Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
ange on 06/27/2013 at 02:45AM
Bottlesmoker is Anggung Kuy Kay and Ryan Nobie Adzanian, an electronic pop duo from Bandung, Indonesia. When their local record labels didn't know how to charecterize their sound, they turned to the web and Creative Commons to share their music under the belief that "if there are 10 people who hate your music, there will be 100 people or more out there who love your music elsewhere." They were right.
Their unique indietronic instrumental sound is created with self-made instruments and circut bending. Their favorite sounds come from toy musical instruments such as glockenspiel, hand bell, melodica, and pretty much any toy that reminds you of toy phones, radio or Nintendo DS. Inspired by musicians such as Lullatone, Dan Deacon, and Tidy Kid, they describe their music as "a happy place where you do your daily activities" such as sleeping, riding, reading and making art.
Their music first came to us as part of an incredible Indonesian CC Music Compilation brought to us by our curator XEROXED. You can download their full album Hypnagogic here on the Free Music Archive, and check out their website and Soundcloud page for more catchy tunes you'll want to take with you everywhere.
ange on 06/25/2013 at 01:45AM
Nult came together in late 2011 in Osona, in central Catalonia, Spain. Their music is highly narrative with postrock influences, and each of their tracks takes on the charecteristics of a landscape, or a film. Their debut album asil liseli was put together over the course of a year, and reflect the thoughts, reflections, and voices of this time for the band.
It's just another great summertime upload from the La Gramola Netlabel. La Gramola (in English, jukebox) curates some incredible pop, rock, indie, and experimental albums for the FMA. In fact, one of our twitter followers shared that this was one of his favorite albums ever. Dive in.
blxl on 06/21/2013 at 04:15PM
The newly released Artifacts/yclept 2-disc compilation Necroscopix (1970-1981) is a simple documentary survey of a very particular time and place; a sliver of a local culture — made in imitation of, or perhaps as a salute to the work of musicologist, Dick Spottswood, one of our heroes. The best stories can’t be told in this amount of space, but here’s an outline.
“...in Richmond, or in any Southern city for that matter, you do see types now and then which depart from the norm. The South is full of eccentric characters; it still fosters individuality. And the most individualistic are of course from the land, from the out of the way places.”
— Henry Miller,
“The Air-Conditioned Nightmare” (1945)
The oddest of us were, to be sure, not from the Big City, but while many here came from places like Boones Mill, Roanoke, Martinsville, Clarksville and Culpeper in Virginia, and Winston-Salem and Greensboro in North Carolina, nearly half came from the D.C. suburbs, all converging on the urban scene around the art school at Virginia Commonwealth University in the late 1960’s.
And, if the South is indeed full of “eccentric characters,” what is art school, if not a universally potent magnet for creative misfits? There isn’t a person on these two discs who ever intended to be what the Japanese call a “salary man,” and though most succeeded in that intention, some inevitably succumbed, while more than a few died resisting in their own way (see the list, please) — and others just disappeared.
Richmond is less than 100 miles from Our Nation’s Capital, which in pre-digital days was still worlds away from the major centers of the Counter Culture on the West Coast and in NYC, and that remove forced us to interpret and synthesize a take on the zeitgeist that was uniquely our own.
bronwynbishop on 06/20/2013 at 01:49PM
On the front page of performance artist Bryan Lewis Saunders' website, the main image, right under his name, features Saunders with a plastic bag over his head. This sets the tone for the majority of his career.
Saunders describes his work as stand-up tragedy. He is the opposite of a stand-up comic- he stands in front of an audience and attempts to make them cry. Starting in 1995, Saunders has drawn at least one self-portrait every single day; the ones which have received the most attention are the portraits he produced while under the influence of a different drug every day. He is generally considered an outsider artist, and lives in an institution-like home for unemployed and disabled people.
In 2003, Saunders began sleeping with a tape recorder and, upon waking, recording descriptions of his dreams. 87 Dreams of a Sociopath, a book of these descriptions transcribed as poems, is the result of this experiment. Along with the book, Saunders released the audio recordings themselves. In a groggy monotone punctuated by yawns, Saunders presents us with his dreams, many of which are gruesome. "The Amputator," in which Saunders is hired by God to amputate people's limbs, is a highlight. Possibly the most disturbing track is "I Killed My Cousin," in which said act is described in meticulous detail: "I stuck a razorblade four inches deep into the side of her neck, and then just pulled down, straight down on it, and cut her throat."
Despite their sometimes shocking content, Saunders' depictions of the peculiar logic of dreams are instantly familiar. Saunders is an avant-garde, troubled oddball, but his dreams could be anyone's. This collection, while difficult to listen to for an extended period of time, is a great find for anyone fascinated by dreams.
katya-oddio on 06/17/2013 at 12:30AM
Stealing Orchestra have been amazingly generous contributors to the free music world for a decade. The orchestra has provided a prolific free netlabel (also at Free Music Archive) featuring their work and the works of fellow Portuguese bands.
In 2011, Stealing Orchestra released their concept album DELIVERANCE, containing nine new tracks and celebrating the 10th anniversary of the band's netlabel You Are Not Stealing Records and 13 years of making albums together. [press release]
Happy birthday, Stealing Orchestra, and thank you so much!
TAGGED AS:sound collage, you are not stealing records, alternative rock, experimental pop, cinematic, See More...
ange on 06/14/2013 at 01:00AM
A new lawsuit being filed today aims to have "Happy Birthday From You" given its rightful place in the public domain. As Eriq Gardner writes for the Hollywood Reporter, the film company Good Morning to You Productions Corp. is working on a documentary about the birthday song, and has filed a suit on behalf of all those who have paid for the rights to use it.
As we follow the case closely, you can always check out our Free Birthday Song Repository of over 140 free birthday songs that are licensed Creative Commons Attribution, and watch a video we produced of birthday song alternatives used in Film and Television.
katya-oddio on 06/12/2013 at 04:22PM
Cricket and bird songs, ice clinking in glasses, block parties, kids in the sprinkler, ice cream truck jingles, wind against paper kites, "cloop" sounds in the creek, bicycle chains, and all those other musical sounds of summer have their places in our hearts. There is still space for new sounds of summer days, and the Free Music Archive is here for your summer soundtrack. Here's one I put together for a summer evening party featuring 18 tracks across the spectrum of genres. Let's hear yours!
ange on 06/06/2013 at 08:14AM
Sometimes the sound you're looking for is a sound that sustains. Music for sitting right where you are, but going somewhere, slowly.
This Music for Video mix highlights many shades of drone and ambient electronic music from across the Free Music Archive, including some that can set a relaxing and joyful tone, and others that can be a tool for your most tense and chaotic scenes. The best drone delivers, creating a tonality upon which the rest of the piece is built, often creating a meditative space, taking on the feeling of a sculpture, and evoking intense feelings.
2. Zachary Cale, Mighty Moon & Ethan Schmid (website, CC BY-NC) - The fifth in the Natch collaborative series features a team effort on "Trees Don't Sleep," which begins with two minutes of drone before the drums and melodies join in. Drone stays along for the ride.
theradius on 06/04/2013 at 08:30AM
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 01: Failure
8 Silences, part of Art of Failure’s Laps Series, offers a sensible representation of the Internet by broadcasting audio streams that travel and reverberate trough the web. In the style of encephalography, this empirical sound process gives substance to an unstable and intangible digital space. Initially silent, the streams progressively incorporate an infinity of transformations or “errors” that modify the sound as it circulates the network. These alterations are comparable to a form of erosion caused by the network space - they are a key to allow different mental representations of this digital topography. Presented as a live performance, 8 Silences is a sound immersion in the heart of data flows.
jason on 06/03/2013 at 02:55PM
Tashi Dorji conjures incredible sounds from a prepared acoustic guitar. His spirited improvisations—recorded live without any loops or effects—evoke a composite of influences from Derek Bailey to Mauritanian pulaar to the traditional music of his native Bhutan.
"Growing up in Bhutan with little access to music except random bootlegged cassettes and shortwave radio, I listened to anything i could find," Tashi Dorji writes in an email interview. He learned guitar by ear because "we didn't have music school, TV or internet back then in Bhutan, so we had to use a lot of imagination and improvise what we thought we heard off of a tape player."
Tashi Dorji arrived in Asheville, North Carolina as an international student in 2000. He quickly fell in with the vibrant punk rock community, which flowed into free jazz, noise, experimental and other avant garde music. The Appalachian mountain town has become a real hub for experimental music thanks to longstanding acts like Ahleuchatistas, resources like Asheville FM, the shop Harvest Records, tape distributor Tomentosa, and labels like Bathetic and Headway Recordings.
Guitar Improvisations, released on cassette by Headway last year, sold out quickly but is available to download from the FMA along with his release sêp. This week, the label unveiled Tashi Dorji's self-titled follow-up, and it's streaming after the jump. Tashi Dorji also has a forthcoming release on Turned Word Records out of Belfast ME, and much more on his bandcamp.
Bhutanese traditional music is an oral tradition consisting of many marginal, isolated communities across the country, and much has yet to be documented. But for those interested in hearing some examples, Tashi Dorji points us towards a nascent archive hosted by the Bhutan Broadcasting Service.