Alternate Routes is a column from Flavorwire contributor and WFMU DJ Jesse Jarnow, in which he’ll explore music solely distributed outside the Big 3 of Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon.
Aphex Twin’s recent celebration of digital freedoms in the form of a massive SoundCloud dump is the opposite of a new paradigm for the music industry. For starters, Richard D. James isn’t (directly) making any money off the nearly 200 tracks and counting he has posted since late January under the name user48736353001, even enabling the “download” option on material that once might’ve constituted several hefty box sets. For another, James’ feat almost definitely isn’t repeatable. In a matter of weeks, James more than doubled the amount of music in his already weighty discography. But whether or not it represents any kind of new direction in music distribution, it clearly constitutes a new kind of experience for the obsessed listener, and a perfect channel for James’ prolific brand of dense electronic music.
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We’ve brought you the
SBTRKT — Wonder Where We Land
For his second album, Aaron Jerome — aka UK producer SBTRKT — employed a whole team of folks to create the cover: art direction and design from
Arca — Xen
To fully understand the amorphous being at the heart of Alejandro Ghersi (AKA… Read More
Comebacks and covers galore this week. Fall’s biggest releases get previewed. Let’s dig in.
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With the Song of the Summer debate finally fading in the rearview (it was a tie between Iggy and Ariana, right?), it’s time to look ahead to fall’s musical promise. Autumn always feels like a time to get weird, to invest in albums after a sunny singles-filled season.
This fall, we’re… Read More
Late last year, we published a pretty epic list of incredibly tough books for extreme readers. Our readers clearly like a challenge, because it drew heaps of discussion, and as such, we thought we’d extend the challenge to other areas of pop culture. First up: music! Here’s a selection of 50 albums that we think make for particularly challenging or difficult listening, because they’re emotionally harrowing, technically demanding, or just plain old make your ears… Read More
Paul Thomas Anderson has reunited with Fiona Apple for the video for “Hot Knife,” the second single from last year’s The Idler Wheel…. It’s the latest episode in a long creative relationship between the two, and it got us thinking about similar connections between directors and musicians — specifically, noted directors and the musicians who’ve served as their muses over the years. Here’s a selection of the most… Read More
We’re constantly fascinated with the creative process here at Flavorwire, and one of the most important components of that process is the space in which it takes place. For musicians, at least as far as the recording process goes, this place is the studio, and as such we thought we’d take a look at the studios of some of our favorite musicians. The contrasts on display are intriguing, from the endearingly chaotic to the pristine and very expensive, from analog to digital, from minimalist to decked out in all sorts of crazy-looking… Read More
This week sees the release of The Marriage of True Minds, the new album by Matmos, and as much as anything, this means that we’re excited to spend hours on end picking over where on earth all the sounds on the record in question come from. The Baltimore-based duo have long been some of the music world’s foremost exponents of sampling all sorts of weird and wonderful sources for the sounds they use, and in celebration of the arrival of their new record, we thought we’d look at their weirdest moments, along with some other artists who’ve specialized in finding samples in strange places.
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Cat Power’s new album Sun dropped earlier this week, and the fact that she uses Auto-Tune on the track “3, 6, 9″ has generated almost as much interest as the album itself. For an ostensibly innocuous pitch-correction effect, Auto-Tune has generated a heap of controversy over the last decade, ever since Cher introduced it to the world during the chorus of “Believe.” Much of the opprobrium directed at the use of the software is entirely justified (Hi, Eiffel 65! Hi, Chris Cornell!), but that’s not to say that every Auto-Tuned track is a priori awful — so we’ve set ourselves the challenge of finding 10 tracks that use its sound in creative or interesting ways. And for clarity’s sake, we’re discussing Auto-Tune as an audible pseudo-vocoder effect here, not as a production tweak to correct an errant vocal — otherwise every chart song since the turn of the millennium would be eligible. Anyway, let us know if we’ve missed anything. First person to suggest “Believe” or anything by T-Pain gets a lump of coal for Christmas.
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The new Modeselektor album is out this week, and if you’re into cerebral electronica, well, it’s going to nestle happily alongside the likes of Squarepusher and Autechre in your music collection. There’s something to be said for music that’s bewildering at first listen, but reveals its charms over the course of repeated listens — music you have to work at, in other words. Although it’s electronic music that seems to have had nerdbait locked up in recent years, thanks to the advent of “intelligent” dance music and the efforts of labels like Warp, highbrow music pre-dates synths and DAWs by a long way. If you’re up for a challenge, there’s a selection of similarly mind-bending music awaiting you after the jump. Turn on, tune in, and see if your brain doesn’t just melt.
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