/mu/sicians – soundcloud thread

I posit that the best homemade music on the internet is made by /mu/sicians. Let’s see if it is true.

Starting off with “space folk”. I like the singing, it’s simple and straightforward, but delivers emotion. The “space” part comes after about two minutes. It’s an interesting and effective track all in all. I’d listen to more of this.

EDM with some reggae influence. Seems fitting to be played to a crowd. It’s no feat of genius, but it’s cool to listen to and the reggae samples fit very well.

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Best of /mu/ Contest – Vol. 2

Better late than never. I continue to believe /mu/ is the best music board on the Internet. Meanwhile, /mu/sicians make some of the most interesting homemade music I have heard on the Internet. I personally think it beats most of “mainstream” independent music, that is, music released by labels and positively reviewed by Pitchfork and the such, and this compilation proves that shit. Now let’s get down to business:

Rekapper – Tripcrop

It’s a trip alright, not only the track but listening to Rekapper’s stuff in general. He is capable of anything in electronic music, and everything he does is absurdly well made and polished, always surrounded with very good taste and synth play. It’s a work of obsession and long hours of hard work. After listening to hours of his music, I have come to the state where when I listen to electronic music, I immediately compare to his music. There are many electronic musicians on soundcloud, he’s the best, most interesting and inventive I have heard.

This track in particular has many beautiful and interesting details, laid down on a soft, sleepy carpet of dreams. Listening on good headphones is probably recommended, but I bet it was mixed to perfection on any setup you have at hand. The track develops nicely, slowly building interesting juxtapositions, than deconstructing  them unexpectedly, always unexpectedly. It’s a feast.

The MACHINE – Building a New House for Skrillex

Interesting experiment in making music with noises, mostly raw and unpleasant, fitting the witty theme. This can be silly and awful, like this piece of shit, but halfway through the track you forget the joke-like substance of the collection of sounds, because it fits together in a a musically sound way. It’s by no way a mess, it follows a structure, develops and changes in the right times and in interesting ways. Cool track, not the sort you forget easily, not the sort you only listen to once.

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Best of /mu/ Contest, Vol. II – Review of Submitted Tracks (Part 1)

Once again motherfucker, let’s do this. I will keep this shit brief so I can hopefully review everything this time.

Last year when inb4track was just starting out Carpeaux took on the task of reviewing submissions for the first ‘Best of /mu/’ compilation album. The idea was to compile a set of tracks that reflected the collective music interests and endeavors of independent musicians, specifically that of /mu/. This year another Best of /mu/ contest is taking place and once again, inb4track is setting out to review each individual track.

Kingtommen – Based

Nice track, spacey, sparse, beautiful. If you stop to think about it, the sort of Kid A influence is all around us and we barely notice it at this point, everything is sort of strange and otherwordly, but the shock from 2001 is gone, we are living in the fucking future now, no one gives a shit anymore. Yeah, and this track also.

Mascara Hera – Phaethon

Pretty, competent, gorgeous synths, the singing sound ethereal and nice. It also gets boring after some time. I don’t know, I just keep wishing for something awesome to come up, but it never does. But damn, it’s only 2 minutes and a half long, so either I shouldn’t be such an ass to expect so much from such a short track, or the track would benefit from an added section. Anyhow, what little there is here, is good.

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Best of /mu/

I started the first batch of reviews of the tracks submitted calling /mu/ the musical elite of the Internet. Of course as most people there I fell in love with /mu/ immediately, I felt it replaced my ill-fated lifelong search for friends with whom to talk about music. For the first time in my life I found people that new more about music and cared as much about it as myself and it was refreshing as fuck. I’ve been to other boards but I don’t think they are as good. Reddit for example was quite disappointing.

Instead of listening to the best of /mu/ album while I write, I’m listening to Radio Reddit so I get a kind of perspective, something to compare to. Actually, I have just took it out because it’s kind of shitty. There’s something about this compilation that just feels like a home run. The level of good taste on every single track is amazing. So I went back to one of my favorites, the very short and sweet “My Gun” by someone called Nedmund. Some guy like me, lurking /mu/ looking for the best music for this moment right now. I’ve been to a bunch of sharethreads, I’ve spent hours in that sharethread archive and later listening to such music as chillwave, black metal, blackened hard core, free jazz etc. It’s mind-boggling how one group of people can listen to such diverse music.

Being a musician myself, I drifted towards the soundcloud threads, eventually being forced to make music of my own again, after years of just guitar improvising. The quality of what I found, along with the lack of general interest outside of /mu/ for it, drove me to start this blog so I could write about it exclusively, perhaps get a couple more of people to enjoy it as well. Of course I know most people on this compilation – and more than a hundred were left out – will never “make” it. “Most” might be very optimist, but I’m sticking to it because I can’t see how thousands of people wouldn’t be amazed listening to Less Deceived, Victor Florence, Somnitone, Joey Spencer etc. I also know most of the electronic tracks are incredible as well, such as Rekapper’s and the oh so pretty “Walmart”, by Brendan Rincon.

What concerns me is that the average /mu/tant’s music taste isn’t representative of what works outside of that universe. Most of the albums /mu/ goes batshit about (the essential charts) are there in the best of all times lists everywhere else, but buried with albums most of us don’t care about. Outside of the honorable top position we give to In The Court of the Crimson King in our essentials chart, for example, it sits awkwardly in some 20-something place on other lists. The same with the rest of /mu/core. Our appreciation for masterful musicianship and staggering originality doesn’t hold a breath for catchiness and radio-friendliness for everyone else. The case for Electronic music is even worse of course.

So this is the kind of people who came up with the tracks that form this compilation. But have they managed to make music that would please the high standards of /mu/tants in general, the people who populate epic sharethreads? Fuck, I don’t know, but I don’t see people caring much about it there, so I don’t think it went that well, just like outside of soundcloud threads no one cares about them much. In my best hopes this compilation would be /mu/core, but I don’t see that happening. Of course much of it boils down to the fact that /mu/tants aren’t that outside of mainstream. They follow Pitchfork, albeit with higher standards and figuring most of the Best New Music stuff isn’t that good anyway. They enjoy more obscure releases such as Pope Killdragon and Have a Nice Life, but I don’t think most of them care much for soundcloud music.

It makes sense if you think about it, perhaps the music industry isn’t so shortsighted that the very best music going on today hasn’t been signed by at least a very obscure but respected label. So in the end the people listening to this compilation might be the same people who made it, who submitted tracks to it. Fuck, I submitted a track (thanks to the 5 people who voted for it) and I am writing about it now. Is anyone else? Please post links in the comments section if so. It would be great if Fantano reviewed it, but who knows if that will happen.

So this compilation, made by us, was made for us as well. I love it, but that’s not surprising, since over the course of the past few months I have developed a taste for this stuff, listening to almost exactly the tracks that were chosen. The fact that it’s an acquired taste speaks volumes of how good it is, but it’s also sort of a death sentence. The Flying Batteries’ track seems to me like a perfect summer hit, but would the novelty of its 8-bit influence sound quirky to the outside eyes? The first time I listened to it, the band was called Cold Haze and I chatted with the poster about how cool it sounded. For me it was like a friend showing me his music. How about Viktor Disque’s Frank? A Problem Like Maria’s voice in it sounds to me as familiar as Lady Gaga would sound to a teenager girl. I’ve lurked twice as many soundcloud threads as I have posted my music on, so I’ve seen guys like Rekapper and New Motive Power talk about their music as they see fit. If I were in a taxi and their music started playing, I’d be amazed and ask for the taxi driver to go around the block once more (taxi rides are that cheap were I live). Having sincerely enjoyed Trout Mask Replica though, how representative can I possibly be?

My greatest fear though isn’t that these guys might never be successful, but that nothing here is really, truly original, even though they push the limits constantly. Some tracks are incredibly beautiful, such as “Pale Beneath a Brilliant Sky”, and Djiti’s “No One” feels awesome, for example, but I don’t see the next Tom Waits or Thom Yorke or something. Most of the tracks are made by people who genuinely love some kind of music and want to make more of it because they see they can. In the end, this compilation is a perfect showcase of what’s going on in music now, of what it feels like to have great taste in music and be able to replicate it. As such, the result is outstanding. You have perfect specimens of music of different genres, truly enjoyable and worth a dozen listens, but my admiration for /mu/tants expected more. I want the next generation of music geniuses to come from /mu/.

Something about this doesn’t ring right though. The last time I checked Pitchfork’s 100 tracks of the year list I think it was referring to 2008. Just checked, yeah, that’s it. This one. I remember I asked myself what someone in the bottom of the list thought of it. Well, the track on the very bottom is by Girls, “Hellhole Ratrace”. That’s a great track, full of emotion and life. They went on to come up a critically acclaimed album and will probably be much higher in this year’s list. I want music from /mu/ to at least break that barrier, I want something I caught in a soundcloud thread to feel like a million dollars, come ripping through best new music, get a Fantano strong 9. Hellhole Ratrace isn’t particularly innovative, it’s just a great track, just like most if not all of the tracks in this compilation are. The people responsible for these 26 tracks are up to an awesome start, you broke a sizeable barrier, made it through a contest that started with 133 submitted tracks, all created by people who love music and (mostly) know how to make it well. On this side of it, the side that didn’t make it, I’m amazed by your musicianship and talent. Every single track is great. To put it concisely, this album is /mu/core in my book.

-Carpeaux

Best of /mu/ contest on Soundcloud (Part 8)

Keeping on.

Goes Calypso – du, mitt rådjur

Nice electronic track, there’s sort of a retro feel, like The Cure and the sort. Is there something wrong in the sound? Sounds like everything is clipping but I’m guessing this is intentional. I don’t know much more I can say, I see nothing that special with it, but good work, the main synth carries a lot of emotion, it’s a nice track.

Distuition – Bad Who?

Trippy as fuck. What the fuck is going on in my brain? Killer finish. Great job.

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Best of /mu/ contest on Soundcloud (Part 7)

Keeping on.

Mitsuo – http://www.2gi.org

I’ve seen plenty of electronic tracks that try to come up with these messy pseudo-experimental sections made up of different sorts of sounds and exotic percussion bits. I’ve been mostly left unimpressed, as it’s really not hard as it seems to make and not that interesting as it seems to listen to. Most are just 4 seconds worth of craziness that are repeated for a minute.

The stuff of this track is that crazy collage idea, but with enough actual music (instead of just exotic percussion) and complexity to be interesting, while perfectly executed. There’s a bit of guitar and bass playing in the mix as well, and in the end everything works nicely together. There’s a coherency of atmosphere also, very nicely complimented by the vocal samples, that guarantees a good experience even if you don’t pay much attention to the details. Even so, it’s something to listen to with attention and certainly with headphones.

Ben Le Funkjunk – Lies

Given that the bassline is the same from beginning to end, I felt tempted to skip this. Seriously electronic musicians, no matter how cool some element you came up with is, you can’t use it throughout the track, it’s just bad musicianship, no one could pull it off in any other musical genre, you are giving yourselves a bad name, that’s just not how you make music.

Anyhow, fortunately there’s enough of variation from other elements to give the track both structure and interest. But no matter how interesting the vocal manipulation after the intro is, or how the sound manipulations are towards the end, fuck, I’m listening to this bassline phrase for the what, 200th time now? I can’t stand this anymore. For the first time since I started reviewing I’m writing on silence because it’s better than listening to that fucking bassline yet again.

Anyhow, enough said, it’s certainly a cool track, I remember there were plenty of interesting structural changes but I’m not listening to that bassline again to analyze them better. Hear it for yourself.

I have just realized this was downloaded 71 times as of now. I hope that’s not mainly by people from /mu/.

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Best of /mu/ contest on Soundcloud (Part 6)

Keeping on. Work method on previous posts. Sorry for the delay and few reviews, I’ll try to review a ton during the weekend and hopefully finish before the voting deadline.

Astronault Cult – Fake It And Don’t Make It

Very well-constructed EDM track with plenty of ups and downs. This one actually impressed me, I can’t figure out why this one isn’t covered with comments, downloads etc. There’s a lot going on all the time and it never stays long because something equally good is just around the corner. I envy the people who go out and dance to this stuff. Dance music was way dumber when I was a teenager. Great work.

(skipping Amorphous Prism to save it for last)

Rapstallion – The Adventures of Pippi Longstrump

Not bad and decently varied but I don’t think this is as exciting as some of the other tracks. It does have quite a few interesting moments though and a very clear retro feel (at some points I felt I was about to get Rickrolled). The less-excitingness might be because it’s not a dance track – as far as I can tell – so it depends solely on the beauty of the track. Well it sure is pretty, but I was underwhelmed – though this is hard for me to say because, again, there are some very interesting sections. I do feel the guy responsible for this can certainly pull off greater stuff though. Maybe I just wasn’t touched by the 80’s influence, this much I’ll concede to subjectivism.

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