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macedonia on 11/07/2009 at 04:51PM

the afro-jazz flow of NOMO...

NOMO. Photo by Doug Coombe.

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...

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WM_Recordings on 11/07/2009 at 01:50PM

WM Recordings celebrates 5th birthday and 100th free release

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.

Happy Elf - "Online" (04:24)
Happy Elf - "Online" (04:24)
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jason on 11/06/2009 at 05:47PM

ESP-Disk 45th Anniversary concert / Jazz Foundation benefit

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)

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BTurner on 11/06/2009 at 03:15PM

Don't Be Tardy For the Party

Here's a big pupu platter of illicit danceparty music for the next time Bill Murray comes by to meet Williamsburg chicks.

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jason on 11/05/2009 at 08:14PM

Heavy new sounds from Kowloon Walled City

cover art for Kowloon Walled City's full-length debut 12'', Gambling on the Richter Scale (Perpetual Motion Machine)

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

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JoeMc on 11/05/2009 at 12:15AM

Waiting for the Brownout

Photo by Sandy Carson via

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.

Brownout - "Olvidalo" (04:01)
Brownout - "Olvidalo" (04:01)
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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.

Find more of matthewdavid's psychedelia on the FMA from this special session he recorded live at dublab, as well as his contributions to our on-going art project INTO INFINITY.

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wmmberger on 11/04/2009 at 12:29PM

Slasher Risk live on WFMU's My Castle of Quiet 10/28/09

I'm running out of ways to gush about Slasher Risk. Point is, this relatively young band, a duo, doesn't seem to yet realize how good they are, or how amazing they're going to be in just a short while. Slasher_trent1 That's a fine thing, because it means they're only doing what must be done—what comes naturally. And what comes naturally is dynamic improvised music, with one limb occasionally stuck in something that remembers rock, but just as often or more so, dances in the air above the unimaginable maw of the Lovecraftian abyss. Frightening to some, but not to Andy or Sara, who do it seemingly just because it's their thing.

A two-person Can? Lou and Sterling? Moe and Sterling? Or a guitar-noise duo whose work makes Solmania seem "uptight"—just who the hell are Slasher Risk?

Here are 37+ minutes that at least put us closer to an answer:

Good photo and top-notch session engineering by Trent.
Lousy photo and video (after the jump) by your host and author.

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mpvernon on 11/04/2009 at 09:00AM

Menhirs of Er Grah - Different World

2qvsj84.jpgBritish musician Thomas Carter doesn't stay in one genre for very long. His project March Rosetta has two albums out on the Clinical Archive netlabel which are quite different from each other. One is a pleasant and mildly avant-garde instrumental effort of electronic music while the other is a more mainstream pop outing.

Again, Mr. Carter shift gears with his new musical project Menhirs of Er Grah. Named after a Megalithic structure in France the music is as sparse and lonely as the stone. Different World can best be described as folk music. It is simply Carter's voice and guitar with another second guitar dubbed in later. The sound is, to put it simply, quite beautiful. Carter's voice has a not unpleasant wavering quality that communicates vulnerability. The guitar work provides a steady base for the lyrics which are complex yet intimate. I especially like the title track and "Red Roses". This is slow and meandering music, easy to relax to but full of meaning.

If you enjoy the music, consider supporting the artist by buying his new EP, Mourning Dove. You can also download a new recording titled "Live at Vombat Radio from Clinical Archives.

(originally posted at Free Albums Galore 4/30/2009)

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doncbruital on 11/03/2009 at 01:55PM

Symbolic Histories, and Whether Ghosts Like Metal

Aright foaks, know this week you might be a little ghosted-out, but figure nonetheless I'll get right to it: my house, yeah, is very creepy. I know I've reported before on this woods-enclosed 18th-century repository-for-lingering-colonial-ghouls, but back then my concerns had only a theoretical basis, founded on the stories I'd heard from the landlord and former tenants: those of the boy who once, just outside, met with the business end of a passing stagecoach; of the section of the house that'd previously been a funeral parlor; of a late night visit from a semi-transparent skeletal figure in the bedroom that's now my own; the whole ghostly bit, in other words. But stories are stories, and they needn't be treated as fact, right, so--the question, seems to me, kind of leaning out for the asking--how exactly ought they to be treated? Thoughtfully, I think, for if they ain't facts, these story-type-truths, they're even more telling.

I'm talking Symbolic History, wherein even if the factual events are not strictly accurate a sort of mythical version of the truth emerges that's truer than the actual one. And look, seeing's we fashion our lives out of semi-factual narratives based more on feeling and emotion than any stringent veraciousness, this is an idea that appeals to me. As in the William T. Vollmann novels of human and environmental wildness to which the term has been frequently applied, our quasimythical conceptions of our personal histories and those of generations before can tell us everything and more, and--right kids?--they're fun. Thus we have our rock and roll histories which, like a Genesis ch. 5-style generational litany, see things proceed in symboilc geneologies; lo! and Blue Cheer begat Black Sabbath, that kind of thing. And at the proud latter-day end of this enumeration of reincarnations, as well as on constant play in my haunted house, stands WILDILDLIFE.

Wildildlife - "Metal" (09:55)
Wildildlife - "Metal" (09:55)
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