Enough Relations: Silent Flow

Silent Flow is a relatively new netlabel (2009) from Moldova.

And if you don’t know where the heck Moldova is located, well, don’t feel too bad about yourself, i didn’t either until i got an ambient sounds demo submission from an artist called Megatone back in 2006. A project from Marcel Gherman: musician, radio DJ and journalist. That demo became enrmp087.

A couple years later we released another album by Megatone titled Imago Mundi Nova. Several releases from Megatone are available at Silent Flow free for download. Also shared artist between both labels are the [Esc. Laboratory] / Art Factory Worms collective. One such release is this SLNT012:

Also worth noting is that Silent Flow releases not only standard mp3 album editions, but also the so called Bezdna Radio Essentials, a series of radio mixes of diverse netaudio material. All following the ambient and experimental type of sounds.

Categories: Label Relations

Review: Yair López – epep popo

Sometimes when music is just annoying enough, it no longer annoys me but entertains, and this is the case with Yair Lopez’ “epop popo”, from the Amplified Music Pollution netlabel. In lieu of a beat, there is a kind of repetition, but it is manual– presumably it is Mr. Lopez tweaking a setting on a toy or other gadget using circuit-bending techniques. This creates very nice glitch material– especially with tracks like “Altamar”, which is my favorite. In “Altamar”, all varieties of static and electrical sounds are represented, thanks to Mr. Lopez’ expert circuit-noodling. Machines can be musical– perhaps that is no surprise to some, but in cases for me it was like watching the YouTube video of the elephant that could paint itself.

Releases like these can serve many purposes– for me “epop popo” is both fun to listen to and generative in terms of the kinds of sounds possible. This release would make an excellent source for remixers. I also think that some of the sounds could be explored in a design setting, such as sound effects for a film. Abstract noises like these are so versatile! If any of these thoughts intrigue, I would urge you to have a listen to Yair Lopez’ fine circuit bending release,

Categories: Reviews

Death metal and netlabels

First of all, hello everyone, as it’s my first post here, and hopefully ps won’t regret letting me touch the WordPress after reading it :)

I’m maintaining Enough releases on Bandcamp, and as it’s coming slowly and painfully (converting mp3s to WAV, then uploading those huge uncompressed files takes about five hours per album – quite a lot, when you want to keep your daily job and private life intact), I hope that after some time Bandcamp will be a new way to deliver Enough music (sorry for terrible pun) to new listeners. End with chit-chat, let’s talk about heavy metal music and netlabels.

Some years ago, after my first exposure to netlabel music, I was wondering why there’s no such a thing for metal music. There was, same as today, plethora of netlabels releasing various types of electronica, but nothing for fans of constant headbanging and guitar riffs. Sure, some of the bands or solo artists were offering their works for free to download, like Burzukh, Dimaension X or Umbah, but let’s make it straight – those are quite experimental sounds, not really for a taste of your typical longhaired mofo w/ Cannibal Corpse tee. After failed attempt at making a death metal-centered netlabel (let it’s name cover in dust and never get mentioned again), I gave up on ever finding a place with fresh and free metal music.

Boy, I gotta say, I was a man of little faith. Read more…

Categories: Netlabel Reflections Tags:

Enough Manifesto (part 4)

The next step in my often disrupted series on my interpretation of the Enough Records manifesto. At this rate I’m almost in danger of reaching the end within the year.

Pondering the present and the future are always, for obvious reasons, obvious facets of analysing and following the free music movement. With the chaotic freedom offered to those artists involved this corner of the musical world more than any gives way to experimentalism or even simply messing around with sound. Everyone from avant garde, near impossible to get into sound-scapers to more traditional instrumentalists is free to modify and manipulate their efforts without the looming demands of a commercialised or dictated crowd. Infinite choice leads to infinite variety, a fact which the framework of the commercial mainstream belies in it’s insistence on moulding the path of musical progression in tune with manageable, predictable trends. Indeed even the greater freedoms of the Indie scene can’t afford to indulge the truly eclectic given that, nine times out of ten, the experiment fails regardless of the hope behind it – but that odd one out, the time when an unthought of musical structure works to the point where it becomes a foundation from which to launch even greater explorations is well worth the jarring attempts which fall short. It’s a liberty which from genre to genre calls for a ‘sonic squirrel’, eclectic enough to indulge the oddities but also aware enough of where musical paths lead to know what’s worth following. The next album, the next track, the next EP – the future’s an easy pre-occupation to have. Read more…

Categories: Netlabel Reflections

Jamendon’t

It’s rare, these days, for me to pay real attention to Jamendo. Way back when I first tripped over free music I treated the place as a hub, the first check-in point whenever I felt like finding something new and for the most part it worked. An hour wading through the dross and I’d usually be able to come up with at least one album worth hearing and the detritus surrounding it seemed like a fairly marginal issue. Over time though that marginal issue of the bad stuff started to define the site for me, facing the vast jumble sale of music I increasingly decided not to bother trying, instead shifting my attentions to the net labels. There was still shit music about but finding the one good album out of 10 on a label’s catalogue took far less devotion and patience than finding the one good album out of 200 on Jamendo. It’s a ratio of good to bad which is always going to be part of the equation when it comes to free music. Not necessarily through self-delusion or a lack of talent on behalf of the artists but the ease of releasing stuff incites some musicians to include the stuff that they know is only a step on the path to the final project. Especially when it comes to those, like me, who have only just started fiddling with sounds – the second you get to grips with the basics there’s an immediate desire to be involved, to add your work to the whole, to see it standing alongside the artists you admire. A good thing, to some degree, given that it frees up the creative process and means people can learn and explore what they can do with an actual audience to guide them but the overall effect on a site as welcoming and all inclusive as Jamendo can never be an entirely positive one. Read more…

Categories: Netlabel Reflections Tags:

Review: Arie – Cold Up Norf

Arie - Cold Up Norf

Arie – Cold Up Norf (Planet Terror Records)

One of the many tricks to decent Dub is, in my eternally humble opinion, the ability to craft out an abyss of bass which bubbles along just deeply enough to offer up the duvet of sounds which marks the genre out but not quite so wandering and lost as to require a hefty amount of THC in your system before you can grasp on to it. A rule forgotten on occasion – especially by the modern breed of bedroom based producers who can easily imagine an appeal which is invisible to everyone else whilst lost in the structures of what they’re doing.

Arie, of Sheffield based Planet Terror Records, however, doesn’t fall for the trap of self-indulgent bass intricacy with his release Cold Up Norf. It’s a six-track EP but each track has sufficient meat to it to make it a worthwhile and well formed effort, mixing in Garage and Dance elements with some healthily abyss like Dub beats which offer up an almost perfect level of immersion if you’re in the mood for it. And I say ‘almost perfect’ not because there’s anything in particular missing from Cold Up Norf, at least nothing easily described, but compare this release to something in the same sphere, like Dig & Delve from Arie’s Planet Terror label mate Titus Twelve, and there is an undefinable something missing. I suspect that it’s the final touches of uniqueness which Arie has missed out on, although there are some nice hooks in there it’s not quite enough to carve out a recognisable niche. The quality is there but the sound is still emerging. For criticisms beyond that there’s only really the occasional poorly placed interjection of Danciness into the proceedings – which might just be an illusion from my own dislike for the more hackneyed Dance devices which have a tendancy to poking up rather than a complaint which anyone else would share.

To balance that out though and prove that I do actually quite like this album, whatever my complaints might suggest, the beats on Cold Up Norf are undoubtedly good, minimally constructed as they are there’s no sense of sparseness about them, indeed there’s a rich sound here which offers up a beautifully easy and indulgent listen.

I’d make a definite recommendation of Cold Up Norf if you like your Dub heavy and dark (and, let’s face it, who doesn’t) but it’s a staple addition to the collection, not a remarkable one.

Download ‘Cold Up Norf’

 

Categories: Reviews

Review: Texture – Synaesthesia

SYNAESTHESIA - TEXTURE

SYNAESTHESIA – TEXTURE (Black Lantern Music)

A while back I reviewed ‘Aphasia‘, an EP from Texture which, like ‘Synethesia’, came out on the Black Lantern Music label, one of my favourites since back in the days of The Creative UnCommons and a reliable source for intelligent (and seldom pretentious) Hip Hop and Trip Hop. I largely had good things to say about Texture back then and not much has changed since fortunately.

The beats on Synaesthesia (again coming from a couple of sources including the returning Morphamish and Salem Anders alongside lyrical contributions from Kid Ritalin on ‘Non-Sequitr’) are a little subtle for my tastes, with only a couple of obvious (and interestingly original) hooks to hold the attention but that’s clearly partly by intent rather than a lack of forethought as the general feel with Texture is more of a confined sound, with beats and lyrics merging together in a hypnotic flow. Which would be a problem but for the fact that lyrically there’s enough here to make the rhythmic foundation make sense.

So, on to that lyrical side of things, Texture retains the same predilection for melodic yet densely packed delivery which demands more than a single listen to properly start to fully appreciate but then that’s no bad thing and the demanding blocks are balanced out by a handful of well constructed interludes within tracks which are light enough to strike some compromise. There’s added interest in seeing the identity of Scottish alongside other UK Hip Hop breaking down into recognisable voices and continuing down the path to sounding like an independent entity, free, in part, from the traditional behemoth of the US which has long been the cultural looting pot over here. A sense of self already blossoming at times but still outside of the majority and the general consensus on the genre.

Anyway, that’s a bit off topic so ‘Synaesthesia’, another quality release and well worth a download.

On a bit of a side-note ‘The Dawn View’ a track from this release was just featured on the rather spiffy Density of Sound CC podcast which you can check out here.

Categories: Reviews