Favorite Net Releases 2009.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

You know how you’re like a netlabel and stuff, and you release some new recording, and you can see from your stats that only one guy listened to it? I might have been that guy!

Here were my favorite netlabel releases of 2009, all are freely downloadable, so maybe YOU can be hit number TWO on someone’s statcounter!

1. Gurdonark – Seven Virtues
At a time when it would have been much more fashionable to put out an album dedicated to the seven deadly sins featuring dark and gloomy doom sounds, this charming collection of light musical fancies celebrates what’s to be admired about the human spirit. (some of Gurdonark’s thoughts on making this album)

2. Hannah M.G. Shapero (a.k.a. Altocumulus)My Name is Marietta Cashman
Not many of us can claim to have recorded experimental music on a Buchla modular synthesizer in the late sixties when merely an adventurous teenager, but Hannah Shapero can. Culled from forgotten tape reels, unheard for 40 years, this treasure of naive noodling sounds fresh and innocent, a stark contrast to modern noodles by hipster cognoscenti. At the moment the accompanying photo of Hannah was taken in 1970, in her futuristic silver jumpsuit and glasses in front of the synth modules, she looks like she may have been the coolest nerdy girl in the universe. Modern Noodles by Hipster Cognoscenti would make a damned fine band name.

3. Mystified – Collusion (with PBK, the Implicit Order, KR-Ohm & Kwalijk) – A collection of guys I admire working with sound sources provided by another guy I admire. This is a collection of the kinds of sounds I love, loopy and squiggly and gritty and crunchy. Quietnoise of the highest order!

4. Various Artists – No-R-Mal
Oh, hullo! What’s this? FIVE FUCKING HOURS of top notch weirdness from 50 underground artists? I keep coming back to this and finding new gems all the time. Stunning.

5. Chubby Wolf – Meandering Pupa
A brief collection of smooth ambience, dancing slowly, exactly in-between light and dark. The prolific artist behind Chubby Wolf, Dani Baquet-Long, (also one half of celebrated ambient artists Celer) passed away in July, suddenly, at the age of 26. The entire underground network was saddened by the loss.

6. Pavonine – Pavonine
Dark, vaporous, mysterious, alluring? Sure, all that and more.

7. Dexp Lab – Sectors LP
A fine collision of rhythm and noise.

8. PBK – Asmus Sources (plus pretty much everything else on soundgenetic)
I have to admit, somewhat embarrassedly, that when I bought the Asmus Tietchens / PBK collaboration from Realization way back in the early nineties, it didn’t entirely gel for me. I loved both artists apart, but this album just didn’t quite get there. This year, PBK released the sound source files that he originally sent to Asmus for their collaboration, and upon hearing these imagination-pricking sounds, I decided a re-evaluation of the actual collaboration was in order, and now I find that it all makes sense. I’m not at all sure what I was thinking back in the 90s. I may simply not have been mature enough to get it! Now, I love both the collab, and these raw, stripped down sources equally. This is a rare chance to compare and contrast the working methods of two great minds in abstract music.

9. Olifaunt – Three Crows Become Four
Slow growing drone ambient with stringy textures and melancholy tones.

10. Zondagmorgen – La Fin du Monde
So apparently the end of the world is slow, blurred and extremely melancholy. The world ends with us gazing at our shoes. Alright then.

Don’t forget to also check out my blog post about all the stuff I did this decade, including my own big project for 2009, the Electret Quintet.


  1. Wow! Three JNN albums in there!
    I must be doing something right 🙂

    Thank you Mr. C

    Posted by Mark | January 6, 2010 11:12 am
  2. I’ll say you are! Your label is awesome. If I had downloaded more from your label maybe there’d have been more on my list!

    Posted by C. Reider | January 6, 2010 5:44 pm
  3. Too kind! Thanks so much for the mention =)

    Posted by Adrienne | January 7, 2010 8:52 pm
  4. You get what you deserve! 🙂

    Posted by C. Reider | January 7, 2010 10:19 pm
  5. Thank you for including Seven Virtues in your list. It’s great to be in such cool company.

    Posted by gurdonark | January 9, 2010 10:08 pm
  6. Vuzh:
    I was astonished and delighted to see that you named my 40-year-old Buchla album
    as one of your “best of 2009.” And I was LOL to read your thoughts on my
    photo. I grew up and am now a professional artist and graphic designer. And
    after 40 years I am back doing electronic music, now in a world of software and
    computers I never anticipated.
    You can follow my new art on my blog http://pyracanthasketch.blogspot.com.
    I now go by the name “Pyracantha.” Musically, I’m “Altocumulus.” You can
    hear a new noise/electronic track from me on that JNN50 compilation.
    Cheers, Pyracantha

    Posted by Pyracantha | January 10, 2010 12:52 am
  7. Thanks for the new information, and thanks for making such a cool album! I’m happy to draw attention to things I like, and I can only hope that a few more people will go and listen to it as a result of this mention.

    Posted by C. Reider | January 10, 2010 10:43 am
  8. I was directed to this list by a friend and am glad to see some GREAT music included. But you managed to miss my three top favorite web releases of the year!

    Kevin Parks & Joe Foster – Prince Rupert Drops (homophoni)

    Mattin – Feedback Conceptual (larraskito)

    Michael Pisaro (and numerous performers) – Only [Harmony Series #17] (compost and height)

    Posted by manwithoutaspleen | January 10, 2010 11:30 am
  9. Thanks a lot for the suggestions, I’ll check those out!

    Posted by C. Reider | January 10, 2010 11:42 am
  10. […] know little about, and recommending them via email or Twitter or through this blog (check out this post, or this one, or this one, this, this, this, or this one for example), I see only a small minority […]

    TrackBack by Vuzh Music Blog » Blog Archive » Response to Silent World of Netlabels | November 3, 2010 10:46 pm
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