Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
almar on 05/28/2010 at 09:00PM
Brand spanking new on Pogus: GEN KEN MONTGOMERY
Birds + Machines (1980-89) (Pogus 21055-2)
"With the enthusiasm of a born-again composer, I reviewed music I composed in the 80s, giving special attention to pieces that fused electronic sounds with everyday recorded sounds and noisy songs." - Gen Ken
I knew of Gen Ken Montgomery long before I ever met him - in fact one of the first tracks to attract me to his music is on this cd. And then I did meet him - etc etc- (Ken was a co-founder of Pogus, by the way). So it is with special delight that Pogus can release this cd of Ken's works from the 1980's.
katya-oddio on 05/27/2010 at 05:45PM
Canadian artist Lee Rosevere has been riding on the crest of the free digital music wave for about as long as the web has been able to provide music files. Rosevere is a veteran artist on many netlabels and even operates his own quality and low key free netlabel, Happy Puppy Records.
Lee works in radio, and much of his instrumental album BACKTIME was originally composed for use as radio themes, underscores, or for "backtime." The latter is a term used by in the radio industry for background music programmed to finish at a set time. The tracks are made up of beats, samples, and electronic and live instrumentation.
The entire album is available at the FMA for free download. Enjoy it as a body of work or use it in your own projects.
jason on 05/27/2010 at 09:00AM
WFMU returns to the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, Spain this weekend. Tune in all day Friday and Saturday for live sets from New Pornographers, Pavement, Wire, The Fall, Sic Alps, Superchunk, Ganglians, Neu, The Clean, The Slits, Major Lazer, Diplo, Cold Cave, Condo Fucks (Yo La Tengo), Endless Boogie, Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera), Gary Numan, Van Dyke Parks, Dum Dum Girls, Liquid Liquid, Almighty Defenders (Black Lips + King Khan + Mark Sultan) and more (just added Crocodiles and Monotonix this morning!).
On WFMU's Beware of the Blog, BT lists approx. set times and writes: "We're not only uber-honored that Primavera has made WFMU their official American radio station, but also that so many incredible acts have given us their permission to carry their sets." Set times are subject to change, so be sure to follow WFMU's twitter feed for the live updates.
Like last year, many Primavera sets will be archived in high-quality mp3 here on the Free Music Archive. You can revisit highlights from last year's festival -- including Sunn 0))), Wooden Shjips, Dan Deacon, The Vaselines, The Bats, Magik Markers and many more -- over here.
bennett4senate on 05/26/2010 at 04:00AM
We're only at volume four, and already the worlds of still photography and video have come smashing together like two tectonic plates, thanks to the drag-race-paced continental drift towards digital Pangea.
I'm speaking of course about the release of the first pocket-sized SLR digital camera that shoots 1080 HD video.
While my music video director friends may have already traded their camcorders for camera backs, what this means for you is that pretty soon photos of your newborn child are not gonna cut it - the extended family demands widescreen. Yo Lumiere brothers -pics or it didn't happen.
Vimeo user Ciaran is getting a jump on the game by sourcing his home video soundtracks from the FMA. Check out his video below, which utilizes a beautiful track from Twi the Humble Feather's live performance on WFMU.
You might not want to set your company softball game highlight reel to the lo-fi clanging of Asian Women on the Telephone or Welcome Wizard. But the gauzy, stumbling glitch hop from the Error Broadcast label (KenLo Craqnuques and Pixelord) makes another appearance in this volume and compliments summer evening lulls. Try Dither for wide open spaces.
Look, I know its graduation season. You've already got your son's After the Prom Party olde-time sepia-tone photo booth pics. Just add classic ragtime and bam! Slideshow complete - take that, family email list!
As always, many thanks to the WFMU DJs playing FMA stuff on their shows - you're doing lots of the research legwork for me (Jason, Liz, I see you!!). To all readers, please keep the suggestions coming in for the 10 Tracks to Sync series.
TAGGED AS:tracks to sync
MartyMcSorley on 05/25/2010 at 01:30PM
I try not to repeat myself too often, but after hearing the new Future Islands album, learning their Danzig channeling vocalist was fresh off knee reconstruction surgery (stemming from an injury he sustained while moonlighting as a hype man for the Dan Deacon Ensemble), and hearing that they were hitting the road with new Thrill Jockey labelmates and Baltimore homies Double Dagger, I had to drop them a line. I was then doublely stoked after they asked if Double Dagger could come up as well. We had to make it happen.
Both of these three-pieces go after, destroy and rebuild any kinda label you might want to try to put on them. Future Islands constructs these amazingly pretty, tranced out, intense pop ballads that would move Robert Smith to tears of joyous sadness on the dance floor. Double Dagger somehow manages to whittle down and jam pack every sound you loved form 90’s post hardcore into a two liter bottle of drums & bass power punch, and add in Nolen Strals’s curiously strong vocals and we have an explosive combination that you maybe tempted to compare to Fugazi (but do so at your own risk).
The fact that we actually got these sets recorded was amazing! We thought it would be a good idea to schedule the session at ten a.m. the morning after the New York release party for Future Islands’ new album In Evening Air. Let's just say getting up after a record-setting night for Death by Audio’s bar and then having to fight though an army of cyclists on a five-borough tour did not make for the timeliest arrival... but big ups to both bands for powering though and delivering great performances and big thanks to Dave Mambach for manning the audio controls and making everything sound great and to my boss for letting me come into work an hour late.
Hope you enjoy the sets!!!
Double Dagger | Future Islands | WFMU Playlist & Stream for Marty McSorley 5/5/2010
herr_professor on 05/25/2010 at 08:55AM
With summer just around the corner, its time to get less aggressive with these chip music things, and get into good old fashioned summer jams. Perhaps the earliest US chip music artist to embrace the idea of creative commons releases was California's Timothy Lamb, aka Trash80. As a member of the 8bitpeoples collective he has released a number of online recordings, including this weeks featured EP, Icarus.
A bit of a Renascence man, Lamb not only is a talented musican, with his smooth dance flavored tracks, but a programmer, graphic artist and hardware designer. Projects like his "Prosound Mod" to improve audio output on the Nintendo Game Boy opened the door on on a whole slew of mods to make the corporate toy more suitable for the trenches of club warfare, and his software and hardware projects like Arduinoboy, OKi Computer, and ChipSynth has made it possible for all kinds of crazy chip sound integration into the "pro" producers setup.
Above all his music is the most impressive, as showcased below on Icarus. Check out why TCTD picked it as the best release of 2008, and we will see you again in seven.
andrewcsmith on 05/24/2010 at 10:30AM
This here's banjo week on the ISSUE Project Room FMA page, and we're kicking off your Monday with some Uncle Woody Sullender. Woody played a concert last Saturday night, along with peace, loving and Nat Baldwin, and his sprawling improvisations can turn on a dime from Virginia fingerpicking to electronic drones. Far from your standard historical banjo fare, Woody plays a modified instrument (developed with STEIM in Amsterdam) in which a transducer essentially uses his banjo as a speaker cone for live electronic processing.
The thing about Woody's banjo playing is that at times the picking is so furiously fast that it starts to meld with and almost overtake the electronic backdrop. Other times, he brings out sparse, angular harmonics that seem like fragments more than like melody or chord progression. These electronics, coming from a transducer that essentially uses the banjo itself as a speaker cone, alternate between drones, electronic glitch noises, and sparse harmonic variations. For an instrument so associated (in popular music, at least) with the folksy strumming of the Seegers and the Sufjans, Woody plays it like it's something else.
And, yet, he also plays it like a banjo. The set begins with a minor-key chord movement, over which Woody plays the same three-note riff, which deconstructs into fragments, turning on the self-assurance of the opening phrase. The electronics—a simple filtered, distorted tone from the banjo—constantly interrupt the picking rhythms with irregularly synchopated noise. It's not as if there are two "modes," and Woody is mashing-up Virginia banjo with some Brooklyn electronic wizardry; they are fused elements of the same substance. Most importantly, it all comes as naturally as any language and, like language, contains moments of perfect ambiguity, where the sound is in both and neither of these zones.
Listen below to the first part of his three-part set. The whole thing is up on the album page, and is well worth the listen.
pushbinlou on 05/23/2010 at 10:49PM
It always puts a spring in my step to see another established artist throw their hat in the ring with the FMA. Cheapmachines (Phillip Julian) is a long standing experimental/electronic artist based in London. He started putting his work out on various experimental labels like Staalplaat, HalloGallo and Foxy Digitalis in various formats. The great thing about Phillip is that although a lot of his output was originally released in very small quantities he has now made a concerted effort to put a large portion of his discography available for free on his own site and now here.
A good example of this is a full length release that Phillip has just uploaded here. Flaunt originally came out in 2005 on Foxy Digitalis and was limited to 100 copies. Now with the entire work on the FMA more people can enjoy this great release of drone and harsh electronic noise. I included one track in this post but the work should be listened to in its entirety. Enjoy!
jason on 05/21/2010 at 05:30PM
You may know Arrington de Dionyso from his post-punk-freak-folk group Old Time Relijun, or from his trance-inducing solo experimentations with overtone-singing, shruti-box, jaw harp, and Kadri Gopalnath-inspired bass clarinet. He also teaches workshops on "Unleashing the Voice", and plays in the free-jazz quartet The Naked Future (ESP-Disk). His paintings offer a visual depiction of said future, where humans, animals, and angels live in naked, bestial harmony.
Malaikat Dan Singa (K Records, 2009) is an album that melds all of these influences and more: Arrington's unleashed vocals are sung entirely in Indonesian, with translations of William Blake and the Zohar finding their way into the mix. The album was produced by K Records/Dub Narcotic house engineer Karl Blau, who also plays bass and drums on the record.
Arrington de Dionyso brought Malaikat Dan Singa to life for a visit to Talk's Cheap on WFMU this past Tuesday, engineered by Dave Mambach. The lineup featured Arrington on vocals/guitar/bass clarinet, Nehemiah Saint-Danger on bass guitar and Ruben Sindo Acosta on drums. Old Time Relijun's drummer Germaine Baca was on-hand as well, studying up for the next leg of the tour. She's got an extra leg up because the first song of the live session, "Kedalman Air," is a reworking of an Old Time Relijun song "Cold Water" <-- be sure to check out the amazing live version from WFMU's Free Music Series concert @ Southpaw, 10/13/2007!
Speaking of Old Time Relijun, they're playing a surprise show at NYC's Cake Shop this Saturday 5/22. Malaikat Dan Singa plays Brooklyn's Death By Audio tonight, then they're off to AS220 and beyond for this tour which Arrington promises will be "never-ending" (see here for tourdates).
So what compelled Arrington to start writing music and lyrics in Bahasa Indonesia, let alone to learn the language in the first place? (read more...)
andrewcsmith on 05/21/2010 at 09:30AM
The idea is that about halfway through, Sam Ashley is no longer really playing the drums. Instead, by balancing the two sides of his body, Ashley turns himself into what he describes as a "human VU meter," or a readout of the current state of his spirit possession. In his performance of "Every Heaven is the Best One and Every Hell is the Worst One," Ashley allows himself to become possessed by a particular spirit—one he has developed a relationship with over the years. Ashley's drumming quickly becomes involuntary; as the spirit is exorcised, his movement grows more an more violent until he is free of the spirit and the performance is over. However, this doesn't mean that the spirit possession itself is violent. After the performance, Ashley said that, while the spirit was initially a threatening presence, they are now on good terms. In other words, the spirit doesn't necessarily outright command him to play louder, but they do so together.
Sam Ashley is one of the highlights of ISSUE's Month of the Ecstatic Moment, happening through all of May. Although he is likely best-known as a member of Robert Ashley's opera ensemble (in Dust, Celestial Excursions, Improvement, and others) Sam has been working for decades as an experimental mystic. His focus is making certain mystical occurances—like spirit possession, or trance more generally—audible acts. The idea is that by making these events audible, a view will be opened to "things that occur in-between the 'real world' and something else."
Here's a video of the performance, and an audio recording is below.