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Archive for May, 2009

my label is the internet : the interviews part 2

Friday, May 29th, 2009

When researching the article “My Label is the Internet” for our April09 issue, Alex had the chance to talk with several people directly involved with netlabels.

An interview with Alexander from the netlabel Ektoplazm

Hi Alexander, Lets get right into it.  What brought Ektoplazm into existence?

I re-launched Ektoplazm in 2006 in order to explore a number of revolutionary ideas about music distribution, social media, and technology.  Of course, many others have done the same thing in recent years – but I was interested in taking these concepts and fitting them to the specific needs of a niche market, namely the global psychedelic trance counterculture.  Motivated by concern for the creative vitality of the movement, I set out to develop a viable alternative to the commercial distribution system.  The problem, in a nutshell: psytrance is a very small industry.  With decreased physical media sales most of the labels have become very risk-averse; they simply can’t afford to take a chance releasing music that doesn’t fit a particular template.  New and unusual producers have an inordinately difficult time breaking into this market – and we, as listeners, lose out.  To address some of these concerns I set out to open up a new frontier: free music done in a professional way, maximizing exposure for the artists while providing the highest quality digital media to an ever-growing international audience.

From your perspective, is technology like BitTorrent file sharing a threat?

No, not at all.  Technologies like BitTorrent are an opportunity, not a threat.  It is the task of business leaders to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions, not dictate terms to their customers.  Creative and cultural industries have been turned upside down by the ease and convenience of file sharing but those industries were in dire need of renewal.  In the new economy of abundance, where media objects are infinitely copyable, any business models based on guilt trips, digital rights management, or other pointless stopgap measures are ultimately doomed.  Why fight against the inevitable?  It is a better use of time and energy to invest in the future. (more…)

my label is the internet : the interviews part 1

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

When researching the article “My Label is the Internet” for our April09 issue, Alex had the chance to talk with several people directly involved with netlabels.

The great conundrum of the internet is if it’s good music and you downloaded it, you must have stolen it.  The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) would have us believe that turning on our computers, tuning in to the webstream, and dropping out of the physical unit purchase of music, is equivalent to stabbing our favorite artists in their tortured, money-starved livers, and leaving them to bleed out in a back alley.  Actually, in the case of a quality netlabel, the somewhat new and relatively unknown outcropping of the evolving communication matrix, downloading music is what they stake their very livelihood upon.

An interview with Sebastian from the netlabel Thinner

What brought Thinner into existence?

The basic desire to run my own label, the possibility to create a special image and the impossibility to invest financial resources in it.

From the label’s perspective, is technology like BitTorrent file sharing a threat?

On the one hand yes, because the ease of use prevents people from buying music.  MP3 blogs sharing copyrighted music and making money through advertising income are all around these days.  Although torrents are a good technology for making information available and spreading it, it’s at the same time a serious threat to many thousand of people working in media related companies.  If you look around and see which files are shared within torrent networks it feels like 99% is illegal, copyrighted material.  On the other hand digital music is overpriced – asking $1 for a file is too much, because if compared to alternative media like DVDs and computer games, people get the least entertainment for their money.  Because of that music needs to be seriously re-priced – and all parties who are not directly involved in production and marketing should be removed from the financial distribution cake.  Else digital can barely become a full replacement to physical sales. (more…)

kinetik : day 3

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

There were many bands to see at Kinetik and that meant most nights went from around 6pm to 3am. These long nights meant shorter days… we slept in pretty late on Saturday, day three of Kinetik Festival. When we finally did head out of hotel we found it was raining and gloomy out. We headed out to the Eaton Centre in Montreal to check out the Dollface store. I have been a fan of Dollface’s fashion designs since I discovered them on the Canadian online store Mudshark Streetwear. I’ve always had to buy their clothes online and was excited to see their actual store. Unfortunately it was closed. We decided to wander around the mall and get some lunch to see if they would eventually open, but we had no such luck. So we left the mall to head down to old Montreal and the harbor but half way there we grew tired of the rain and decided to head back to the hotel. So our outing for Saturday was rather unsuccessful.

Phase 3 of Kinetik was dedicated to noise and IDM. There was a great lineup of artists this night. Among the lineup were Adversary, Architect, Iszoloscope, Noisex, and Winterkalte. Architect put on a great performance. I think it was the first time I got to see one of Daniel Myer’s projects live, so that had me excited! Iszoloscope was great as well, but if I had to choose I think I prefer their other project Memmaker. Memmaker just really blew me away. Noisex was a highlight of my night as well. I got to see him in Toronto years ago and ever since hoped to get to see him play again. (more…)

kinetik : day 2

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Friday, day two of Kinetik, I woke up feeling rested and much better.  We went out for lunch on Saint Denis, the street our hotel was on.  It was a beautiful day, warm but not too warm and sunny.  After lunch we decided to do some shopping.  I had heard that Cruella, the most notable goth/industrial clothing store in Montreal was closed due to a fire in the building.  But then I also heard it was possibly open so I decided to head there to find out for myself.

The walk from out hotel to the store wasn’t long, about 20 minutes.  It turned out that there were a lot of shops on the walk there.  We stopped in a couple shoe stores, a skater-clothing store, a MAC, and Urban Outfitters.  This strip of Saint Denis was a mix of local shops and some chain shops.  We continued our way down Mont-Royal to Cruella.  Sure enough it was closed.  The fire was very evident; the whole second story of the block was burnt out.  It was unfortunate the shop had be closed during the festival. (more…)

the videos are dead : top 10 underrated 80s metal videos

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

10 Loudness – This Lonely Heart

Unbelievably awesome hair metal from the land of the rising sun!!  Now with more slow motion water drinking than an Evian ad!

9 Vinnie Vincent Invasion – Love Kills

Featuring Mark Slaughter, this was the best of the soundtrack power ballads.  Ironically, Vinnie Vincent haunts my dreams as a figure far more terrifying than Freddy Krueger ever could be.  Who gets kicked out of KISS for unethical behavior!


music review : Experiment Haywire – Remix Riot

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

reviewed by : Mike Kieffer

released by : machineKUNT Records
data : 4th album . 16 tracks . myspace.com/experimenthaywire
genre : industrial

Experiment Haywire’s remix album Remix Riot has assembled some big names and a lot of rising stars.  Such acts as; Leaether Strip, XP8, Blank, Soman, and twelve others.  With a nice solid foundation of eight original tracks taken off of three different albums.  The remixers went to work, chewed up the original, and spit out tracks that are unmistakably theirs and at the same time it is definitely Rachel Haywire belting out the lyrics.  The remixes are different from each other, when compairing two remixes it’s almost impossible to tell that it’s the same song.  It also amazed me when listening through the CD with only glancing at the track list that I could pick out who made what remix.  This being said, if you are a die-hard fan of any of the remixers then this album is a must.  Almost all the tracks should tare up the dance floors with a few exceptions, “Army Or Two (Out Out 2 Treatment)” and “Game Called Life (Autoclav 1.1 Vivify mix)” come to mind.  Overall I was pleased more with this album when coming from a DJs point of view and less in terms of “pop this in and do my daily routine”.

recommended tracks : Game Called Life (Leaether Strip Mix), Mean Enough Hot Enough (Vicious Alliance Just An Animal Mix), Stereo Type (Soman Re:Work)
if you like you may like : Any of the remixers, Angel Spit
grade : overall 7 – music 8 – lyrics 7 – recording quality 9

kinetik : day 1

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

May 14th was the first day of Kinetik, a four day music festival of electro, industrial, and noise taking place in Montreal, Canada.  [for more background on Kinetik read the summer festivals article in the June 09 issue] Mike and I will be attending all four days this year.  It’s our first time attending the festival and our first visit to Montreal!

To get to Montreal we decided to take the train instead of driving.  So to catch our 7am train leaving from St. Catharines we had to wake up at 4am.  We left our apartment at 4:30am, dropped our cars off somewhere safe for the weekend, and got a ride to St. Catharines.  The train was comfy and clean and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to attend next year’s festival.  We had an hour layover in Toronto where we met up with two of my friends, DJ Razorgrrl and Ashley who models under the name Spitfire.  At 3pm we got into Montreal.  After a short subway ride we were at our hotel.   (more…)