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Monthly Archives: January 2005

Anticon Hip-Hop MP3s

Start off the work week with two fine background-music instrumental hip-hop tracks from Telephone Jim Jesus, off his late-2004 album, A Point Too Far to Astronaut (Anticon). TJJ’s “Little Boy One Eye,” which runs a romantic piano loop and genre-complementary choral effect above a disjunctive and jittery drum beat, has been featured recently on the music.download.com site, here. Over at anticon.com (click through to the “media” page), you’ll find that track, plus “Struck by Falling Object,” which is more varied, more a montage than a collage, moving from one segment (a slap of jazz horn, a heady beat, etc.) to the next, and using each snippet’s climax as the springboard to the subsequent one. And, a third treat, there’s “Blue in the Face,” which manages to bring an enthusiastic pop sensibility to CD-skipping.

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German Techno MP3 EP

A quick one to end the week. The Uran97 netlabel’s latest release (number 24) is M.M.B.‘s Robot Work Area, an exercise in vaguely Kraftwerkian mechanoid funk, updated with raspy touches of glitch and an abiding affection for moire patterns of elemental counterpoint. M.M.B. is a German duo, Marc B and Marksman, who’ve been working together since 2002. Check the four-track EP at uran97.com (download page here), and visit the group’s homepage at mmb-techno.de.

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Latest Tonatom MP3s

When musician Maciek Szymczuk titled his EP Romantic Piano for Lovers, he meant lovers of surface-noise-laden, static-laced, beats-all-a-flutter minimal techno, with saw blade string sections and chest-pounding thuds of subterranean dread. Or he was just being ironic. Either way, RPfL is a six-track set on which the piano is contorted until it skips like a broken self-playing model (“Supper at Piano Bar”), or it’s muted until it sounds like an alien harpsichord (“Romantic Walk”), or it provides occasional accent marks (“Flame of Love”), or it’s entirely abandoned after an opening chord in favor of speaker-shaking sludge and heavenly vocals (“Tender Kisses”). Szymczuk calls his music “click’n’everything” — and he clearly takes pleasure in contorting whatever sounds come his way, running them over mechanistic pulses and through echo chambers with sodden walls. The rich and varied set was the final release of 2004 on the tonAtom netlabel. Download it here, and visit tonAtom at tonatom.net and Szymczuk at mszymczuk.prv.pl.

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Guitronic MP3

The natural applause that closes the recent MP3 up at William Fowler Collins‘ website, wfowlercollins.ath.cx, signals that the recording is, indeed, of a live performance. Up until that moment, you may not be certain, though a cough midway through also gives it away. There is, so common these days yet still so strange, such an array of simultaneous sounds working in harmony that it’s initially difficult to recognize the music was made by one person: Collins, on electric guitar, with microcassette recorder and steel slide. It was taped at Mills College Concert Hall in April 2004 during the SignalFlow Festival, and it’s a through-improvised tour from cascading opening notes to echoed rages of noise to an arid territory of ringing near-silence, with hints of everything from Jimi Hendrix to Glenn Branca to Michael Brook. What’s remarkable isn’t the range, though, but how naturally the piece flows over the track’s five-plus minutes. Part of this is owed to that reverb, which allows one theme to repeat while another is introduced. But the real credit goes to the composer-performer, who charts the course and sticks to it, even when the going gets rough. The track is an excerpt from Collins’ Evening CDR (West Mountain Road Recordings, 2004). Get the file directly here.

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Dale Lloyd MP3s.

Dale Lloyd‘s Turba / Lateral Minor is characteristic of the netlabel that released it, and just to be clear: that’s a compliment. Like many a Stasisfield Records free download, Lloyd’s recording not only keeps quiet noises in the foreground by lending them interesting surface textures and by occasionally engaging in piercing sounds and rapt silences, he also wraps those lovely ruptures around a tidy conceit. In this case, that means listening in two ways. First there’s “Lateral Minor,” a 12-minute piece that floats a variety of sonic abrasives above a throaty, base-level hum, broken up by the odd splice of vacuum space. Then there’s “Turba,” which is five distinct tracks, all under under six minutes, all with a unique subtitle (“circumstantial,” “evolutional,” “remedial,” “imitable” and “congenital”), each built, like “Lateral,” from a mix of environmental and electronic sounds. Reportedly each “Turba” track works a different magic on a similar set of source material, not that you’d necessarily surmise that from the results. Guess you’ll have to listen again, and again. Download the full set here, and visit stasisfield.com.

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