New Free Amon Tobin MP3

From his Two Fingers side project

There’s free, there’s free as in “Well, you still need access to the Internet,” and there’s free as in “You need to provide your email address, but sure you can unsubscribe after the fact.” Into the latter category falls the new Amon Tobin release, the heavy-beat electro of “101 South” from his Two Fingers side project. The track is available as a free download at the label site. To those used to Tobin’s increasingly fractured sense of rhythm, the hip-hop flavor of this track will be an enjoyable surprise. There’s no sense of shards of noise cycling around in three-dimensional audio, just ever steady forward momentum. The full album, Stunt Rhythms, is due out October 1. More on Tobin at

Digitally Enhanced Cello from Vienna (MP3)

A solo performance from Alexandr Vatagin

There is much digitally enhanced cello music today, and well there should be. The world we can trace back at least to Hank Roberts and David Darling has expanded widely, deeply, and in many directions. Few musicians go as far with their instrument as the Vienna-based Alexandr Vatagin, whose laptop-enhanced playing rarely bears much resemblance to its sonorous source material. In its place are sinuous sine waves and all manner of light mechanistic experimentation (MP3). This recording, posted recently as part of the Crónica label’s excellent podcast, was recorded back on September 3, 2010. The music is drawn from Vatagin’s album Shards.

[audio:|titles=”Live on Crónica”|artists=Alexandr Vatagin]

Originally posted for free download at, where it is entry number 97. More on Vatagin at

Mid-School Hip-Hop

After tape loops and before digital beats – that's where Dusted Wax treads

The Dusted Wax netlabel remains a steady supplier of what might be termed mid-school hip-hop. This would be neither the full-on tape splicing and vinyl scratching of its earlier years, nor the codified digital beats of its attenuated present. The stuff that Dusted traffics in is deep in the era of second-generation turntablism, real and virtual, which is to say, the calisthenics we associated with DJ Krush, and the studio-heavy work of Funki Porcini, both of which drew heavily from jazz, funk, and exotica in the construction of downtempo grooves rich with atmosphere and largely uninterested in being subsumed by vocalists. That sort of instrumental activity courses through Thegntlmn’s Earbuds (Volume 1), 10 tracks of jazz-infused beats, souped up with vocal snippets and surveillance effects. The album is well represented by the track “I Was Wondering” (MP3), with its layering of muffled voices, soupy piano, and overheard conversation.

[audio:|titles=”Thegntlmn”|artists=I Was Wondering]

Get the full set at More on Thegntlmn, based in Australia, at

Past Week at

  • Dear Mountain Lion Hive, How do I stop TextEdit from having iCloud as the default save-to location? #osx #hassle #
  • Dear media theoretician who fears the Internet’s power to filter things that run counter to an individual’s worldview: Explain the Olympics. #
  • Already 5 fine tracks making music from perceived silence. This set will collate new tracks as they arrive: #
  • Unintentionally surreal PR of the day: getting Jay and Silent Bob pitch from a email address. #
  • A PR person who queries me regularly has a unique message-count approach: adding an exclamation point to the subject line with each inquiry. #
  • View out window somewhat spoiled by sense of being viewed. #
  • Continue reading “Past Week at”

Ambient Poulenc (MP3)

An adaptation by Martijn Comes

From Martijn Comes comes Those Who Know Do Not Speak, Those Who Speak Do Not Know, released last month on the long-running Panospria netlabel. Among an impressive variety of slow works that range from low-key rhythmic invention (the percussively erratic “Thinking Machine”) to field recordings (the lovely “A Misty Morning”) is a cover of a piece by French composer Francis Poulenc, “A Snowy Evening” (MP3). To hear the occasionally maudlin-sounding work reconfigured as a drone-like slurry brings to mind the ambient adaptation that Brian Eno performed on his Discrete Music album (Three Variations on the Canon in D Major by Johann Pachelbel).

[audio:|titles=”A Snowy Evening”|artists=Marijn Comes]

Get the full release, nine tracks in all, for free download at