Archive for the ‘netlabel’ Category

Mystified – “Sovereign”

November 18, 2015

So here’s a release that needs a little unpacking– in 2001, Robin Storey released an album under his Rapoon solo project called “Cold War: Drum ‘N’ Bass,” which set Storey’s ambient looping against drum and bass figures. Although I wouldn’t have guessed at the theme in a million years without the help of thematic titles and imagery, the music largely functions as a means for Storey to re-examine the beauty of his own remembered places from childhood against the omnipresent apparatus of the military and state. Although I enjoy Rapoon, (and perhaps to a greater extent, Storey’s involvement in Zoviet France) there is a definite English sensibility to the music that, as it draws heavily on memory and shared experience, I will freely admit I am not able to entirely share. Works from The Advisory Circle or Belbury Poly are similar in this regard.

Still, some of these nostalgic elements are shared– and unfortunately, so is the experience of growing up and realizing that some of these fond memories contain more menacing elements. Perhaps this is the experience that Mystified draws upon for his self-described “tribute” to “Cold War: Drum ‘N’ Bass,” a freely-released collection called “Sovereign.”

For Mystified’s part, the unpacking is likely in two parts. On the one hand, a colleague and fan’s personal history with the original album itself. Mystified has always been up-front with his admiration of Storey, and of the Rapoon project in particular. Although Mystified releases happily carry their own weight (or I would not deal with them at all) there is doubtless a certain artistic push or inspiration that must be acknowledged. On the other hand, there is Mystified’s own experience of re-examining memory– of course, it is complicated by the prior concerns. It’s a conundrum, a loop, formed from another’s memories and experiences; impossible for an outside party to fully discern.

So where does that leave the listener? Perhaps, right where Mystified intends us to be– suspended in an uneasy repetition of shadowy motives and retreating understanding. Like “Sovereign” itself, the simplicity is only skin-deep, and the complexity is entirely dependent on how far you’ll continue into the rabbit hole.

Mystified – “Sovereign” on Treetrunk

Liveblogging! Commentary for “Sounds Like Radio” 4/11/10

April 11, 2010

I’m joining you for today’s broadcast of “Sounds Like Radio,” on WSIU-FM. You can listen online, or locally on 91.9 FM.

You can reach WSIU’s listener line and leave a voice mail about the show by calling 618-453-8272. Go ahead and call– I want to hear what you have to say! You can also send WSIU an e-mail, which is just as good. You can also join me in chat!

The show just started. My vocals sounded a bit quiet. The music sounds great– this episode is solely comprised of netlabel works, so you can download everything you hear for free, legally. The current work is “Solid State,” by Greg Surges. This piece reminds me a lot of John Cage and Lejaren Hiller’s “HPSCHD,” actually. Oh! The vocals just improved a bit. This sounds a lot better. Now I’m playing Markus Jones’ “Send and Receive,” from Con-V. I love the ebb and flow of this recording; it’s a real favorite of mine.

I’m looking forward to hearing me pronounce the next cut. Did I get it right? Martin Back’s piece is available on the Modisti netlabel– lots of good stuff there.

Whew! Lots to do this morning. I neglected to get my playlist entered into the WSIU database, which is quite comprehensive. There’s start/end times, durations, etc… so timing is pretty important. It’s just about tapped out my meager mental resources this early in the morning, haha.

Hooray! I just got the playlist live on the site. That’s some quick typing, wow. Now I’m going to try getting this liveblog back on track. I’m listening to the last Martins Rokis/Kaspar Groshevs cut right now. This is some seriously unsettling stuff to be sitting around in the dark, listening to on headphones! Still, it sounds great. I also really enjoyed the Rafiev/Borisov track, probably even more than I dug it when I first heard it. I’m going to have to sit down with that full album sometime in the next couple days, now that my taste has been piqued again.

I just saw Tatsuya Nakatani a couple weeks back over at SIUC, during the Out of the Box Festival of avant-garde music. What a player! I’m glad I’d included this track from the Insubordinations netlabel, it was nice to be able to let him know that he was getting airplay down here.

I hope you enjoyed the show! I’m heading back to sleep now– good morning, good night!

Greg Surges — Solid State
Markus Jones — Send and Receive
Martin Back — Study for Diaphonus Transforms Melopsittacus Undulatus
Pau Torres — John Leo Crow, pt. 2
Pau Torres — John Leo Crow, pt. 3
Pau Torres — John Leo Crow, pt. 4
Pau Torres — John Leo Crow, pt. 5
Pau Torres — John Leo Crow, pt. 6
Zafka — Yonghe
Alexei Rafiev, Alexei Borisov — Prayer of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Martins Rokis, Kaspars Groshevs — 051509
Martins Rokis, Kaspars Groshevs — 062609
Claudia Bonarelli — Starfield Simulation Series 8, parts 2-4
Joel Grip, Christian Munthe, Tatsuya Nakatani — Tralfamadorian Tempus

Reviews for 12/7/09

December 7, 2009

Various Artists – “Crows of the World, Volume 2” – Last Visible Dog

It took an extra year, but economics being what they are, I’m still happy to see Volume 2 of this set make it out of the gate. As nearly as I can tell this is an entirely new group of artists for this compilation, though it’s still well within what you’d expect from Last Visible Dog. Excepting “Skull Death Dive,” the opening burnt-out garage jam from Bury My Heart, this is a rather subtle disc. Ashtray Navigations and RST evince a heavier end of drone; but selections like Juppala Kaapio’s “Kagami Hebi” and Renato Rinaldi’s “The Bite” are gentle tours through an aural wonderland of unexpected sounds and odd direction. Basically, a lot to recommend already– but in truth, the highlight of the disc is “Movements Under Water” by Bosch’s With You. I was hanging Christmas lights outdoors while listening to it, and didn’t notice until much later that I had been mentally comparing the sounds of its slow-motion ringing to how I expected the twinkling lights to look. Strange thoughts for an afternoon here in Smallsville. Thanks, LVD!

Various Artists – “Serge Modular Users 2009” – Resipiscent

Go fig– a totally geeky compilation devoted to a synth I’ve never previously heard of, and it still manages to be completely enjoyable. This is synth how I like it: fifteen tracks of analog exploration, soundscapes, gut-shaking bass, and general weirdness. John DuVal’s “Distress Call” and Cebec’s “Transformer Substation” take a fairly understandable direction (alternately evoking a plaintive signal from deep space, and electrical mayhem), but others’ contributions are far more abstract. Still, if I drop the title of Carlos Giffoni’s “All the Mistakes I Made During the Caribbean Winter;” I have no problem getting into his bumpy, meandering series of increasingly hectic bleeps and buzzes. Most importantly, everyone involved seems happy to let their synths be synths without attempting to simulate trumpets, pianos, etc. A good set of liner notes (including complex directions for using one’s own Serge as a vocoder) complete this disc; which I recommend for fans of vintage electronics, Louis and Bebe Barron, and banana plugs.

Markus Jones – “Send & Receive” – Con-V

The Serge Modular compilation got me thinking about this free netlabel release, from May of this year. Markus Jones took what might have been an opportunity for some IT workplace phonography, and turned it into something much better– a chance to record actual sound transferred across a network, utilizing some 16 servers and 1200 ports for the sound data. The result is a highly-varied pulsing cloud of sound events, oddly seeming to have some internal structure that occasionally comes across to the listener. This isn’t a straight recording, Jones does mention some real-time manipulation of the sounds, but “Send & Receive” retains an exotic quality nonetheless.

More free things for you to hear!

November 5, 2007

I am neatly side-stepping my previously self-made trap of numbering the free things I want to share with you. Last time, three turned into six, and six was nine… and there’s my half-assed attempt to lead into a Jimi pun!

Anyways, let’s kick off the free things with a video, how about it? Sabrina Siegel, one of my new favorite artists, has shared a “making of” short on YouTube. The video shows some of her work constructing “Yom Kippur,” an outstanding track on her recent Pax Recordings release “Grace/Precarious.” I’ll only embed it here if you promise to bop over to her profile and leave a nice comment. Nobody likes sharing their videos and not seeing a friendly comment!

Here’s a cool one for you– Mike Hallenbeck’s must-hear “Tactile: Improvisations” at Addenda. Crumpling paper or leaves around a stereo microphone, dragging the poor thing out of bed early in the morning, or just plain massaging it with his hands; Hallenbeck wrestles an amazing variety of sounds from simple interactions. It’s one of the most physical recordings I’ve heard, and naturally goes great with Siegel’s work above. Any chance I can convince you two to collaborate on a series of long-form recordings involving contact mics, itchy sweaters, and dried pasta? Somehow, I think this would work.

Next stop on this journey is netlabel Digitalbiotope, to download yourself a copy of Kuz.B’s piece “Wenesday By Bus.” The tracks, which were presented as part of the October 8, 2006 portion of that year’s 97-day-long streaming audio festival Le Placard. Speaking of which, I need to sign up for this year’s broadcasts! It’s been too long since I contributed, eek.

While you’re still at Digitalbiotope, you might also want to check out Italian improvisational trio Clan’s release of “Venerdi 17 Improvisation.” This will give you ample opportunity to get acquainted with this outfit– important, because their newest release is the subject of the next paragraph!

To cut straight to it, you can find Clan’s newest set of improvisations, Dur d’ona oregia” at Polish netlabel AudioTong. If your right-click is still strong, be sure to snag LeeDVD’s pop oddity lenajgiwittuju” as well. It’s super-weird, but a fun listen. I may find a place on my jukebox for this one, actually.

Now it’s time to wrap this up. I’m tired, and more or less ready for bed. I’ve got one more for you, though, so let’s be quick– netlabel Zeromoon’s release “Static Attack,” from Ken Yates solo project Caustic Castle. Featuring processed no-input mixing board work, it easily earns the “caustic” portion of the name in the first few moments of the recording. I don’t know a lot about Yates, but I imagine he’d be interesting to catch in a live setting. If anyone has more information about his recordings, be sure to leave me a comment!

Enjoy! –DaveX

Digital delivery = hope for diversity in music

September 28, 2007

As usual, I was thinking about music the other day, specifically about how so few artists receive airplay on radio. Although the statistics I have read are often contradictory, misleading, or biased in favor of propaganda from many sources; it is clear that the overall trend is towards greater ownership of media by ever-larger companies, with fewer “approved” artists receiving airplay.

It’s not really a ground-breaking concept. Commercial radio has been searching for a near-mythical perfect model of airplay for decades now– one awful scheme involved a series of colored lights which told DJs when to play certain cuts, and of course, today’s automated “Jack” stations are thoroughly researched beforehand to not only provide a sterile simulacrum of “shuffle mode,” but to milk those well-known singles to the last drop.Outside the tiny world of community radio, it seems that diversity is being strangled to death, curb-stomped, and memory-holed for good measure. Here in Southern Illinois, I am still somewhat surprised to note that neither of our two large malls feature any kind of music store– not even a bland Sam Goody. For the approximately 300,000 people comprising Southern Illinois, only Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and two local-owned music stores exist. Three of these are located in a single town. (more…)

A_dontigny — “Geisteswissenschaften”

August 21, 2007

For quite some time now, there has been no shortage of art that has made comment on the increasing speed with which we are collectively bombarded with communication. Really, the issue has been approached from every conceivable angle– from Alvin Toeffler’s predictive “Future Shock,” to John Cage’s absurdist “HPSCHD,” to Negativland’s panicked track “Quiet” on “Escape From Noise,” to Satanicpornocultshop’s revelatory album “Anorexia Gas Balloon;” which embraced detritus as an aesthetic.

It would also be easy to make the case that nearly the entire noise genre is a composite of reaction to (and acceptance of) this bombardment, at times rendering even Toeffler’s worst scenarios relatively tame.

Unless you’re living under a rock, this isn’t really fresh material. But of course, artists are products of their environment– so the question becomes, “how do I make this new?”A_dontigny, half of morceaux_de_machines and a full fan of the underscore, seems to have found himself in such a position with his first solo album for the No Type label, “Geisteswissenschaften.” For those who aren’t aware, this mouthful of text is more or less the German translation of “Humanities,” as in the study of, etc…

Much like such studied pursuits, attempting to nail down “Geisteswissenschaften” is equally futile. Dontigny flirts at the edge of enough nearly-familiar material and structure to confound any sort of pigeon-holing, meaningful categorization, or understanding. It’s as if he is standing in a secret area of a Venn diagram, particularly in the impressively-crafted tracks featuring composer Paul Dolden. This is intricate music, filled with conflicting patterns which alternate from being ridiculously wrong to being surprisingly right.

I don’t know if it was A_dontigny’s intent to create a document so laced with examples of our futile struggle for understanding in a world fraught with miscommunication, sheer multitudes of perception, and the odd monkeywrench; but nevertheless, that’s what I’m taking away from it. On a more positive note however, I am still heartened to find that where A_dontigny may see the impossibility of ultimate understanding, he is drawn to create regardless.

In the end, this urge may be where the real redemption of “Geisteswissenschaften” comes about– acknowledging that no answer may appear, but that the question is worth asking.

“Improv For Folded Signals” online!

May 23, 2007

liner_detail_1.jpgAs I’ve previously mentioned, following delivery of a sold-out Naked Arrival release, I am making the full work available online for free download. With the receipt of (and subsequent experimental blog activity about) the two-disc, three-cassette edition of “Improv for Folded Signals,” you can now find the entire work at it’s netlabel page.

Here is a short description I wrote for the download page:

“”Improv for Folded Signals” is constructed from multiple recordings of a single experimental radio action, where numerous streaming instances of a single live broadcast were “folded” back into the mix, utilizing John Roach and Willy Whips’s Simultaneous Translator software. The resulting sounds were recorded separately on three cassettes placed at different locations within the broadcast studio. Later, these cassettes were combined in an artistic fashion to create a monolithic mix of differing “viewpoints” of the original action.”

I hope you’ll take the time to check this out— I am incredibly pleased with the results, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well.

“Tenex” Reviewed at the Internet Archive!

May 7, 2007

Nashville musician (and proud first-edition “Tenex” owner) Tony Youngblood posted his review of this first-edition release at Naked Arrival’s Internet Archive page. In the interest of filling every corner of the net with Naked Arrival-related content, I’ve posted his interview below. Enjoy it!

Completely random photo selected by Tony Youngblood“Teleconferencing as Ocean Wave”

“A casual listener may write off Naked Arrival’s first release “Tenex” as a hodge-podge of overlapping voices, a smattering of “your call is important to us” muzak and not much else. But there is great depth here.

Tenex was created using Skype’s conference call feature. The composer DaveX called up a number of hotlines, help lines and government agencies and let the magic unfold. Some were recordings, requiring keypad entry. Others were live customer service agents. DaveX never contributed to the conversation except for the occasional random keypad entry.

What raises this release above simple cacophony is the interplay between calls. Sometimes customer service agents will try to speak to the caller. They are reacting to the sounds they hear, unknowingly contributing. In this way, they become oblivious performers.  Everything affects and plays off of everything else. Sometimes, layers and layers of voices and muzak duel, creating entirely new sounds. Near the beginning, so many voices overlap that all aural coherence breaks down; and we hear one single, never-before heard instrument. Don’t pay attention to what anyone is saying — the important thing here is the the whole, the flow, an organic wave that is sometimes a tsunami and sometimes a calm and solitary peak.”

Looks like I have my work cut out for me; I’ve got some liner notes to write for Youngblood’s kick-ass upcoming album. You’ll hear the trumpets when it comes out– but until that fully righteous day, you’ll need to make do with this free download.

“Improv for Folded Signals”

May 4, 2007

I am incredibly happy– I am finished with Naked Arrival’s second release, “Improv for Folded Signals.”

nrrlogob.jpg It is available now in, in a limited run of three. Each are somewhat different, so here’s the setup:

Essentially, this is an improvisation I did at WDBX-FM, utilizing a program that allowed me to bring multiple instances (I used as many as five) of the station’s streaming signal, and route them BACK into the program itself. Naturally, this created a rather thick drone. I used multiple cassettes to capture the board signal, as well as two “in-studio” recordings, which were mixed together to create a super-mix. On this mix, there are as many as 15 instances of the original signal.

Kotra & Zavolonka – “Wag the Swing”

March 21, 2007

Always lush, but only part-time melodic, Kotra and Zavolonka’s Kvitnu release “Wag the Swing” is an often-fractured continuation of many ideas the pair began with their earlier collaboration “To Kill the Tiny Groovy Cat,” from Nexsound.

Constructed with bass, record players, blank CDs, voice, and “other machines,” much of “Wag the Swing” lurches from one place to another– and while everything sounds great, the brevity of many of the tracks leaves listeners little time to “inhabit” each of the strange presentations before moving on to something else. Although many tracks could easily take listeners along for quite some time, only six of the total twenty-four go beyond three and a half minutes.

Still, there are a lot of interesting sounds, and the production values are to be commended. “Swing Me, Swing You” pits a simple bass line– almost a portion of a bass line, really– against whistles, gravel scratches, popping cable noise, and a near-random pseudo-waterphone sound. The track doesn’t come together as much as it is forced to get along. Before four minutes has passed, you’re dropped into “Silver Poem,” which at barely over a minute long, is little more than a sniff of static, feedback, buzzing, and flapping strings. This might work inside the relatively common harsh noise “hit ’em hard and retreat” aesthetic, but there’s nothing harsh about this release. Despite the abundance of clipped glitches, splintered bass, and sauntering crackles; “Wag the Swing” avoids painful territory. Think Oval, not Merzbow.

Nevertheless, the times where this album fails is more due to the sheer number of new ideas being presented than any musical drought. Ironically, with so little time for listeners to adjust to the next new idea– and the subsequent array of new sounds– these incredible differences become somewhat similar, confused and mashed about in your mind; a sort of clamor unheard.

Before I finish I really have to mention the cover art for this release, which looks like a graphic score illustrated by a space-age retro enthusiast. The image you see here does it no justice– this is a gorgeous cover, with metallic inks, raised lettering, the works. It matches the extreme level of detail heard on the album, and begs to be prominently displayed.

Malebolge – “Evil Pouches”

March 7, 2007

This CDR release, released by the Umbrella Noise Collective and Roil Noise, is not unlike the concentric circles of Hell it being referenced from the Divine Comedy– for contained within the disc are many separate concepts, artists, and one seriously dead Italian author.

The quick version is that Rabbit Girls created some hyperactive breakbeat rhythms,  and gave a shopping list of track times to Ctephin for random noise generation. The two were finessed together with the gentlest of nudges, and voila! Instant album. If that wasn’t ballsy enough, Ctephin goes ahead and names everything after sections of the “Inferno” portion of the Divine Comedy. Why not?

Fortunately, it all sounds just fine. Believe me, it’s not the best way to make an album– there’s plenty of things a couple of noise artists might have stuck together that certainly wouldn’t have worked–  so its a happy accident that “Evil Pouches” listeners end up with some really nice moments where the rhythm and the noises switch places, grapple with one another, or dissolve into an aural slurry.

But while I’m not about to give anybody a hard time for a musical experiment, the inclusion of Dante can seem a bit forced, even fraudulent, considering Dante’s inclusion as an afterthought. Do the artists believe noise listeners to be too closed-minded to accept that an album doesn’t have to be “about” something? With any sort of distance, of course, its hard to tell– and there is certainly no need for finger-pointing– everyone involved (well, except the dead guy) lives and breathes for art, and probably works a “real” job besides.

Anyhow, don’t leave yourself in review-land Limbo.  The mp3s are free at Umbrella Noise, or order the CDR from Roil and get the nifty artwork featuring one of Gustave Dore’ woodcuts.

“Love Film Greats”

March 5, 2007

If you thought the world of noise art was deeply paradoxical, try kitsch for a minute. This gaudy beauty– which has alternately been declared the antithesis of the avant-garde, fuel for totalitarianism, and “the absolute denial of shit;” is undeniably popular.

Kitschy albums are like the bizarro-world version of noise– where noise remains relatively unavailable despite the numerous limited-edition recordings of a handful of well-known practicioners, the best kitsch is easily obtained anywhere from a gigantic group of interchangably faceless performers. In the end, both remain more or less obscure, with a large number of listeners who would be hard-pressed to discern one album from the next.

Of course, it is in this twilight area of paradox that the best art is created. The California-based Big City Orchestra seems happily at home here with their Roil Noise release of “Love Film Greats,” a cover disc of an entire album of covers by The Big City Orchestra, surely one of many little-known outfits to record the theme from “A Summer Place.”

The album itself is highly intriguing. BCO re-works well-known themes into jangly electro-folk, unsettling horror-movie re-imaginings (and I’m thinking of the “Love Story” theme here), and even something like electronic exotica. The best feature of this album is that the performers show quite a bit of respect for the original material– retaining the elements that got a song like “Friendly Persuasion” an Academy nomination, but dispensing with the syrupy pandering common to practically everyone covering the material since.

For those with the occasional taste for Les Baxter or Lenny Dee, but not uncomfortable with contemporary sound art, this is required listening. (Also includes volume 15 of the BCO Sound Effects Library!)

“Does Utmost”

March 4, 2007

With two live tracks, the Roil Noise offering of Torturing Nurse “Does Utmost,” is one of those confrontational releases that almost automatically split listeners along is/isn’t “time well spent” lines. The fact is that this simply isn’t a release for everyone– the ecstatic nature of this release (especially of the first track, “You Are My Jonky”) will leave less visibly passionate, inward listeners cold. It’s hard to explain this sort of “release” to people– being within the moment, perceiving the flow of energy and ideas as they channel through you– but it’s a powerful feeling readily apparent here.

Again, especially with the first track, a perceptive listener could make the case that “junk” noise such as this is the musical equivalent of speaking in tongues. It may not be comprehensible thought, but is there such in a speechless cry for help either? In a way, it is our common experience that makes this sort of “speech” understandable– if you’ve “been there,” you’ll get it.

But don’t let me convince you that enjoying this recording is limited to the exclusive domain of wild people living on the periphery. The second track, “Schizophrenia,” is much more controlled. Harmonica, abused snare, ground loops, and pressure-hose noises contribute to a rattling drone with enough detail for repeat listening.

The sound quality of “Does Utmost” is as good as I would expect– it lacks some of the depth a studio recording might have, but doesn’t suffer from any serious loss, either. And the cover! This could easily be a killer poster. I’m loving the rodeo cowboy font– shades of Patsy Cline, yeah!


March 4, 2007

Currently one of the newest physical releases from Roil Noise’s CDR side, Rabbit Girls’ business card-sized mini lists on the RNO website as “a dreamy remix of the original track.” With more syllables in the title than minutes in the track, there isn’t a whole lot for this reviewer to dissect– Rabbit Girls lay down a push-pull drone of a single tone, occasionally thicken it somewhat, and add fleeting artifacts that often make you wonder if you’re hearing something outside your headphones, or within. Perhaps it was these transient sounds that inspired the title.

As for sound quality, I can’t detect any real flaws, though the track start is a bit sudden. An impressive low end sounds best on my speakers, and gave my desk a good rattle.  After more than a few listens, I’m fairly certain I hear super-slowed vocals as well. Someone with the appropriate software might have fun speeding this up to see if there is a hidden message about the thing on the cover. Is it lumpy soap? A brick? A brownie? Who makes a stamp like this?

Commentary for “It’s Too Damn Early” 3/3/07

March 3, 2007

For today’s show, I decided to have a label “highlight.” In this case, the lucky label was Roil Noise, Kansas City-based net (and cdr) label with an inclusive take on the too-often compartmentalized world of noise. Because I will be posting individual reviews of many of these albums in the next couple days, I’ll just say that I enjoyed being able to present such an in-depth look at Roil Noise. From experience, I am certain there are listeners who will now be inspired to keep working on their own sounds, and to share their work with others.

As always, I made a recording of the show, which I am sharing as a single 64kbps mp3 file. This recording is not intended as a substitute for purchasing the original albums, which I always encourage you to do. In fact, at least a few of the works presented on this show are already freely downloadable directly from Roil Noise, in a much higher quality format.

Original photography by DaveX

Next week, Roil Noise artist Mystified will be guest-hosting a portion of “It’s Too Damn Early,” with a special mix of noise favorites and commentary. This is a first for the show, and a rarity for pretty much anywhere, so you won’t want to miss it.Keep checking for my reviews, which I will be posting throughout the next few days. Until then, enjoy the playlist!

Kenji Siratori & Torturing Nurse — Massacre Gene
Kenji Siratori & Torturing Nurse — Mutant Hell
Kenji Siratori & Torturing Nurse — Abolition Body
Kenji Siratori & Torturing Nurse — Heteromania Syndrome
Kenji Siratori & Torturing Nurse — Corpse Mechanism Fuck
Torturing Nurse — Schizophrenia
Circle Six — Glitch Core
Circle Six — White Swan
Circle Six — Cutting Up The Rest IV
Circle Six — Cutting Up The Rest III
Rabbit Girls — The Lifelong Journey Into Nonexistence
Skillful Means
— Gak II, Untitled track 1/1
Maximum Headlessness — Treading Water
Maximum Headlessness — Cherries
Malebolge — Philosophy in Limbo
Malebolge — Limbo’s Keep
Malebolge — A Conoisseur of Sin
Malebolge — A Cold, Heavy, Dirty Rain
Rabbit Girls — Verisimilitude
Big City Orchestra — Theme from “A Summer’s Place”
Big City Orchestra — “True Love” from High Society
Big City Orchestra — An Affair to Remember

Gizmondo RIAA Boycott? *yawn*

March 1, 2007

Let me get this off my chest right now. I love buying new music. While I’ll admit to some of the baser delights– the shiny jewel cases! new liner notes! the hearty “snap” of the first tine, breaking as I remove the disc!– for me, the real reward is simply hearing new sounds. I truly enjoy hearing artists grow from disc to disc, as well as trying to “place” their music in a greater framework of all music.

But now it’s March, and Gizmondo is taking on the blue meanies over at the RIAA, that bizarro world where art and commerce are hopelessly jumbled into an ugly mess. As someone who has long opposed the ridiculous bullying tactics the RIAA has employed to squash file-sharing, and as an informed DJ more than a little familiar with the lopsided (parasitic, unethical, illegal) nature of the music industry, you’d probably assume I’m excited to participate in boycotting the RIAA.

But really, I’m not.

The truth is, I haven’t participated in any of the RIAA’s reindeer games for a long time. I get new music all the time, and none of it has anything to do with the RIAA– and probably never has. The experimental and underground communities are doing just fine without them, thank you. If anything, filesharing is working quite well for us. It’s easy to find out about new artists, new releases, and to try something out with (often) limited funds before committing to any sort of purchase.

For a lot of avant-garde, experimental, difficult, and underground music; distribution is moving away from money entirely. While the music “industry” is arguing about DRM-crippled ringtones, we’ve been busy creating art– happily moving beyond the cliche of keeping the “suits” uneasy, the underground music communities have ignored them completely. Notice was never served, but here’s the takeaway: the traditional industry is obsolete.

If you don’t believe me, here are 12 netlabels that prove it.

Test Tube

No Type

Out of Obscure

20 kbps rec.




Comfort Stand Recordings

Roil Noise

Backporch Revolution

Filament Recordings


If you find something you like, be sure to post about it in the comments section.