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Koji Asano MP3

Koji Asano, the prolific, self-published electronic musician, hasn’t just posted a free download on his website, kojiasano.com. He hasn’t just interrupted the steady flow of commercial recordings for a free one. He hasn’t just taken the heavily processed abstractions of his recent Spring Estuary CD (his 39th album, by his own count) and reduced them to some haunting piano’n’drone minimalism. He hasn’t just done so in a (so-called) lossless format that weighs in at 65 megabytes for 18 minutes of music. He’s gone and promised that this is the first in a weekly series of free downloads. There are, inevitably, two catches. The first is that you must enter your email address to gain access. The second is that the music is encoded in an M4A file, which isn’t copy-protected, but it doesn’t play well in a lot of players, though it does in Apple’s iTunes (it crashed my Quintessential software for Windows XP, even after I installed the recommended plugin, and it doesn’t seem to work on my portable iAudio device). Still, there are easy ways to convert M4As to MP3s, and to reduce that file size. If the full-length piece is intriguing, short snippets of the original release are available for comparison here.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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