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

Pod-safe Instrumental Themes

brainstorm image Creative Commons BY @boetter via flickr

My friend Paul asked if I had any pod-safe instrumental music suggestions for his public radio show pilot. He'd already found the YACHT instrumental album, and these Woodgrain Session tracks by NJ's hip-hop producer Pre, and was looking for more in that vein. So I compiled this mix of Creative Commons-licensed instrumental jams.

A few of these tracks have vocals ("Mirror Friends" at the beginning, spinningmerkaba has the refrain "Inspire Me Forever" and Thick Business has some subtle vocoder) but I think they'd all make great, unobtrusive music to listen to at the begging of an online radio show.

If you click on the name of the track (or press the "i") you'll see the Creative Commons license with the terms by which the music  can be used. All CC licenses require attribution, and these tracks also include the NonCommercial clause. Some have have the ShareAlike clause, meaning that if the work is modified for inclusion in the podcast, the podcast itself would also need to be distributed under a Creative Commons license. A few have a NoDerivatives clause, which means the song cannot be remixed, modified, or included in a new work like a video (a podcast is ok though because it is a "collective work"). As with all CC licenses, any of these conditions can be waived with permission from the rights-holder. Creative Commons' Podcasting Legal Guide goes into these issues more in-depth if you'd like to research further.

The track page also lists other people who've liked the song, or included them on their own mixes (some of them I've mixed before too!), so it may lead to other FMA finds. If you're on the prowl for CC instrumentals in particular, you can always filter your search results for pod-safe instrumentals. I'd also check out Bennett4Senate's Tracks to Sync series, and this mix of CC-BY and CC-BY-NC music as heard on CBC Radio's tech/culture show Spark.

One browsing method currently in development is a recommendation system where you can enter the name of an artist whose music you're looking for, some criteria about how you're looking to use it (i.e. in a video? is it a 'commercial' use?), and the FMA will offer some suggestions from our library. So in other words, what I just did for Paul could be replaced by an algorithm...but of course we'll still have curators and people like you to joining in on all the music sharing here on the Free Music Archive, it'll just be another way to discover exactly what you're looking for, whether you know it or not.

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katya-oddio on 06/08/2010 at 01:00PM

Manguebeat from Mombojo

The manguebeat movement is a cultural movement created circa 1991 in the city of Recife in Northeast Brazil as a response to the city's cultural and economical stagnation.

The original movement named itself mangue bit, "mangue" for Recife's mangroves and "bit" to the computer bit central to the movement's electronic music influences. Since then, mangue bit has been more commonly called manguebeat.

The stylistic origins of the music are in maracatu, punk rock, hip hop, samba, Brazilian folk music, and psychedelic rock. The first wave appeared in the 1990s. Mombojó is part of the second wave of the manguebeat movement. They were featured in MTV's coverage (Sintonizando Recife) of manguebeat along with fellow bands China and Maquinado.

Enjoy Mombojó's album NADADENOVO here at the FMA.

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herr_professor on 06/08/2010 at 09:00AM

minus the baby

Since introduced to the FMA a lil over a year ago, Richard Alexander Caraballo, aka minusbaby has been very active here (and elsewhere) with various FMA uploads, and an appearance at the Manhattan Highline a few weeks ago on DJ Trent's show along with DJ/rupture. Keen FMA watchers might've missed his most recent upload, however, Strong Arctic Winds Take Terns: Fourteen Songs Written and Recorded Between 2003 and 2004.

The songs skirt the definitions of what make chip music chip, but deliberately engage the pleasure center of the brain, and make a great early summer soundtrack for those looking for an audio chill-out from hot June nights. Check out them, and the rest of the tracks minusbaby has added in the last year. and catch you guys next week.

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dj rupture, wfmu, minusbaby
jason on 06/07/2010 at 03:00PM

Big Troubles: shoegaze from Ridgewood NJ live on WFMU

Big Troubles from left: Sam Franklin, Alex Craig, Ian Drennen and Luka Usmani

The first time i saw Big Troubles play live, it hit me like My Bloody Valentine at All Tomorrow's Parties, but with Sugar-ier tunes in a smaller space (NYC's Le Poisson Rouge). At that moment, I was intoxicated not just by the music, but by the alcohol. So later on I decided that I should always eat dinner, because those shades of Jesus and Mary Chain jangle-fuzz might've just been my blurred imagination...but my impressions were later affirmed by the far more reliable ears of Doug Gillard. He'd recently shared a bill with Big Troubles, and encouraged them to play live at WFMU.

Sure enough, the session is bursting with 2-minute doses of blissed-out shoegaze-y pop. "Freudian Slips" (a version of which debuted on the wfmu blog back in December) is the most immediately infectious, while the Pollard-y "Drastic & Difficult" might be my favorite from the session, and with so many new tunes in the mix, I am very excited about the future of this band. Olde English Spelling Bee is set to release their debut LP this summer, along with a 7''. Last I heard, Blackburn Recordings still has a few copies of the 4-song "Freudian Slips" 7''. Alex Craig and Ian Drennen made these recordings as a duo with blownout drum machines, fuzz guitar, and a touch of psychedelic effects wizardry. Live, they're joined by Sam Franklin (Fluffy Lumbers) and Luka Usmani (No Demons Here). 

The group's hometown of Ridgewood NJ is a breeding ground for music as of late (Ducktails, Julian Lynch, Real Estate), especially if you include neighboring town of Glen Rock (Titus Andronicus, Vice City Rockers). But Big Troubles don't really sound anything like these other artists. During the Talk's Cheap interview, they cited music as-heard-on the television show Pete and Pete as an influence, and primarily picked out tunes late 80s/mid 90s for their DJ set, which included Cleaners from Venus, Lilys, and Tobin Sprout. Rather than spotlight other music from Ridgewood, they tipped us off to intercontinental contemporaries from Australia (The Twerps) and Germany (Vomit Heat).

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mwalker on 06/07/2010 at 09:00AM

Slap Yr Boots On!

TALIBAM! (Matthew Mottel, left; Kevin Shea, right)

This Wednesday, the one and only Matthew Mottel will wrap up his Artist-In-Residency at ISSUE Project Room with a FREE performance from the formidable powerhouse of insanity that is TALIBAM! Fresh off a jaunt to Bucharest and Italy, the dangerous duo will unveil a set of new material in "peak zone mode" (Mottel's words -- you best believe 'em!).

In honor of this closing of ceremonies, the boys have shot me over another droplet of dopeness to toss into the good ocean that is the FMA. Probably my fav track off their fantastic ESP-Disk'-released album Boogie in the Breeze Blocks, "Slap Yr Boots On! Oysters Await" is a whirlwind schizophrenic sprint that packs in some primetime Talibam! signifiers in top form...all in under 3 mintues. The never-gets-old hilarity of Matt and Kevin Shea's manic free association stage banter (sourced from a concert recording) serves as the basic germ for the song, appearing in the raw before being detonated and sent spinning in every which way. Check it below, in the company of a couple more choice Boogie gems.

Also, as a little bonus, hit the jump to peep a longish excerpt from a convo Mr. Mottel and I had about Talibam! back in late April. See ya Wednesday!

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katya-oddio on 06/05/2010 at 12:45PM

Love, Beats, and Pina Coladas

One of the masterminds behind the Italian group A Smile for Timbuctu, master Digi G'Alessio is proving to be as prolific as a solo artist. He can pack a dance floor like nobody's business. LOVE, BEATS, AND PIÑA COLADAS is a downtempo album still packed with his fat beats.

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JoeMc on 06/04/2010 at 01:00PM

Edith Wilson: Hot Chocolate and Pancakes

Edith and Hounds. Where's that banjo?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about the great blues singer Mamie Smith. Mamie was a pioneer of recorded blues, particularly blues recorded by female singers, and many other women followed in her footsteps. Today I'd like to focus on a blues singer who not only followed in Mamie's footsteps, but who was so hot on her heels that she could be considered something of a pioneer herself: Ms. Edith Wilson.

"Take It 'Cause It's Yours," which is the song by Ms. Wilson featured below, is a fairly representative sample of her art. First, she lays out the conceit of the song, which is about a faithful woman who is emotionally wronged by her man (who happens to be a "delivery man," in the best blues tradition). This dude thinks she digs him for his money, but she throws his "filthy lucre" back at him and reaffirms her fidelity with the double entendre of the title. We don't know what happens after that, but my guess is that he took it (and I don't mean the money).

Edith sings it like she means it, but what's also terrific about this record is her crack band, the Original Jazz Hounds, who saunter through it with a nice dose of raunch. I like the way Charlie Dixon's banjo clomps hard through the song until its grungy break right in the middle, before Johnny Dunn's trumpet solo. This particular verison on the FMA is also great because it's from an old disc that's a little distorted, which gives it the rough sound that all the lo-fi kiddies love these days.

So, yes, check out the song below, and then read on if you want to learn more about Edith Wilson.

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zlayton on 06/04/2010 at 08:45AM

Z'EV masterclass at ISSUE Project Room (FREE!)

Z'EV in the WFMU studio (2007)

Super awesome percussion pioneer and legend Z'EV will be performing at ISSUE Project Room on saturday night (6/5/10) and will be doing a special FREE master class at 5pm beforehand dealing with "rhythms in sound & the sounds of rhythm":

"The mytho-poetics of audiology:  ear drum / hammer-stirrup-anvil / labyrinth, drum as traditional trance inducer / the smithy – pythagoras & shamanism / labyrinth as image of return – Initiation, acoustics & psychoacoustics, a phenomenology of sound & consciousness"

don't miss this rare opportunity!  

More info at

Here's an mp3 of Z'EV on Brian Turner's show in 2007:

"A total legend in experimental sound, text, and visual art, Z'EV has been exploring 'spacial poetics' while creative percussive mayhem since the 1970's. He's been responsible for tons of solo releases and has collaborated with the likes of the Hafler Trio, John Cage, and Psychic TV; he last visited FMU over 25 years ago while living in NYC and working with Glenn Branca and Rudolph Grey among others. He's joined today by drum disciples Sikhara (who've been a central cog in the growing Radon label collective), making their second visit to Brian's show. Get ready for some serious volume and heavy metal of a different strain this afternoon." - BT

Z'EV - "(full set)" (36:53)
Z'EV - "(full set)" (36:53)
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zev, percussion
jason on 06/03/2010 at 06:30PM

King Kong Ding Dong

Youth Culture Index is the new album from Philadelphia's King Kong Ding Dong. The group shares members with A Sunny Day In Glasgow, but you'd never know just by listening...ok maybe there is a tiny hint of ASDIG's ethereal pop haziness, but there are also murkier layers of This Heat and Liars-style post-punk experimentation, pot 'n pan instrumentation, the warmth of some home-recorded wave...

We had a handmade, silkscreened CD-R of Youth Culture Index in the new bin here at WFMU late last year, and now the vinyl edition's been released by Hamburg Germany's Dekorder label (home to a wide range of artists like Felix Kubin, Black to Comm, Kuupuu and Xela). King Kong Ding Dong's website has a few leads on where you might be able to score a copy.

I've been a fan of King Kong Ding Dong ever since hearing their cdr EP back in 2006, later reissued by Badmaster Records (and now out of print). You can hear a couple tracks of the KKDD debut here on the FMA. KKDD also contributed a track off the Badmaster's Dis-adelphia compilation, alongside pherociously great Philly bands like Birds of Maya, Hot Guts, US Girls, My Mind, Drums Like Machineguns, Mincemeat or Tenspeed...the list goes on! Check Dis-adelphia here on the FMA.

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pranay on 06/02/2010 at 03:59PM

New Mix - The Latest and the Greatest!

I wanted to create a mix that captures the cream of the crop from the Free Music Archive's latest additions. I think that the playlist will give you a sense of what I lean towards when finding new music: a throbbing bassline, some electronic influences, and perhaps a little bit of weirdness thrown in for good measure. That's why I decided to dedicate the first track to MC Cullah. He is a young musician from Milwaukee, WI, who deftly mixes in hip-hop production with electronic sensibilities. Recently he opened up for RJD2. But MC Cullah is just the tip of the iceberg. Enjoy!

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mc cullah
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