Ultimae Records is back with another one of their strongest artist albums to date.
Connect.Ohm – 9980
This is, in fact, a collaborative effort from two of the label’s stable of artists, Cell and Hybrid Leisureland. Working together across the globe (France and Japan, respectively), this long distance relationship has worked out much better than the one between you and your 5th grade summer camp crush.
Nothing surprising about the sound design here, it’s crystal clear and spacious as you’d expect from the premiere distributor of panoramic music. What is surprising, however, is the delicate interplay between (what I assume is) Cell’s driving rhythms and (what I further assume is) Hybrid Leisureland’s reach towards strange but blissful ambiences and arpeggiations.
It’s time to shut up and just let you take a listen for yourself.
Album preview (7mins)
You can purchase the record on CD or digital download.
Still slogging through several years of netlabel releases that we’d neglected to keep up with. Monotonik Records put out a wide range of free releases for about 10 years before going inactive in 2009. Like all netlabels, they were willing to push the boundaries and release all sorts of music be it strange, wonderful, aggressive, slow, whatever. One of our absolute favorites was the Latatoo EP by Sleepy Town Manufacture.
We went through everything they released in their last two years between 2007 and 2009 and found some real gems. Here’s what we found:
Muxu – Show Us Your Weak Side
Muxu is a Malaysian duo that put this gentle ambient & downtempo album out in 2007. Gentle rhythms with the appropriate amount of clickyness underlie sweeping ambiences and guitar. A beautiful instance of electronic and acoustic elements coming together without sound forced or out of sync
Let’s walk on the frozen sea
Jet Jaguar – Biddy Bids
New Zealand artist Jet Jaguar put this EP out in 2008, comprised of microsounds and strange synths wound up into tight little downtempo jams.
Don’t have much else to say on this one other than it’s definitely worth the time to download it for free. (go do it now)
Now Serving (not currently on OEM Radio, but a dope little jam you should hear)
We also pulled an odd track here and there from these artists: General Fuzz, Northcape, Flutterspot, and Dead Eros.
If you have some time and like to do a little digital crate digging, certainly check out Monotonik and their sister netlabels.
As we previously mentioned, Rena Jones is attempting to crowd source the funds to record and produce her next album which will include many instrumentalist collaborations recorded in a full analogue studio.
The original Kickstarter campaign did not meet its goal, so the funding did not come through. She has restarted the effort at Indiegogo, where she’ll be able to keep any funds that are pledged, regardless of the total reached.
Rena has been a dear friend to and collaborator with OEM Radio over the years, so we want to draw as much attention to this effort as possible. Rena is an amazing talent and an amazing person. Please consider donating some dollars to actualize this album for her, and for all of us. Every donation gets a copy of the album in one format or another, plus there are a lot of other special gifts.
Click the link, visit the page.
I really miss the heyday of netlabels. For about 7 or 8 years, if you were intent on a little digital crate-digging, you could find some amazing new music to download for free (legally…what a concept!)
I was digging around Phonocake Records recently, and found a couple of great albums for the library. Phonocake is one of the rare netlabels that is still in operation putting out releases. As with all netlabels, the quality and genre of the music can vary greatly, so caveat emptor.
Madstyle – Chillusion EP
Setting aside, for the moment, a dubious EP title, this release has several really strong songs. Madstyle’s style, as it were, is underwritten by slightly frenetic breakbeats that are slowed down and have all sorts of interesting pads and melodies layered over.
Have a listen:
VidasM – Beds and Dreams
This album is very different from the first. It’s very unique, but a little challenging, which made it very intriguing for OEM Radio. Beds and Dreams is a mellow, dark and slightly abstract affair. Moody ambiences float over top of strange clicks and whirrs (vaguely reminiscent of Pole). The first song that caught my attention was Alice in Freakland. The label describes this album as fluffy minimal electronica. You decide…
We got a really nice email from a fan a week ago. He also pointed us to some music he’s produced (which is common). It turns out we have had a couple of his tracks in the OEM library for almost 10 years! (which is not common).
Carl Martin has been putting out free music on netlabels basically since netlabels began – as far as I can tell. We first ran across Transient from an Observatory Online records release back in 2002. This song has been in the OEM Radio library ever since (and it still sounds awesome):
Prayer for Peace
In any case, Mr. Martin has been releasing interesting and strange music steadily since then, but we didn’t know. So we’re going to catch up with some of his more recent material right now, and go back through his massive free catalogue over the next few weeks for more gems.
Transient – Path-01
We’ll start with his most recent release. This album was written entirely in the forest and (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) using solely a Palm LifeDrive powered by a solar power device. The results are magnificent as evidenced by Moonbeats, Conduit, and A Perfect Spring Day (which is slightly reminicient of a Bluetech-esque bouncer).
A Perfect Spring Day
Beat.Dowsing – Trigger.Melodies
First, apologies to Mr. Martin for capitalizing the names of stuff. If you hate that, I’m truly sorry — I can’t keep everything in lowercase, it kills me. Now, about this album. Released on Phonocake Records this year, this is a rare full LP format release from Martin (again, for free). Trigger.Melodies displays a wide array of smoothed out but beat-heavy downtempo jams. Favorites include the opening song, Swervle, and another clicky bouncer called Chocolate (somehow the only two tracks on without youtube vids).
Frequency is Your Identity
Quick shout to turn your attention to our longtime partner and friend Rena Jones’s effort to fund her next record. Consider donating a few dollars or more…
Go to Indiegogo and pledge!
Amongst all the cold-call music submissions we get, perhaps only 10% are within the realm of what we want OEM Radio to sound like. I have a particular fondness for straight-ahead downtempo music with lavish melodies built on top of driving rhythm sections. I call it the Kruder and/or Dorfmeister effect. This chap Bryan Carrigan sent in two albums chock full of downtempo that hit the mark.
Bryan Carrigan – Focus
The first of his two releases, Focus really puts Carrigan’s attention to melody on display. Several tracks have heavy driving rhythm tracks, especially Catalyst and Cricket Crossing. The best track is perhaps Tzatziki, a decidedly tabla and bass driven song with strings both plucked and bowed. Enjoy a very pretty song from this album:
Bryan Carrigan – Passing Lights
This is the stronger of the two albums, with the lush instrumentation firmly meshed with the rhythm sections. The bass lines really come through and drive the songs. We really dug this album. One song I want to point out specifically is The Drive Home, which really sounds like something from DJ Krush & Toshinori Kondo’s Ki-oku album, with its moody muted trumpet flowing over lo-fi’d slow beats. You can listen to the whole record on SoundCloud.
Alternatively, there’s a few youtube entries from his upcoming album Windows, which we don’t have yet. (We all have iMacs, anyways).