Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Free ambient/downtempo music from Ishq / Ishvara / Indigo Egg

Despite my rant the other day, sometimes creators & rights holders need no persuasion, because they're already on board. Cornwall's psychedelic ambient/downtempo prodigies Matt Hillier & Jacqueline Kersley, for example, are proponents of digital sharing, and Matt was kind enough to give his permission for my favorite selections from their repertoire to be made available here.
  1. Ishq - "Sky Blue (Live)"
    This track was on the Ishq website for a while in the mid-2000s. It's very similar to the studio version which appears on the 2002 Orchid album, but I just prefer this one a little better because of the way it builds in the beginning. This song is rather unusual for Ishq, as it uses a straightforward Balearic-style breakbeat sample and prominent bass riff throughout. Between the bass and synths, there's an actual melody. I think of this as "their disco record." Maybe not their deepest, but it's still one of my favorites.
  2. Ishvara - "Nomad (Arabiq Mix)"
    This, too, was on the Ishq website. It's a nice, long building track with churning percussion throughout. It never got a full release, but an edited version, "Nomad (Arabian Remix)" was released on the Vampire Sunrise compilation in 2009. The edited version doesn't have the long ambient intro and outro, but is otherwise the same as this one.
  3. Elemental Journey - "Air"
    This is Hillier in collaboration with Matt Coldrick. The 2005 album it comes from is rather trancey in a way that's not my cup of tea, but this beatless track is much different from the others and is more in line with Ishq's catalog.
  4. Indigo Egg - "Clouds of Indigo" / "Shamballa" / "Smiling Buddha"
    All three of these tracks were enhanced, remastered, and released on the official 2008 release of Ixland. What I'm giving you here are pre-release versions from around 1998. Another mix of "Clouds of Indigo" first officially appeared on a compilation in 2000. Other mixes of "Smiling Buddha" appared as Ishq - "Happiness" on a compilation in 2004, and also on the Ishq website in 2005. "Shamballa" was retitled to the pair of songs "Clearlight" and "Home" on the 2008 release of Ixland.
  5. Ishq - "Opal (Opaque Mix)"
    This is a c. 2000 pre-release mix, slightly different than the one which later appeared on Orchid.
And here are some links for further research:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Accept & leverage unauthorized distribution networks now!

If you like the song, support the artist and buy the record!

Oh wait, you can’t, because the Cesarez record, for example, has been out of print for 26 years. A secondhand copy of the 12″ was sold on eBay earlier this year for US $50. The artist, label, and publisher aren’t entitled to any of that money, due to the “first sale” doctrine of copyright law, which is as it should be.

The only way anyone would even know that these tracks might have a market for a reissue is for savvy A&R people to do research and find out what the DJs are playing, what’s hot in niche radio markets, what the critics are playing for each other, what’s being shared on the ’net, what’s being talked about and posted in the blogs. Well, we are right here, and we are doing this work for you for free.


Attention labels, artists, and publishers: Music bloggers, including those who provide audio downloads, are your free market research services and your free publicity hounds. We tell you which tracks to remaster and reissue. We’re the tastemakers. We generate buzz in niche markets. We are part of the new face of radio.

People are willing to pay for good music, if only you’d make it available for fair prices, without a handover of personal information! Stop holding music for ransom. Accept the reality that all music is making its way into the underground distribution networks. Accept the reality that people who download music with no intention of ever paying for it wouldn’t have paid for it anyway; they would’ve bought a secondhand copy, copied it from some other source, heard inferior-quality clips on radio or in DJ sets, or simply gone without. Accept the reality that peer-to-peer sharing and direct downloading is the new radio; people try out tracks en masse and discard what they don’t want, and re-acquire “legally” what they can, depending on how convenient it is and how much it costs.

You’ll never eliminate the underground market, and you’ll never completely monetize it. But right now, you’re not getting anything out of it. Free publicity is going completely to waste. You probably didn't even know until now that your deep catalog music, which you thought no one cared about anymore, is generating interest again. It could be reissued in a limited edition physical media, and sold digitally through a site like juno.co.uk, netting you at least some income, even while it’s simultaneously freely available elsewhere. You could even ask music bloggers to take their clips offline once you’ve made the reissues available, and you'd be surprised that most of them would oblige because they want to support you.

But instead, you’re committed to letting the music languish in your archives, lamenting the fact that people aren’t paying you a living wage each & every time they copy & distribute their mediocre “rips” in the secondhand & digital sharing marketplace, angry that bloggers didn’t ask your permission even though they had naturally feared you would’ve come after them or placed unreasonable limitations on them.

It’s your choice. Do you want a piece of the action or not? Get on board and take advantage of the market and services that are right here in front of your eyes. Reissue lost tracks. Contact music bloggers to ask them to talk about your music, post free tracks, and direct folks to your authorized distributors, rather than ordering them to cease & desist. We are not your enemy.

Cesarez - Si tu sais compter… (Crazy Mix)

I had a little trouble finding a complete copy of this fun little French Canadian synth-pop song. It's part of the long tradition of French singers who are either children or just sound like children.

There are apparently 3 versions:
  • 4:19 version from the 7″ and 12″
  • 3:31 version from the 7″ only
  • 6:04 Crazy Mix from the 12″ only

Others who have posted about this song: