jason on 06/09/2012 at 02:00PM
Last we heard from Poland—not the country, but the musical project of Melbourne Australia's Holly McNaught—she was tinkering with submerged electronics and organic bricolage inspired by Jack London's 1904 psychological adventure novel The Sea-Wolf (link).
Now, Poland re-surfaces with a new song, "Way Gone." Surfing an ethereal wave to shore, the slow-jam shakes off the sea water to kick some sand towards High Places and muck up James Ferraro's iPad. The sounds are playful, but Poland's electronic music feels grounded, inspired by nature and the human voice in a way that recalls Lucky Dragons or Caribou. The song closes abruptly with a looped vocal: "ThinkThinkThinkThink..."
* Pompey is Rowan M, whose Fifty Gallon Drum is full of evolving 'miniatures' like the one below.
* Talkshow Boy's glitchy synth-pop song "Ice Police" is gets remixed by Pompey, Waffles, Schizoid, Gltch Btch and more.
* Lakes is the solo project of Sean Bailey, proprieter of the Inverted Crux private press label and a member of Paeces, Wasted Truth, and the now defunct Australian Vivian Girls.
jason on 05/30/2012 at 04:00PM
In celebration of New Zealand Music Month (now coming to a close), the music librarians at the Alexander Turnbull Library (part of the National Library of New Zealand) compiled an online mixtape of fantastic New Zealand music that is free to download and share under a Creative Commons license. All of the tracks featured on the compilation are part of the National Digital Heritage Archive, a massive project that aims to collect and preserve the digital cultural content of New Zealand. Intrigued, we got in touch with the team to learn more about the project, the challenges of creating and maintaing an archive of digital music, and Creative Commons music in New Zealand. They are:
· Matt Steindl, Music Research Librarian. Matt is responsible for the the access and research end of things, which includes promoting the collection.
· Roger Flury and Keith McEwing, Music Curators. Roger and Keith are chiefly responsible for building the collection, both published and unpublished.
· Chris Anderson, Music Access Coordinator. Chris is responsible for the large collection of choral and orchestral works that are made available to New Zealand performance groups.
· Sholto Duncan, E-Publications Librarian/Online Music Selector. Sholto is responsible for locating and collecting digital music music that doesn't come under the scope of legal deposit.
· Gavin Pascoe, Senior Acquisitions Librarian. Gavin is responsible for collecting/chasing up all NZ music (digital or otherwise) that is in scope for legal deposit.
FMA: Could you tell us a bit of background about how the National Digital Heritage Archive (NDHA) came about and your role in the archive as Music Librarians at the National Library? How/why did you get into archiving music?
SD: The NDHA was developed to ensure that despite technical obsolescence, the National Library's digital heritage collections will be preserved for researchers, students and library users now and in the future.
In turn, the National Library is able to facilitate a much more proactive programme of collecting both published and unpublished born-digital heritage collection material, increasing both the volume and 'breadth' of collecting in this area.
We started actively collecting and archiving published music into the NDHA in about 2009 as it was becoming evident that more music was only being published online with no physical equivalents. This was coupled with the seemingly transient nature of online music and therefore greater risk of loss than other formats (We can't simply go to record stores and future auctions and fill in gaps in the collection as is possible with physical items). The initial few years have been spent building this collection and making decisions around formats to collect and legal implications of storing and making this music accessible to the public. We are now approaching the stage where we are able to start working more on access and this is something we are all excited about!
FMA: Could you tell us a little bit about your curatorial approach, particularly when dealing with works that are born-digital? What is the criteria for inclusion on the NDHA?
GP: As far as recorded music goes, anything which is produced for public distribution. Criteria are: Published in NZ (by anybody); published by a New Zealander overseas; or overseas release with significant involvement by a New Zealander. We also take in anything produced in the Pacific (mostly Polynesia), or that have significant involvement by Pacific people. Unpublished material may also be included, if we believe that examples of this kind of work is rare, or not permanently archived elsewhere.
FMA: There seems to be a ongoing debate between archivists about the impermanence of digital archives. What is your stance as a music librarian on creating a digital archive with no physical mirror?
SD: The main goal of the NDHA is about providing long-term access to digital heritage collections under the guardianship of the National Library. While we collect all formats of an album, there is still a large amount of born digital material with no physical mirror that has been deposited and there are strict preservation guidelines in place to ensure this material is safely stored and preserved. The NDHA uses a standards-based, commercial digital preservation system developed in partnership with Ex Libris Group, a library management systems vendor, and Sun Microsystems, a provider of open network computing systems. The hardware and software are designed to be scalable over time as the digital collections grow.
FMA: What are some of the challenges you've encountered over the past 4 years of archiving digital music?
SD: There have been a number of challenges. These relate to keeping up with changing formats and methods of distribution, rights management and copyright, and working with new vendors including bands and musicians. A huge challenge is trying to keep-up with the explosion in New Zealand music being released online. The internet has really enabled more musicians and bands to have a platform to be heard, and as they are able to bypass the costs involved in pressing and distributing CDs and are more often than not going down the independent route, this trend is likely to continue.
GP: Finding it, and understanding the legislation as it applies to overseas servers and platforms (e.g. iTunes, Bandcamp) can be challenging.
FMA: How did the Turnbull Mixtape come about?
MS: Initially our web content editor Reuben Shrader asked me if we had any digitized out-of-copyright music that we could make available for download as part of our New Zealand Music Month series of blog posts. Copyright here lasts for 50 years, and the New Zealand songwriting and recording industry was still very much in its infancy in the 1950s, so there's not a whole lot of New Zealand-made music in our collection that is out of copyright yet. So I suggested that perhaps we could look at it from another angle, and offer some totally fresh music that didn't face the usual copyright issues.
FMA: The mixtape is full of amazing CC music from New Zealand. Are there NZ-based CC nelabels or other resources who you suggest we check out?
MS: Several of the tracks on this compilation are on the Wellington-based netlabel Postmoderncore.
FMA: In the announcement for the Turnbull mixtape, you mention that you've started by collecting works under CC licenses because the library is interested in finding ways to share the rapidly growing collection with the public. You've started by collecting works under CC licenses. Are there more projects to look out for from the NDHA?
MS: We are constantly looking for more and better ways for people to access the Library's massive collection of music. The digital revolution has come upon us so (comparatively) rapidly and until recently most of the effort has gone into making sure we are adequately collecting and storing digital content. More recently we have started to seriously investigate the access side of things and actively pushing out some of our CC content is a first step on that path. We have also started asking musicians/labels at the point of deposit for permission to stream their music over the internet directly from our catalogue (see this blog post for an example). Similarly, as early New Zealand recordings start to come out of copyright we will digitize them and hope to make them available for direct download.
To find out more about what's going on at the National Library of New Zealand, visit their blog.
jason on 05/30/2012 at 12:00PM
Blah Blah Blah surfaced during the late 70s UK DIY explosion. The group took an improvised approach, never playing the same song twice but recording constantly in a similar spirit to groups like Smersh and The Residents. Their penchant for synthesized sound led Blah to share the stage with up-and-coming electro pop groups like Depeche Mode, which in turn led to riots; the group gave up on live performance after an audience member attempted to set them on fire during their thirteenth show (click the article to read more).
Many of Blah Blah Blah's recordings were reissued by the UK's great Cherry Red, and are archived for posterity here on the FMA. "In The Army" was originally released as the group's single, and now caps off the Gold Collection, a reissue of Blah Blah Blah's first LP, as a special bonus track. The song's absurd vocals strike a chord somewhere between Cookie Monster and Amanda, atop synthesized sounds that come across like a tripped out BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
jason on 05/28/2012 at 02:30PM
The United States Armed Forces enlists some very talented men and women to "serve the nation through music" as members of its musical ensembles. Since these high-caliber recordings are performed by US Government employees, they immediately enter the public domain according to a nifty bit of US law that is well-worth celebrating this Memorial Day.
The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps is one of the US Army's premier musical organizations. The 69-member Corps uses 10-hole fifes, handmade rope-tensioned drums and single-valve bugles, which bring to life the exciting sounds of the continental army. The Fife and Drum Corps also features a Baroque Trumpet Ensemble; a specialty group that revives the sounds of period trumpet music. (Read More)
In 2010, the Corps celebrated its 50th anniversary with a collection of 21 songs spanning styles from Bach to Handel to colonial era standards like the National Anthem and the US Army Song.
"Soldiers Farewell Fanfare/Montezuma/March of War/Windsor Park/March of War & Reprise from Warlike" is one of the album's many highlights, and you can enjoy the recording in its entirety here on the FMA. Thanks to Oddio Overplay for alerting us to this fantastic release!
jason on 05/22/2012 at 12:00PM
Bear Bones, Lay Low is Ernesto Gonzalez. The Venezuela-born, Belgium-based member of Silvester Anfang (Sylvester Anfang II). He began releasing solo electronic experiments as a teenager via his own Eat the Sun imprint, and soon linked up with the KRAAK label for 2009's Vallee De Dith and this year's follow-up, El Telonero.
"Genesis 6 1-17" is based around a passage from the Book of Genesis recounted as a duet with Gonzalez's acid guitar licks splayed out over a bubbling tropical-ectro rhythm that recalls fellow Venezuelan Angel Rada. It's bizzarely playful considering that this passage describes humanity's wickedness in the eys of the lord, who advises Noah to build an ark before he floods the earth.
jason on 05/21/2012 at 11:50AM
Though his foundation is in ritualistic/melodic percussion, voice and avant-trumpet, Aaron Moore "generally considers any instrument (or object) playable in one way or another." His discography encompasses over thirty albums from projects like Dragon Or Emperor, Amolvacy, Songs of Norway, Courtis/Moore, Textile Trio. Nat Roe gave a great overview of the selections available on the FMA in 2009 [link].
"Beastly" is one of two promotional downloads to sample off of The Future Tastes, the first studio album from Invisible Sports. This song-based solo project began when Aaron Moore relocated to Brooklyn a few years ago, and the album spans three years of recordings. This new release is available in a 300-edition LP from Alt Vinyl as well as to download-in-full.
jason on 05/15/2012 at 11:40AM
Tracks to Sync is a monthly mix of music curated with the online video producer in mind.
As more and more people turn to video in the digital era, they are faced with the music licensing hurdles that have hindered many a film. At the same time, the increase in video production offers new opportunities for multimedia collaboration. This series aims to unite producers with musicians who have music to share for these purposes.
The tracks is this mix are available under Creative Commons licenses that allow for "derivative works," like a video (some CC licenses specify "NoDerivatives"), while retaining the parts of copyright that the rightsholders wish to keep. Creative Commons offers a few custom license combinations, and each is hyperlinked to a human-readable license + legal code, i.e. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, aka "BY-NC-SA". You can read more about the various CC combos here, and check out FMA's HELP & FAQ for more resources.
Before using any Creative Commons music for a project, you need to make sure you follow the track's license in order to avoid copyright infringement. If you're not sure whether your use is pre-cleared by a particular license, it's always a good idea to reach out to the artist directly. Click the "i" button below to view the license along with a URL or email address where you can secure 'more permissions.'
We always love to hear about collaborations inspired by FMA music, so if you use one of these tracks, please post a link to the track page as well as to our Video Showcase. We'll feature our favorite video made using this month's tracks in the next Tracks to Sync!
1. Broke For Free [brokeforfree.com] is Tom Cascino from Santa Cruz. He's already had some fantastic viral internet hits like like "Something Elated" and "Calm The Fuck Down." "As Colorful as Ever" is a cut off his latest self-release, the chill-wave beat-oriented Layers. [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial]
2. Sunhiilow [facebook] is Valérie Magisson from France. "Le Songe d'Hacolhii" is from the ambient/experimental album "From There To Here," released in a cd-r limited edition of 40 copies on Finland's Om Ha Sva Ha Ksha Ma La Va Ra Yam imprint. [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike].
3. Jason Shaw's website audionautix is a fantastic resource for Creative Commons Attribution music in a range of styles. All he asks for is attribution in the form of a link back to his website. "Sidewalk" can be found in his 'Acoustic' collection.
4. Jahzzar is Javier Suarez from Gijón, Asturias. His website betterwithmusic.com offers creative music composed specifically for use in multimedia projects. "Siesta" can be found on the Traveller's Guide surveying contemporary music styles, and it is available under the CC Attribution-ShareAlike license. If you're not able to ShareAlike, you can secure more permissions through Jahzzar's website.
5. Denmark's Quantum Jazz [quantumjazz.net] released End of Line, their second and final album, via Jamendo under a CC Attribution-ShareAlike license. Jamendo PRO offers a cool way to secure more permissions directly from the group.
6. GaBlé's 2003 netaudio release le sac de l enfer 1 is a recent add from France's Los Emes De Oso netlabel. It's chock full of intriguing lofi folk-hop beats. More music available at gableboulga.com. "humm ok" is CC BY-NC-SA.
jason on 05/10/2012 at 10:35AM
Primavera Sound is one of the world's most incredible music festivals, unique in the way they unite (even re-unite) world-famous headliners while also digging deep to discover up-and-coming artists. Based in Barcelona, Primavera brings artists from all over the world, with an ear that is uniquely attuned to sounds from Spain's underground.
Here's a mix featuring music by 32 of the artists who are scheduled to perform at this year's Primavera Sound festival, May thru June 3rd. 2012 will be the fourth year in a row that WFMU broadcasts live from the festival, and we're looking forward to archiving more approved Primavera Sound performances here on the Free Music Archive!
|COMPLETE LINEUP: A Storm Of Light (US) | A$AP Rocky (US) | Absynthe Minded (BE) | Aeroplane (BE) | Afrocubism (CU) | Aliment (ES) | Anímic (ES) | April Fool's Day (ES) | AraabMUZIK (US) | Archers Of Loaf (US) | Astro (CL) | Atlas Sound (US) | Aleta (ES) Autumn Comets (ES) Barry Hogan DJ (ATP) (UK) Baxter Dury (UK) Beach Beach (ES) Beach Fossils (US) Beach House (US) Beirut (US) Benga (Live) (UK) Bernhard Fleischmann (AT) Big Star's Third (US) Bigott (ES) Black Lips (US) Bleached (US) Bombino (NE) Boreals (ES) Boxeur the Coeur (IT) Buffy Sainte-Marie (CA) Candela y Los Supremos (ES) Capitán (ES) Celestial Bums (ES) Chairlift (US) Chavez (US) Christina Rosenvinge (ES) Chromatics (US) Codeine (US) Cosmen Adelaida (ES) Cuchillo (ES) Danny Brown (US) Death Cab For Cutie (US) Death In Vegas (UK) Demdike Stare (UK) Dirty Beaches (CA) Dirty Three (AU) DJ Coco (ES) Doble Pletina (ES) Dominant Legs (US) Dominique A (FR) Dulce Pájara de Juventud (ES) Dutch Uncles (UK) Ed Wood (PL) Edith Crash (ES) Eh! (ES) El Faro (ES) EL-P (US) Elephant (UK) Eliah Smith (ES) Elvira (ES) Erol Alkan (UK) Evripidis and His Tragedies (ES) Fasenuova (ES) Father John Misty (US) Fernando Milagros (CH) Field Music (UK) Forest Swords (UK) Franz Ferdinand (UK) Fred i Son (ES) Friends (US) Gabriel y Vencerás (ES) Germana (ES) GinGa (AT) | Girls (US) | Girls Names (UK) | Godflesh (UK) | Grimes (CA) | GRTS (ES) | Grupo de Expertos Solynieve (ES) | Grushenka (ES) | Gudar (ES) | Hanni El Khatib (US) | Harvey Milk (US) | Hazte Lapón (ES) | Her Only Presence (ES) | Hooray For Earth (US) | Hot Panda (CA) | Hype Williams (US) | I Break Horses (SE) | Iceage (DK) | Inborn! (LU) | Internet2 (ES) | James Ferraro (US) | James Hunter (UK) | Jamie xx (UK) | Japandroids (CA) | Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) (US) | Jeremy Jay (US) | Joan Colomo (ES) | Joe Crepúsculo (ES) | John Talabot (Live) (ES) | Josh T. Pearson (US) | Justice live (FR) | Kindness (UK) | King Of The Opera (IT) | Kings Of Convenience (NO) | Kleenex Girl Wonder (US) | Kristen (PL) | L'Hereu Escampa (ES) | La Estrella De David (ES) | Las Nurses (ES) | Laura Marling (UK) | Lee Ranaldo (US) | LFO (UK) | Linda Martini (PT) | Lisa & The Lips (US) | Lisabö (SP) | Liturgy (US) | Lorena Álvarez Y Su Banda Municipal (ES) | Los Negretes (MX) | Lovely Bad Things (CA) | Lower Dens (US) | M83 (FR) | Main (UK) | Marianne Faithfull (UK) | Mates Mates (ES) | Matías Aguayo (CL) | Mayhem (NO) | Mazzy Star (US) | Melvins (US) | Michael Gira (US) | Milagres (US) | Milk Music (US) | Mudhoney (US) | Mujeres (ES) | Mutiny on the Bounty (LU) | Nacho Vegas (ES) | Napalm Death (UK) | Napszyklat (PL) | Neon Indian (US) | Nick Garrie plays The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanislas (UK) | No More Lies (ES) | Numbers showcase: Jackmaster, Oneman, Deadboy, Spencer, Redinho (UK) | Obits (US) | Ocellot (ES) | OFF! (US) | Ohios (ES) | Orthodox (SP) | Other Lives (US) | Partido (ES) | Pegasvs (ES) | Peter Wolf Crier (US) | Picore (ES) | Pional (Live) (ES) | Purity Ring (CA) | Rats on Rafts (NL) | Real Estate (US) | Rebolledo (MX) | Refree (ES) | Refused (SE) | Renaldo & Clara (ES) | Richard Hawley (UK) | Rufus Wainwright and his Band (US) | Rustie (UK) | Saint Etienne (UK) | Sandro Perri (CA) | Santiago Latorre (ES) | SBTRKT (UK) | Scuba (UK) | Senior i El Cor Brutal (ES) ||
Sharon Van Etten (US) | Shellac (US) | Sictor Valdaña & The Check This Outs (ES) | Siskiyou (CA) | Sleep (US) | Sleepy Sun (US) | Sleigh Bells (US) | Spiritualized (UK) | Sr. Chinarro (ES) | Stasi (ES) | Steven Munar & The Miracle Band (ES) | Tall Firs (US) | Templeton (ES) | The Afghan Whigs (US) | The Chameleons (UK) | The Cure (UK) | The Drums (US) | The Experimental Tropic Blues Band (BE) | The Field (SE) | The Free Fall Band (ES) | The Ganjas (CL) | The Go! Team djs (UK) | The Lions Constellation (ES) | The Men (US) | The Olivia Tremor Control (US) | The Pop Group (UK) | The Rapture (US) | The Right Ons (ES) | The War On Drugs (US) | The Wedding Present plays Seamonsters (UK) | The Weeknd (CA) | The xx (UK) | Thee Oh Sees (US) | Trash Talk (US) | Unicornibot (ES) | Univers (ES) | Veronica Falls (UK) | Villarroel (ES) | Void Ov Voices (HU) | Washed Out (US) | Wavves (US) | White Denim (US) | Wilco (US) | Wild Beasts (UK) | Wolves In The Throne Room (US) | Xavier Baró (ES) | Yann Tiersen (FR) | Yo La Tengo (US)
jason on 05/08/2012 at 12:30PM
"Combed Over Chrome" is an interstellar beat-blast to launch minds into warp.
California's Raleigh Moncrief grew up composing music on tracker software, transcribing guitar parts into digital sequence in the pre-mp3 era of the Commodore 64. Members of the tracker scene were music filesharing pioneers, and Raleigh naturally took to the web to release the Combed Over Chrome EP via his own Obstructive Vibrations netlabel.
OV also helped introduce us to some of the many talented musicians who run in Moncrief's Sacramento circle like Hexlove, Appetite and Pregnant. Alongside Death Grips, Moncrief seems to be leading the local beat-oriented scene, but he is a truly eclectic collaborator—playing with the likes of Zach Hill (Hella), The Advantage, and Marnie Stern—and a producer of albums by Ganglians and 'sound design' for Dirty Projectors' Bitte Orca.
Anticon recently released Raleigh's debut LP, Watered Lawn. Check out the "Lament For Morning" video, directly by Moncrief himself, after the jump. Raleigh Moncrief plays live on my WFMU program this Thursday May 10th at 10am.
jason on 05/05/2012 at 01:11PM
I was devastated to learn that Adam "MCA" Yauch left us on Friday. His life is full of moments to celebrate: License to Ill-era shenanigans on Japanese TV; the dense sample-based lyricism of Paul's Boutique; his return to the bass on Check Your Head and Ill Communication informed by the decade of musical exploration that followed the group's formation in NYC's hardcore scene.
The list of musical accomplishments could go on and on, but Youch used his position to advocate for causes he believed in. He organized the Free Tibet concert and more recently supported the Occupy Wall Street movement. He was not only a video director and filmmaker—including a 2008 documentary on rising high school basketball stars centered around Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park—but a supporter of worldwide independent film. In 2008 he founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, releasing fifty films so far including Exit Through The Gift Shop, documentaries on Scott Walker, Youssou N'Dour, and William S. Burroughs.
One of the causes Adam Yauch fought for was your right to copy. The Beastie Boys began working with sample-based music before the Biz Markie lawsuit sparked the development of a sample-clearing industry. Although many of the samples on Paul's Boutique were cleared at the time at an expense of $300,000, if it were produced under today's copyright regime, some of those individual samples would have run a hefty $3-mil and the 2.5x platinum record would have lost $20 million dollars. In other words, it's not possible to make a record like that any more.
The Beastie Boys were early advocates for Creative Commons, and released today's featured track, "Now Get Busy," under the NonCommercial Sampling Plus license. The license was developed by Creative Commons in collaboration with Negativland, and though it was recently retired, it was a truly pioneering effort.
"Now Get Busy" kicked off 2004's Wired Magazine Creative Commons compilation The WIRED CD: Rip, Sample, Mash, Share alongside David Byrne, Chuck D, Spoon, Gilberto Gil, Le Tigre and many more. Less than two years after the launch of CC's first licensing suite, this was a high profile introduction to the movement, and the Beastie Boys were featured on the magazine's cover as digital music pioneers. In an interview with Eric Steuer, the Beastie Boys discuss why they were quick to embrace Internet radio and promotional mp3 downloads via their Grand Royal label, and Yauch shares his perspective on sampling as an art form:
"It's totally context...because not every sample is a huge chunk of a song. We might take a tiny little insignificant sound from a record and then slow it way down and put it deep in the mix with, like, 30 other sounds on top of it. It's not even a recognizable sample at that point. Which is a lot different than taking a huge, obvious piece from some hit song that everyone knows and saying whatever you want to on top of that loop. An example that's often brought up in court when we get sued over sampling is a Biz Markie track where he more or less used a whole Gilbert O'Sullivan song. Because it was such an obvious sample, it's the example lawyers use when trying to prove that sampling is stealing. And that's really frustrating to us as artists who sample, because sampling can be a totally different thing than that." (read more)
We asked for favorite MCA moments over at our Facebook page, and got some great tips along—feel free to chime in!