Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
hfayekay on 04/11/2014 at 09:15AM
That sound of Houston's shadow music collective Ak'chamel that has been hovering over Houston has congealed again in a release known as "Pus Ch'en" under net-labels suRRism-Phonoethics & Have You Said Midi?. Like their earlier albums Old Norse Mara & The Divine Vine Tapes, they continue to evoke tribal rituals from abstract hinterland cultures with haunted throat-singing, guitars, percussion, drones, & more-only this time with a heavier (if possible) & more refined sound. The title of track 2-"Underworld Sweat Bath" is a pretty accurate description of the Ak'chamel sonic experience. The occaisional brightness of a chime might punctuate the music now & then but it's perfectly contextualized to simply add detail before the sounds give way to gutteral chant.
Pus Ch'en could be described as psychedelic improv, but there's nothing sloppy or hokey about it-the members of Ak'chamel are skilled at their musical craft & all textures are intuitively organized to create a sincerely chilling soundtrack. Really wish HBO knew about this when they were scoring True Detective. -Faye
ange on 04/01/2014 at 05:00AM
Arrington de Dionyso is interested in blurring the lines between sacred ritual and popular entertainment. A former Old Time Relijun freak-folker, his recent solo work incorporates overtone-singing, shruti-box, jaw harp, and Kadri Gopalnath-inspired bass clarinet, and many of his latest releases feature recordings from his travels and collaborations. Whether it's a 13th century chapel in Italy, a volcanic cave in Java, or his homebase at K Records' Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, WA, his music is influenced by (and influences) his surroundings.
His work also strives to form human connections, both with his fans and musical collaborators. Back in 2011, de Dionyso traveled and recorded music throughout Java, Bali, and Lombok Islands with support from a successful Kickstarter campaign. With help from another Kickstarter push, he went back in November 2013, and is planning another trip for the end of 2014. Many of the concerts and improvised recording sessions are available for pay-what-you-wish on Bandcamp and the Free Music Archive, including his latest in the Unheard Indonesia series.
Many of your releases directly relate to where you were when you recorded them. What's the role of traveling in your music?
Although I have lived in Olympia, Washington for over 20 years, and I have a wonderful label and studio to work with here. (K Records' DUB NARCOTIC STUDIO, just ten blocks from my house!) I am traveling on tour doing art shows and concerts almost half the year. This puts me in contact with an incredible variety of different people playing all kinds of instruments with different approaches to the music they make. But even when I am working on a solo recording, I think the place in which you choose to make a recording has a huge effect on the kind of result you're going to get, whether it's the specific acoustic properties of a 13th century chapel in Italy, a volcanic cave in Java, or a fancy studio in Berlin—the way I play my music is going to change according to how I respond to being in these places. The music changes even more when other people are involved!
Tell me about UNHEARD INDONESIA VOL. I: The Trance Music of East Java. What did you learn about trance music from your travels in East Java, and from collaborating with other musicians there?
That's a recording of the very first opportunity I had to perform with Jaranan groups in Java, back in 2011. Jaranan, or "Jathilan" is an incredible living tradition that takes many different forms, sometimes including forms of spiritual possession. People have a lot of different ideas as to what really constitutes "trance" but I approach these experiences as a participant and collaborator with many years of experience with my own versions of "trance music" via the rock and roll tradition (a tradition derived almost completely directly from African trance musics, by the way, this is very well documented).
When I perform with these groups I am joining a shared experience and sharing my own unique contribution to that experience. I guess I am particularly drawn to Jaranan because in this tradition there isn't a clear line between what is "sacred ritual" versus "popular entertainment." It's all mixed up there, as I feel it really should be. Why shouldn't something entertaining also be "sacred"? and what do we mean by "sacred" anyways? In much of Indonesia, musicians are performing to entertain the world of spirits just as much as the world of humans. It happens at the same time, and nobody sees any contradiction there, so why should I?
kademlia on 03/20/2014 at 12:30AM
Ain’t music produced better than with love?
This probably is the mantra of rising urban group Ain’t No Love, which, after wowing indie music fans with slicker-than-slick tunes via their self-titled EP, returns to FrostClick and FrostWire with a slightly moody yet incredibly delicious Tears of Joy.
Spreading their trademark “renegade pop” to audiences of other crowd-pleasers such as Iggy Azalea, Steve Aoki, and Calvin Harris, you bet your judgmental auditory senses that Saidah, Beanz, and 1990 aren’t amateurs – something that over 116,500 downloads of their first FrostWire feature Ain’t No Love EP can definitely attest to.
wmmberger on 03/18/2014 at 12:45AM
The grind music I like, I really love, because as a genre, there is a rampant saminess; so I sit back and let bands like Psychic Limb, Ubasute, Agathocles, Cattle Decapitation and Pig Destroyer rise to the top by way of their own virtues.
Alex Caprio's distinctive and unpredictable shriek, Mike Marciano's artful, intricate Rickenbacker bass virtuosity, and Jeremy Suria's guitar work (equal parts technical, Steve Howe-midrangery, and thick, power-chord glue) all work thoroughly together to make the band a cut above the raging pack. Upon even deeper observation, Ubasute's lyrical content, and carefully chosen graphic imagery flaunt the more-easily-attained / co-opted genre conventions.
ange on 03/15/2014 at 12:45AM
On tap inlcudes many bands who have recorded live sets at WFMU that are available here on the FMA, including Protomartyr, Spray Paint, Obnox, Guerilla Toss, and Pampers! WFMU's Liz Berg and Brian Turner will be hosting the broadcast live from the club on Saturday, March 15th. More info on Facebook.
10khrs on 03/12/2014 at 01:15AM
On Thursday March 20, baritone Thomas Buckner joins Montreal-based ensemble Bradyworks, premiering new works by Tim Brady & Australian composers Erik Griswold & John Encarnacao. Also included are works by Christian Wolff, John Cage, & Annea Lockwood. Bradyworks, led by guitarist/composer Tim Brady, includes bass clarinetist Lori Freedman & violist Pemi Paull. They join Buckner to form a quartet that will premiere new commissions on a tour that includes New York, Montreal, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Australia.
In anticipation of this event, Interpretations would like to share some audio from Tim Brady and Thomas Buckner. Enjoy!
newweirdaustralia on 03/04/2014 at 12:30AM
Like a pack of kids at the back of the bus, hacking Minecraft and throwing buns at hipsters, Sydney's Filthy Children arrive with a howl, indifferent to the past, present and future. Their debut collection of disparate electronics pays little respect to those that have preceded them, those who tweak in their orbit, or those that are likely to follow.
Across 20-tracks, Chillection is a free selection of FilChil's nonchalant side, featuring cuts from Defocus, Canecutter, Paperclip Galaxy, Mystery Wagon, Baerfrens, Moufteef, L-X-EN, cyber.akb, Kwze, Kaukana, Carpet Brick, Kuwait Paragraphic and Ilki - a wanton manipulation of the DNA of Australia's electronic music, foreshading everything and nothing.
In their own words: "Chillection is a journey through sounds, sights, textures, graphics, boss levels, loading screens, character select, hidden packages, rainbow roads, techno schmeckno, dragons, wizards and warlocks, the temple of time, pallet town, springfield, rivendel and winterfel."
ange on 02/28/2014 at 10:44AM
The Free Music Archive is seeking a skilled backend engineer, with solid background in modern languages and techniques, who loves going down the rabbit hole to solve difficult problems related to performance, user experience, and long-term structural stability of a modern, high-traffic website (and who doesn't mind working with legacy code).
We're also ideally looking for significant overlap with our current stack:
• Mostly backend: PHP, MySQL, RDS, S3, Redis, Sphinx, Memcached, Chef; REST & API design generally
• And sometimes frontend: HTML5, JS, CSS3, Flash
Along with experience with reasonably modern source control (Git/SVN/Hg) and build practices. Note that we aren't zealots about any of the above; what we're most after is solid engineering chops -- if you're currently working with Rails or Django or Scala but don't mind digging into modern PHP for a good cause, that's fine. We need someone willing to roll up their sleeves and take long-term ownership of the project and address problems holistically. Here you'll have the chance to make valued, long-term strategic contributions to one of WFMU's most important projects.
ckutmusic on 02/24/2014 at 04:15AM
turnmeondeadman on 02/21/2014 at 10:14AM
When Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were released from prison they made it clear they would not go away quietly. At a press conference held shortly after their release they reiterated their opposition to the regime of Vladimir Putin. Then earlier this month, After traveling to Asia and Europe, they performed at an Amnesty International benefit concert in New York with a variety of notable celebrities. The trip also included a memorable appearance on the Colbert Report. Pussy Riot has also made their presence known at the Winter Olympics, now underway in the Russian city of Sochi. They were detained by the police, allegedly for stealing from their hotel. On February 19th Pussy Riot released a video called "Putin Will Teach You How to Love". The video shows members of Pussy Riot being harrassed by security forces at the Olympic Park in Sochi. The video demonstrates that Pussy Riot's incarceration has done anything but silence them. Their commitment to freedom of expression, environmental protection and gay rights is stronger than ever and their status as global symbols of freedom and human rights continues to grow.
This compilation collects songs recorded by fellow musicians in support of Pussy Riot during their incarceration. These songs are cover versions of Pussy Riot songs, expressions of solidarity, and calls for their release.