Archive for the recommended listening Category

Now Playing: Netlabels II

Saturday, 12 December 2011

As I described in this previous post, I am doing tiny little reviews – sometimes not so informative – linking to / promoting whatever netlabel thing I’m listening to when I’m around my computer at home. In that previous post I described them as a “skatter-brained bunch of not-reviews”. I’ve been posting these up on my Google+ account, and occasionally collecting them here, so that’s what this blog post is all about. Follow the links to listen to any of this stuff, most of it is free to download.


12/3
metaminaFNR : A Tasty Swarm of Small Signals
http://metaminafnr.hotglue.me/
This isn’t a fixed release, it’s a continually evolving experimental internet radio broadcast.

The deal is that there’s this CD release of 91 “microcompositions” by various composers including Asmus Tietchens (one of my faves), James Webb, Lawrence English, Francisco López, Louis Dufort, Alan Courtis and Zbigniew Karkowski. The whole CD is two minutes long.

metaminaFNR is streaming this CD throughout the month of December, but not just playing the CD, they’re using it as source material for a month long self-generating sound stream, as they describe: “We wanted to stream it in a special way and work on the possibilities of the code and experiment with new broadcasts formats. For that we are developed a script in “Pure Data” which will mix up the 91 microcompositions “on the fly”, following different probability distributions (Markov Chains) assigned to each of the fragment, so we will listen different versions and structures of the mixer depending on the day and time. ”

The result is some incredible experimental sound being generated as you’re listening to it, never to be heard again. Unmissable.

It’s a weirdly layed out website, but streaming instructions are available in Spanish and English.


11/30
Gusev K.P. – Vb K
http://www.petcord.com/releases/pc2011-16-gusev-kp-vb-k/
This is interesting, it’s minimal techno that threatens to erupt into a big beat and never does. It hovers there, all potential, unresolved – unresolvable. There’s no real beginning or ending, it occupies a limbo, a liminal state. The longer it goes along, the greater the tension, the greater the intensity, not because the piece builds to a crescendo – it never does – but because the enduring potential persists. The music does not repeat, and continually invents itself in interesting ways, but it refuses to progress… instead it hovers, intensely.

Out on +Olliver Wichmann ‘s excellent Petcord label.


11/29
Brownbear – Touching Scents
http://droppinggems.bandcamp.com/album/touching-scents
Positively massive hip-hop tinged techno with a heavy dose of weirding. Heavy stuff with a wide sound palette. Stands up against good pop IDM like Plaid.


11/27
Appalachian Falls – GrimGrimAntonym
http://www.restingbell.net/releases/rb100-4-grimgrimantonym
Looping guitar tones that begin all smooth and calming, but then crescendo to a distorted roar with some piercing shards, and finally fall back again.


11/25
AODL – Wanted Valley
http://www.archive.org/details/rive061
Harsh noise. Sure, that’ll turn off some potential listeners. Too bad for them.

Very layered noise with plenty of crunch, buzz and insistence… bassy wobbles and spasms of squelch. To me, there’s a followable narrative to this, rather than just a heaving wall of overwhelming wallop.

I saw this dude in concert at the Denver Noise Fest… He’s pretty good.


11/25
Cezary Gapik – 1998
http://cezarygapikakacezar.bandcamp.com/album/1998
Ridiculously good textural soundscapes, atmospheric and industrial… remind me of some of Eduard Artimyev’s soundtrack work. Cezary definitely knows what he’s up to.

I see that now this is a purchaseable album, it must have been free at some point, or I probably wouldn’t have it. You can stream it at the link for free, though.


11/13
Marax – The Weight of Insignificance
http://www.archive.org/details/Marax-TheWeightOfInsignificance
The normally screamin’ noise monster Marax takes an ultra minimal approach with this release, exploring the self-noise of a wah pedal. A droning, low-frequency oscillation with a mild static wash.

This reminds me, of course, of Nurse With Wound’s “Soliloquy for Lilith”, in which Steven Stapleton found that waving his hands around a certain effects set-up caused a seemingly magic sound response, creating an accidental, playable instrument.

The second track is the same source material as the first, taken in a more post-production / effected direction.

Both tracks are fascinating and yet extremely minimal.


11/13
N-qia, Sweet Sequence EP
http://www.clubotaku.org/mimi/uk/album176.php
Something like a Japanese electro-pop response to the Books or maybe Prefuse 73. I didn’t expect that. Female singer takes the cutesy-but-disaffected approach, something like Stereolab’s singers.

Actually, I think I might hate this. I can’t tell.
I think my primary beef with it is that its derivations are too obvious — there’s the danger with pop music. It’s well done, and pleasant, but derivative.


10/4
Fabio Keiner – Seagram Studies
http://www.archive.org/details/Seagram_Studies
A sonic transliteration of Rothko’s paintings.

Appropriate.


9/25
Marax – Crawlspace Atrocities
http://marax.bandcamp.com/album/crawlspace-atrocities
This is kind of a heavily rumbling kind of disturbing and distorted noise music that’s mixed at low levels to set an atmosphere as opposed to the aural pummelling that could occur if all level faders were pushed to the top. You could call it “dark ambient”, I suppose. To me it feels like it draws more from industrial music and somewhat from black metal… especially when the gasping, pained vocalizations come in.

I really like the constant shifting of sound, like a frantic noise performance… but the calm, subdued context is a new way to hear this kind of movement.

Well done.


9/10
Shane Morris – Approaching Singularity
http://buddhistonfire.com/2011/09/1-shane-morris-approaching-singularity/
Burbling, skittering insect music. Sounds like a tape being ‘eaten’ again and again. Quite good, yeah.

I’ll probably download this one.


9/10
Gassyoh – Gets EP
http://maltinerecords.cs8.biz/30.html
It reminds me of Plaid, a bit more house-music flavored though.
I like the peculiar cover art.


9/7
Kirill Platonkin – Orogenesis
http://www.petcord.com/releases/pc2011-09-kirill-platonkin-orogenesis/
Ambient music. The first track just kinda slid by me. Some sustained tones and stuff.

The second track “Magmatism” is COMPLETELY AWESOME. Slowly passing string-like tones with a slowly-boiling/popping noise. Fucking effective. Tops.

Another great release from Petcord.



Now Playing: Netlabels

Wednesday, 09 September 2011

I joined Google+ recently, (here’s my profile: C. Reider on G+).

I struggled for a while trying to think of what to use the new social network for, then I decided to just start an opt-in circle with a link to whatever random netlabel thing I was listening to at the time. I began by making tiny little comments on the music. Commentlets? Commentitos?

In time this became short first-listen impressions, then running commentaries and finally I started approaching full-scale reviews. I’m probably scaling back again now, maybe just a link, otherwise I’ll think I have to review everything, and listening will be a chore, like back when I actually DID have to write reviews.

Still, I feel this kind of thing should probably be broadcast to a wider audience than the 20 people who are in the circle that can see my “Now Playing Netlabels” reviews, so I’m cutting & pasting them here with added hyperlinks.

Taken as a whole, this is a skatter-brained bunch of not-reviews with the occasional review thrown in for good measure. Some are totally uninformative, but there’s always the link. (well, not ALWAYS).

Now go listen to some of this stuff.




7/16
NP: Chiodata – Copla (it’s pretty much bad-ass, so far). Also the netlabel name Cocodriller is kinda funny in a bad bi-lingual pun way.
http://www.cocodriller.com/?page_id=1442


7/16
NP: Restive – Generative 2 (Gorgeous spacious industrial-drone stuff by Modisti labelmate Restive)
http://modisti.com/11/2011/06/21/restive-%E2%80%93-generative-ambient-2-2/


7/17
NP: Various Artists – Dead Voices: White Noise out on one of my favorite netlabels of all time Just Not Normal!

It’s got Miquel Parera Jaques on it, and I’m totally enamored of his music for the last year or so. Damned cool compilation. I’m pretty certain it’s going to make an appearance on my best of 2011.
http://justnotnormal.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/imc03-dead-voices-white-noise/


7/19
NP: Jeff Sampson’s SoundCloud page.
This ambient music dude lives in Colorado Springs and he is someone who takes time to promote music that he himself doesn’t make, which makes him immediately cool in my book. I’m tired of guys who do nothing but self-promote. I rather like his stuff, too.

Viva Colorado weirdos!
http://soundcloud.com/jeffsampson


7/19
NP Noise Research – A Proof of Fermat. I have no snarky, nor informative commentary, as I’ve only just begun to listen to it for the first time. … Ah, well it sounds a bit formless and improv-like. I’m not sure if it’ll congeal into something or just go on like this, it’s nice & whooshy though.

ETA: It actually reminds me a little of a less musical Supersilent.
http://itsujitsu.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/a-proof-of-fermat/


7/19
NP Grégory David – Artificiel

Giving it a first spin now. Sorta elecronic experimental music with an obscure techno flavor, like Alva Noto or Ryoji Ikeda? Probably bad comparisons. I missed the first half, but the later bits are nice.

Warning: the link I’m listing here has an auto-play widget.
The Artificiel album is there if you scroll down.

The Nowaki netlabel has a really nifty little streaming player with a way cool waveform animation. Extra points!
http://www.nowaki-music.org/


7/19
NP: Elma – Kotohogi

Zow! Exceptionally harsh noise. I figured that’s what it’d be once I saw the Japanese bondage cover art. You know, I love seeing this kind of sound art in live performance, (seriously, I absolutely adore it) but it loses something in recording. Still, I think everyone should own at least one really amazingly harsh noise thing, in case you get in a mood where head-clearing might come in handy. If you’re not up to buying something from Merzbow, well, this here’s free.

ETA: The more time I invest in this, the better I like it.
http://www.clubotaku.org/mimi/uk/album172.php


7/24
Now Playing: Cezary Gapik, celebrated Polish experimental composer. He has a new release called ‘1998’, apparently a re-release of works from that time period. The first track sounds like someone slowly, rhythmically pounding the inside of a water tower.

It’s a bandcamp release, name your own price (incl. zero), you don’t have to give your email.
http://cezarygapikakacezar.bandcamp.com/album/1998


7/24
Now Playing: AODL – Wanted Valley
We saw this SLC Utah based noise artist at Denver Noise Fest, he was a stand out. This is nice, textural, harsh noise with a relaxed pace and varied electronic noises.
http://euc.cx/rive/061/


7/24
NP: Humeka – m_area

Looks like they’re getting all Scanner up in this bitch: “All the samples in this release were captured through some kind of communication device (i.e. mobile phone, answering machine). From the streets of Paris to the private messages, this is a very sophisticated and tasteful way of putting technology to good use. Go listen! ” — I’m streaming on Sonic Squirrel.
http://sonicsquirrel.net/detail/release/m_area/13206


7/24
Now Playing: Coppice – Vinculum (Courses)
The reputable longtime netlabel Stasisfield comes out of its… er… stasis with this 20 minute electronic composition.

Its high electronic tones remind me of a kind of miniature, fairy-version of a hurdy gurdy or harmonium.
http://stasisfield.com/releases/year09/sf-9001.html


7/25
Now Playing: PBK / Das / Jeph Jerman / John Hudak – Chain Mail Collab 1988

(these won’t all be new things, you know)

A 1988 rarity reissued on PBK’s blog in late 2010. A dense, churning, rumbling bunch of industrial racket. I’m particularly a fan of PBK & Jeph Jerman (I’ve had the privilege of seeing Jeph perform several times), so yeah I like it. Not the best work by any of these artists, but certainly good for fans of lo-fi industrial noise. Which I guess I am.
http://soundgenetic.blogspot.com/2010/11/das-jeph-jerman-john-hudak-pbk-chain.html


7/26
Now Playing: Noine – Cheap Non-Routine

Strange, reedy, warbling techno-pop. Straddles some sort of line between generic promotional/instructional video soundtrack music, and outright unusualness.

At least based on the tracks I’m streaming now, this is pretty fun stuff…

On Sunday Recordings… apparently a Japanese netlabel. Hadn’t heard of them before.
http://on-sunday-recordings.com/release/cheap_nonroutine/


7/26
Now Playing: Noine – NOI-mprovisation.

Same group / netlabel as the last one. Had to listen to a little bit more from these guys ’cause they kinda weirded me out. This is calmer, I’d be hard pressed to call it an ambient improv, but the pulse is pretty subdued. Kind of nice, especially in contrast to the last thing.
http://on-sunday-recordings.com/release/noi-mprovisation/


7/28
Now Playing: Le Berger – Shhhh… even more peaceful (A remix, of sorts)

Well then, it appears that this is a stretched out version of Miles Davis’ famous “quiet” work “In a Silent Way” It’s about thirty minutes of whoosh, which does, nevertheless, sound familiar and cozy to anyone who cherishes Miles.
(Link no longer exists – Taken down by copyright worries?)


8/1
Now playing: Radere – Maple Drip

Suggested by Kevin Stephens of Saffron Slumber, this 2010 release is a fine bit of latter-day guitar looping á la Fripp’s soundscapes. I wonder why so many ambient guys are using this method, and not very many (OK, none?) are doing the old-school Frippertronics method with two reel-to-reels strung together? OK, so two reel-to-reels is a pain in the arse, but LISTEN to the early Frippertronics, it sounds awesome… I like antique looping better than modern looping, so sue me.

OK, so now that I’ve spent this whole post complaining, I should probably point out that this is rather lovely music. Starts off sparse and builds into a huge wall of shifting tone with little blippy flowers stickin’ out of it. Just like it should.

After posting this, I remembered that I met this guy at Communikey 2011. Nice fellow.

http://www.archive.org/details/ruralcolours015


8/24
Now Playing:
Alura Une – “Dybbuk” (as reported on by the ever-reliable Disquiet)
Purportedly this is drone metal, and who am I to dispute that? It is droney, and it does have heavily distorted guitar.
What I like about this is how the music is essentially minimal, but at all times it feels exceedingly shakey and uncertain, as though it might either build in intensity or fall apart completely at any given moment.

This is just one nine minute long track. Free to stream or download, goes w/o saying.
http://waveguideaudio.bandcamp.com/album/dybbuk


8/24
Now Playing:
Various tracks by Ground Zero Mosque on SoundCloud

He lists all of his stuff as “noise”. Someone recently commented about the narrow connotations of the word “noise”, how it evokes total, screaming, high-decibel assault only. I think that is a true thing to say about what the word “noise” evokes, but it is not true about the actual music you will find that describes itself as “noise”. The more you are exposed to noise music, the more you realize what a big tent the genre can be. I could see an ambient musician successfully courting a noise audience, while the converse is obviously not true. This says something, but I think I’ll avoid saying it aloud.

So this is “noise” music. It is comfortable with itself as noise, and I am comfortable with it as noise.

http://soundcloud.com/ground-zero-mosque


9/3
NP: The SoundCloud page of douglasmseidel

Experimental music comes in lotsa different flavors, not just the noisy, droney stuff that I tend to prefer.

This guy’s SoundCloud has a few different variations… for his “songs”, he builds upbeat, jazzy, vaguely avant-proggy groove-beds over which a very young boy improvises some hilarious melodic flights of fancy. At times this reaches a manic blend that makes me think of a weird collaboration between Bob Drake and Aphex Twin.

More introspective and atmospheric are his several banjo reveries with modular synth oscillations going on in the background.

Definitely different, and worthy of a listen.

ETA: My friend Dave Seidel, aka Mysterybear is this guy’s brother… he informs me that Doug was in the incredible RIO-ish slash No Wave-ish band No Safety. I completely loved that band’s album “This Lost Leg” back in the nineties.
http://soundcloud.com/douglasmseidel


9/5
NP: John Kannenberg – Three Hours of Infinity

Three separate hour-long recordings of John Kannenberg meditatively scooting a charcoal pencil attached to a fishing line across a piece of paper to make shapes like a circle, or the symbol for infinity. He did 100 hours worth of these many-hour-long drawings, recording each one. This release documents three drawings, three hours.

As far as sonic varity goes, you’re not going to find much in these three hours, there is background hum, there is the skritching and skittering of the charcoal pencil, sometimes there is a low frequency ebb of a passing car. Sonic variety is not really the point. This release shares a meditative art experience at its most intimate, where the pencil meets the paper. The detail is such that you can visualize the shape that is being drawn with each piece.

It’s not so much hypnotizing, as coaxing your focus to remain in the present, staying perpetually at the front edge of the line.

http://stasisfield.com/releases/year09/sf-9003.html


9/7
NP: NP

Yes, you read that right, I’m Now Playing a band called ‘NP’. I imagine that’s about as confounding a name as it is un-googleable.

The album is called “Couleur ACSII” and it’s out on the Petcord netlabel.

The sound is post-IDM, clinical, mechanical sound assemblies, with more than a hint of rhythm, but such rapid changes of scenery that there is never a groove to get into. MRI-bop on speed? Laser-cutter tango-spasms? Manic composing, for sure. This is my first listen so I am hoping that structure becomes more apparent with further listening. I will be listening again, because it’s an intriguing set of whooshes, buzzes and bloops.

http://www.petcord.com/releases/pc2011-10-np-couleur-ascii/


9/7
NP: Jeff Sampson – “Some Are”

A “space music” piece that’s quite nice. I was certain this was some sort of derivation of the David Bowie track of the same name, but it turns out it is not.
http://soundcloud.com/jeffsampson/some-are


9/7
Now Playing: Bob Ostertag – Motormouth

Plucky analog percolations from this guy and his Buchla 200E.

I like it.
http://bobostertag.com/music-recordings-motormouth.htm


9/7
NP: Mystified – Stress Test

Lovely hybrid of American krautrockish drone slash industrial. I like the mixture of minimal musical themes plus drone plus phonography with samples.

You’ll also find a bit of repetitive and slightly unsettling porn-funk. I think I remember reading that Plaid or someone like that did music for pornos for a while. I wonder what it pays? Now that I think about it, it was probably Matmos, don’t you think?
http://www.archive.org/details/gt336Mystified-StressTest


Auzel Alternate Mix

Thursday, 07 July 2011

An alternate mix of a song from Auzel’s debut album “Old” was released yesterday on her SoundCloud… it sounds a little more spooky than the one on the album, I think.

Four (secret by the river alternate mix) by harebell


Brutum Fulmen Tape

Thursday, 07 July 2011

The new cassette release by Brutum Fulmen called “A Systematic Way to Achieve Astral Projection” has a piece where he reworks some of my sounds. Find more info about the tape here:
http://noisician.com/brutumfulmen/astral.shtml


Chernobyl

Monday, 04 April 2011

So it’s been 25 years since Chernobyl, tomorrow’s the anniversary matter of fact. I’m sure you’ll hear all about it on the news. I remember feeling vaguely queezy about Three Mile Island, but I was really kind of beside myself for this disaster, which occurred behind what was still then the Iron Curtain, even if it was pretty rusty by then.

In the intervening years, the disaster kind of took on a cult significance among industrial music fans & artists, to the point where music ‘inspired by’ the Chernobyl disaster is a trite cliché.

Nevertheless, I myself recorded a piece of music in 2007 with the drone collective Drone Forest that was inspired by the Chernobyl disaster. It wasn’t really advertised as such. It was just put out there, and only a miniscule segment of the listeners let me know that they’d made the connection.

So if you can forgive the cliché, I do recommend this, it was actually one of those ‘turning point’ recordings in my progress as a composer, and I’m quite proud of it still:

Drone Forest – Wormwood


Best of 2010 Plus: Christian Doil

Sunday, 02 February 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
7.) Mark Stolk
8.) Miquel Parera Jaques

I loved Christian Doil’s Eis release on the Just Not Normal netlabel… Here’s what I said about it:


Christian Doil – Eis
http://justnotnormal.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/jnn090-christian-doil-eis/
A chilly collection of pinging synth tones, plucky percussives and arctic belltones working through fluctuating musical themes while accompanied by icy, ghostly drones. The crystal cathedral, indeed.


I asked him to provide some listening suggestions, and although he was worried about people’s reaction to his English, I assured him that is netlabel folks will be very accepting of anyone who gives us good links to stuff we can listen to! Here are his suggestions:

I create music since 14 years (limited/underground). I began downloading ambient, drone, experimental,… – music in 2010. So I only studied the releases of the Earth Mantra netlabel, because this label my first contact. Now I study the Just Not Normal netlabel. In future I will check other labels and artists too.
That is the reason my recommendations are Earth Mantra releases.


Alex Tiuniaev: “Ethereal Winter Ambience”
http://www.earthmantra.com/release-detail.php?id=85
– You can feel the cold wind. The structure of the album is like a symphony with different parts arranged like an one-shot-film.



Altus: “Excursion One”, “Excursion Two”
http://www.altusmusic.ca/excursionone.html
http://www.earthmantra.com/release-detail.php?id=74
– You can dive in a world of shimmering lights.



Jacob Newman “Buddha Machine”
http://www.earthmantra.com/release-detail.php?id=79
– Very-deep–meditative-longform-music.

There we go… Thank you very much Christian Doil!


Best of 2010 PLUS: Miquel Parera Jaques

Tuesday, 01 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
7.) Mark Stolk

Spain’s Miquel Parera Jaques caught my ear this year, and became one of my favorite new discoveries in underground music. Here’s what I said about his 2010 release:


Miquel Parera Jaques – nx004_Automatic
http://www.archive.org/details/nx004_Automatic
Tinnitus drones moving along algorithmic flight paths. Computer music for hypnotizing organic life forms.


I asked him to provide some listening suggestions, he sent an entire podcast as a reply (download it here: http://www.archive.org/details/nx2010-00)


This year was the first I’ve heard consistently only creative commons experimental music. As you know I’ve been doing a selection of the twelve tracks of each month that I really liked. I did the same with the whole year so I have left a selection of thirteen tracks (the extra part of jnn100). Do not add comments for each release because English is not my native language and because I prefer to speak only the sound.

Perhaps the small list will serve to your blog (plus):



nx2010-00_01/ Scmute – [tn021] Kofiq – Eora



nx2010-00_02/ Coeval – [cnv58] Distante 3 – Epilogo



nx2010-00_03/ Jacob Newman – [earman119] Reflections and Diffusions – Music for Clouds



nx2010-00_04/ Fescal – [bp056] Lethal Industry – Wayfaring Geography



nx2010-00_05/ Nemeton – [nocti9] Liminal – Hypnagogic Dream



nx2010-00_06/ Susperia-Electrica – [earman132] Turmoil – Close Your Eyes See The Stars



nx2010-00_07/ Cezary Gapik – [amp066] Vol.49 – #0455



nx2010-00_08-1/ Lucette Bourdin – [earman143] Horse Heaven – Dweller in the Infinite



nx2010-00_08-2/ C.Reider – [jnn100] No-R-mal II – Will fall



nx2010-00_09/ Fabio Keiner – [pc09010-02] Without Words Without Silence – Evening Evocations III


nx2010-00_10/ Peregrino Р[rb089] El azul helado del alba РCientos de luces extra̱as iluminan la noche


nx2010-00_11/ Rakombinacje – [wh136] Izolacje Sensu – (Shockley-Read-Hall)



nx2010-00_12/ Ángel Faraldo – [modisti 18] Scelsi Remix: 7 Mantras – Aum



Download the compilation: http://www.archive.org/details/nx2010-00

More info: http://musicnumbers.wordpress.com/



Thanks Miquel!


Best of 2010 PLUS: Mark Stolk

Sunday, 01 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
http://justnotnormal.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/jnn100-various-artists-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)
http://www.headphonica.com/?p=1179
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)
http://www.pueblonuevo.cl/pn_site/index_pn060.htm
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)
http://installsound.bandcamp.com/album/improvisation-air-1
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)
http://impulsivehabitat.com/releases/ihab014.htm
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)
http://www.nohmad.net/html/netlabel_nohmad009_SheWasTrapped.html
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)
http://www.camomillemusic.com/cml002.html
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)
http://www.bfwrecordings.com/releases/Ketsa/WhatsWithoutsWithin/
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)
http://www.archive.org/details/rz186
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!


Best of 2010 PLUS: Gurdonark

Thursday, 01 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

Gurdonark’s unassuming little record from 2010 made my best-of list, here was my appraisal:


Gurdonark – Butterflies of North Texas
http://fluttersongs.blogspot.com/2010/07/gurdonark-butterflies-of-north-texas_24.html
Gurdonark’s unique brand of sampling-synth musical fancies takes a move into slightly darker territories than last year’s wonderful “Seven Virtues”. Don’t look for scary dark ambient or anything though! Self-described “kid music” with odd modes, interesting sounds and unexpected changes.


Robert Nunnally, a.k.a. Gurdonark has a few things to say, and a few recommendations to make, so let us make haste to LISTEN:


I’m a huge believer in Creative Commons music, and in a sharing culture in general. I find solace in netlabel and other free download music–a musical connection to my imagination and a sense of exploring new lanes on forgotten but welcoming highways. I see the netlabel movement less as a monolithic Tower of Babel, and more as thousands of rivulets of water which will grow into a redefining stream. Here are a few of the albums that inspired me.


Phillip Wilkerson – The Way Home
The releases at Earth Mantra, an ambient label, are quite regular and yet almost always quite inspiring. I’d like to single out one: Phillip Wilkerson’s “The Way Home”. Phillip works in both “dark” and “light” ambient music, often using vintage drones to explore new melodic hallways. “The Way Home” explores his lighter side–not the light of the new age, but the warmth of innovative sound in search of an innovative melodic sonic experience. I listen to this album when I want to find a little serenity. This album is not cheap grace, but costly discipline, in pursuit of an ambient pathway.
http://www.earthmantra.com/release-detail.php?id=154



I should also give a shout-out, while I am on this topic, to Stillstream, the ambient netradio station which is affiliated with Earth Mantra
whose playlist, shows, live performances and even live chat show what incredible vistas Creative Commons music can achieve, if a dedictated group of listeners believe in it. I offer special thanks to Palancar, the ambient artist who operates both Earth Mantra and Stillstream.com.



Altus – Black Trees Among Amber Skies
The Canadian artist Altus has released a fine body of work. His 2010 release “Black Trees Among Amber Skies” is meditative without being sterotypic meditation music. When I seek to collect my wits, I find them assorted easily on the spindles of this sound. I like the way his songs subtly shift from sound to sound, creating a whole that is more than the drone of the parts.
http://www.altusmusic.ca/blacktrees.html



I love ambient and chill music, but I am not the captive of those genres. I think that netlabel music is wonderful in a world of niches, and not just two. Here are a few releases in other genres:


Cagey House – B is for Breakfast
I love contemporary classical music and novelty songs. An artist who shares my love for each is Cagey House. His songs tend to run Ramones length, and always show a strong sense of fun. Yet the fun is only the handle on the mirror. The real fun-house is contained within the glassine core of his music, where he explores ideas from modernist music and free jazz like a
serious academic dressed as Pierrot at a costume party. Cagey House’s “B is for Breakfast” is BP 055 on the Bypass netlabel. The Bypass Netlabel wins a special prize for its DOS-style graphical user interface on its website. This album features manic melodies, absurdist spoken word sampling, and contemporary classical nods with a wink from a left eye, a right eye, and a third eye. Cagey House is netlabel music at its best–unconcerned with fashion, unafraid of fun. My music sounds nothing like Cagey House music, yet I consider him a huge influence.
http://bp.bai-hua.org/index.shtml



Lucas Gonze – Ghost Solos
Netlabel music seems too young to me to inspire urban legends, but already it has its now small-town myths. One such myth is the notion that only electronica and lo-fi experimental music emanates from the Creative Commons scene. Lucas Gonze approaches music from another place altogether. Using his guitar and a vintage mandolin, he makes recordings of public domain sheet music from the 19th and early 20th Centuries. the vibe here is not “virtuoso”, but “insightful sharer”. Those who, as I do, both completely love and to some extent nonetheless reject pop music, will be delighted to find these melodies neither as safe nor filled with sentimentality as the brochures say. In the same way that John Fahey may have been the first truly ambient artist, Lucas Gonze may define truly experimental music in our era–by way of the time machine.
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lucas_Gonze/Ghost_Solos



Adam and Alma – Back to the Sea
When we rush to the ramparts to resist pop music, let’s be sure and lose to the invasions by the
stylish songwriters who are Scandinavian at heart. The wonderful 23 seconds netlabel out of Sweden, provides unapologetic pop electronica.
Adam and Alma’s EP “Back to the Sea” mines pop and electro to create a sound that is buoyant but not drowning in pop sentimentality. The track “Smile for Me, Sun”, an upbeat, seductive flirtation with the star around which our planet orbits, may qualify as the official soundtrack to the brighter sides of 2010. Ellen Arkbro and Johan Graden, who comprise this electro duo, leave me wanting more–more vim, more vigour, and more Adam and Alma.
http://www.23seconds.org/043.htm


These are but a few of the wonderful releases that caught my eye this year–and space permits only the merest mention of German artist Entertainment for the Braindead’s
banjo madness on her EP “Roadkill” on aaahh-records.net, or Josh Woodward’s continued conquest of American pop modes on his “Ashes” release on his site joshwoodward.com. I cannot let the moment go by without a mention of Mark Stolk (Mystahr’s) amazing experimental label, Just Not Normal. There are so many fun releases available. I could go on, but I’ve gone on and on.

I agree with you, C. Reider–one way we can help spread the word about Creative Commons music is to discuss the music we love. My own tastes run a wide gamut-and I am delighted that Creative Commons music fulfills so many of my hopes and daydreams for what a new music culture will be.



Thanks Robert!


Best of 2010 PLUS: Meteer

Tuesday, 01 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

This time we’ll get Björn Asserhed’s recommendations. His musical project Meteer came out with a great album in 2010, here’s what I had to say about it:


Meteer – Unless
http://www.bfwrecordings.com/releases/Meteer/Unless/
Blocks of odd samples move in rhythmic patterns a la Biosphere or Taylor Deupree. Somehow, even with all the ring modulation and lo-fidelity and occasional distortion, (not to mention lack of overt beats) it still feels like a lush ambient techno piece.


Now then, here are recommendations from Björn of Meteer:


Hi there

Thanks for reviewing Unless EP and also for this healthy net label promo initative.
I took a tour through my archive. The following I think are really worth mentioning from 2010:


Piper_ben :: Photosynthesis EP
Deconstructed house beats fills this four track EP. The blend of sounds sounds like something from the future.
http://www.bfwrecordings.com/releases/PiperBen/Photosynthesis/



Quarterbit :: Kyoto series
Kyoto is not easy listening. The constructions breathes of playful experimentation and I cant help to love it.
http://lab.pubspaces.com/2008/06/ps004-quarterbit-kyoto-series/



Motionfield :: The sound of snow
The title is well chosen. This is an ambient snow album. Slow pads in huge halls and melodies of melancholia. Sounds going in the Biosphere direction but with its own twist.
http://passagemusic.net/index.php?id=46



Texel :: Liike EP
Analogue sounding as it is, its not at all old school. Progressive rhythms and nice, warm pads takes you to dreamland on a Boards of Canada kind of highway.
http://www.bfwrecordings.com/releases/Texel-Liike.php


Since you asked for music not related to myself I did not mention my collab project with Closer Contact, that I am most proud of in 2010:
http://www.bfwrecordings.com/releases/CloserContactMeteer/Geography/
A follow up on this album is going to released 31st of January on BFW.

Cheers
Björn Asserhed


Thanks Björn!


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