22 May 2010

Jet Set Lifestyle Soundtrack

Montréal artist Tortue Super Sonic (TSS) brings you his new sonic wave. This wave is generally downtempo, as you will hear on his album, NEOGROTESQUE. You can expect some variations in the mix, such as guitars, synthetic strings, and some interesting experimentation. You will hear a couple outer space themes, an Arab flavored track, a song for robots, and even some luxurious easy listening.

Overall, the vibe of this album is the airy soundtrack to a sophisticated, international, jet set lifestyle. This could easily be library music for scenes of luxury by the pool, space travel, cloak and dagger action. Tortue Super Sonic (TSS) will excite your cinematic imagination.

Enjoy the entire album, NEOGROTESQUE, on the FMA.

album license: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 France License

21 May 2010

Quirky Genius of Logan Whitehurst

Logan Whitehurst began uploading his original songs to mp3.com back in 1997 and gained a strong online following for his music. His quirky songs were regularly played on Dr. Demento and often compared to the likes of They Might Be Giants. Whitehurst was a multi-instrumentalist and an accomplished graphic artist. Tragically, Logan passed away from a brain tumor at the age of 29.

Lee Rosevere of Happy Puppy Records worked with the Whitehurst family to provide the world a posthumous anthology of Logan's work. The 10 song collection, AN INTRODUCTION TO LOGAN WHITEHURST AND THE JR. SCIENCE CLUB, is now available on the Free Music Archive.

20 May 2010

Shake That Little Foot

SHAKE THAT LITTLE FOOT is an album of Celtic and Appalachian classics for you, including traditional Scottish, mountain, and bluegrass favorites.

This mostly instrumental album was recorded in Liverpool, England in 1993 by a group who had yet to adopt a name. Eventually, they became "Shake That Little Foot." After getting their original tracks from the recording engineer, Mike Cooper, they released this album online.

The band notes that "Sally Ann" is a composite arrangement of three different traditional versions of this tune: a frailing banjo tune (the intro), a fiddle tune (the instrumental break), and a song. Guitarist Chris Erswell also notes:

"Don't miss the comic 'Flopped-Eared Mule'. There is also a rollicking rendition of 'Bill Cheathum' which will be sure to get your feet a-dancing. Oh, and there is a banjo version of 'Scotland the Brave' to a back beat like you've never heared it before."

19 May 2010

Lee Rosevere - Instrumental

Canadian artist Lee Rosevere has been riding on the crest of the free digital music wave for about as long as the web has been able to provide music files. Rosevere is a veteran artist on many netlabels and even operates his own quality and low key free netlabel, Happy Puppy Records.

Lee works in radio, and much of his instrumental album BACKTIME was originally composed for use as radio themes, underscores, or for "backtime." The latter is a term used by in the radio industry for background music programmed to finish at a set time. The tracks are made up of beats, samples, and electronic and live instrumentation.

The entire album is available at the FMA for free download. Enjoy it as a body of work or use it in your own projects.

image: detail from cover of BACKTIME

album license: Attribution-NonCommercial License


18 May 2010


Move over, Tom Lehrer, with "The Elements," your periodic table classic. There is a new act on the scene. Their name is Matheatre. This time it isn't chemisty; it's mathematics. Marc Gutman and Sadie Bowman have written a touring Calculus musical, Calculus: The Musical!, and continued their clever work with C-Sections (available at the FMA) and Log, A Rhythm. A series of albums to encompass all of Pre-Calculus is in the works.

Get your nerd on now! Enjoy C-Sections in its entirety at the Free Music Archive!

17 May 2010

Jane Siberry Shares Discography

Inimitable, complex, idiosyncratic, chanteuse Jane Siberry has chosen to make her discography available for free. Jane is offering 16 complete releases with booklets in both mp3 and aiff formats. Hopefully she will get a donation system going soon, because this is quite a large gift to offer the world.

If Jane Siberry is new to your ears, you are in for a treat. Her airy, delicate sound is singularly her own. Jane is beautiful. We can recommend our personal favorite albums as NO BORDERS HERE (1983) and SPECKLESS SKY (1985). Jane's self-titled album (1981) is similar to these two, and the only reason it is not a favorite is that we have not spent years with it as we have these two selections.

THE WALKING (1987) was critically acclaimed. You can disappear into its soundscapes. BOUND BY THE BEAUTY (1989) is a more pop, radio ready release with some catchy numbers. WHEN I WAS A BOY (1993) was co-produced by Brian Eno and Michael Brook and is considered Siberry's most eclectic work yet. Great ambient realms are created in that one.

Next came MARIA (1995) in which Jane performs with a jazz ensemble. Warm piano, bold brass, soft, then powerful. TEENAGER (1996) was Jane's first release on her own label. In this one, you can hear her freedom to do just as she pleases. She even revisits her very first songs. A DAY IN THE LIFE (1997) is an interesting sound collage wherein you actually follow Jane through a day.

NEW YORK TRILOGY (1999) is composed of three albums of material from three nights in 1996 at the Bottom Line nightclub in New York City. The last of which is songs for the Christmas season. In fact, much of Jane Siberry's more recent material reflects her faith. HUSH (2000) is made up of traditional American and Celtic selections, like "O' Shenandoah," "Old Man River," and "Streets of Laredo." SHUSHAN THE PALACE: HYMNS OF EARTH (2003) is a religious release of Christian hymns with an Early Music feeling.

After that nonsecular album, Jane Siberry gave away her possessions and changed her identity to Issa. She released DRAGON DREAMS and WITH WHAT SHALL I KEEP WARM? as Issa, as well as a third unreleased album. Among other themes, these address living with simplicity and character in nature. They flow like poetry.

Learn more about Jane at AllMusic.com and Wikipedia. Read about what she is up to now and why she has given you her music for free in recent articles at the Times Online, New York Times, and The Globe and Mail (photos).

For such an accomplished artist to give her work to the world in this way is a selfless gift. Thank you, Jane Siberry, you lovely woman.


01. Jane Siberry (1981)
02. No Borders Here (1983)
03. Speckless Sky (1985)
04. The Walking (1987)
05. Bound by the Beauty (1989)
06. When I Was a Boy (1993)
07. Maria (1995)
08. Teenager (1996)
09. Day in the Life (1997)
10. New York Trilogy (1999)
New York Trilogy, 1 Tree, Music for Films and Forests
New York Trilogy, 2 Lips, Music for Saying It
New York Trilogy, 3 Child, Music for Christmas
11. Hush (2000)
12. Shushan the Palace, Hymns of Earth (2003)
13. Dragon Dreams (2008)
14. With What Shall I Keep Warm (2009)

14 May 2010

Warm Orange

Australian label Patterns Community Sound Centre may not have a website any longer, but they have left a legacy through their recordings. This debut EP by Lagos Disco Machine is testimony. With thumb pianos, effects, and found sounds, the WARM ORANGE EP entertains your ears and brain with organic and electronic sound layers. Lagos Disco Machine is a misleading name, as only one selection is a dance track. In face, track three, "Lord Pear," sounds more like a tribal field recording. For clocking in at about 20 minutes, this EP takes your ears all over the place and back again. Enjoy it here at the FMA.

12 May 2010

Walking On Eggshells

So good! This is a stimulating 24 minute documentary in which artists from writers to musicians to painters discuss modern culture and "appropriation, creative influence, re-use and intellectual property in the remix age." (Jonathon Letham talking about culture references in Bugs Bunny cartoons will hit home with several generations.) The artists have fascinating points of view.

The filmmakers Jacob Albert, Ryan Beauchamp, and Brendan Schlagel created this film as their final project for the seminar "Intellectual Property in the Digital Age" at Yale University.

Available on YouTube in 3 parts. All worthwhile.

10 May 2010

Arrr, Pirate Songs, Matey!

Arrrr! Music makers of all ages are invited to make ocean or pirate songs for the upcoming PIRATE POP recording. If your song is popular with our listening team, your song will appear on the album. We look forward to hearing your entry, matey!

The deadline for submissions is June 15, 2010. Click here for details.

Good luck to all who participate in this contest! Thank you for sharing your work for kids!

detail of illustration "Pirates Vs. Ninjas" by Marcus Hadlock
[licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]

06 May 2010

Future of the Past Today

Internal view of the Stanford torus space station design by Donald Davis*

In 2006 on Sascha Müller's trippy Pharmacom-rec netlabel, a serious 2-CD album appeared that excited chill out, new age, space music, and electronica fans alike. The release was the work of Frank Dorittke as "F.D. Project" and was titled MARE TRANQUILLITATIS.

It is a pure, perfect tribute to Berlin School German electronica. Fans of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Ashra, Kitaro, or Mike Oldfield will discover a hidden treasure that sounds like Kosmische Musik composed and performed in the late '70s. MARE TRANQUILLITATIS delivers fresh new sounds for fans of the genre.

Prepare for retro futurism. Set your dials back decades, put on your giant headphones, close your eyes and drift off into space with all the cosmic synthesizers, soaring virtuoso guitars, shifting analog sequencer bass lines, Mellotron-style samples, and spacey effects so indicative of the Berlin School.

In MARE TRANQUILLITATIS, Dorittke presents future music from the past created in the present. Just like a mission into deep space, this 2-CD release has the power to remove you from the present world and fill you with wonder.

* Artist Donald Davis' description of his painting: "The 1975 NASA Ames/Stanford University Summer Study worked out the broad engineering requirements for a toroidal shaped space colony design. This painting used the design, but I refused to fill the interior with the 'shopping mall gone mad' clutter of other drawings. Again the challenge of sustaining something like a closed ecosystem was a theme I wanted to emphasize. This design became known as the 'Stanford Torus'. Oil on board for NASA Ames."