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S2 Translation: An Early Work of Protein Music

One of my hobbies is musical archaeology: sifting through the archives in search of obscure, overlooked tracks from a bygone era. This virtual crate digging occasionally turns up intriguing results, including one recent find by The Shamen, a popular late 1980s/early 1990s electronica act unjustly known for some rather cheesy hit songs. Unbeknownst to me,…

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The Making of Ektoplazm’s Greatest Trips

I prepared this post to provide some insight into the making of Ektoplazm’s Greatest Trips, a “best of” compilation highlighting some of the finest music I’ve had the pleasure of distributing via Ektoplazm, the free music portal I launched in the mid-2000s. The site grew from humble beginnings to become a major focal point for…

In front of the Dodge Fountain at Movement 2011

New Music Digest: Spring 2011

The seasons turn and spring has come to Canada once again. As is my custom, I have annotated a list of thought-provoking articles about the state of the music industry. If you would like to learn a little more about what the future might hold, read on.

Some Advice About Unsolicited Demos

Most label owners are overwhelmed with demos. Speaking as someone who has, at times, attempted to actually get to every demo arriving in my inbox, the vast majority are not worth looking into, and I don’t blame any label owner who ignores unsolicited demos—sorting through what might be worthwhile to release is actually a full-time…

BitTorrent Is Not a Universal Solution

One of the most common suggestions I receive from Ektoplazm visitors is to open a BitTorrent tracker for free music, ostensibly to decrease hosting costs. There are a number of problems with this suggestion, however, and given how frequently it is mentioned, I figure a full post might be helpful to explain why BitTorrent is…

Winter Containment Unit

New Music Digest: Winter 2011

Every season I try to gather up some of the more interesting music-related articles I’ve been reading to share and discuss. Much of this comes from subscribing to various “music 2.0” blogs, though I will admit to feeling uninspired by much of what I have found in the last few months. Is the movement running…

Metal Shavings

New Music Digest: Fall 2010

Continuing my quarterly habit of rounding up some of the more informative and thought-provoking content in the new music literature…

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RiP: A Remix Manifesto

I recently had the pleasure of watching RiP: A Remix Manifesto, a documentary about culture, copyright, and creativity in the 21st century directed by Canadian filmmaker Brett Gaylor. The main focus of the film is Girl Talk, a mash-up artist, though you will also hear from Lawrence Lessig, co-founder of the Creative Commons (and a…

Urbane Archaeology

New Music Digest: Summer 2010

Every now and then I gather up some of the more provocative or informative articles I find in my travels in order to compile a digest post such as this one. What follows is an assortment of music-related content I’ve been reading in the last couple of months.

New York Orrery

New Music Digest: Spring 2010

I process a lot of interesting content on the web these days. Much of this comes from the blogs I subscribe to and read almost daily. I also tend to follow links shared on Facebook and Twitter whenever my curiosity is piqued. I have been sharing my findings on Twitter but it is a fleeting…

Basilisk @ All Stars 2010

BeginnerDJ Interviews Basilisk

Recently I was interviewed for BeginnerDJ, a great resource for aspiring DJs and newcomers to electronic music. Most of the focus is on DJing but I also share a few words about my work with Ektoplazm. What made you become a DJ? It all started by accident. Back in my teenage years most of my…

Free Music Toolkit 2010

I rely on many different applications and utilities to keep my web sites running and the free music flowing. Here I have compiled a list of some of the more important software that I use to publish music and maintain Ektoplazm. This list is for my reference as much as yours; I might need to…

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Auxiliary Magazine Interview

Auxiliary Magazine is an alternative fashion, music, and lifestyle publication based in the United States. Back in March both Ekoplex and I were interviewed by Digitalgeist (Alex Kourelis) for an article entitled “My Label is the Internet,” a feature on netlabels. You can find the finished article on page 27 of the April 2009 issue.

Free by Itself Is Not Enough

In a recent article entitled Too Much Free, marketing guru Seth Godin suggests that “free by itself is no longer enough to guarantee much of anything”. Godin distinguishes between “breakthrough free”, which is interesting precisely because it hasn’t been done before, and “sample-this free”, which leads to diminishing returns for content providers as people are…

In Defense of the Free Music Model

The future of the music industry is a hotly debated subject, as just about anyone knows. Fingertips weighs in with a critical commentary of some of the more popular alternatives regularly lauded in the blogosphere, taking the time to skewer the “free music” model (not having to pay for recorded music), the “access” model (free…

Rethinking Conventional Promo Strategies

Andrew Dubber has an interesting new post on who to send promos to, an issue that many labels and artists struggle with these days. Dubber likens the traditional model to a lottery, whereby promos are sent out to prominent gatekeepers of taste (reviewers, radio hosts, and so on) in the hopes that someone will actually…

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Memories of a Dying Medium

Recently I retrieved the metal stamper plates used to press the first and likely the only vinyl record I will ever have a hand in making: the Liquid Neon Sky EP. Until recently, these stamper plates were stored in a warehouse somewhere in Toronto, set aside after the production run in November of 2002. For…

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In Focus: Planet B.E.N. – Ant Invasion

Planet B.E.N. (Ben Wierzoch) composed Ant Invasion in 1993, years before the widespread popularization of Goa trance. This enduring masterpiece of psychedelic electronics predates the vast majority of classics we commonly associate with the genre. Unfortunately, its place in history is often overlooked as it wasn’t formally released until 1996, when the movement was already…

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Reconsidering DJ Charts and Top Tens

DJ charts have long been a fixture of the electronic music movement. Charts serve a simple purpose: to recommend music. I haven’t seen it mentioned before, but I suspect that the widespread popularity of top tens is at least partially rooted in the fact that they transcend language. Absolutely anyone can figure out what a…

The Future of Copyright

Cato Unbound published an interesting issue entitled The Future of Copyright back in June of 2008. The lead essay, written by Piratbyrån co-founder Rasmus Fleischer, offers insight into the consequences of increasingly severe copyright legislation:…