It’s been a big week for streams. First the two-part Brian Eno interview from TechTV, then the Beans video from Warp Records. The general purpose of Disquiet.com’s Downstream section is to link to recommended free electronic-related music on the web, especially downloadable music, and in particular MP3 files. But some streams are more equal than others, and so for the fourth day in a row, a stream is the focus of Downstream — in this case, the preview of the new three-track Squarepusher release, Squarewindow, from Warp Records.
For not only is the release a primer for a forthcoming Squarepusher album, titled Ultravisitor, it’s also available for preview currently only on the new Warp Records online MP3 store, which made its debut today. The site is called Bleep (at bleep.com, or warprecords.com/bleep), and it offers, for sale, most of the Warp catalog, from the earliest Aphex Twin singles to the most recent work by Plaid and Broadcast. The files come as high-quality MP3s, and they’re not copy-protected (in contrast with the secure measures behind the major online music retailers, such as Apple’s iTunes). As has been widely quoted, Bleep’s FAQ explains the site’s philosophy as follows: “We believe that most people like to be treated as customers and not potential criminals.” The Squarepusher single is available for preview here, though it is not yet for sale.
Two caveats: the Squarewindow streams are low-quality audio, as are all the Bleep preview streams; and you can only listen to them in 30-second snippets, though that’s a small price to pay for a peek at a new work of Squarepusher’s serendipitous, elastic rhythms. And, no doubt, there’s already some wily criminal out there right now stitching the segments together, in advance of the single’s on-sale date, January 26.