blocsonic on 04/16/2013 at 08:08PM
Thirteen years ago, if you were to tell me that I’d be running a music label now and releasing an album by a rap squad featuring Public Enemy’s legendary Chuck D among its ranks, I’d tell you to go write a book, ‘cause you’ve got one hell of an imagination! Thirteen years ago, I was still in art school and blocSonic wasn’t even a kernel of an idea yet. At the same time The Impossebulls began as a group of international Public Enemy fans joining forces with the Hard Rhymer himself, Mr. Chuck D, fellow PE member Professor Griff and long time PE collaborator Kyle Jason on a song railing against the major music industry entitled “We Don’t Need You”. At that point in time, the internet was still such a new entity that never before had a major music artist virtually collaborated with a group of fans. Actually… never before had a rap squad virtually collaborated, period. Thus, The Immpossebulls became the first virtual rap squad to collaborate online and distribute their music digitally.
Fast forward to today and you find that over the subsequent years The Impossebulls released music via Chuck D’s SLAMjamz and are still doing their thing. You’ll also find that members of the squad have made their way to this humble label, blocSonic, which began its story in 2007. If you’re familiar with blocSonic already, you might be familiar with names such as C-Doc, LOWdown (C-Doc and Tirade), Marcus J, DJ Def Chad & DJ President Ike who’ve already made their mark here on releases by C-Doc & LOWdown. They now all return as part of their core unit, The Impossebulls.
So who are The Impossebulls? The ‘Bulls are Marcus J, Tirade, Chuck D, DJ President Ike, DJ Def Chad, C-Doc, Mportd Flows (who we’ll hear more from later this year), Kyle Jason, 2DN, Pvt Militant, Jeff 10 as Bigg Jimm Slaade, Xeno, Dels Digglah & Wildman Steve. Over the years, they’ve developed a rich body of work that this retrospective does a great job of shining a light on. With blocSonic as a partner to help them get their incredible hip-hop music out to the world, they’re ready to continue to bring you the REAL. Get to know some of what they’ve already done and get ready for what they’re going to do! For a group who began it’s existance with a song that was in fact a big F*CK YOU to the major music industry, it only seems appropriate that they’ve made their way to a label that exists as an antithesis to that bloated, sleazy, music-product pumping industry.
Thank you to Chuck D, without whom the ‘Bulls wouldn’t exist! Thank you to the ‘Bulls for being a part of what blocSonic’s doing! It’s truly an honor to be able to help you get your music out to our listeners.
Of course, as always, thanks to YOU for continuing to listen to what we’ve got for you. If this is your first time listening to a blocSonic release … extra thanks to you for giving us a shot! I hope you continue to check us out. If you dig what you hear, be sure to support the artists however you can. Please, also spread the word about blocSonic, if you enjoy what we do. Remember… everything we release is cool to share! Always keep the music moving… share it… blog it… podcast it! If you’re in radio… support independent music and broadcast it!
— Michael Gregoire, Founder blocSonic.com
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 03/09/2011 at 05:15PM
Before Garmisch came to blocSonic, they released two great EPs with the now defunct netlabel Go, Jukebox!. Those EPs never saw a lossless release and deserve such a treatment, so we’re re-releasing them as part of what’s currently entitled “The Garmisch EP XE”. An Xtended Edition release featuring both EPs, a few extra EP-related goodies and a special remixed version of the self-titled album.
blocsonic on 12/07/2010 at 01:00AM
It's hard to believe that it's already been 2 years since WFMU's Free Music Archive went live. After 2 years, the world of Creative Commons has already undergone a significant amount of growth and the FMA has made itself right at home within it. Thank you to WFMU for helping to expose a wider audience to CC licensed music! I look forward to seeing what more you have to offer in the coming years!
I was asked to put together a top 10 mix and I tried... I really did, but it was impossible given the amount of incredible music that's hosted here. The flow of music here at the FMA is such that it makes it impossible to keep up with everything that's been added, but I do my best. As I tried to whittle the list down to 10 tracks, I realized it was a lost cause and decided to make it 20 tracks. 20 incredible tracks! Plus one incredible track from the first single of blocSonic's most recent release by Liam Stewart, "Sixteen Words", which will be available here at FMA this week.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this selection. I also hope that you continue to support WFMU and Creative Commons licensed music.
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!
blocsonic on 07/21/2010 at 01:43PM
CM aka Creative “I Got You”
The final maxi-single promoting CM’s “The Classic Material Completion Package XE” (which you should def check out if you haven’t already done so), we’ve got a couple more exclusive previously unreleased tracks for you to enjoy. Grab CM’s “I Got You” here!
Just Plain Ant “This Is Madness (Just Plain Black)”
On July 27th blocSonic & Just Plain Sounds are dropping the next Just Plain Ant album, “Rumble, Young Man, Rumble”. With RYMR, the the world of netlabels collides with that of classic hip-hop. Among the album’s many talented collaborators is one notable guest that’s sure to grab a bit of attention. That special guest is none other than The Rhyme Animal aka The Hard Rhymer aka Mistachuck… that’s right… Public Enemy’s Chuck D!
Though, you’ll have to wait until the 27th to hear that distinct voice rhyming on Just Plain Ant production. For right now we’ve got the first maxi-single for you containing two fantastic album tracks featuring Black Liquid out of Richmond, Virginia and NOTE out of Cleveland, Ohio.
In both releases we’ve included instrumentals and acapellas for your remixing pleasure. We encourage you to submit your remixes (in wav format) to our SoundCloud DropBox (We do ask that you use the lossless FLAC format for the best possible quality remixes). In the case of the Just Plain Ant single, your remix has a chance of being included on the next RYMR single!
As always… thanks for downloading and listening! Keep the music moving… share it… blog it… podcast it… broadcast it!
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 02/05/2010 at 02:22AM
We set things off in 2007 with our premiere release, “netBloc Vol. 1: The Opening Salvo”. Even at that early stage, I knew that I wanted blocSonic to be a bit more than your standard “netlabel”. I didn’t want blocSonic to be completely self-serving… it was to be a promotional vehicle for netlabels, artists and the netaudio culture. However, what I didn’t know was if artists and netlabels were going to be supportive of the compilation idea and send me lossless versions of their music to be included. Happily my worries were for naught. Everyone involved has been extremely supportive over the years and my positive experience with the netBloc series got me thinking about original releases. Our first original release was back in February 2009, Just Plain Ant’s “Dig Deep”. Well here we are nearly a year later and I’ve got another premiere release for you to enjoy and it’s the talented Just Plain Ant bringing it once again!