Monday Listening: Exquisitely-Crafted Ambient Album Kuss, Free EP on FLAC

Submerge by FeedbackLoop Label The Internet is supposedly about quantity over quality – endless releases of every sound a computer can spit out, limitless choice and access, albums as prolific and disposable as Twitter updates. Of course, whether it actually is that or not is, as always, up to the creators. Netlabel Feedback Loop, based in Lisboa, Portugal, has some self-imposed discipline. They release only three or four editions a year, with tracks carefully curated to represent only the best. The initial EP is free, released in high-definition audio if desired; if successful, a paid full-length is the follow-up. The …

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Autechre New Ten Track Unveiled; Hear and Download a Cut Free

Autechre are back, following up a set of live dates and March full length release with yet another full-length on Warp and more dates, this time beginning at the end of August in Perth, Australia and heading off to Slovakia, Poland, Japan, and Greece. Best to let you hear the new full-length track, available for streaming via SoundCloud. (Not embeddable; only on their site, though note that there’s actually a little SoundCloud security hole when you expose a private link in that way – a topic for another day.) http://autechre.ws/move-of-ten/ I think I may be more eager to hear this …

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Your Hearing, According to MP3: Sounds for Humans, Played for 10^450 Years

The miracle of human hearing goes well beyond audiophile snobbery over “high fidelity,” or the machinations of sometimes-arbitrary, designed-by-committee industry specifications. But, in the context of my rant about perceived myths in audio, what can we hear, really? And how much perceptible sound can you squeeze into an MP3? For his master’s thesis at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Kyle McDonald investigated the deeper, existential issues behind common digital audio specifications. The question: what if you could play every single distinguishable sound that the MP3 specification can accommodate? (For the technically minded, that means …

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Weekend Question: Where Do You Get Your Electronic Music Radio Fix Online?

Photo (CC) Ian Hayhurst. It’s oft-repeated conventional wisdom: the Internet democratizes access to music, opening up the possibility of hearing anything by anyone from anywhere. But just added more choices doesn’t necessarily help you connect with music that’s meaningful. In my inbox today, here’s this deceptively-simple question from Mike Mogensen: “Do you know any good Internet radio stations that stream electronic music? I’d like to expand my sonic horizon a bit and get some inspiration.” I expect there could be quite a lot of answers there, especially since “electronic” music could mean any range of work from experimental to techno. …

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What Are Your Top Electronic Albums of 2009? (And How Do You Stay Organized?)

It’s tough not to miss physical objects, but then, some of you have been buying vinyl. Chicago apartment, photo: Katherine Raz. More background. I have actually grown to appreciate year-end reviews. In grade school and high school, I was on different occasions both a yearbook guy and a newspaper guy (when not focusing energies on how to be as profoundly uncool as possible). There was a tension between the people who did the work of covering the information of the moment and the stuff you were supposed to save and cherish. If you’re addicted to content as a lot of …

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TouchDJ Arrives for iPhone

You’re now approved to DJ with your iPhone. Or at least the app is. I’m not sure if I can take credit for getting Apple’s attention, but Apple has approved the TouchDJ application from Amidio. That’s big news, partly because developer Amidio has consistently been at the forefront of musical development on the platform, including their Noise.io synth and wild hexagonal JR Hexatone Pro. This also is a big blog to the theory that Apple is intentionally blocking DJ apps — and a big boon to the theory that the App Store is just plain clogged, even if it may …

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Rant – Congratulations, Apple: “Syncing” Music Now Means “Using iTunes”

Photo (CC) Tim Douglas. Critics frequently attach the phrase “lock-in” to Apple’s iTunes Store – iTunes – iPod/iPhone combination. But, in the post-DRM age, what does that mean, exactly? First, you have to recall that while for many of us the manual drag-and-drop music management is appealing, it isn’t so for many average consumers. They want sync. That means that music will be stored in iTunes and synced to Apple devices and nothing else. Apple is serious about locking you to their store and their devices, enough so that they frequently update their software with special keys that prevent the …

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