Archive for the recommended listening Category

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!


Best of 2010 PLUS: Andreas Brandal

Monday, 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

This time we’ll get Andreas Brandal’s recommendations. Here is what I had to say about his new recording from 2010:


Andreas Brandal – Breaking a Mirror
http://andreasbrandal.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/new-mini-album/
Calm cinematic soundtrack-ish atmospheres and scenarios. It is constructed like a kind of collage music, but breaks into intimate little musical themes with real instruments. Quite lovely. I will need some more of this composer’s work.


Now then, here are Andreas’ recommendations:


Here’s five good ones that come to mind – in no particular order:


Jake Vida – Drowning In Thought
http://pointlessblank.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/a2i-6-jake-vida-drowning-in-thought/



All Black Everything – Gentle Floor
http://allblackeverything.bandcamp.com/album/gentle-floor



Heu{s-k}ach – Un
http://www.monocromatica.com/netlabel/releases/tube216.htm



Ennio Mazzon – The Possibility Of Joy
http://www.restingbell.net/releases/rb068-the-possibility-of-joy



Ennio Mazzon – Skriða
http://www.q-tone.com/site/pages/releases/dl15.html


I realise that I forgot one amazing album on my list. It was originally released as a CD-R, but I see that the
band has put it up for free on their site:

Hiroshima Bird Market – “Bridge Bypass All”
http://hiroshimabirdmarket.blogspot.com/2010/07/bridge-bypass-all.html


I co-run the label Twilight Luggage. Most of our releases are available
as both free download and CD-R, so my recommendation will naturally be to check out our site 🙂

www.twilightluggage.com



Thanks Andreas!


Best of 2010 PLUS: Christopher McFall

Saturday, 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 and 2.) Marc Weidenbaum.

This time we’ll get Christopher McFall’s recommendations. Here’s what I had to say about his new release:


Christopher McFall – A Long Time Running for the Suicide Strays
http://www.archive.org/details/rb090
Sepia loops of tones & textures clustering and spreading apart. Unmissable.


Now then, here’s Christopher’s recommendations:


I’ve a few recommendations that I’ve listed below:

1. Coeval – Distante 3: This is my favorite release of 2010, period. Coeval is even more stunning with this release than in previous releases in the series. The rendered field recordings/music composition on Distante 3 convey an amazing sense of dark cinema. It’s hard to believe how under exposed Coeval’s music is because Coeval one of the best things happening out there on the field recording/ambient music circuit.
http://www.con-v.org/cnv58.html



2. Alessio Ballerini – Blanc: It’s my understanding that this music was created for a video installation. The music for this release is lush with layered textures of sound and music. Static and distortion characterizes some instances and then parts emerge exhibiting ambient soundscapes coupled with guitar, piano played in a modern classical style and field recordings. It’s an exceptional release and one not to be missed.
http://www.zymogen.net/releases/zym026/

Those are the two big ones that I have for 2010. Great stuff to be found with both of these.

Best regards,
Christopher



Thanks Christopher!


Best of 2010 PLUS: Marc Weidenbaum

Friday, 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.

This time we’ll get Marc Weidenbaum’s recommendations. His indispensable website Disquiet is one of the netlabel underground’s most important resources. He curated a compilation which was one of my favorites from 2010.


V/A – Despite the Downturn: An Answer Album
http://www.archive.org/details/DespiteTheDownturnAnAnswerAlbum
Marc Weidenbaum’s sonic activism compilation reacting to an article by Megan McArdle in the Atlantic Monthly, in which artists used the article’s accompanying illustration as a graphic score. Nice concept, and lots of cool music on here, including one piece by yours truly.


Here are his comments and recommendations:


I’d like to add one comment by way of introduction. I entirely agree with your statement that it’s “important for the netlabel underground to actually talk about netlabel music,” and not just “promote” it. I do, though, want to propose that not all talking is verbal or written. A lot of the best netlabel communication occurs in the form of remixes and collaborative projects. However, that is musicians talking to musicians, and I agree it is necessary to communicate in a more broadly accessible language — e.g., the best-of list. So, here goes. Three of these five are on netlabels, one is a podcast, and one is a project housed on a musician’s website. The latter, two, though, being freely available, strike me as being netlabel in spirit.


For a Touch Radio podcast entry, saxophonist Thomas Ankersmit did a spell of Deep Listening inside an echo-heavy Estonian hanger:
http://www.touchradio.org.uk/touchradio_56_thomas_ankersmit.html



Elisa Luu’s The Time of Waiting emphasizes variety: playful beats, quasi-orchestral extravagance, and a real keeper that artfully employs processed vocals:
http://www.archive.org/details/LBN003_-_Elisa_Luu_-_The_time_of_waiting



The music on Diego Bernal’s Besides… is the like some secret side-project team-up between Ennio Morricone and DJ Premiere, mixing atmospheric melodrama and rough beats:
http://exponential.bandcamp.com/album/besides



The track “Homage to Jack Vanarsky,” featuring viola and motorized gadget, on the album Solo Viola d’Amore by Garth Knox, sounds more and more like a duet the more you listen to it:
http://shskh.com/



Tim Prebble’s Synaesthesia project invites musicians to respond in sound to photos that he posts. In this case, one from Bali. Gamelans not required:
http://disquiet.com/2010/01/07/tim-prebble-synaesthesia/

Full list of 2010 favorites at:
http://disquiet.com/2010/12/31/best-free-releases-2010/

Happy new year.



Thanks Marc!


Best of 2010 PLUS: Mystified

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.

We’ll start off with Mystified!

The original post read:


Mystified – A Pale But Lasting Hope
http://magnatune.com/artists/albums/mystified-palehope/
Mystified puts out a lot of good stuff, and then he puts out some fucking great stuff. This release falls into the latter category. Rattling percussion elements and zigzagging synthetics form imaginary sonic structures. Loops that fall out of sync. Among my top favorite things I’ve ever heard from this artist. Please note that this release is on Magnatune, and so it streams freely, but you need to pay a $15 fee before you can download (but then you can also download everything else in their catalog).


I asked Thomas Park of Mystified to recommend a few albums that are completely free that you can download right now.
Here’s what he gave us:



Saluki Regicide– “The Shades To Appease”
Musician extraordinaire C.P. McDill brings back his project “Saluki Regicide” in a totally awesome way with lots of samples and science fiction-ey touches.
http://www.archive.org/details/wh143



Rivers of Ashes – “Breaching the Fabric”
Superb instrumental dronescapes with lots of emphasis on mood and texture.
http://www.archive.org/details/wh149



Altocumulus– “Household Apocalypse”
A mature musical mind makes mayhem with ordinary household objects and a touch of synth.
http://www.archive.org/details/Jnn115HouseholdApocalypse



Tribe Of Astronauts– “Musick For Aerodromes”
Weird and varied pieces with a connecting theme of desert mysticism. The tribe continue their eccentric journey.
http://www.archive.org/details/eg0_029



Fosel– “The Left Hand Of Darkness”
The excellent Fosel continues to evolve before our very ears with this great dark ambient / experimental release.
http://www.archive.org/details/The_Left_Hand_Of_Darkness



Also, if you’d like, you are welcome to note that “A Pale But Lasting Hope” is now available on ITunes and all major services:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/a-pale-but-lasting-hope/id409595191



There you have it!
Thanks, Thomas!


Protesting with Sighs instead of Shouts

Monday, 12 December 2010

Marc Weidenbaum of Disquiet, today released a compilation of “sonic activism” in protest of a dismissive ‘critique’ of Susan Philipsz work, and the fact of any sound artist winning the Turner Prize written by Richard Dorment, published in the Telegraph.

I was happy to have a brief piece included on the compilation… I have to say all of that music by a lot of artists that I admire, all based on the sound of sighs is pretty dreamy stuff. Great concept & execution!

I recommend reading Marc’s insightful description of the motivation for the compilation, and then downloading it, or streaming it. All of this can be done if you follow this link:

http://disquiet.com/2010/12/20/lowlands-a-sigh-collective/



Best of Netlabel Releases 2010

Sunday, 12 December 2010

It was a good year for netlabel releases, and that is for certain!
I mean it: download everything on this page. You had better.

We’ll start with a brief roundup of my releases this year and then move on to my favorite releases by other artists.

It was a bit of a sparse go-round for Vuzh Music this year, but I did put out a really great remix of a split tape from 1991 by PBK and Vidna Obmana which I hope you didn’t miss:


C. Reider – Fragment Three Re-Works
http://www.vuzhmusic.com/releases/fragment.html

Dark Winter netlabel also put out a collaboration between me & Desohll of a longform guitar darkambient piece. Quite dark, somewhat ambient as well.


C. Reider / Desohll – Falling into Disrepair
http://www.darkwinter.com/dw072.html

I’m pretty sure 2011 is going to see a whole lot more activity at Vuzh Music, so watch out!

Now on to my favorite netreleases this year. All but one are free to download. They are presented here in alphabetical order, because I could not rate them, they’re all too good.



Andreas Brandal – Breaking a Mirror
http://andreasbrandal.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/new-mini-album/
Calm cinematic soundtrack-ish atmospheres and scenarios. It is constructed like a kind of collage music, but breaks into intimate little musical themes with real instruments. Quite lovely. I will need some more of this composer’s work.



Das, Jeph Jerman, John Hudak, PBK – Chain Mail Collab June 28, 1988
http://soundgenetic.blogspot.com/2010/11/das-jeph-jerman-john-hudak-pbk-chain.html
Old school looping industrial noise. This sound never gets old for me.



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.



The Euphoric Hum – A Circle of Equal Altitude
http://www.archive.org/details/isor016ACircleOfEqualAltitude
Churning noisy ambience that intensifies and dissipates in dramatic ways. New sounds continually enter the mix, keeping things interesting. A sort of diffuse industrial/minimal techno throb emerges from the ambient noise.



Fosel – Problem of Universals (C. Reider Remixes)
http://earthmantra.com/release-detail.php?id=146
Is it bad form to nominate this as a best of 2010 when it’s a remix of my own music? Well, for me it honestly is a great album. Ambient beat music done beautifully.



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.



The Implicit Order – s/t
http://www.archive.org/details/sPE_0049
I’ve been a full-throated advocate for the music of Anthony Washburn for years. This new effort does not disappoint. His haunting blend of looping samples alternate between creepy and jarring, and is always intriguing. “Dumb Generation” = great song title!



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.



John Kannenberg – Oculus
http://www.wanderingear.com/we014.html
The basis of this album is a set of site recordings of various video projection mechanisms in art museums. High strength of concept and execution. Those gorgeous ultra high frequencies in “Television Monitor”, jeez, how did he do that so beautifully?



Christopher McFall – A Long Time Running for the Suicide Strays
http://www.archive.org/details/rb090
Sepia loops of tones & textures clustering and spreading apart. Unmissable.



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.



Mutamassik – That Which Death Cannot Destroy
http://www.roughamericana.com/publicfiles/MUTAMASSIKThatWhichDeathCannotDestroy___.zip
Messed up hip-hop instrumental music with middle Eastern samples, the beats start off totally mutant and then they go and mutate some more. Fans of Muslimgauze will enjoy this.



Mystified – A Pale But Lasting Hope
http://magnatune.com/artists/albums/mystified-palehope/
Mystified puts out a lot of good stuff, and then he puts out some fucking great stuff. This release falls into the latter category. Rattling percussion elements and zigzagging synthetics form imaginary sonic structures. Loops that fall out of sync. Among my top favorite things I’ve ever heard from this artist. Please note that this release is on Magnatune, and so it streams freely, but you need to pay a $15 fee before you can download (but then you can also download everything else in their catalog).



Kurt Nimmo (Fosel) – Complex Silence 8
http://www.archive.org/details/complex_silence_8
No fair, Mr. Fosel made it to the list twice this year! This guy puts out some great damned percussive ambient music. Includes a remix of Phillip Wilkerson and two remixes of C. Reider. Bonus points for the Kurt Vonnegut reference. Not sure whom to credit, because the cover says Fosel and the ID3 tags say Kurt Nimmo. Ah well.



Olifaunt – Innocent of the Smoke and Noise
http://www.archive.org/details/InnocentOfTheSmokeAndNoise
Olifaunt just keeps improving and improving. I think this is the best outing yet from this composer. Extremely minimal, quiet, calming string work with elements of drone/trance and musical progression. Very pretty ambient album.



PBK – Appeal
http://soundgenetic.blogspot.com/2010/12/pbk-appeal-1989.html
A newly remastered digital re-release of a cassette from 1989. Early PBK tapes were pretty heavily loved by me, so it’s great to hear them again all cleaned up! Industrial quality machine noise that accumulates a calmed atmosphere better than most ambient music… pricks at your imagination.



V/A – Despite the Downturn: An Answer Album
http://www.archive.org/details/DespiteTheDownturnAnAnswerAlbum
Marc Weidenbaum’s sonic activism compilation reacting to an article by Megan McArdle in the Atlantic Monthly, in which artists used the article’s accompanying illustration as a graphic score. Nice concept, and lots of cool music on here, including one piece by yours truly.



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.


Plastikman Remix

Monday, 12 December 2010

Here’s a remix I did for a contest being hosted by Coca Cola, Burn Studios & SoundCloud. I don’t normally participate in these kinds of things, but I really dig Plastikman & thought it’d be fun to do a mix.

Mine doesn’t go “oontzz oontzz oontzz” much. I have a feeling that the winning entry will go “oontzz oontzz oontzz”. One doesn’t have to “win” to succeed however.

PLASTIKMAN – Ask Yourself (C. Reider Remix @burnstudios) by vuzhmusic


Response to Silent World of Netlabels

Wednesday, 11 November 2010

There is, in this mini essay by Mixgalaxy Records, a discussion we should be having in the netlabel underground.

Clearly, yes, there is very little intracommunication between netlabel artists who do not already know each other… there is very, very little community-wide feedback. This is something I’ve been saying for years. I had the great pleasure of having participated in the final ‘golden years’ of the cassette underground. With each tape trade there was an exchange of letters, and often there was a follow up once both traders had a chance to listen to the other’s work. Sometimes this led to a friendly connection. Other times just a polite comaradery, or in some cases a dismissive ‘nice try, just not my kinda thing’. For what it was, there was at least some feedback, even if brief.

The author of the Mixgalaxy essay is correct to accuse the netlabel underground of ‘silence’. It’s shameful the total vacuum that people’s efforts disappear into. I may not necessarily be composing my own music for an audience, but I do feel it’s part of the experience to occasionally have someone contact me and say “Hey, really weird stuff… I dig it.” As Gurdonark says in the comments to the Mixgalaxy post “A listener need not spend 16 dollars on a CD to download a netlabel album, but spending 30 seconds on an e mail or 5 seconds on a tweet is a form of ‘payment’ netlabel owners crave.

My biggest beef with the netlabel underworld has long been that although I myself am constantly listening to netlabel releases by artists that I frequently 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 of other netlabel supporters doing the same. Most of the time the only interaction some netlabels/artists have with anyone is a promo blurb about some new release — or ten new releases. There may as well be a mechanoid behind some of these labels. Do they listen to their peers? Do they even know their peers exist? Who knows? But hey, they have several new releases this month. Why even participate in a community if you don’t want to communicate?

Where I disagree with the author is the false dichotomy of netlabel with commercial music. I don’t see that the average artist in the net underground is at all ‘hoping for that big break’ that’ll help them cross that supposed thin line that separates the two worlds, and they’ll suddenly be rich and famous. Net artists have embraced obscurity, and why not? Obscurity is a virtue. Yes; we all want more listeners, yes; we even want fans, but the kind of music most of us make is just never going to have a hope of being popular, and we all know it. I for one am happy to reach more and more listeners, but I am happy with a slow and small accumulation of appreciative listeners. I feel like I can be honest to my own creative direction (which is something I take very seriously), with this approach. I may be misreading the essay, but I simply don’t agree with the diagnosis that netlabels’ problems have to do with money not being involved. I think the free aesthetic is one of the strongest bonding elements we all have.

I want a more inclusive and supportive community of netlabel artists than there is currently. Perhaps this can change. I have seen signs lately that point to ‘scene boosting’ activity… the Mixgalaxy Records blog post itself is a pretty good sign of this.

It occurs to me, perhaps, that what the community might have a need for is a more centralized method of communication. Mail art had some central hubs… Ashley Parker Owens’ Global Mail filled that role for a while. The cassette underground had Gajoob, and later Autoreverse (among others)… the net underground is completely de-centralized, which can be a strength, but it definitely doesn’t lead to a sense of community. Right now, it’s every man/label for himself. I may not be the chummiest guy in the whole wide world, but I sure as shit reject that kind of isolationism.


Golden Misesians

Saturday, 10 October 2010

Here’s a new exclusive track on SoundCloud:

Golden Misesians by vuzhmusic

“And in these times there will rise a sect of golden idiot monks, who will lead many down a path of lunacy and ruin. They will promise freedom if you will only give THEM the power.”


This is actually a radical (of course) remix of an earlier exclusive SoundCloud release called “Socialism is Evil”:

Socialism is Evil by vuzhmusic


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