Code Therapy – [2018] Scape From Reality EP

Icy tech house with beats and style. Monotonic bass lines included. Bring headphones or subwoofers.

When listening to tech house, I am always drawn between two opposite judgments: cool music, but boring structure. No harmonies to speak of, no tempo changes, simplest rhythms, only beats, bass, buildup, some more, wait, DROP, and once again. Why does this even work?

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Various Artists – [2006] An Hour Of EMCradio

Sour popsicle assortment of fruity music ranging from dance to weird.

Wow, this one’s old. And good. A treasure trove straight from the (now) good old age of netaudio. Leaning into the eclectic and slightly experimental, this compilation gathers a colourful ensemble of unique styles, from accessible and groovy to outright bizarre. Yet all tracks remain digestible to the uninitiated ear. If you are in for a one hour of very creative yet edgy music, give this release a go.

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Various Artists – [2018] Spirare

Massive electronica and acoustic compilation from acoustic ambient to noisy industrial. Sad it’s over.

The final (as in: last) release by Breathe, a decade long experiment in delivering free compilations, albums and live recordings, based in Mexico. This 29 track collection exhibits the full breadth the label has to offer. And makes my job to only pick 2 tracks all the harder…

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Waterplea – [2011] Dream Catcher

Relaxing long-form electronica trip. A 40 minute journey between music and soundscapes.

Although these tracks have been released not only once, but twice, they seem to have kept a low profile online: Formerly released as a 4-track album on now defunct netlabel Mixgalaxy, later re-released as part of a longer 11-track album called Rudimentary Oscillations via Bandcamp, these sounds have yet to find a broader audience. If you like what you hear, consider supporting the artists.

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Tuatha – [2019] Connecting Environments

Unusual ambient techno with atmospheric synths and laid back beats, akin to Delirium.

Dark ambient sounds give way to regular beats. Dance music like made for clubbing (or rather lounging) just before dawn. Production quality is excellent. Chilean netlabel Cian Orbe specialises in various darker electronic experimental genres, for which this is a more approachable example of.

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Various Artists – [2018] Netlabel Day 2018: netlabel essentials 4

Annual anthology of selected delikatessen, ranging from July 2017 to 2018.

This essential compilation is brought to you by essential netlabel and podcast outlet netwaves from Belgium, produced for essential annual free music celebration day. If you want to get all 10 tracks of this compilation in one solid mix, look for one hour long track 11, which makes for decent coding backdrop.

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Various Artists – [2020] Fusion Compilation 13

New age instrumental hip hop lounge easy listening compilation. Or something like that.

One year after my review on Fusion Compilation 12, it’s time to pay another tribute to this pillar of the free music scene, specialising in trip hop and related genres. Again, all ten tracks would qualify for a mention here, weren’t it for the competition on this (virtual) disc.

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Artem Bemba – [2019] Harvest

What a calm, folky indie rock – from Ukraine. Almost cheesy in its country-esque lines.

Russian netlabel Southern City Lab caters to the niche needs of avant-garde indie rock listeners. This is the 200th release in their catalogue, covering the folk and blues side of things.

A truely unique blend of familiar sounds and clichés, yet unique in their combination with dreamy post pop vocals with calm lyrics. Acoustic dream pop, if you will.

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Zapa – [2018] Triangle

Calm indie rock or folk, stirred up by guest musicians with uncommon instruments.

I hand the microphone to Vulpiano Records, the netlabel:

With beautiful folk melodies, ghostly whispers, poetry, and deep longing, Triangle is […] everything Zapa has been working towards over the years.

Release notes
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