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blocsonic on 11/01/2012 at 03:35PM
It’s been quite a year for blocSonic. We released our 100th release. So far we’ve released a staggering 34 releases and we’re not done with 2012 yet! We welcomed a few new artists to our humble netlabel and a number of them were new to Creative Commons licensing.
Among the CC newbies is C-Doc, a man who wears many hats… director, producer, MC & musician. As producer and director, he’s had the opportunity to work with one of the biggest names in hip-hop… Public Enemy. Among the work he’s done for PE is what’s become a modern classic from their post Def Jam era, “Superman’s Black In The Building”. He not only produced the song, but he directed the video, as well. Check it out below:
You can also find tracks of his on both PE albums released this year “Most Of My Heroes STILL Don’t Appear on NO Stamp” and “The Evil Empire of Everything”. Check them out below:
We were psyched this year when Doc showed interest in re-releasing a project of his that didn’t originally receive the attention it deserved. That project was for his and partner in rhyme Tirade’s LOWdown. In May their album dumpTRUCK received the Xtended Edition treatment and got released at blocSonic with a bonus disc of material from that album’s sessions.
We were even happier to find out that he wanted to release a new solo album! That album, “Divided We Stand” along with it’s four singles were finally released this past month and contain a stunning array of hip-hop for the discerning listener. Real hip-hop, my friends. You definitely shouldn’t sleep.
As with all our free releases, the LOWdown and C-Doc releases all made their way to the FMA. Below are a few highlights. Thanks for listening!
blocsonic on 02/16/2012 at 12:00AM
Back in the early 2000s, I began discovering the incredibly diverse world of netlabels/netaudio. At first, my exploration was hindered due to my lack of commitment to the need of listening to such a large array of music only to discover a very few gems that appealed to my tastes. By 2006 I had come to realize that there wasn’t any easy button to discovering music I love. I also decided that I’d take it upon myself to create that easy button for others to discover the vibrant music scene more easily than I was able to. That easy button became blocSonic.com and was launched in January of 2007.
For the first two years, I concentrated on the series of releases for which blocSonic was created, the netBloc series. A series of releases that collects 10-12 personal netaudio favorites into a fully realized compilation album that comes with complete album art, a PDF booklet with extensive liner-notes and is available in multiple audio formats, including lossless FLAC. In those first two years, 26 volumes were released that shined the spotlight on a widely eclectic range of netaudio from all over the world. The netBloc series quickly generated interest among music listeners, netaudio artists and netlabels alike.
Then in 2009 came the natural next step… releasing blocSonic original albums alongside the netBloc series. That year saw the release of the first four blocSonic originals… Just Plain Ant’s “Dig Deep”, Formula’s “The Catastrophic Connection”, Luck & Ripps’ “The Catastrophic Connection” and CM aka Creative’s “Classic Material Vol. 3: UI Radio”.
Along with new netBloc and original releases, 2010 came with it’s own additions to the blocSonic release line-up… maxi-singles and EPs known as maxBlocs and blocSonic’s own brand of deluxe edition re-releases called Xtended Editions.
2011 was a year of refining the blocSonic release schedule and planning for more growth this year.
Since launching, blocSonic’s audience has only grown and continues to do so now even as I plan future additions to the release line-up, a new site design and other exciting changes. The future is bright for netaudio and for blocSonic. I can’t wait to let you in on what I’ve got cooking!
For now, get to know blocSonic or simply catch up… with this selection of 50 highlights from the 2007-2012 archives.
blocsonic on 08/04/2010 at 12:21AM
Just Plain Ant is back with another fresh collection of his unique brand of hip-hop — beats, jazzy samples and a host of guests who each add their own flavor to the mix. Among the guests we’ve got blocSonic regulars such as Joey Ripps, Ohbliv and Sleaze. We’ve also got some new names — Black Liquid, Braintrust, Mic Jordan, Gordy Michael, NOTE, Octavion Xcellence, Photosynthesizers and last but not least… the INCREDIBLE… Chuck D! That’s right… the legendary Public Enemy front man took time out of his busy schedule to drop a verse!
As you’ll read in Ant’s PDF liner-notes, this album was a long time in the making and has undergone a few changes along the way… but in my opinion, it was worth it… Ant turned out another fantastic release! I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
Thanks in advance for checking it out! Remember… keep the music moving… share it… blog it… podcast it!
macedonia on 06/12/2010 at 01:06PM
Those who dig through Creative Commons crates on the regular probably are familiar with blocSonic releases, all of which have been hip-hop or downtempo up until now. However, to get hung up on that fact is to ignore their genre-busting netBloc series, which has consistently schooled us on choice netaudio selections from around the world, no matter what musical category they get filed under. It is this series that sets the stage for blocSonic's latest release, the self-titled debut album from Friends or Whatever.
Clearly something wonderful is happening in Richmond, Virginia. It's from out of this region that producer Just Plain Ant was called upon to deliver blocSonic's first original release, the sensational Dig Deep album. Guitarist/producer Mark Herbkersman is another product of Richmond and the sole member of Friends or Whatever, writing and performing all the songs. Both singles, "The Burns We Earn" and "Stuck In My Soul," have already seen remix support from the likes of Just Plain Ant, Tha Silent Partner, and a host of others.
If you like the rock/electronica hybrid that Phantogram presented us with last year, you're sure to appreciate this album. The abrasive guitars and jaded lyrical contemplations of "Piss Test" and "Shattered" ride alongside the synth-driven hypnosis of "Everybody Stopped Calling Me," its percussive accents sounding like digital cicadas. There's even a brief moment set aside for the futuristic beats of "Smoke Floats" and the ironic lounge of "Richmond Is Killing Us All." It's an auspicious debut that wouldn't sound out of place on Warp Records or Ghostly International.
Respect is due to Mark for sharing his FoW album with the world through Creative Commons means and thanks to blocSonic for making this one available through the Free Music Archive. The attached songs below, "If Everybody Here Knew Me" and "The Terminal Replies," further explore the guitar-driven and keyboard-laden terrain that this release resides within...
blocsonic on 03/30/2010 at 09:03PM
Here we are with the second in our Xtended Edition series. XE releases are meant to give albums, that were originally released on defunct labels or independently, a second chance at getting much deserved shine. Each XE release is packed with the original album, features fresh art and contains at least a bonus disc of exclusive goodies — remixes, outtakes, new tracks & demos. This XE is one very deep set! Coming in at 68 tracks… 3 hours, 9 minutes and 47 seconds in length, there’s little doubt that it’s got something to offer all you groove and beat fiends. Some of you may recognize Tha Silent Partner (TSP) from his work found at Jamendo. Some of you may only know him from his appearances on the netBloc series and the recent maxBloc single “P Pulsar”. Either way, you’re about to get to know his work in a big way, both through his music and through this release’s extensive liner-notes.
27 year old producer/remixer Gregory “Tha Silent Partner” Davis currently calls Boston home, though his roots lie in the UK. He made his first blocSonic appearance back in 2007 on “netBloc Vol. 11: The Raw And The Cooked” with the spaghetti-western flavored “No Mas”. He then re-appeared, along with Unknown aka Formula as MUTE, on “netBloc Vol. 15: this album won’t eat your gas money” with the powerful and soulful “Is It Too Late For Us All?”. Now he’s back with “Tha Complete Platters Sessions XE”.
To understand what the Platters Sessions are all about, here’s a bit of background. Back in 2007, TSP began releasing a series of “Platters” releases via Jamendo and under his label Me, Life & Music. The Platters series were an exploration of vinyl samples based on particular themes. The first installment, “Platters Act. 1 (Lounge Music And Exotica)” featured lush orchestration and smooth rhythms. Then in 2008, the second installment, “Platters Act. 2 (The Untouchables)”, went sort of unreleased (more about that can be found in TSP’s liner-notes). It featured an episode of the TV show “The Untouchables” infused into a sonic world of funky hip-hop beats and jazzy melodies. Finally, in 2009, TSP dropped the third and final act of the series… “Platters Act. 3 (Tape Deck)”, a sort of beat tape, but with a completely unique TSP vibe.
For the first time, “Tha Complete Platters Sessions XE” collects all 3 acts together along with a bonus disc of outtakes from the period, making for an incredible 3CD set of sonic treats! Add to that the maxBloc exclusives on the “P Pulsar” single along with the “Starksy (Featuring Seti A.K.A. K9)” single that’s set to follow this release along with it’s exclusives and you’ve got a whole hell of a lot of new listening!
So what’s contained on this release, you ask? Disc One features the first two acts — “Platters Act 1 (Lounge Music And Exotica)” with it’s dusty, chilled vibe & “Platters Act 2 (The Untouchables)” with it’s exploration of the fusion of story-telling and music. Disc Two contains “Platters Act 3 (TAPE DECK)”… which is a sort of beat tape infused with a sound that’s unique to TSP. Finally, Disc Three contains “Tha Director’s Cut” — 18 bonus previously unreleased tracks that came out of the Platters sessions or were produced for other projects during the same period. This is where you get to hear tracks that feature the vocal skills of lyricists such as Life MC of Phi Life Cypher, Mayhem, Revalation, Seti & HT. On the whole, this is a fantastic collection of adventerous & eclectic music!
I’d also like to mention that there’s one other “first” that this release represents. It’s also the first long form blocSonic release to contain material culled from Gregory’s Me Life & Music label archives. Around the same time that I began thinking about the XE idea and how to best approach it, Gregory made an offer I couldn’t refuse. He offered up complete control of the ML&M archives in order that blocSonic may give that music an online home that could do it justice. I immediately saw the opportunity to work some of the archives into this XE series and here you have one example of what we plan on doing. In the future we plan on releasing other XEs, maxBlocs and Originals that contain material culled from the ML&M archives. A very special thanks to Gregory for the opportunity and the trust that he’s placed in blocSonic! I hope you feel that blocSonic’s done the Platters series justice.
So there you have it… more sonic treats for you to absorb. Thanks again for taking the time to visit blocSonic and giving our releases a download & listen. Enjoy it. Share it. Blog it. Podcast it. Tweet it.
Remember… next Tuesday (April 6th, 2010) is the release of the second maxBloc single for this set, “Starksy (Featuring Seti A.K.A. K9)”. It’s going to be packed with yet more exclusive material not found on this collection. Come right back here to blocSonic to grab it!
Want high-resolution album art, liner-notes or lossless FLAC audio? Check out the blocSonic release page!
blocsonic on 03/03/2010 at 08:45AM
As of the time of this writing, not even a year after it’s launch, WFMU’s Free Music Archive already boasts nearly 18,000 free music tracks from a wide array of genres. It’s an interesting collection in that it not only features music that comes from the world of netaudio/netlabels, but many signed indie artists can be found among the FMA’s selection as well. It’s definitely an incredible archive of music to explore!
After a good three months of listening to thousands of FMA tracks, I somehow managed to whittle the selection down to 11 exceptional gems. It was really a difficult choice, but in the end the final line-up proves to be a terrific mix of Rock, Pop, Punk, Indie, Trip-Hop and even a splash of humor thrown in for good measure.
A special thanks to Jason Sigal over at WFMU and FMA who was most helpful in getting me access to lossless copies of the two Live At WFMU tracks which are featured here. Thanks also to the labels, artists and to CASH Music for participating and helping me pull together all that was needed to make this release happen.
Since this netBloc release features music that’s already available here at the FMA, I’ve put together this mix for you to enjoy here. If you’d like the complete release, see the link below.
Want the PDF album booklet, high-resolution album art or any of the high-quality audio formats (MP3, OGG, FLAC)? Check out the blocSonic release page!
blocsonic on 01/26/2010 at 08:50PM
This fantastic release has been in the works since ETHX first contacted blocSonic back in May. In it you’ll find a few high-profile peeps he’s managed to connect with – folks like Boots Riley who you may know from The Coup, Zumbi from Zion-I and Myron Glasper who’s sung background vocals for everyone from MC Lyte to Blackalicious to Lyrics Born. Among the names you may know, you’ll also find incredibly talented MCs and vocalists who you may not know. One of those talented MCs is Nate Mezmer who's presence plays an integral part in making this collection feel like more than just a producer's showcase. Once again, blocSonic brings you real hip-hop with a touch of R&B… this fresh sound comes to you straight out of Northern California.
I want to say thanks to ETHX for approaching blocSonic in the first place and his guests for being part of what’s become “Boom To Bloom”. Welcome to the blocSonic fam!
We hope you enjoy this release and it gets heavy rotation in all your portable devices, CD players and computers. If you dig it, don’t forget to spread the word… share it with anyone and everyone you can.
One more thing… be sure to check out Netwaves Wednesday, Jan. 27th for the latest episode which features blocSonic/netBloc music and an interview with me. The live broadcast is 22:00-01:00 GMT+1 / 4:00-7:00PM EST / 1:00-4:00PM PST and it can be heard via this link. After the live broadcast you can subscribe to the Netwaves podcast or you can download it directly from the Netwaves website. Thanks to netwaves for thinking blocSonic interesting enough to feature!
Check out ETHX “Boom To Bloom” here.
blocsonic on 01/06/2010 at 06:44PM
I want to first send out a heartfelt Happy New Year to you all! May 2010 be a year in which we all set the wheels in motion for a positive and happy decade.
For blocSonic, our first year featuring original releases was a good one and it was the year that we began planning the good things to come in 2010. Let it be known that we have a few surprises in store for you! In the meantime here’s netBloc Vol. 26 for you. It’s our final 2009 release and a terrific addition to the series. It features a CC-licensed gem from a fantastic score by Dave Merson Hess for the film “PRESENCE” as well fantastic pop, rock, hip-hop, electro and downtempo. In addition to the netaudio gems culled from around the world we’ve got not one, but two previews of upcoming blocSonic goodies… one from the new blocSonic artist ETHX and one from our good friend Just Plain Ant. Be sure to check the PDF booklet for more details. As always, thank you for making blocSonic a regular stop on your online musical journey, I hope you continue to do so. Don’t forget to share our releases with everyone you can. Thanks again to all participants… we REALLY couldn’t do this without you!
Here are a couple selections for you to enjoy, from blocSonic’s latest release “netBloc Vol. 26: N.E.T.A.U.D.I.O.”.
blocsonic on 10/29/2009 at 12:45PM
Hip-hop is an incredibly diverse musical genre that has a bad reputation no thanks to the American mainstream branch of it. People who write-off hip-hop as idiotic, materialistic, violent or misogynist are only getting a small slice of what it’s about. Since hip-hop has become international there are a wide array of ideas about what hip-hop should be today in 2009 and beyond. Anyone who has ever enjoyed the music will gladly give you their opinion about what “real” hip-hop is. Truth be told, after 30 plus years of existence, there is no “real” hip-hop. Hip-hop emcees, DJs and producers come from all walks of life. With such a wide variety of backgrounds, there can be no definitive hip-hop sound. Since there can be no definitive sound, there’s no reason to disregard hip-hop music that uses classic New York blueprints as the jump off for something fresh and new. Just as there’s a place for rock artists to try and capture a classic 60s and 70s vibe in their new recordings, there’s certainly a place for hip-hop producers, DJs and emcees to try and capture a vibe that’s widely regarded as classic.
blocsonic on 10/08/2009 at 06:20PM
Back in January of 2007, I launched blocSonic.com with our premiere “netBloc” compilation. In the PDF booklet for that first collection of free, Creative Commons licensed netaudio gems was included the introduction “Processed Music Product”. Here I revisit that introduction, it’s topics and add further thoughts.
Being a child of the 70s, I clearly remember a time when popular music was alive. Radio playlists weren’t limited to 10-12 tracks endlessly played over and over. Yeah kids, there was actually a time when FM radio was relevant. You could easily dial into your favorite station(s) and catch something new and interesting or even old and classic being played. Because stations were more independent and DJs were able to make playlist decisions instead of some corporate “radio consultant” dictating it, there was diversity being broadcast over the airwaves.
Before videos, before the independent music industry sprouted, before CDs, MP3s and iPods. Somehow the major music industry, even with it’s monopolistic control, allowed artists to develop and create great music. Artists’ first albums weren’t expected to become hits. If they did, so be it, but if they didn’t the label knew that they could expect the artist to further hone their sound and image on subsequent releases. In the 70s there are numerous examples of major music stars who required 2 or 3 album releases before they hit it big. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Pink Floyd, Judas Priest, AC/DC… etc. Then came MTV and CDs.