jason on 09/25/2012 at 01:20PM
Blake Fleming (Laddio Bolocko, Dazzling Killmen, Mars Volta) new percussion odyssey "Smells Like This Heat"
Blake Fleming is a founding member of Laddio Bolocko, Dazzling Killmen, The Mars Volta, and Electric Turn To Me. But those are just a few of the many highlights in this adventurous drummer's musical journey.
"Time's Up" is Blake Fleming's debut solo album. This self-described 'percussion odyssey' is a truly pioneering record composed entirely of intricate drum rhythms: no electronics, no guitars, literally nothing but drums and percussion. Yet somehow the tunes come across as pop songs with hooks that might very well worm their way into your head and make ya shake your extremities. If you need some inspiration before you start shakin, Blake'll show you the ropes in the video for a Kickstarter that would bring this release to your turntable.
Though the vinyl's yet to come, Time's Up was originally released as a cassette and a free Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) download from Owl Dirt. Run by Andris Balins of Dryhill Studios in Oneonta, Owl Dirt releases vinyl on Owl Records, and cassettes on Blood Dirt Cassettes. Check out a fantastic mix of sounds from upstate-NY after the jump.
jason on 09/14/2012 at 10:00AM
Subterrâneo Records is a new label from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Their goal is to identify talented artists who have been ignored by the mainstream, and to help them realize their potential by sharing good independent music.
Kicking things off is Você Pensa Sub - Vol.1, a six-track Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) compilation that ranges from the irresistible Bahia-pop grooves of Lívia and Duda Nunes, to the hip-hop flavors of Oddish and Fred Beats, while Lá Eles and Emijota break down traditional Brazilian structures to expand in new directions.
Amazingly, "Sub Rec" pulls it all together with their vibrant, cohesive vision. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Bandcamp, and if you download the compilation be sure to grab the PDF Liner Notes.
jason on 09/13/2012 at 10:50AM
The duo of Luke Fishbeck and Sara Rara was recently declared the world's most wired musician by Wired Magazine. And for good reason! Lucky Dragons' interactive works like "Make a Baby" turn human contact into digitally-processed sound. Across a wide range of releases, Lucky Dragons utilize technology in powerful, human ways that are free to share and inspire new works under Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA).
"Actual Reality" draws inspiration from a daily google alert of that very phrase in context: "it is a candid and democratic view of the internet" explains the framing paper at luckydragons.org.
Lucky Dragons also present "Actual Reality" as a live performance. Here, the google search for "actual reality" is used as source material. The raw data is used to process the real-time acoustic sounds of live musicians (and the audience), which are re-synthesized for a cyclic call and response. The piece evolves into an endless loop of audio that also incorporates source material from previous performances of "Actual Reality."
Enjoy this excerpt, and you can get the full 6-track release on Bandcamp.
Read more about "Actual Reality" at LuckyDragons.org.
Watch a video of "Actual Reality" after the jump.
jason on 09/10/2012 at 12:00PM
Fingerstyle guitar is at the root of PlusPlus, but each composition branches out into distinct, lush, cinematic arranagements. London's Adam Radmall, the Plantman guitarist and former Beatglider keyboardist, has released two solo albums as PlusPlus via Italy's La bél Netlabel.
"Windings," with its ominous underlying drone and haunting sense of space and stillness, is characteristic of the 2011 PlusPlus release Evils. "North Bank Upper," the album's eleventh track, feels like a triumphant moment after a storm with piano, chorus, and restrained power chords floating through the ambience.
From the new PlusPlus release Game Over, "Kerouak" brings in subtle horns and shaker, and a buzzing guitar string that brings to mind fellow UK fingerstyle player James Blackshaw. The following track "Broken Doors" brings in warbling organ and psychedelic solos over a hypnotic kraut-inspired groove.
jason on 09/07/2012 at 12:18PM
Organic sounds and vocal utterances transform into dreamlike beats on Swanism, this EP of "deep soul music" by Godblesscomputers aka Lorenzo 'Nada.' The Berlin-based Italian DJ/Producer follows up on his album The Last Swan with four solo tracks plus reworkings by Figub Brazlevič, Johnnyboy, Mouch and Max Prod.
Swanism was released by Fresh yO!, the two-year-old brainchild of Sweden's Suzywan and Italy's Simone Brillarelli. Specializing in sharp beats, warped hip-hop and wobbly bass music, the Fresh yO! discography also includes FMA hero Digi G'Alessio and Big Dada frestyle champ Infinite Livez.
jason on 09/05/2012 at 01:45PM
"Fools Want Noise" is not about noise music. It's Oh My God's electro-shock rock anthem for a generation addicted to the distraction of unlimited entertainment...and that's exactly what this jam delivers! Like a more spazztic Devo taking on Andrew WK's "Party Hard," it's in-your-face and irresistable as Angry Birds.
"The radio is on and the TV's on because nobody can make a choice," sings Billy O’Neill in a voice that echoes Dave Grohl. He's interrupted by a burst of pixelated organ from Ig (the band's co-founder who also plays with the likes of Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Van Morrison, Jeff Healey and Otis Rush on the side). Billy: "You want more of that?"
Oh My God don't advocated for a white noise world, but they do seem to put a positive spin on whatever distractions come their way. The Chicago 4-piece have encountered an unfortunate series of distractions since forming in '99. First their practice space burnt down ("Oh my god…use their equipment in such a way…as to cause it to ignite and burst into flames" claimed the prosecuting attorney). In 2004, the band lost their gear again when their van was broken into. These awful events were followed by a terrible tragedy in 2007, when they were hit by a drunk driver in Ohio. The driver was killed, and the band spent the next six months in physical therapy.
These obstacles might very well have forced a band to give up, and Oh My God's great music to go unheard. But thousands of OMG fans the world over continue to follow the band as they have channeled such forces of life into six albums over their career, and there may even be more on the way. Oh My God are still playing shows, and may soon be hitting the road towards a town near you. As their facebook page declares, "oh my god is un stop able."
jason on 08/22/2012 at 11:00AM
The history of the MP3 is one of technological innovation, consumer demand and all-too-persistent litigation, often against those very consumers who embraced the format in the heady post-Napster days. The story of this resilient digital audio file has been recounted many times — from the recording industry’s early wars of attrition to the MP3s role in the filesharing explosion to the bloggers who help curate an oversaturated music marketplace.
What doesn’t garner as much discussion is how the MP3 format — celebrated, reviled or somewhere in-between — has come to define the digital music experience, both for millions of listeners, and for those who help drive discovery. At one point, not so long ago, music bloggers sat near the top of the curatorial heap, using MP3s to help create overnight stars out of teenage indie rockers. Others highlighted niche genres and aural nuggets from decades past.
At first, MP3 bloggers were seen by the industry as freeloading pariahs, but eventually even the major labels came to embrace this segment of the online music community. Seeking a promotional fast track, the PR flaks hit the blogosphere hard, cultivating relationships with known tastemakers. Eventually, the pursuit of musical passion became a business concern, or at worse, a hassle.
I was a full-time music writer back when CDs were the promotional norm. Over the course of time, the padded envelopes slowed to a trickle and my inbox was flooded with MP3s from labels and publicists. It was frankly hard to keep up. The annoyance factor eventually contributed to my decision to do something different with my life.
I know I’m not alone. Looking around these days, you could be forgiven for thinking the “music blogger bubble” has popped. There are likely several reasons beyond inbox fatigue. The rise of “social music” — where friend networks replace curation via instant “recommendations” on platforms like Facebook — surely has something to do with it. But listening habits are also changing. No longer is downloading necessarily the fastest and most convenient way to get your musical fix.
When thinking about the future for MP3 blogging, it’s instructive to consider how younger generations discover and access music. The listening behaviors of those under 20 can tell us a lot about how aspects of our networked world might evolve. A new Nielsen survey suggests that YouTube has overtaken radio and CDs as the primary way American teens listen to music. At 64 percent, YouTube listening is even ahead of iTunes, which comes in at just over 50 percent. YouTube, is of course, a “streaming” platform, which presents a potential challenge to downloading culture.
In other words, streaming access is rapidly becoming a norm. Recent reports show that Warner Music now counts streaming as 25 percent of its overall digital music revenue. This is certainly significant for a sector that has struggled for more than a decade with the implications of online music.
TAGGED AS:radio free culture
jason on 07/07/2012 at 02:00PM
Tatiana de Mello Dias writes about digital technology and free culture for O Estado de S. Paulo, one of Brazil's largest newspapers. She is also the co-author of Psicodelia Brasileira, a blog and academic book about Brazil's first psychedelic movement.
There is a new movement in Brazil defined not so much by a sound but by the values of free culture. Tatiana has previously tipped us off to artists like BNegão & Os Seletores de Freqüência and articles spotlighting some of the best "file-sharing-friendly" Brazilian musicians.
I asked Tatiana for a little insight into Brazil's contemporary copyleft movement, and a mix of some of her favorite new sounds from filesharing-friendly artists.
FMA: Why is there so much great filesharing-friendly music coming out of Brazil? Is it just that there's a lot of good music in general, and naturally some of it is free?
There is a lot of good music, sure, and I think Brazilian people are very open to different sounds. But we also have an old and corrupt copyright system. There is one collecting society called ECAD (Central Bureau of Collection and Distribution) which is the only one responsible for collecting all the music royalties in the country. This office doesn’t have any supervision, and artists complain that they don’t receive royalties; at the same time, ECAD celebrates record-breaking revenues. After an investigation, ECAD's directors were indicted for corruption.
The Brazilian copyright law is old (it was written in 1998, before Napster!) and very, very restrictive. Brazilian people can’t even copy music from CDs to their iPods because any "copy" is legally prohibited. We don’t have fair use. The musicians aren’t paid; so why should they work withing the old copyright system?
Brazilian artists discovered that they could be independent and distribute their songs free on the web, and they can make money selling LPs and playing concerts.
jason on 06/20/2012 at 02:30PM
"Green Dress, Maryland Welcome Center, 95NB" is the first recording to emerge from Curtis Hasselbring's new Number Stations project, inspired by the mysterious shortwave broadcasters who transmitted coded messages following World War II.
Curtis Hasselbring (curha.com) is a Brooklyn-based trombonist, guitarist and composer who has released upwards of 60 recordings over the last two decades with everyone from Medeski Martin & Wood to Slavic Soul Party. You may already be familiar with his cut-up solo project Curha, his Decoupage, or his long-running ensemble the New Mellow Edwards.
For "Number Stations," Hasselbring leads an all-star group that features Decoupage and New Mellow Edwards members including Mary Halvorson (guitar), Chris Speed (clarinet), Matt Moran (vibraphone), Trevor Dunn (electric bass), Ches Smith (drumset) and Satoshi Takeishi (drumset).
Each musician "becomes a number station," according to Hasselbring's vision for the project, starting off with a five note motif that emulates the five digits used by many of the numbers stations. "The composed material serves as a sort of headquarters that, via both written material and improvisational directions, manipulates the players into forming alliances." (Read More).
The first performance of Curtis Hasselbring's "Numbers Stations" takes place this Friday June 22nd at NYC's 92YTribeca.
jason on 06/18/2012 at 02:30PM
Dead Bees, a label from France, released its 11th label sampler this month. Like their previous ten samplers, this one is available for free under a Creative Commons Music Sharing license, and so you are encouraged to spread the word through filesharing portals, blogs, podcasts, mixtapes, and beyond!
Dead Bees is based out of Toulouse, France, and this compilation features some of the city's finest as well as other artists from throughout France, across Europe, and the other side of the ocean. Sounds lean heavy on the psychedelic, shoegazey realm of folk and independent rock.
Dig deeper at deadbees.com, where most of these artists' records are available for mail-order along with lots more freebies / goodies.