About Free Music Archive
dvd on 01/08/2013 at 10:00AM
Hey! I'm David - former FMA librarian, admin, and thing-doer. I spent a lot of time this year hunting the virtual stack for lost gems and Creative Commons treasures, and I come to you now with my Top 10 Albums to hit the Free Music Archive in 2012. They're presented below in alphabetical order... enjoy the tunes, and here's to another couple years of free sonic goodness at the FMA!
As a sucker for all things Krautrock, this Creative-Commons licensed demo from Finnish psych-rockers Hisko Detria hit all the right buttons for me. Long cuts of interstellar guitar/keyboard explorations, delay-laden vocal outbursts, and a steady rhythm section from a group that doesn't shy away from its influences. Looking forward to hearing them build on this sound in 2013!
If you haven't been keeping up with The Howie Tapes pseudo-label here at the FMA, then you're missing out on some of the, er... freshest archival recordings on the net. David Mitchell, son of famed Hammered Dulcimer player Howie Mitchell, has been methodically digitizing and releasing his father's recordings - so far dating all the way back to this unreleased 1958 tape. They're all excellent!
2012 saw a real uptick in activity from New Weird Australia here on the FMA, including the introduction of their brand new netlabel Wood & Wire, focusing on experimental Australian music. They've been releasing excellent sounds from new and old artists alike with startling regularity, but this one from Ben Byrne and Ivan Lisyak's Machine Death project really takes the cake. Soul-crushing and sublime, there is a subtlety to their method that has me listening again and again.
Saito Koji's ambient minimalism is well documented through releases on Resting Bell, SEM, and a slew of other independent labels. Grounded in the subtle layering of repetive melodic phrases, Koji's work typically allows this pattern to develop and morph slowly thoughout the duration of the album. Since the devastating earthquake in Koji's native Fukushima his music has made some stark changes. Again sees Koji incorporating heavier distortion into 3 minute tracks, a notable limiting of Koji's usual fair as well as a provocative nod to pop form.