There is continuing evidence that the netlabel may be, at its best, a singles medium. As the network of intentionally free music downloads has grown, the expanding listening options have inevitably complicated the selection process for consumers. (Yes, the material, usually available in MP3 form, is free, but why must the word “consumer” necessarily imply a direct financial transaction?) Amid all the album-length and even EP-sized releases, the presence of a single-track release can be a gesture of welcome restraint, such as those at the excellent if less than prolific Yo Yo Pang netlabel (ambulatore.com/yoyo).
Now, a single MP3 needn’t be lonely. Over at the excellent Goodbye Cruel World netlabel (cruel-world.org), the most recent release, a watery, morphing, way-down-tempo but still melodic piece titled “Loss” (MP3) by This Is Output (aka Krister Kalin), is accompanied by a video, credited to L.Nystrand. The video, a grainy suburban landscape that shifts between day and dusk, it is reminiscent of early Bill Viola work and lends some additional, artful rust to the decaying pleasures of Kalin’s track.