All too often a promising young artist releases a brilliant album and then disappears forever, almost like the process of that first album was too much like capturing lightning in a bottle, to use a cliche. For the past couple years, I had worried that was going to happen with Sanso-Xtro (Melissa Agate), whose Sentimentalist for Type Records in 2005 is easily one of their best releases and definitely one of my personal favorites. Slightly influenced from the IDM and electro-acoustical communities that birthed Type, Sentimentalist set itself apart from other releases by having an organic and textural quality brought on by a pick of loose percussion and dreamy synths that didnâ€™t quite match up in the same way that most music did at the time. There was certainly an element of jazz here, mixed with post-rock, mixed with folk, mixed withâ€¦ everything. And for the past six years, thatâ€™s all there was, one perfect album, in danger of never being expanded upon. Fortunately, Agate has resurfaced this year with the wonderful Fountain Fountain Joyous Mountain album, picking right up where she left off, but more mature and more beautiful. More
Like a Scientist designed the logo for film company Kojak Creative.
My first contact with Matthew Mercer came about almost ten years ago through mutual friends. We immediately bonded over criss-crossing musical tastes and a constant hunger for new stuff to listen to. He was also an extremely talented composer with formal training and a real ear for tension. Early music was under the Systm name and fit in with the IDM sound of Autechre, Phonem, Arovane, etc. His progression into dance music was soon piqued by the glitch techno work of Akufen and the way that IDM sounds were given a new lease through 4/4. Soon enough he was releasing singles on Forte and Neutonmusic which bridged the gaps between techno, IDM, glitch, and electro. More
Doesnâ€™t seem like that long ago that I posted about a bunch of great downloadable releases for free. Some of the below are free, or name your price, with one or two that are benefit compilations. Itâ€™s all pretty great stuff in the beats and synths range of hip-hop and electronic arena. Big fan of all of these. More
One of the tracks on Moa Pillarâ€™s new EP, The Moon and Thunder Dance, first appeared on the excellent free compilation from Error Broadcast called Fly Russia, which I previously reviewed. About that particular track I said: â€śI canâ€™t really think of anything in immediate memory that bangs quite so hard as Moa Pillarâ€™s â€śWater Lilyâ€ť (with the exception of Slugabed, maybe), a track that goes along way to making chirping bleeps the most menacing sound in existence. Perhaps itâ€™s the tumbling drums behind it? Or the blunt instrument bass rolling along underneath it all? This is definitely how you start a compilation.â€ť More
100% of the proceeds from this new digital compilation will go to the Japan Red Cross to help with the relief effort there. 49 tracks, many of them exclusive, available for about $15.00. As of this morning, they have raised about $9,000.00 and are hoping to get to $10,000.00 in the next 24 hours. Amazing artists that have been covered here such as Rudi Zygadlo, Slugabed, Kode9, Illum Sphere, kidkanevil, Doshy, Pete Sasqwax, Kper, Virtual Boy, etc. Please go here to read more: Nihon Kizuna and go here to purchase via Bandcamp: V/A â€“ Nihon Kizuna. Itâ€™s quite amazing to think that this huge collection of music came together in only 5 days and has already raised a large amount of money.
Decided to do a quick badly-mixed mix today. A bunch of stuff Iâ€™m really enjoying at the moment. Most of this music is from the first 3 or 4 months of 2011, including a couple yet-to-be-released tracks. Like I said above: itâ€™s badly mixed, so donâ€™t expect too much. Track list and download link below. More
Trawling my Facebook feed today, I noticed that Doshy linked to a compilation he has a track on. When I got home, I downloaded Mad-Hop Vol. 1 and started listening to itâ€¦always pays to listen to a free compilation, of course. Holy shit, there is some ridiculous beats on this thing. Anyway, it reminded me I hadnâ€™t posted anything in awhile and I thought I would look through my 2011 downloads and mixes folders to see whatâ€™s up. Check these gratis music releasesâ€¦.now! More
When I was putting together my lists for the end of the year, I noticed one particular name that kept coming up again and again: Starkey. It led me to thinking about all of his output for 2010 and eventually the idea of a most valuable player in bass music formed. I canâ€™t think of anyone more deserving. Read why. More
I grapple with the age of free downloadable music because I really do believe in the idea that artists should be paid for entertaining me. However, there is a certain logic to promotional giveaways. Many times when I download music like the stuff below, I end up supporting the artists or labels in different ways. Buying their latest single or EP on iTunes, getting the word out on Twitter, etc. Still, though, sometimes I worry that that this much free stuff out there devalues music in general, makes people expect for all music to be free. That entitled expectation leads to the road of piracy, â€śWhy should I pay for it when I can keep my money and just get it here?â€ť And to be honest, some of these compilations are better than commercially released ones, anyway. In that light, I feel like giving them their own post is appropriate. More
Mixes are the primary way I find new music these days. There is so much out there to be listened to, its wonderful to have great DJs out there distilling the best of it down to hour-long chunks. The 15 mixes here are the best ones I can remember from the hundreds that were put out this year. I definitely played some of these more than anything this year. However, as always, its a small selection and by no means the final word on mixes. More