As some of you know, C. Reider had medical issues at the end of 2015. His health is better, but he has been left with staggering medical debt. I am putting together a benefit album and I am looking for some submissions. Through much persuasion on my part, Chris has agreed to this project.
Chris has a wide variety of tastes in music, so any genre is game, from drone to vaporwave and from experimental to noise. If we receive more than 2 hours or music, I will be doing a blind selection. Experimental musician, Cinchel volunteered to master the album. Michael Gregorie of blocSonic volunteered to produce and design the album cover. Expect the album to be released around the beginning of March 2016.
Here are the submission requirements, such as they are:
- Deadline is the end of the day of the 7 February 2016 where ever you might live.
- Please keep the track under 5 minutes or so
- Track must be in .AIFF or .WAV format
- By submitting a track, you are allowing us to sell your music in this benefit album through out the year 2016.
- All tracks will be licensed CC BY-NC-SA
- Send your selection to email@example.com
C. Reider is an experimental composer living in northern Colorado in the United States. He manages several netlabels and is an active supporter of the free music scene. You can download Chris’ music and view his netlabels at Vuzh Music or at his Bandcamp site. You can find him on Twitter as well, @vuzhmusic.
Back in 1993, Slavek Kwi, aka Artificial Memory Trace, was working in a print shop in Brussels, Belgium. During that time he recorded several of the machines as he must have been captured by their rhythm and their hidden melodies. These recordings are extremely clear and precise — the noise we here is the noise of the machine. There is some walkie-talkie squawking captured periodically which doesn’t take away from the recordings, rather it adds an unknown to the repetitions.
My first few listens through Reprint, I was not bothered that I was unaware what was creating the sounds. I assumed it was a factory of some sort, but what kind of factory, I did not know. In reading the liner notes later, I learned that this was a recording of a print shop. The liner notes also provide some specificity to what we are listening to.”Part I” is one 40-minute track, but it is broken down as such:
1. Lift for paper 0:51
2. Air (suction) 1:13
3. Ventilation 0:25
4. Printing 26:06
5. Assembling machine I. 9:26
6. Cutting of paper 2:04
7. Photo-machine 1:10
“Part II” is eight minutes of an assembling machine.
What attracts me to Reprint is the repetition of the sounds, the rhythm of the machines. And as soon as I start grooving to a particular segment, Kwi moves me to another machine with its own metallic grind and I have to readjust. Kwi licensed Reprint so that it is available for remixes.
Artist: Artificial Memory Trace
Release Date: December 2015
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Download mp3: Bandcamp
Through friends of friends, Kecap Tuyul and Doedelzak get introduced at the XtetX, an improvisational experimental group that meets up in Paris, France. Doedelzak, a synth player, ends releasing the wonderful drone album, Wandering in Dust, on Eg0cide Productions back in August 2015, and then Doedelzak and Tuyul get together and record two tracks as the duo Onde Poussière. The end result of this October 2015 session is the newly released Silent Rain.
The liner notes to Silent Rain state that the duo’s music “relies on a careful mutual listening and a quite restrained palette. It gives a particular attention to contrasts, silences, subtle shifts – but can also be quite agitated and even noisy sometimes.” Tuyul has an extensive discography of working with other musicians and is known for his playing on prepared guitar, though thinking of him solely as a guitarist would be preposterous. His journeys in sound, whether solo or others, are always quite good. After finally listening to Doedelzak’s Wandering in Dust, it was no suprise that Doedelzak and Tuyul worked well together on Silent Rain.
The first track, “Skipped Slices”, begins quietly, directing us down an ambient path. But as Doedelzak calls out to Tuyul, Tuyul responds with an answer that in itself is a call to Doedelzak, and he repeats this call wrapped in an answer. The duo quickly turn our ambient journey into the subtle and not-so-subtle noises of daily life. There are interferences, jolts, and even some pleasantness. “Silent Rain”, the second track, begins even more quietly than the first, with Doedelzak on the synth. But at this point, the listener should not be fooled by this lull, as Tuyul and his guitar scrape into the soudscape like a wounded man walking down a dark alley. Somwhere around the 4 minute mark things begin to get even more weird which is never a bad thing. “Silent Rain” comes crashing down half-way through only to regroup itself for future strangeness. Doedelzak and Tuyul’s musical wanderings may be filled with indirectness, even randonmenss, but it is their response to the other’s chaos that brings the music into one sound and makes Onde Poussière’s Silent Rain worth your time.
Artist: Onde Poussière
Title: Silent Rain
Netlabel: Eg0cide Productions
Release Date: December 2015
Download mp3: zip
I dread writing the “Best of” post every year. Not because of the amount of work in listening to music or coding the page, it is the nagging feeling that I have missed a great release thereby slighting a musician’s accomplished work. But a “Best of” post is somewhat required. The list helps friends and other listeners of the free music scene find some music they have missed and it may add a bounce to the step of a musician or netlabel owner listed here.
This list has releases licensed under Creative Commons (CC) as well as the draconian All Rights Reserved. My small hope is that musicians will see other artists who use CC licensing and may even start to use Creative Commons for their own work in the future. (I can dream can’t I?) This year’s “Best of” list also includes some cassette releases, but all of these cassettes have a corresponding free digital release. Maybe more cassette labels can start doing this?
The one hundred albums listed below are divided into two sections: a Top 20 and Another 80 listed afterward. I wrote out the Top 20 just to see if I could and also make it easier on the more casual listener. On any given day, the Top 20 could be very different depending on my listening mood with albums moving from one section to the other.
Download, listen and enjoy.
The photograph, 100 by duncan c, is licenced CC BY-NC.
The doorbell signals the arrival of someone or something, good or bad news, friend or salesperson, package or bill. Obviously the doorbell is not sentinent, but it’s sound in responded to so quickly that it seemingly takes on a life of its own: welcomed or unwelcomed. Our interpretation of this small electronic sound is now reworked by Jeff Kolar on his Doorbell release. Part of a permanent exhibition at the Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, Kolar spent two weeks exploring the sounds of the museum’s vintage Yamaha organ. Kolar then created twelve tracks of sounds which he incorportated with a reconstructed doorbell system that museum vistors can play.
Of Kolar’s three solo releases this past year, Smoke Detector, Car Alarms and, now, Doorbell, the latter is probably his most accessible work. These tracks are bursts of 20 seconds, but usuallly are not comprised of one sound, rather they are built on a duality of organ sounds that are in opposition or accord to each other. Using this constructed sonic polarity, Kolar’s work mimics the listener’s response to our own doorbells.
In social media posts, Kolar has suggested listening to Doorbell on repeated or random loops. While writing this review that’s exactly what I did, building a huge playlist of the four-minute album and then shuffling it so that some tracks repeated after each other, other sounds became familiar, and some seemed fresh or new. For the track I include with my reviews, I decided to randomly select twelve tracks and put them together as one four-minute track to illustrate what I have been listening to and, maybe, using Kolar’s guidenance, demonstrate the preferable way to experience his work.
Artist: Jeff Kolar
Release Date: December 2015
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Download mp3: zip
The Free Music Archive is a valuable resource for all the appreciate the free music revolution. The host thousands of releases from individual artists and netlabels. Most are licensed under Creative Commons.
The seventh Unfamiliar podcast of selected netlabel music; new and old works: experimental, weird and strange. Featuring works by Chris Lynn, Chris Silver T, Clearwing, Enrique Maraver, Eucci, Jean-Baptiste Masson, José Soberanes, Neither Famous Nor Rich, Stéphane Marin, The Green Lama, and Vitaly Maklakov.
Go to Unfamiliar.cc for more information.