The Nuri – [2009] Masquerade

Excellent progressive hard rock with strong female vocals. This is one of the early prominent examples of professionally produced, Creative Commons licensed albums out there.

Early listeners on Jamendo equivocally praised it to be one of the best submissions on the platform. While the free music scene has exploded with thousands of artists, this release for me has stood the test of time. The title track made into one of the early Free Music Contest 2010 compilation conducted by Musikpiraten, an association dedicated to making known high quality Creative Commons music. But back to this album: Continue reading “The Nuri – [2009] Masquerade”

Lorenzo’s Music – [2017] Cool ships and heat exchangers

(Un)conventional alternative rock. With netlabel blocSonic, it’s hard to not be impressed. I adore how they keep publishing consistently solid to exceptional albums and compilations year after year. The word conventional is meant as a compliment. Although it is not strictly correct: the use of brass instruments and synth sounds clearly is an exception to the rock band formula. Continue reading “Lorenzo’s Music – [2017] Cool ships and heat exchangers”

Antethic – [2017] Ghost Shirt Society

Electronic post rock greatness. We probably all have heard those drawn-out, long, boring post rock extravaganzas with minutes of continuous distorted guitar sound carpets without sense or measure. This not one of those…

Instead, the genre is enriched by upbeat tracks, careful addition of electronic effects and ornamentation. In short: it sounds pretty fresh! Read on for my two representative picks: Continue reading “Antethic – [2017] Ghost Shirt Society”

Mr. Bitterness And The Guilty Pleasures – [2017] Songs From The Surveillance Age

Coming to save alternative rock. Wow, what an excellent production. It’s rare to be blown away by so “little” happening on the surface, while so much falls all into the right place in the background. Electronic effects left and right, used in subtle ways for great effect make this a well crafted release. Continue reading “Mr. Bitterness And The Guilty Pleasures – [2017] Songs From The Surveillance Age”

Dream Mechanics – [2009] Screensaver

Casual ambient soft rock. This oldie (i.e. published last decade) is a perfect mental “screen saver”. According to the release notes on Bandcamp, the artists were called a “Russian Massive Attack” for their psychedelic, trance-inducing sound. Judge for yourself what you make of it.. Continue reading “Dream Mechanics – [2009] Screensaver”

Hermelin – [2008] Hermelin

Straightforward post rock. Hermelin is 4 guys from Hanover in Northern Germany, performing at least since 2008. On April 1 this year they have released their newest album called Tüdeltüt. While their newest work certainly has increased in terms of production (sound quality, mixing), their first full-length release has its charm, too. Continue reading “Hermelin – [2008] Hermelin”

JT Bruce – [2005] Anomalous Material

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Instrumental progressive rock at its best. This over 10 year old album by JT Bruce contains just over one hour of meticulously produced music. No lyrics, but attention to detail throughout the 16 tracks. If you like this classic, you might also enjoy his 2015 release Vandal of Fortune (Jamendo). Continue reading “JT Bruce – [2005] Anomalous Material”

Various Artists – [2012] Braaahhlitz Compilation

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This excellent compilation is a product of the well-developed German netlabel aaahh-records. Well-developed means that while they still release free music under Creative Commons licenses (aaahhwoo!) the label self-identifies as a “festival curators” nowadays. For me, they are one of the longest-standing publishers of consistent high-quality “analogue” music out in the net. This album features 8 partly folky, acoustic recordings of an artistic weekend in Bralitz. Continue reading “Various Artists – [2012] Braaahhlitz Compilation”