#Writing #MusicMonday: selling your friend (for cash) by subatomicglue

subatomicglue-selling-cdThis album ought to have been posted on 11 July 2016.

I’ve shared one album by subatomicglue before, globalenemy, and I still love it.

selling your friend (for cash) was a few albums and years later, and while it is a very different album (not telling a horror movie story, for example), it is definitely a work by the same composer.

It is driving synth work, most of it danceable and thus, probably, qualifies as techno, but good even so.

The composer himself says:

an ecclectic mix of hard aggressive action and musicbox charm. in an age of instant satisfaction and consumer whoring, it is all too possible to forget or even discard that which is important.

Download selling your friend (for cash) by subatomicglue from the Internet Archive or get it directly from the artist’s own website.

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selling your friend (for cash) by subatomicglue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Unported License.

#Writing #Music Monday: Limitless by Sirius

coverBoy, my mood swings can be intense.

And I don’t even mean that I’m posting this a day late due to depression. (Though that might be a small part of it, too.)

No, what I’m actually referring to is the fact that I went through about three other albums in my head, each a jarringly different genre, over this past weekend while trying to decide what to post for Writing Music Monday this week. I was tempted by some jazz, then some classical, then a solo piano album.

And yet I landed on techno. Not my favorite genre, not by a long shot, yet here I am. Go figure.

Make no mistake, this is dance club, repetitious, throbbing techno.

And yet, it’s also really good. I hear in it traces of the ’80s-style electronica I adore, and even like the techno clichés as they happen. Instead of being the sort of dance club music that seems to insist on getting up in your face and being a rude boor, it mostly is content to do what it’s doing without all the posturing designed to provoke reactions. It’s putting music together, more so than simply expressing attitude and hoping for reaction, even negative reaction.

I don’t know anything about Sirius, the artist who made this album, but Limitless is his (her?) most recent release on Jamendo, and he has music going all the way back to 2007. So far back that the first one has a Generation One Creative Commons license, one of the old, confusing ones. Apart from the body of work, and the Jamendo profile saying that he’s French, I know nothing.

But the work is good. The work is very good. Good enough to overcome my bias against techno despite making no attempt to disguise its techno-ness.

Somehow, it just hits my mood right this week.

Download Limitless by Sirius free from the Internet Archive.

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Limitless by Sirius is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

#Writing #Music Monday: cyberpunk by Bod

coverI am in a mood, which usually means I don’t post. But I got pissed at my depression for keeping me from having a post ready to roll, and started flailing around on Jamendo to find something, anything that I could find to fit both my prickliness and yet be a good thing to put in the background to write to.

And I stumbled across cyberpunk by German (of course!) composer Bod, who writes of it:

This 9 track album was completely written with the cyberpunk community in mind. It is intended to be played in the background when playing roleplaying games like Shadowrun or Cyberpunk 2020.

All songs are themed to the Neuromancer trilogy by William Gibson. I tried to mix several genres and keep a mixture between technic and handmade sounds. Again: This album is _not_ intended to be heard with full attention. Turn the volume down and let it sit in the background while playing.

Given my eclectic circle of friends and acquaintances, I find it quite surprising that I’ve never run into music written specifically to be played during roleplaying game sessions before.

Confession: I never liked cyberpunk, despite the fact that I knew then and know now that I should like it, at least some instances of it. Furthermore, I bloody hate William Gibson’s cyberpunk works — which is at least partly a function of how insanely overpraised they were at the time, though I have issues with the style he wrote them in as well. Also, I had a university course in SF, and Neuromancer was presented as the logical endpoint for the genre, bringing it down into the gutter among the outcasts, where the professor averred that it belonged (a frankly weird assertion from a prof who openly loved the genre, but that’s a whole other planet of wax).

Even with those two prejudices of mine working against it, given that the tracks are themed from Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy, it’s kind of remarkable that this album won me over before the first track was over.

Yes, most of the pieces are repetitious, but that’s down both to their genres and to the fact that this is intended as background music. And the repetition almost always has layers of variation, rather than just being on a loop repeat.

In a lot of ways, this is what the ideal cyberpunk, the subgenre that I wish cyberpunk would be, instead of what it actually was, should sound like. It’s hard-edged, sometimes spiky, but also lulls you into its world — not just dirt and trash and amorality, but chrome and clean plastic and mirrorshades too. It works. It works very well.

Download cyberpunk free from the Internet Archive, or directly from Bod’s website.

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cyberpunk by Bod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

#Writing #Music Monday: This Is Psytrance by Jordan Margera

This Is Psytrance CoverHere’s an entry in another subgenre of techno with which I am unfamiliar. This time around, we are delving into psytrance, which is a variation of trance, which is a subset of techno.

Beyond that, I can’t really explain the differences yet. I tend to prefer 80’s–sounding synth, but this is more modern and hard-edged than that.

Jordan Margera is a French DJ, and this appears to be his first exploration of psytrance, so it’s a first for everybody around here.

The album (it’s labeled an EP, but it is forty-four minutes long, which is longer than a number of older LPs) is dark, hard-edged and driving. It throbs. It pulses. It pauses unexpectedly, then cascades new sounds on you before circling back to familiar territory.

To my way of thinking, it’d be good background if you’re writing something gritty, urban and set within the last twenty years or so.

Overall, it’s an interesting and evocative soundscape. Not one I want to live in every day, but worth visiting and revisiting.

Download This Is Psytrance by Jordan Margera free from Jamendo.

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This Is Psytrance – EP by Jordan Margera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 International License.

#Writing #Music Monday: Homeland by SBUT

Homeland CoverI often post an album saying “It’s kind of this, but also a bit of that, but not really like either too much.”

Not this one. This is flat–out dance club techno. So if bass heavy thumpathumpa that’s meant to be danced to won’t get you writing, you probably want to pass this one by.

But — and regular readers know I don’t generally say this about techno — this is really good!


I dance in my chair to this, and look around for hot girls in tube tops. It’s pro, it’s good, and it gets you moving.

SBUT is (yet another) German composer and, not reading German, I can’t tell you too much about him other than that he was born in ’85 and his music is really damn good. He’s been releasing music through Jamendo since 2009, though I’ve only just discovered him (I am a techno-phobe only in the musical sense). He might have begun dj-ing and producing music as far back as 2000 (again, my interpretation of his German bio, so I could be wrong).

Homeland is, at the time of this writing, his most recent release. It throbs. It thumps. It loops and builds and tangents and circles back.

And it’s just really, really damn good. (Especially the “Homeland Girls” track. If you don’t like that, you don’t like ice cream.)

Download Homeland free from Jamendo.

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Homeland by SBUT is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

#Writing #Music Monday: Back to the Source by Tradmark

Back To The Source CoverHere’s an hour of music that’s not what you expect, in a good way, even as you’re listening to it.

Tradmark doesn’t say much about himself anywhere that I’ve found, but he appears to be a one-man show in the Midwestern USA. His music is an amalgam of jazz, techno, and new wave synth, and it all works together quite well.

Take the first track, “Mood for December Rendered”. Starts off as a lonely saxophone cityscape piece of jazz, but transitions seamlessly into upbeat new wave synth, keeping the sax throughout for texture.

Pretty much the whole album does this, and just as well.

Probably my favorite thing this album does is the way it sets up your expectations as a listener, and then uses those expectations to surprise you. From the pause in “Mood for December Rendered” to the abrupt ending of “Live for Freedom”, to several others I won’t spoil, it’s almost like Tradmark is in dialogue with you as you listen, and keeps surprising you with his wit when you think you have his position pegged. It’s very nice.

Download Back to the Source free from Jamendo.

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Back to the Source by Tradmark is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

#Writing #Music Monday: Supernova by Adam Certamen Bownik

CoverYes, I’ve been slacking. I may continue, hard to tell.

For today, however, here is fifty minutes of techno-synth music to explore. A lot of it sounds like it could be disco orchestra stuff from the late ’70s — but I mean that in a good way, for once.

Adam Certamen Bownik appears to be a very interesting man. On top of his music — he has produced 64 solo albums in 16 years (!) — he is an adjunct professor in the department of Physiology and Toxicology at the University of Lublin, Poland. (One almost wonders if he hunts dinosaurs or builds time machines in his spare time.)

Supernova consists of three lengthy tracks, two of about fifteen minutes, one clocking in at twenty, and they’re entirely engaging from beginning to end. It’s almost a synth symphony, with some vocalizing (not too much) throughout. In fact, it is another example I would point to of “this is a way music should have gone”, taking off from Vangelis and other synth artists of the ’70s and ’80s.

Possibly one of the reasons I am so taken with this album are his two rules:

There are 2 main rules I obey in composing. 1. The patch should be of original sound not copied from the best [Tangerine Dream] albums ;). Synthesizers are instruments of a great variety of sounds to obtain so I have no reason to play with sounds that are indeed great but well known. 2. Apart from a good synth patch a melody line must be included in the composition. Some moments without melody could be be beneficial or even required but should not be the essential part of a composition.

That works for me, it works very well.

Supernova is available for free download from Jamendo.

Supernova by Adam Certamen Bownik is released under a Free Art License 1.3 (FAL 1.3), also known as a Libre Art License (LAL).

This license is compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution–Share-Alike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.