macedonia on 12/23/2012 at 08:59AM
While this represents a drop in the bucket of the endless abyss of tunes from the Free Music Archive, these ten tracks represent the artists, songs, and labels that I kept coming back to this year. Big shouts to Bad Panda Records for becoming my new favorite netlabel; they were responsible for a number of heavy rotation tracks for me on the FMA. Respect is also due to blocSonic for another great year (that DJ Harrison album is a MONSTER).
At the request of the site's editors, you can find a little more information about me below. Hope that you enjoy the mix and I'm looking forward to what 2013 has to bring in the world of Creative Commons and the FMA. Happy Holidays, everybody...
Loving husband and doting father. World Music Community Blogger for the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards. Contributing writer to ReviewYou.com and Impose Magazine. Host and producer of Radio BSOTS (Both Sides Of The Surface), a music podcast celebrating seven years of representing for independent hip-hop, soul, funk, and electronic music.
macedonia on 06/03/2012 at 07:54PM
Just posted Radio BSOTS episode #124 online, which features nothing but tunes from the FMA. Long overdue.
If you care to download, just head to the show notes. You'll find one of the featured songs below...
macedonia on 12/08/2010 at 06:00PM
It's the end of 2010 and I only know two things for sure. The first is that I have never hated zip files so much before in my entire life. The second is that it's really a shame that I hate them so much...because they're not going anywhere.
Various reasons and/or excuses have kept me from being as active on the FMA this year as I would like to be, but here's a few selections that have served me well throughout 2010. Here's hoping that you enjoy them.
Beyond that, I certainly hope that you bought an external hard drive on Black Friday that has at least a terabyte's worth of disk space. I have reason to believe that in terms of zip file inundation, next year is liable to make 2010 look like a 256MB flash drive in the pan.
Okay, I'll stop now...
macedonia on 10/09/2010 at 12:37PM
If you like your hip-hop rough, rugged, and real, make sure to keep tabs on Diamond District. Based in Washington, D.C., their debut album In The Ruff has been catching the ears of those that lean towards the '90s production style of the genre. Longtime producer Oddisee is joined by X.O. and YU on the microphone, each spitting gritty rhymes over grimy beats reflective of present-day D.C.
Back in May of 2010, Diamond District visited the studios of KEXP for a live session. "The Shining" is a good representation of what you can expect from their album. As for Oddisee, his work ethic is tireless, constantly creating instrumentals you can't help but snap your neck to. For further proof, make sure to stop by his Bandcamp page and take a listen to his Odd Season EPs and particularly his Traveling Man album...
macedonia on 09/18/2010 at 08:50AM
To date, there are now over 25,000 tracks available from the Free Music Archive. Between you and me, I felt like I got lost in the shuffle some 5,000 tracks ago. If 2010 has taught me anything, it let me know in no uncertain terms that, as much as I may want to leave my digital footprints all over the place, my real feet had better keep day job and family life responsibilities in constant view. It was life's way of telling me to keep the main thing the main thing. In addition, whether it's Creative Commons releases or otherwise, I will be playing catch-up with music for the rest of my life...and I'm fine with that. Thank goodness for those who make it their business to post regularly here, highlighting their favorites and uncovering those hidden gems scattered throughout this glorious resource.
I figured if I was going to ease my way back into this, I really should start with a somewhat familiar face to get myself motivated. A few weeks ago, I came across the Dance Audit Hour compilation on Uncharted Audio and was pleasantly surprised to see a contribution from Cursor Miner. I was first introduced to him in 2001 through the Fresh Fruit compilation on Lo Recordings. He had a song on that called "Never Been Seen," which was aptly described as a cross between Beck and David Bowie. He has recorded several albums for Lo Recordings and also remixed artists such as Fischerspooner and The Chap along the way.
Today's featured cut is "Leave It Out," which features pounding techno rhythms underlying synth-pop style songwriting and Miner's understated yet captivating vocals. You may find yourself under the same spell that it puts me under whenever I listen to it, immediately moving your mouse towards the play button the moment the song comes to an end...
macedonia on 07/24/2010 at 12:02PM
Simon Green has recorded several albums under the name Bonobo, but none that have been as well received as his latest full-length, Black Sands. He's at his most symphonic with this one, the swell of strings and the arrangement of chopped-up jazz drum solos adding to the cinematic feel of the release. Much has been made of his collaborations with the sole vocalist on the album, the captivating Andreya Triana. It's easy to see why once you hear "The Keeper." It's a bittersweet and melancholy tune, one that's dressed with xylophone riffs, rhythm guitar, and a languid hip-hop backbeat in its original version.
Stripped down to Triana's amazing vocals and some guitar work, this live version from the KEXP studios is a special one, indeed. Even without the extra elements featured on the album, this song still delivers and exceeds the emotion felt in the original. Make sure to check out the video featuring the album version of the song after the jump...
macedonia on 06/26/2010 at 10:18AM
I have long since given up on any ambitions to become a WFMU DJ. Time and logic continue to be enemies in that regard. However, I can console myself through this resource by letting others know about music that excites me with every blog post and mix that I create. For that, I want to take this moment to thank the people at WFMU who have worked so hard to make this archive a reality and for allowing the rest of us out there a space to talk about and champion the sounds that make life on earth bearable.
This mix is dedicated to all those who have a need to offset their reality. Thank you for listening.
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...
macedonia on 05/29/2010 at 02:08PM
With all of the shine that Chicago gets for its role in bringing house music to the world, some tend to overlook its involvement within other genres. On that note, look who blew in from the Windy City to the FMA: MC/Producer St. LaRok.
A member of the Miami Beat Wave Productions crew, LaRok leans heavily on the lessons learned from late '80s/early '90s hip-hop, bringing his own intricate instrumentals and lively wordplay to the rap game. If there's any truth to 2010 ushering in a second "Golden Age" for hip-hop, his Leap Year EP could certainly be used as evidence for that argument. To get better acquainted with this artist's work, here's a double shot of LaRok to showcase his talents on the mic and behind the drum machine.
Intro tracks don't get much better than "TIME/Leap," featuring the St. flowing fluidly over a shoulder-hunching beat that allows hip-hop to flirt with bossa nova patterns. Meanwhile, "Archetype" focuses solely on LaRok's production, which pits rolling, sharp snares against a cloud of inviting chords. Consider him one to watch as this new decade gets underway...
macedonia on 05/15/2010 at 10:34AM
You know why I like Vosotros? Because it's a record label that doesn't really feel like one. Their imprint is more of this open-ended philosophy towards music. They release and champion what they like and one project doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the next. Sometimes songs lie next to each other on the same EP that are as different as night and day, the only connecting factor being the circumstances that brought a particular collection of musicians together. That and the fact that Vosotros believes in the music they want to expose others to, and that alone makes their releases intriguing.
The Rhoda EP is a great example, consisting of five songs that were each released on a weekly basis until the EP was complete. Spaced-out Brazilian numbers peacefully coexist with experiments in dubstep and even prog-rock/gospel fusion. Week one resulted in a lush folk song entitled "New Farmer," featuring the always engaging vocals of Mia Doi Todd. The accomplished team of musicians behind her include Miguel-Atwood Ferguson on viola (who was partially responsible for the Suite For Ma Dukes in J Dilla's honor), Rob Hardt on flutes, and Nat Mcintosh making his presence felt on the tuba. Gabe Noel is the gentleman you can thank for writing, mixing, programming, and recording the tune.
Now that you know all of that, push play and enjoy the next three and a half minutes of aural tranquility...