au!guts 02, 2010.
The SoundBlog Twitter birdie begged your attention some 58 times over the past hot month of July, which on its first day took us to Heerlen and from there on to a great weekend and another fine performance of A Table! at the Schiphorst Avantgarde Festival. (More on that to follow soon...) There were no tweets from Schiphorst, even though in the morning, walking all the way from Labenz to Schiphorst, I came by the Twietenstelle ...
Germany was firmly in the grip of the soccer
world championship, and at the Avantgarde Festival there of course was a special corner
where audience and artists in between performances could score their dose
of matches and the buzzing bes-tones of thousands
of vuvuzela. As I am writing this, it suddenly occurs to me that indeed
it now has been a while that the vuvuzela stopped crossing my mind. With the end of the tournament
that particular buzz disappeared from our soundscape. (I am curious
whether the vuvuzela's use by soccer fans now is going to spread also
to European, American and Asian stadiums and competitions. Or will it
remain a South African phenomenon?)
Whatever way, early July their sound was omnipresent. In Germany I had an experience similar to that of Marc Weidenbaum's (and, undoubtedly, of many others) who, walking by a restaurant in his San Francisco neighborhood, mistook the sound of the restaurant's fan for that of a vuvuzela. It happened to me walking on the early morning of Saturday July 3th to Schiphorst when, out in the green I suddenly thought I heard someone blowing the vuvuzela, only to realize seconds later that in fact it was a cow that was mooing.
 In Amsterdam, on Friday July 9th, with £PcM I visited this year's graduation show of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. Here's our visit in 4 + 1 pictures (you may click the first four to enlarge):
, , , ,  This spring Anthony Carcone, Jacques Fochsia and Brian Satig (all three of Brocante Sonore fame, but currently mostly performing as Etc) went on a 3 week tour of China. Apart from performing, Anthony collected a lot of material on the Chinese fringe and underground music scene, that he then used for a series of 5 one hour radio programs, broadcasted the last week of July on five consecutive nights, between midnight and one, on France Musique. The programs are available for on demand listening on the radio's web site until the last week of August. I have invited Anthony to do a write-up on his Chinese adventures for the SoundBlog, say as a guest blogger. Some time soon coming to these very pages...
 My favorite July download came from maready, who posted the 4xCD Hat Hut edition (out of print for 20 years now) of Morton Feldman's beautiful late piece "For Philip Guston" on his High Pony Tail blog.
, ,  Talking about downloads: I discovered Bandcamp when I saw Michael Peters twittering about uploading his albums to this site. A little later I hit again upon the same name. When I followed a link to listen to music recorded by the Dutch contemporary music group Ensemble Klang, I found that I was actually visiting Bandcamp pages.
Indeed, Bandcamp is a place for musicians, bands or whatever, to put their music. Now of course the first thing that crossed my mind was something like: ¨O no, not another one ...¨ An obvious thought. But I changed my mind after having visiting Michael's page at Bandcamp's, and then finding that, at first unbeknownst, I had been listening to Ensemble Klang on the very same site. Apart from a small unobtrusive strip at the bottom of the page there is absolutely nothing that indicates that one is visiting a third party's site. No flashing Bandcamp banner or logo, not a single advertisement.
At the risk of now sounding as an advertisement myself: this really is almost too good to be true. You upload your music in lossless quality (.wav, .aiff or .flac). The Bandcamp site then offers a clean and highly functional online spot where one can listen (for free) to the music and download albums and individual tracks (for whatever price you choose to ask) in a format of one's own choice: from lossless FLAC to high-quality mp3. Paiements made for downloads (through Paypal) are transfered directly to the artists.
Now Bandcamp will eventually have to make money from something in order to survive, so that the current state of affairs is likely to change at some point in the near future. Well, we'll see about that in due time. For now, I this is indeed seems an amazing opportunity for 'artist controlled' online distribution of music.
Over the weekend I set up soundblog.bandcamp.com, where now you can listen to a nice selection of six 'classic' SoundBlog related albums (five of which have been 'officially' no longer available already for quite some time) and which – if you would wish to do so – you can buy as digital albums in high quality audio format. It took me no longer than it takes to upload the .aiff files and the cover-art. It is that easy...
Here's what you get:
Dagmar Krause, Harold Schellinx, Ronald Heiloo
Described as the "Holy Grail for collectors of Dagmar's recordings", these ten very concentrated songs for piano and voice were originally released on vinyl in 1983 and then re-released on CD by Voiceprint UK in 2000. But since a couple of years the album has again been largely unavailable. The individual track pages at Bandcamp include the lyrics. The download of the digital album will include a pdf booklet with scores and other goodies (as soon as I find some time to put that together).
Sound Chronicles (2003)
Seventeen tracks composed between 2000 and 2003 with material taken from my 'sonic diary', the collection of cassettes with the dictaphone recordings that I have been making ever since the late 1970s, mostly without thinking twice. Originally available just for a very short period of time as a print on demand mp3.com CDR in 2003, this is the very first time you can get hold of these ingineous sonic patchworks, knit exlusively from lo-fi cloth, in high quality audio format. I actually launched good old MacOS 9 on my desktop G4 to be able to bounce the original ProTools sessions to aiff. With the exception of GrandTirage and SportNational (that were part of CD compilations here and there) all the tracks until now had been mp3 only. Also, btw, the first time in at least five years that I ran ProTools again.
Signs & Symptoms (1980)
Peter Mertens, Harold Schellinx
The recordings on this album are slightly edited extracts from a number of summer 1980 'Frippertronics' sessions using two Akai reel-to-reel tape machines, electric guitar and Korg MS20 synthesizer. You can read all about it in the 3 part 'A Young Person's Guide To Frippertronics'. Signs & Symptoms was originally released as a limited edition cassette album by the Amsterdam 'Link Tapes' in 1980 and subsequently re-released as a 'print on demand' DAM mp3.com CDR in 2002. The digital album download includes the artwork of the original cassette release and other goodies.
training and battle (1979-1980)
The Young Lions
Among the most notable and undeniably the most original of Dutch post-punk experimental pop outfits active in Amsterdam at the end of the 1970s and early 1980s, The Young Lions (Tim Benjamin, Ronald Heiloo, Peter Mertens, Harold Schellinx, Rob Scholte) in their short existence as a band released only one official album: a 6 track 12" EP, 'No News, Strange Rumours', on the Dutch Plurex label. The EP, as well as their other recorded work, is extremely hard to get hold of, and, as things go, all of it became the stuff that myths are made of...
This anthology, consisting of tracks recorded at various occasions and by various means in the years 1979 and 1980, was originally released in the early 1980s as a limited edition cassette album by the Amsterdam based Amphibious Records label. Since, it has only been available here and there as an mp3 download on 1980s post-punk collectors' blogs.
The digital album download includes the original cassette art work and several other goodies.
The Young Lions
"Small World", a series of songs based on Charles Jackson's novel 'The Lost Weekend', was the Young Lions' final (well, almost...) recording. The bulk of the eleven pieces were composed (in the listed order) in a single day-long session in the studio of Oktopus, on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam, sometime in september or october 1980. They were performed only once, on october 22nd 1980, as part of the weekly 'Ultra' concerts, also in Oktopus, Amsterdam. These live recordings were made during that particular one-time performance. "Small World" was originally released as a limited edition cassette album by the Amsterdam 'Link Tapes'.
The digital album download includes the original cassette art-work, and the - very rare - black and white video footage of the band playing Small World's opening track, 'Like the dreaded sunday', that evening in Oktopus.
This is the classic first release of the ookoi, made at a time that the eclectic Dutch space-time warping duo still went by the name of 0 OK, 0:1. All tracks are based upon material performed live and recorded for the Archipel Medialab 'Treasure Island' project on the Dutch isle of Ameland, between May 22nd and May 28th 2004. The physical CD, released by Park4DTV in 2005, is still available. This digital album download, however, includes five additional, previously unreleased, tracks: Tafel 06, Tafel 04a, Tafel 02, Tafel 22 and Tafel 23. The download of course also includes the CD's original artwork by Max Kisman, Dick Tuinder and DBXL.
Every penny you care to put down for downloads at soundblog.bandcamp.com will fall straight into my PayPal wallet. From there I will make sure that the other artists get their fair share. (You will just have to trust me on that one :-) ...)
Now, could there be a better way to spend your 2010 holiday bonus or summer job earnings?
Next SB Tweet Digest in September.
tags: twitter, digest
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