#Writing #Music Monday: Inside The Beat by Partition 36

CoverI’ve had two albums by Partition 36 in my “potential WMM” playlist for quite a long time, but kept putting off sharing anything from him/her.

There is an anger to the music, or at least that’s how I feel it when I listen. It’s sort of techno, and has those razor edges some techno gets.

Which doesn’t mean I don’t like it — I wouldn’t be sharing it if I didn’t. But it is less immediately likeable than some of what I share, and might even be off-putting. Consider that fair warning.

Also, there are vocals on a number of tracks on this album, though they’re less lyrics and more like chanting, most of the time. But if that pulls you out or distracts you when writing, keep it in mind.

That said, despite the occasional abrasiveness of the listening experience, Inside The Beat does what I like electronica albums to do — it takes you on a journey through a world, a place you couldn’t get to with any other kind of sound. And while it has those areas that maybe are a bit uncomfortable, for the most part it is a pleasant journey.

Download Inside The Beat free from the Internet Archive.

Also, you can download it (including in lossless FLAC format) from Partition 36’s own site, but under a more restrictive non-commercial license.

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Inside The Beat by Partition 36 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

#Writing #Music Monday: Kuddelmuddel by Jahzzar

Kuddelmuddel CoverSometimes it seems to me that I make Music Mondays all about Javier Suarez. Other times, I spend a fair length of time looking at other musicians’ work, and come back and find he’s released three or four solid albums when I was distracted.

With Kuddelmuddel, his first release of 2015 (and not his most recent, even at this writing!), he returned to the happy synth universe of previous Writing Music Monday album Wake Up, and that can be no bad thing.

Kuddelmuddel is rich, layered, complex, contemplative, and happy. All things which our culture, especially our musical culture, cannot possibly have enough of.

Jahzzar himself writes of it:

Influences… Lykke Li, CHVRCHES, Crystal Castles, Electric Youth, Zola Jesus, Hundred Waters, Jessie Ware, Chairlift, The Chromatics, Metronomy… A little bit of Dum Dum Girls, Todd Terje, Liars, Wild Nothing, Beach House or Daft Punk’s “Discovery”. It may contain traces of OMD, New Order and Grauzone.

I cannot add much in this description that can not be seen from influences.

Which means there is a whole list of artists I should probably look into, since I only know New Order and have heard of Daft Punk. However, I feel sure I’ll end up preferring Jahzzar to most of his influences. That seems to be the way it works most of the time.

Download Kuddelmuddel free from Jamendo in MP3 format, or pay what you like and get it from Bandcamp in almost any format you could want.

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Kuddelmuddel by Jahzzar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://betterwithmusic.com/contact/.

Writing Music Monday: Life In Bitville by Jaime Heras

CoverImagine you had a time machine. And you went back to 1983, maybe 1984. Found the most ingenious composer of synth music working. Handed him a pound of gold and said “I want you to write a soundtrack for the internet.”

After he stopped giving you That Look, and you explained what the internet was going to be (without making any reference to William Gibson or Neuromancer, because it won’t have been published for another year, so his vision of it won’t be tainted by that level of nihilism), you would see his eyes light up with potential. He’d shoot questions at you left and write. You’d see his mind already drawing analogies to what he knows.

You’d go away, knowing with reasonable certainty that you’d planted the seed of a masterpiece.

Well, it didn’t happen then, but it did happen. Without the time machine.

Jaime Heras is a composer and musician I have only gotten into a little. He’s quite prolific, with eleven full albums and four EPs on Jamendo, covering 2007 through 2012 (as of the writing of this post), but I’ve only downloaded two, and have only given one much play.

But that one, Life in Bitville, is so brilliant and perfect that I can’t stop playing it.

Which leaves me bemused, a bit. How in hell can something this good have fewer than 1,000 listens or downloads!?

Go forth and rectify that! This is perfect background for the piece of ’80s nostalgia you’ve been wanting to write.

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Life in Bitville by Jaime Heras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Writing Music Monday: Wake Up by Jahzzar

[cover] Jahzzar - Wake Up I love, and sometimes miss, ’80s music of a specific kind — the pure synth of Miami Vice, Brad Fidel’s soundtracks like The Terminator, Fletch, Beverly Hills Cop and so many others. Synth unpolluted by “dark”ness, expansive, exploratory, often joyful.

The directions that synthesized music has gone since then mostly leave me cold. (Hans Zimmer’s score for Inception being a notable exception.)

But this composer, Jahzzar (real name: Javier Suarez), gets it. He’s an Argentinian a Spaniard, and puts out lots and lots of music under the very liberal CC BY-SA license for other people to use as soundtracks to whatever they see fit. And he’s good. He’s very very good.

Proof: “Wake Up“, his tribute to ’80s synth, is nearly perfect, without copying anything. It gets the style without aping anyone in particular. I’m not always in the mood for it, but when I am, this hits that sweet spot and I can put it on repeat and let it go for hours and hours.

Jahzzar’s main site is BetterWithMusic, and you can find all his work at Jamendo, much of it at Free Music Archive, SoundCloud, and elsewhere.

UPDATE: Corrected Jahzzar’s nationality. Don’t quite know how I got him in the wrong hemisphere.

Writing Music Monday: Below Zero by JM Galié

For this first Writing Music Monday, I bring you the album “Below Zero” by Argentinian musician JM Galié, (CC BY-NC-ND). (Alternate download link, if Jamendo doesn’t work for some reason.)

I’m mostly averse to techno and other modern variants, but I like 1980s style synth when I’m in the mood, and this seems, to my ear, closer to that. All of Galié’s albums are good and worth downloading, but this one is the one I go back to the most. No vocals, no sudden crashes, perfect background music for when you’re writing.