site launched. Along with station favorites like Bob Ostertag, Citay, Death Sentence: Panda, Negativland, Sic Alps, Kelley Stoltz, Wooden Shjips, and Xiu Xiu, I discovered a really cool free debut EP by Kowloon Walled City. Their Turk Street EP went on to top WFMU's Loud List, and now KWC are back with a debut full-length titled Gambling on the Richter Scale (Perpetual Motion Machine)
Kowloon Walled City is built on a metal foundation with hardcore ornamentation, and sinking in sludge under ominous shadows of doom. KWC distills the dark elements of these metallic forms, bringing to mind some of the best purveyors of loud-rock in its 1990s AmRep heyday. Their sound often recalls pacific northwest artists like Karp and Melvins, but through a lens clouded by Bay Area fog, raw like the Tenderloin (KWC's home neighborhood). Gambling on the Richter Scale has been extremely well-received across the board, including at local SF shop Aquarius Records. The Gambling record release show was an Aquarius-curated event, and that's saying a lot because aQ has an incredibly refined taste when it comes to the heavy sounds (just check out these recordings from the WFMU/Aquarius SXSW bill from earlier this year).
I actually first heard about Gambling On the Richter Scale when I saw it posted on an illegal file-sharing network. Now I'm not going to tell you what filesharing network this was because I don't wanna get anybody in trouble. But I will go ahead and tell you who uploaded it. It was Scott Evans, guitarist and vocalist Ian Miller, bassist for Kowloon Walled City. And it's already been downloaded 1,500 times from that torrent alone, helping to spread the word about the group's successful West Coast tour last month. This four-piece is able to harness the potential of free distribution, while they also producing physical releases that are well-worth our hard-earned dime (and will likely sell out). The Gambling on the Richter Scale 12'' LP comes in clear vinyl or black/silver, and includes a hand-silkscreened CD. From what I hear the first pressing is going fast, and you can pick up your copy at inthewalledcity.com.
JoeMc on 11/05/2009 at 12:15AM
Some days, nothing else will do but something funky, something that sends that warm flush from your head down to your feet. There's this great band from Austin, Texas that maybe you haven't heard about yet. They're called Brownout, and a recent track of theirs that popped up on the FMA gave me that special feelin' this week. Check it out: "Olvidalo" from their new record Aguilas and Cobras. See below for more about the band.
lavenders on 11/04/2009 at 03:39PM
Our futuristic friend matthewdavid is a sorcerer of psychedelic cassette sounds. Late at night he summons ghostly antique loops and channels the sweat of a thousand late-night discotheques. His telepathic powers will make even the advanced listener wobble through multiple dimensions. But fear not! matthewdavid uses his wizardry for good! He recently culled this track to commemorate dublab's 10th year of creative action, and now we share it with the FMA in hopes you'll spread it far and wide!
You too can help expand dublab's bright future! The DUBLAB DECADE PROTON DRIVE fundraiser is happening now until November 24th, and the Labrat djs will be broadcasting live, sharing electrifying sounds to inspire your support.