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Lithuanian Netlabel MP3

The netlabel format by its very nature frees individual tracks from the sets in which they appear. The word “album” seems outdated, since netlabels generally take no physical form, just floating music on the Internet and waiting to see who downloads it. Generally this is accomplished with release-specific webpages, allowing for individual track downloads, along with weighty “zipped” archives of the complete release, often including jpeg images of square-format “cover” art. At (that’s “lt” as in Lithuania, not “it” as in Italy), the Surfaces netlabel has found a way to keep its releases whole, at least initially. By way of example, for MonoCulture’s excellent and recent Lawn World, it provides one track for download on its lonesome, the elegant “Losing the Thread,” a long strain of glitch Morse code, with a maudlin-sweet overlay of toy piano, a very beautiful treat in all. To hear the rest of the album’s eight tracks, you’ll need to download a 40mb file and unstuff it. What treasures are locked inside? (More on MonoCulture, aka Nick Eymann, at

By Marc Weidenbaum

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