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Boston_Hassle on 10/21/2013 at 04:15AM

The Crater's Often Overlooked Second Album

Wes Kaplan

In 2010, Wes Kaplan released the album Teenage High-School under the name The Craters. A self-proclaimed "100% bedroom project," this album stood it’s ground in the scene for quite some time, now having it’s name dropped in small circles of music enthusiasts (eg. “Yo, do you like The Craters?"). The album showcased a trial and error production style, using a mixture of hand-claps, electronic drum samples, synths, un-plugged electric guitar loops, vocals, and a whole bunch of effects in a minimal manner, displaying Kaplan’s songwriting in as unique a way possible. Right off the bat, Teenage High-School was agreed upon by the few who heard it as a total jam, a very brilliant listen, and at the very least, an extremely unique pop album.

- Rory MacMurdo


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Irene_Rible on 10/18/2013 at 06:15AM

Chillin' with DJ Spooky: An Opus for Antarctica

In 2007 electronic music producer DJ Spooky (né Paul D. Miller) traveled to Antartica to obtain field recordings of the sounds of melting ice and climate change - an expedition that birthed the multi-media performance Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica, the book and digital download The Book of Ice: A Manifesto for the People's Republic of Antarctica, and the record Of Water and Ice, released as this remixable CC-licensed album.  Like a sonic geologist, Miller samples Antarctica like a giant record of archived source material.  The sounds of shifting glaciers, crunching ice, powerful winds, echo chambers, waterfalls, and even penguins intertwine with symphonic interpretations of water and ice with the results sounding closer to a cinematic Phillip Glass score or a Boards of Canada retro-futurism piece than a hip-hop album.

The project started several years ago as the DJ's response to growing environmental concerns and a need to bring climate change closer to home - in Miller's case, the metropolis of New York City.  Unlike acoustic instruments or folk genres, the relationship between hip-hop and nature is harder to connect as we usually don't see parallels between the urban, manmade terrains of electronically produced beats and the natural environs of remote locations. While the harshness of urban life is rarely interpreted as part of the natural world, on this album DJ Spooky blurs the arbitrary lines of organic and inorganic and finds unusual analogies between hip-hop and nature, bringing to mind the metaphorical obsession with the coolness of ice in urban culture (Iceberg Slim, Ice-T, Ice Cube, etc.).  Although strings and other "natural" instruments are still employed, Miller connects through the beats that are created to mimic algorithms found in nature.  The geometric structure's of the molecules in ice and water as well as the mathematical equations of climate change data form the basis of Miller's compositions.  The live accompaniment to the album includes large projected screens of icebergs shifting, melting and in flux, all part of Miller's efforts to bring the climate crisis into the forefront of our consciousness.

Released as a CC-licensed open source album with Miller encouraging listeners to remix tracks, the album reflects the utopian potential of Antarctica on a social and political scale.  Miller's Book of Ice is a combination of essays, photography, and graphic design, including reports from his own travels, early photographs from the first Antarctic expeditions, and a series of faux-propoganda posters declaring the continent as "The People's Republic of Antarctica".  Miller chronicles both the geological and political history of Antarctica, examining the Antarctica Treaty signed in 1959 forbidding any military usage of the land or any claim to ownership.   Pristine and nearly untouched by human presence, the treaty ensured the continent "shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes".  Subsequently, Antarctica is geographically "the commons" of the world, shared by all nations for the pursuit of science and discovery.  With eons of time preserved in its ancient ice, Antarctica also serves as a collective memory of the earth we all share. 

DJ Spooky continues to explore ways of incorporating music into the dialogue for eco-consciousness as the founder of The Vanuatu Pacifica Project, an art retreat and sustainable living community located in the country of Vanuatu in the South Pacific islands.  Since the island is experiencing increasing urbanization, the foundation and art center fosters a conversation with the islanders via art, music, and performance regarding traditional practices and sustainable energy solutions as a way to help them with the transition from a subsistence economy to a more modern way of life.  Spooky also continues to follow-up his Antarctica work, more recently documenting his time in Cape Farewell, Greenland with the Arctic Rhythms/Ice Music project.  Very cool.

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katya-oddio on 10/15/2013 at 11:33AM

52 Horror Releases

Detail of haunted house scenery, Prater Parc, Vienna, Austria (photo: Jebulon, license: public domain)

Gearing up for your Halloween soundtrack? Whether you are looking to terrify, make mischief, or fill the dance floor, the FMA has got you covered. Here are 52 FMA albums and compilations for your ghoulish celebration.  [originally posted 22 October 2012]

Calling All Fiends
Calling All Fiends
Silber Sounds of Halloween
Sounds of Halloween
Fangdango Halloween LP
Fangdango Halloween
Music for Vampires
Music for Vampires
Trick Or Treat
Trick Or Treat
Dr. Phibes and The Ten Plagues of Egypt: Carmina Burana
Dr. Phibes Carmina...
Messer Chups - Swinging Singles
Messer Chups
Damnatio
Damnatio
Ga'an
Ga'an
Ekleipsi Halloween
Ekleipsi Halloween
Shadow Creatures
Shadow Creatures
Behold! The Living Corpse
Behold The Living...

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10khrs on 10/14/2013 at 04:00AM

New Tracks from Momenta Quartet

On Thursday Oct 17, Interpretations will present two great performances. There will be new premieres from Gene Coleman's Ensemble N_JP and the Momenta Quartet perfoming works for string quartet by improvisers: Yusef Lateef, Gordon Beeferman, Arthur Kampela, and a world premiere from Adam Rudolph.

Here are two new tracks from the Momenta quartet from recent performances! Hope you enjoy.


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happypuppyrecords on 10/09/2013 at 01:56PM

The Return of Uncle Neptune

Uncle Neptune's old timey ditties have been affectionaly described as a cross between Kermit the Frog and Tiny Tim. After a long 7 year absence from the web, Happy Puppy Records is re-issuing the first Uncle Neptune album with the permission of the Uncle Neptune estate, with further albums in the catalog to come.

After releasing his first album in 2001, Uncle Neptune received some notable national attention thanks to Richardson's Roundup on CBC Radio One. Then in 2005 the world found out about the wonderful music thanks to a mention on the popular site Boing Boing

Uncle Neptune retired from the internet in 2006, never to be heard from since. We thought this was a terrible shame that nearly a generation of internet users never got to hear any of his delightful and timeless songs (save for one track appearing on a Kazoomzoom compilation).

But recently Lee Rosevere at Happy Puppy tracked down sources close to Uncle Neptune (thanks Billyblob!) and we are preparing to release as much as Neptune's music as possible, beginning with his debut album.

Please enjoy this music and share it with your friends, and if you do, it would make the world a better place if you would visit Jamie Ward's bandcamp page and support him and his current projects, and it would make Uncle Neptune very happy.


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theradius on 10/05/2013 at 01:00AM

Radius PATCH 03: Voice

PATCH is a series of curated playlists selected from the Radius episode archive. Each playlist is organized around a specific topic or theme that engages the tonal and public spaces of the electromagnetic spectrum. PATCH serves as a platform to illuminate the questions, concerns, and complexities of and within radio-based art practices.

PATCH 03: Voice

Episode 01: Michael Woody

Michael Woody's Numbers Stations 1 and 2 is a set of files constructed to function like numbers stations. The codes have been substituted for brief messages telling what you should do and what you shouldn’t do if attacked by a bear. The work is a reflection on secrecy, control and power.


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Boston_Hassle on 10/02/2013 at 06:00AM

The Boston Underground Rejoices Over Free Pizza

The Boston underground has recently been rejoicing for reasons devoid of home-team sport pride. Free Pizza, a short lived yet extremely memorable power-pop group has decided to reunite within the past few months of 2013. This is not your everyday reunion. This is a great day for New England, and all areas of land where rokndroll is bumping.

Power-Pop is a genre that many are attracted to, and thus will dip their toe in and attempt to make some pop jams. Maybe this is why it can feel like a sort of redundant genre, with so many mediocre acts 'poppin' up here and their, playing some dumb songs about eating cheetos or skateboarding or maybe something about a girl or, um, girls. It is also one of those sounds that has changed so much since it's early raw yet earest beginnings in the 80's with bands like the Replacements. Power-Pop can almost have a bit too much self-awareness. Not Free Pizza. These boys are having a party and everyone is invited.

- Rory MacMurdo

 


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ange on 09/25/2013 at 01:01PM

Open Source Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier for the Public Domain

How would you put to use a public domain recording of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier?

While Johann Sebastian Bach is already in the public domain, a Kickstarter project called the Open Well-Tempered Clavier is seeking to create hi-quality professional studio recordings of all 48 pieces of the Well-Tempered Clavier. This project comes to us from the same team who released the Open Goldberg Varitions, another public domain collection of Bach works. 

The Well-Tempered Clavier has already had a rich impact on music. A few fun examples include the Swingle Singers a cappella version of Prelude from n.24 in B minor, Peter Coffin's project "Music Interpreted by Brain" featuring a brain listening to the Well-Tempered Clavier pt.1, and Brian Tychinski's marimba arrangement of Prelude No. 22 in B flat major for the O-Zone Percussion Group ensemble. If this project suceeeds, it's exciting to think of all ways the 48 pieces would travel, from remixes to videos to winter nights on the couch.

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happypuppyrecords on 09/20/2013 at 03:00PM

Manos: The Remix of Fate

Manos: The Remix of Fate is still seeking submissions for their October compilation! Recently, Benjamin Solovey found a pristine work-print of the infamous bad film and has restored it for upcoming release on Blu-Ray and DVD. He also put up the soundtrack for free (pay what you wish) download on Bandcamp and the Free Music Archive under a BY-NC-SA license, which includes music cues and dialogue. 

Happy Puppy Records would like to celebrate this release by asking the Creative Commons music community to download the soundtrack and remix it! Any genre, any style... just no explicit adult material please. By submitting, you agree to license your track under the same BY-NC-SA license. If you include outside samples in your remix, please ensure they are of a similar sharable license.

Send your remix via dropbox, wetransfer, soundcloud or email if it's less than 25 mbs. 320 Mp3s or FLACs only. Deadline for entries is October 1, 2013 so we can have it ready for Halloween, which will please the Master!

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ange on 09/09/2013 at 02:05PM

Music for Video: Back to School

The colors outside are changing, and this collection of driving rock, electronic and experimental pop instrumentals are here to help tell stories of change and progress.

This is a Music for Video collection for tucking away your swimsuit, taking out a fresh pencil, and getting back to work. Click on the artist names to visit their page on the Free Music Archive. Many of them can be contacted there for more permissions, or to simply share a link to your new creations.

1. krackatoa (websiteCC BY-NC-SA) - Starting a journey and looking cool doing it. This song title and album art refers to the story of Noah's ark, and the track appropriately evokes sonic waves and a sense of fulfilling one's destiny.

2. Los Amparito (websiteCC BY-NC-SA) - The beginning of this song is an echo of chimes (perfect for a bumper), and then stereo dueling guitars take over. You won't get sick of this song no matter how many times you play it.

3. Fields of Ohio (website, CC BY-SA) - Steady driving drums begin this song and lock you in. Then faint voices emerge repeating something that sounds like, "tomorrow." Turn this on when you have homework to begin and want to fall into a productive trance.

4. Peter Gresser (websiteCC0) - A funky jam that makes you want to pick up a joystick or leap on a treadmill. Licensed for the public domain via the Open Game Bundle, you can do whatever you'd like with this track including using it in your video games.

5. MrJuan (websiteCC BY) - Giggle! This is a study break dance track for hip shaking and head nodding. Things are going well, and energy abounds.

6. Thiaz Itch (website, CC BY-NC-SA) - An intriguing flute kicks off this track and tells a story throughout. Many other instruments emerge, including a delightful güiro. This song is part of an album perfect for using in cartoons or animated shorts.

 

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