Best of 2010 PLUS: Mark Stolk

Sunday, 16 January 2011

My post detailing my favorite netlabel releases of 2010 was quite popular, and led to a lot of people discovering some cool music, which is one of my main goals, aside from promoting my own music. It is my humble opinion that all netlabel artists ought to have the same goal: namely to promote the stuff in the netlabel underground that they think is really great at the same time as they promote their own stuff. That way ALL of us benefit, both listeners and producers. Right? Right.

With this in mind, I am going to be focusing on each artist (hopefully-this will depend on if they want to participate or not) whom I reviewed in the best of 2010 post, re-running the review I originally wrote, but I’m ALSO going to ask each of the artists reviewed to recommend a few completely FREE netlabel albums that THEY have enjoyed recently.

Previously we’ve had recommendations from:
1.) Mystified
2.) Marc Weidenbaum
3.) Christopher McFall
4.) Andreas Brandal
5.) Meteer
6.) Gurdonark

This time we get the knowledgeable insight of one of our netlabel-underground saints, Mark Stolk. His overwhelming compilation No-R-Mal II got a best-of nod, and here’s how I described it:

V/A – No-R-Mal II
The only person that can out-do Mark Stolk, it appears, is Mark Motherfucking Stolk! His five hour long compilation of netlabel artists from last year was followed up by a SEVEN hour long compilation this year… seven fucking hours of cool underground music, as good an overview of the netlabel underground as you can get, period.

I asked Mark to give us a few recommendations, and here’s what he had to say:

…and this an addition from the vaults of what can be called just not a normal selection.
As the weekly host of NTNS radio I come in touch with a motherload of experimental music from netlabels all over the globe.
Since I quite enjoy this ‘pay it forward’ that C. Reider has started I feel proud to now be an integral part of the thread.

Since it is darn hard picking the best, I’ll just stick to what I think are some must hears that have been played on Not the Normal Shit Radio:

Rumo Josuttis & Zatina Kessl – The Power of Something (Headphonica)
Weirdest release I had heard in some time. Learn how to make music (with a big smile). Mad and fun collaging of spoken word with musings. Headphonica seems to have been lead astray on a path of mad and strange music. I certainly do not mind at all!

Chiste – Infiltrados en la Montana (Pueblo Nuevo)
Mika Martina and Daniel Jeffs team up in live improvisations drowned in analogic sounds and machines. Prepare to have your brain knocked out and given a good wash.
Pueblo Nuevo, sometimes a netlabel I lose track off, but every time I return there are some masterpieces from the South American continent. An amazing collection of the electronic experimentalists of the olden days (There are some albums that carry music from the 60’s!!!!) and some exquisite modern experimentalism.

Install (Shinobu Nemeto) – Improvisation air1 (Moufu Rokuon)
Since I’ve been ‘collecting’ netlabels on twitter I also come across free work which would have been on the commercial Moufu Rokuon label if Shinoby hadn’t decided to share for free. I certainly would recommend all netlabels out there to get connected on twitter. It is hard to find the hidden gems out there, but with twitter I manage (that and other sources ofcourse).
On this album; ermmmm the title says it all. Fantastic improvisation work with great intensity.

Son Clair – Watermarks (Impulsive Habitat)
2010 has certainly be the year that I fully embraced field recordings albums. NTNS radio plays one every week and even JNN releases field recordings albums these days. Impulsive Habitat have certainly brought together an amazing collective of artists of the ‘pure’. It is too hard to pick just one from their catalog, but if I must then this must be the one. Son Clair is high on my fave-list where it comes to the field recordists.
Consider this a recommendation of the entire catalog though, pick either. They all rock!

Anton Mobin & Rinus van Alebeek – She was trapped (Nohmad)
Perhaps its some kind of prejudice, but I is enormous fan of Anton and all he creates. Since his first release on Clinical Archives I carry a big admiration for the talent this guy holds. Inventive and original, and most of all pure energy and inspiration housed in one person. You have not heard of him before? Let google be your friend and check this guys work out. I is fan and have a hard time picking one album from 2010, but I did (and it wasn’t tales 4 tapes)

Logreybeam – Rem.Rem (Camomille music)
One of the best surprises of 2010 was the rebirthing of the quality Camomille netlabel. Only 6 releases yet under their renewed wings but boy, all of them just continue where they had left off. This album certainly rattled my inner emotions in a very pleasant way. Now if only Serein would resurface in 2011 and I’m a happy man.

Ketsa – What’s without within (BFW recordings)
Now here’s an album that is stuck in my folder for the longest time though hasn’t made the NTNS playlist somehow. Light poppy, folky music that appeases my ears quite a lot, but somehow not befits the not normal. Perhaps I’m not normal for liking this within the realm of experimentalism. Hrmmm, wait a second; I am not normal! The BFW crowd have certainly surprised this year with a lot of great releases.

AAGSF – Solar System (RusZud)
I’ve had the honor of releasing one album from this Russian artist fully named Aliens A Galactic Sound Flank. As the artist aclaims himself: ‘mysterious noise the project from Moscow’ the mystery of his sounds is one that dives deep into the ears and performs something rather spectacular. I cannot fathom the hows and whats of his musical endeavors, but each new release I love. The Russian label Ruszud itself is also something to keep an eye out on, thusfar it has brought me many joyous listening moments and it works very well within the NTNS realm.

The netlabel world is a place of coming and going, but there are a few strongholds out there that will always light the way ahead.
Unfortunately the German Phlow division still has to jump back, Modisti has stopped pushing some of the greater experimentalics. Who knows who’ll we say goodbye or hello to in 2011. One thing is for sure. The netlabel scene is big and pulsating!

Some of the great netlabels that deserve at least a mention here: Surrism Phonoethics, AudioTalaia, Stasisfield, Editoro do Porto, Petcord, AMP records, Resting Bell, Con-V, TestTube, Cronica, Off Bruma, Audio Gourmet, Webbed Hand, Passage…… oh man; I think I could go on and on. I best stop right here.

Thanks Mark!

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