Recent FMA Blog Posts
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andrewcsmith on 01/13/2010 at 08:46AM
If someone were to keep score of people who have performed at ISSUE, Tony Conrad would be at or near the top. And yet even though he performs almost monthly, guessing what a single performance will be like is a futile game—one we’ve long stopped playing and have never learned the rules to. In the past year he’s dispensed plastic recorders to the audience, bowed strings of beads tied to the bridge of his amplified, fretted, spraypainted black violin, used auto-tune, looping pedals, multichannel overhead clicking sounds, a string quartet, endorsed psychedelic drugs, and had a book written about him.
This is just a selection of those things, some of which are old to the archive and some of which are newer. His performances as Ma La Pert with Jennifer Walshe have already been written about, but check out the two segments from the September 9, 2009 program that featured art historian Brandon Joseph reading from his book, Beyond the Dream Syndicate: Tony Conrad and the Arts after Cage. These two segments—Tony’s song, “Sexual Vulnerability,” and his live set—are just a small slice of much of his work. A larger mix, including the Ma La Pert performance and XXXMacarena, is after the jump.
superhumanoids on 01/12/2010 at 12:57PM
Catching the Waves writes:
Catching The Waves has been reviewing free netlabel and/or Creative Commons albums since 2006. That's pretty much it. The catalyst was a desire to thank CC artists for their marvellous free music and to further the cause of free and legal CC music. The reviews, which are the work of one lone idiot, are infrequent, short and badly written yet undeniably sexy. Visit CTW and you'll find reviews of anything from rock to IDM, trip-hop to minimal and even Country to Western. (I've used that joke before – I'm all for recycling.) You won't be bothered by fees, hidden or otherwise, advertising, requests to register or even recommendations for teeth-whitening regimes. However, there is a rather decent collection of links to netlabels and CC music portals.
herr_professor on 01/12/2010 at 08:30AM
Happy 2010 chip goons! After the stunning assault on the basic decency of the human auditory senses that was the 2009 Blip Festival, TCTD needed a few weeks of court ordered rest and relaxation in order to find some deep chiptune gems. This week we are focusing on Monotonik's "Best of AHX vol. 1", a collection of tunes made for the Amiga computer using a tracker named AHX.
AHX (formerly named THX before some skywalking lawyers shot first) was a late period Amiga tracker that was designed "especially to create C64-like synthetic tunes". Also there was "no support for sampled instruments as chip tunes are made to be as small in size as possible." The result is a file type that is transportable as a standard midi file, but to my ears much better sounding. The recently defunct Monotonik netlabel thought so too, and collected these tracks from the developers of the AHX tracker themselves, Martin 'Dexter' Wodoks and Manfred 'Pink' Linzner, who later went on to develop games for commercial games. If you are looking for more AHX tunes, you can check out this UP ROUGH gameboyadvance rom, or the AHX section on Necatarine.
And speaking of Blip Festival, come back next week when the FMA unveils some of the live recordings from last month's festival, until then you can check out "Flying" from minusbaby. See ya soon!
TAGGED AS:chip music
clinical_archives on 01/11/2010 at 03:00PM
This album was recorded at Sertso Studio in Woodstock, NY during October of 2007 - a period that culminated in one of the infamously historic BLOB live shows, this one complete with interactive video at Woodstock's Byrdcliffe Theater on All Hallows Eve.
The show sent folks running out into the woods howling. We hope the album strikes a similarly visceral chord with any and all listeners!
Ted "Deadly Tedly" Orr - midi guitar
John "Geeze" Lindberg - processed double bass
Harvey "Mudcat" Sorgen - drums
All compositions by Orr/Lindberg/Sorgen
jason on 01/11/2010 at 08:50AM
We're very excited to announce the winner of the Anti-Pop Consortium "Reflections" remix contest! It was extremely difficult to pick -- we received 50 submissions from all over the world that reimagined APC's innovative hip-hop in a kaleidoscope of styles and unclassifiable genres. And this was not an easy song to remix, we're very impressed by all of the talent that's out there. Here's a note from Anti-Pop Consortium:
Thanks to all of the artists that took the time and effort to create these hot remixes. Each remix had a different approach which made it difficult to decide on a winner. The arrangements and attention to detail were very impressive. And if you were brave enough to incorporate the "tempo change ending" we salute you!
It was a pleasure to listen and we wish you all much success in your future musical endeavors...Thank you.
drum roll please....
1st thru 5th place:
>> All remixes can be heard here <<
katya-oddio on 01/08/2010 at 02:04PM
Did you know that Tchaikovsky didn't like the score he composed for THE NUTCRACKER ballet? Yeah, for starters, he didn't even want the job. Evidently he made too many concessions for the ballet producers and didn't feel it was true to his original concepts and nowhere near as good as his last ballet score, THE SLEEPING BEAUTY.
Isn't that remarkable when so many movements from the composition are instantly recognizable classical masterpieces?
Now, let's say that more than 100 years later we give his score a Tim Burton - Danny Elfman - PDQ Bach treatment. Not talking HOOKED ON CLASSICS here; instead, reworking the whole composition and giving it some bounce, bleeps, bloops, and even more music box charm*. This is exactly what Lanark, our friend in Argentina, has done on MY RUSSIAN BRIDE, now available on the Free Music Archive. One can't help but wonder what the old boy Tchaikovsky would think of this reworking.
Lanark has a passion and a gift for reworking classical pieces. This is one of his earliest, if not the first, releases of his deconstruction and reconstruction of classical works. It is especially fun in winter when we are most likely to hear THE NUTCRACKER SUITE.
Here's hoping this charming little electronic music box from Lanark brings you joy this season and all year. [Download MY RUSSIAN BRIDE]
mwalker on 01/08/2010 at 09:43AM
For those looking for an hour-long respite from the bitter cold and straining grind steadfastly lurking outside the four walls of your bedroom, allow composer Aaron Siegel’s Science Is Only A Sometimes Friend to send you drifting, swaddled in a blissful stupor, into that hazy, temperate zone somewhere between the clouds and the sun. A warm, inviting bed of sustained organ chords melds into the whistling glow of the harmonic residues of eight chiming glockenspiels, forming a gauzy, sun-soaked orb that encircles the motoric pulsing of ever-shifting melodic fragments.
The composer (on organ) performed the work with the Aaron Siegel Ensemble at ISSUE last month, presenting a slightly re-orchestrated update (swapping audience contribution for organ) of the composition originally premiered last spring in Central Park as part of Make Music New York. The ensemble will be going into the studio next month to lay down a recording for release this fall. Keep an eye out for it.
In the program notes, Siegel suggests the work “tests the science of attention and the counterpoint of daydreams.” At least for this weak-minded listener, to maintain a focused listening perception throughout the duration of the work is to put up a forced, unnecessary struggle against the lulling powers of the gently consonant harmonies and hypnotizing permanence of pulsing rhythms. To engage in this strife is to lose out on the wonderful pleasure of allowing the intricacies of the music and the intricacies of your wandering thoughts to float gradually in and out of focus – internal and external sensualities dancing a woozy tango in which positions of prominence continually shift. The music seeps into the daydreams and the daydreams creep into the music, forming a harmonious feedback loop perfect for fifty minutes of time-obscuring escape.
longrally on 01/07/2010 at 08:41AM
I confess it's taken me longer to get this post together than it should have. I definitely have the holidays to blame, some family obligations, the usual work, the usual play. But honestly the main reason is that I have been thinking about what to write, and how best to articulate why I am such a huge fan of these three musicians individually, and then why getting them to play as a group on my show was such an enormous coup. And I think I figured it out.
C. Spencer Yeh (violin/voice) is probably best known as the founder of Burning Star Core, a noise band with a surprising elasticity in terms of sound, timbre, texture, form. He has played with probably every major "noise" artist you can think of and in weirder situations with people like Jandek. Chris Corsano (drums/percussion) has been moonlighting with Bjork of late, and has a longstanding free jazz duo with Paul Flaherty that peels paint. Again, he's collaborated with an enormous range of stylists and kingpins, from free jazz masters to heavy noise blasters, from pop stars to beardos. Nate Wooley (amplified trumpet) is a specialist-in-all-styles type player who digs Charlie Shavers and grew up playing in big bands, has spent time doing lowercase music, traditional-sounding free jazz, post-bop, electroacoustic improv and extreme/harsh noise. The three are primetime improvisors, it's the defining element that links all three. But what appeals to me about each of them is that they don't really "fit" anywhere. Noise, free jazz, post rock, bebop, punk, scuzz. If you are to play with them, you are to accommodate them, to get with the sound and discard the baggage, to open it up wide and be humble and just cruise.
They put in two long pieces. The first was a culmination of a handful of live performances of Nate Wooley's Seven Storey Mountain, a version of which was released on Important Records (with David Grubbs and Paul Lytton). The second is unadulturated free improvisation. Please enjoy. Many thanks to Mike Sin for engineering.
TAGGED AS:c spencer yeh, free-jazz, nate wooley, c spencer yehchris corsanonate wooley, chris corsano, See More...
lizb on 01/06/2010 at 05:39PM
WFMU's broadcast tent at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona last spring attracted a certain slice of humanity: happy drunks from all over the globe spewing late night love for the station, dudes in bands sheepishly handing over their CD-Rs for airplay consideration, high-fives, fist-pumps, where's-the-bathroom, where's-the-beer, and the occasional angry drunk blaming us for losing their keys.
And then this regular-looking, unassuming guy walks up excited to see WFMU, shakes our hands, and invites us all to a dance party at a squat that used to be a leper colony in the hills overlooking Barcelona, and it starts at 6am. This friendly gent just happened to be a longtime WFMU fave, Filastine.
Based in Barcelona, Filastine's sound involves otherworldly beats; it is mutant dance music of the future. This is the perfect sort of material for DJ Rupture's Soot label, which has uploaded some amazing tunes recently.
Check out the hypnotic Filastine song "Fitnah" below, and catch him with his shopping cart DJ rig all over the planet. I hope we can party on the leper colony with him next time!
JoeMc on 01/06/2010 at 04:34PM
When I logged on to the FMA this morning, I really wanted to hear something happy, something that would make me feel a little more excited about starting my day. Lo and behold, after a couple of "not quite right"s, I found my tonic for today: Smokey!
I talk not of bears or Miracles here, but of Mr. Smokey Hormel, a man who needs no introduction to guitar enthusiasts. He's one of those guys whose guitar tone is pretty much recognizable out of the box; you've no doubt heard him on records by Tom Waits, Beck, Joe Strummer, Johnny Cash, and about five thousand other people. Lately, Smokey has gotten interested in Congolese dance music from the late 50s and early 60s, and that's the kind of stuff he's doing with his new outfit, Smokey's Secret Family.
Back in September of last year, Smokey's Secret Family appeared on one of WFMU's broadcasts from Barbés in Brooklyn, a series of remote broadcasts shepherded by Rob Weisberg of the Transpacific Sound Paradise program (Saturdays, 6 to 9). Here is a track from that concert, and a fine one it is.