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calebt on 07/10/2009 at 03:52PM

Serious Muscle

De Portables, in a former life... via Studiomuscle:

Recently, the Belgian record label Kraak gave the FMA the green light to go ahead and plunder their website for whatever sample mp3s they could find. Within a few days, a veritable Kraak pu-pu platter was made available through the FMA's burgeoning server.

One of the most attractive features of the catalogue is the glimpse it offers of the rise of the Belgian collective known as Studio Muscle. It started as the tape-label brainchild of Ingwio D'Hespeel, who in 1992 began putting out countless lo-fi pop tunes as Wio (coincidentally, it seems, Polish for "Giddyap!"). He soon drew comparisons to songwriters like Nick Drake, and Kraak happily released a full-length CD of carefully crafted songs, shoegaze fuzz-rock tinged with sentiment and humor.

Featured on many of these tunes were some of Wio's soon to be Belgian supergroup co-stars like Jurgen de Blonde (aka Köhn). De Blonde, for the most part, makes pop-sensible electronic soundscapes and glitch music. He lends an eerie, industrial edge that complements the warmth of Wio's fleshy pop melodies. Thrown into a blender with a couple other Bruges phenoms, De Portables was born in 1996, crooning electro-pop "post-rock" (as they lament being labeled) in impeccable English. All the while, Kraak was keeping tabs on Köhn and his various collaborations with Wio, and glimpses of their courtship are now preserved on the FMA. Köhn continues to produce solo albums, and Kraak continues to package and churn them out - a new LP entitled "We Need More Space In The Cosmos" is actually his first solo production since 2003, and Kraak is calling it "The comeback we were all waiting for!"

Presently, the Studio Muscle blog serves as the internet outpost for the now Belgian rockstars, offering images from the life and tracking the musical and visual output of the collective. De Portables are set to release a new full-length, and the Muscle is offering a preview track, alongside an outtake inspired by a beaver. Keep an eye on the flickr.



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DylanGoing on 07/10/2009 at 12:15PM

Cooper-Moore and Millions of Dollars

"Wait, you don't build your harps yourself?"

This week, the Free Music Archive received two live recordings from neo blues/jazz/improv/instrumentalist Cooper-Moore. One set from his recent outing at the Brecht Forum as part of a panel on new uses of the language of blues. The other set coming from Brian Turner's curated night at the WFMU/Issue Project Room collaborative concert series in September of 2008.

And speaking of Issue Project Room, they recently received the Marty Markowitz allocation treatment with $1.1 million set aside for Issue Project's promotion of the arts, culture, and avant-garde in Brooklyn. Terribly exciting news, right?

Try not to be regaled by this excerpt from Cooper-Moore's IPR performance and expect much more of that to come.

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lawrence_kumpf on 07/10/2009 at 11:21AM

Michael Gira + Wooden Wand Coming to IPR July 25


ISSUE Project Room presents an afternoon with Michael Gira (Swans/ Angels of Light) and Wooden Wand on July 25th at 6PM in the Can Factory Court Yard.  Tickets 15$. After the show Rooftop Films will present Stars Like Fleas and Screen Stay the Same Never Change.  Buy tickets together for 20$ at:

Michael Gira founded the seminal NYC band Swans in 1982. Quickly infamous for their punishing, brutal and repetitive onslaughts of sound, extreme volume levels, and the self-abusing, abject shouts and growls of Gira’s sloganeering vocals, Swans gradually transformed over 15 years, ultimately venturing into harsh mechanical proto-industrial rock, to sprawling shifts of texture and perspective  (see the bucolic atmospheric folk idles and martial stomps of their much heralded Children of God double LP from 1987), to gentle acoustic-based songs, and finally on to their ultimate statement, Soundtracks For The Blind (1997) which somehow incorporated all of these elements at once, across well over 2 hours of music in one album. At this point, Gira called it quits after 15 years of relentless touring and productivity, and disbanded Swans. Since 1999 Gira has released his music under the name Angels Of Light. He writes the songs for Angels Of Light on acoustic guitar and orchestrates them using a shifting cadre of musicians, employing a wide variety of instrumentation such as strings, wind, brass, electric guitars, electronics and choral vocals. The songs are often eccentric and extreme, in keeping with Gira’s love of soundtrack music. Though nominally more traditional than Swans, Angels Of Light is often just as hard hitting through different means. The most recent album by Angels Of Light is We Are Him. Though Angels Of Light recordings are often elaborately orchestrated, Gira has recently chosen to tour exclusively solo, using acoustic guitar and voice. The performances are raw, to the point, and emotionally powerful. When not recording, writing music, or touring, Gira spends his time producing and releasing music through his label Young God Records. He’s been responsible of late for such notable talents as Devendra Banhart, Lisa Germano, Akron/Family, Fire On Fire, and most recently, Larkin Grimm. In early 2009 Young God released the YGR debut by the acclaimed composer/guitarist James Blackshaw.

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JoeMc on 07/09/2009 at 11:20AM

The Song of the Whip-Poor-Will

That brave and gray bird

"Excavated Shellac" is an amazing blog of transfers from old 78s that has recently moved its archive of posts to the FMA. Usually the blog focuses on what has come to be referred to as "world music," which means anything not recorded in America, I guess. But occasionally a "domestic" 78 shows up and it's always a good one.

Today's post is an old country record by the Stapleton Brothers. And no, I didn't think of this record because of someone's appearance at the Staples Center this week.

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lizb on 07/08/2009 at 04:12PM

Parle vous El-G?

One of my favorite records of 2008 was El-G's "Tout Ploie" (Kraak), full of woozy experimental wonderment. Laurent Gerard from Paris is the man behind this musical enigma, crossing pretty, delicate sounds with twisted, sometimes harsh avant-garde strangeness. "Tim et Henry" below is sparse and lovely, yet irresistably unsettling.

Adding to his intrigue, El-G has released music on some of Europe's most creative record labels: Tanzprocesz, Le Vilain Chien, Kraak, etc.

A smattering of El-G's unreleased songs, album tracks, and singles are available here on the FMA, and I also recommend checking out his many collaborations and side projects for a wealth of other great sounds: Reines d'Angleterre, Opera Mort, El-G & Duncan, El-G / Sus / Jakob Olausson.

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WM_Recordings on 07/08/2009 at 01:26PM

Submit your cover version for our 100th free album!

The release of the 100th free album download on Dutch label WM Recordings is rapidly approaching. We have lots of activities coming up to celebrate this milestone. One of the projects surrounding our 100th free album will be the release of an album of cover version of tracks from the WM Recordings catalog.

Pick your favorite WM Recordings track from and... cover it!

We'll post submission guidelines on our site very soon, but you're already invited to start submitting your cover versions.

The rules are simple: the track(s) must have been released by WM Recordings and your version should not be longer than 5 minutes. Also keep in mind that a remix does not count as a cover version. Mail if you have any questions or if you have more great ideas to celebrate our 100th free album!

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blocsonic on 07/08/2009 at 08:34AM

Here it is… netBloc Vol. 23: We Invented the Compilation

Of course we didn’t invent the compilation! Duh! No really! We didn’t… seriously! Why do you doubt me? Even though we didn’t invent them it doesn’t mean we didn’t perfect them… so here’s another perfect compilation for your soul to absorb via your ear canals. A collection of 11 tracks plus one sampler. That’s two bonus tracks on top of the standard 10 track line-up! Whoa! Crazy! I loved the Jay Slim release so much that I simply couldn’t contain myself to only one track. Then Just Plain Ant released the sampler of his upcoming release “The New Black” and I felt that it’d be a perfect addition to the line-up. In fact, I wish other labels/artists released samplers like this. I’d love to feature one with every netBloc release. Consider this an invitation to any of you who may be working on some music and want to begin promoting it early, send us a sampler and it’ll be considered for a future netBloc release. 1 track, no longer than 15 minutes and only send wav, flac or aiff files along with any info you'd like mentioned about the upcoming release. Send files to us via services such as or you can use our blocSonic contact form to let us know you'd like to send us something and we can set you up with an ftp account to upload directly to the blocSonic server.

So what sounds can you expect this time around? Industrial, electro-pop, electro-funk, hip-hop, punk, rock, pop-rock and indie-pop from France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US. Our netBloc releases are always an eclectic, international affair and this time is no different. By the way, if you’re a Boo Radleys fan, you might like to know that one of the featured artists is none other than Martin Carr. Check out his fantastic track “Why You Gotta Bring Me All This Rain?” (available only at Check out the fatty 79 page PDF for details.

Jay Slim - "Star" (04:08)
Jay Slim - "Star" (04:08)
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doncbruital on 07/07/2009 at 02:11PM

When the Doomed Can No More Flee

Bonedust, Greensboro

The mighty trumpet's wondrous tone
shall rend each tomb's sepulchral stone
and summon all before the Throne.

So sez the Dies Irae, that oft-quoted Requiem Mass hymn which declaims in Latin rhyme the wave of judgment that’ll sweep the dead spirits of humanity at the end of time, and entreats providence to secure, among the saved souls, that of the speaker. One can sympathize with the impulse, of course, for with regards to faithful submission to the Sacred Mysteries, little inspires greater degrees of piousness than the unitive step of total annihilation. When we’re all brought low, we’re in true communion; when the real shit hits, we, mere humans, are doomed as one.

Small wonder, then, that the sound of a thickly-low-end gutter guitar and drum onslaught can doom us with equal force. It’s there in the sensory experience—the threatening emptiness at the start that fills us with a keen anticipatory paranoia of what’s to come, the distantly methodic drumming that relentlessly guides us on, the repeating guitar figure and lilting vocals we likewise can’t help following, and, our attentions by now wholly undivided, our movements no longer those of individuals, our union assured—a scream. BONEDUST awakens. Annihilation is rendered.

Yea, we’re in the presence of divinity, and thus may only proceed by question-and-answer catechism: Just what are we hearing? “God and Death conspiring,” Bonedust’s press offers, to tell “a love story that is the true origin of human suffering.” From where does this holy racket spill? Providence, RI’s Dirt Palace collective/art space. Who could be responsible? Members of VVLTVRE and Dr. Fuck Yeah, inveterate shredders way skilled in harnessing the transformative energies of raw dark performance power.

Bonedust's gnarled heap of one-guitar-drums-vox-onslaught-doomery When You Are Dead and Your Bones Are Rotting Think of Me Lest I Be Forgotten is available in its entirety on the Free Music Archive. Get to requieming now and count yourself among the saved.

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herr_professor on 07/07/2009 at 07:56AM

Whats a name?

Very exciting release this week, as we bring you TCTD's first FMA exclusive, 20k9d by Starpause. Starpause is one of a few dozen pseudonyms by San Francisco based artist Jordan Gray. An early voice  out of the scene surrounding the Game Boy music sequencer, Little Sound DJ, Gray hit the ground running in organizing the highly influential Colin Pipe Crew in Minnesota, and later the DutyCycle series of shows in San Francisco. He also puts out tons of other peoples audio, both on his mp3death label, and on the truly open source hexawe netlabel for the littlegptracker program (where you can even download the samples and sequence data for each single). All of this vociferous scene involvement does nothing, however, to overshadow his tremendous musical talent.

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DylanGoing on 07/06/2009 at 02:32PM

Chief Boima on WFMU

Ready for deployment. CC by-nc-sa 2.0 Alexander Sanders

Bay Area DJ and producer Chief Boima stops by Jersey City today on Mudd Up to discuss his past, current and upcoming work under his own name, with collaborative production hounds Banana Clipz, Chief y Chango, as well as being the cellist for instrumental rock combo Beaten By Them.

He is also the producer of the Free Music Archive's 24th most listened-to track. Take an ear gander below to see why it's favorited so often. Tune in to Mudd Up with DJ/Rupture Monday, July 6 at 7 pm EST for more fiery details and exclusive previews.

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