Various Artists – [2011] Nine

Essential indie pop/rock compilation. Only 7 tracks, each covering a different style, makes this an essential part of CC music legacy.

diym netlabel is (or was?) a netlabel focused on non-electronic genres, that is, mostly rock and pop music. I have already covered their seventh compilation, called 7, in an earlier review. This ninth instalment is a small but excellent collection of mostly, but not only, quiet music: Continue reading “Various Artists – [2011] Nine”

Xcyril – [2007] Alter ego

Soundtrack for a hard-to-get movie. Melancholic atmosphere, with a hint of suspense.

Xcyril is Cyril Humbert, a professional composer, who has published 11 of his albums, under a Creative Commons license to Jamendo. He specialises in soundtracks for films and video games. This soundtrack in particular has a dark atmosphere, most fitting to accompany a rainy autumn evening. Continue reading “Xcyril – [2007] Alter ego”

Various Artists – [2008] Their Finest Hour, Volume 1

Classic netaudio compilation. Pop and electro, selected by reviewers from Phlow magazine.

This release is thanks to a very active curator in the netlabel scene. While Phlow magazine seems no longer active, its main author Moritz »mo.« Sauer still pushes work to his public GitHub profile for other projects like netlabels.org. But to talk about the music: it’s mostly pop, some electro sprinkled in and 2 tracks that I don’t get. Of course, I have picked two different ones to represent this compilation: Continue reading “Various Artists – [2008] Their Finest Hour, Volume 1”

Croak – [2013] Croak

Rhythmic metal opus. Serves all from Metallica to brainy poetic lyrics.

Netlabel Sirona Records does not specialise in metal; even better than that this excellent work of band Croak has been published here. In contrast to many other in this genre, their singer’s pronunciation is excellent, i.e. easy to understand. Continue reading “Croak – [2013] Croak”

Tobias Borelius – [2011] Du känner mig för väl, farväl

Swedish indie pop. Vocal vocals, acoustic and slightly synthy sound.

Tobias Borelius is part of Emerald Park (review of one of their EPs), who produce straight-up enjoyable indie pop rock. This release leans more towards pop, with a focus on its Swedish mellow lyrics. Continue reading “Tobias Borelius – [2011] Du känner mig för väl, farväl”

Fellirium – [2017] Bill A & 24​/​7

Ambient acoustic guitar. Very musical 2 track EP.

With only two tracks, this short EP by artist Fellirium makes it easy for me to select my habitual two tracks for you. Airy guitar tones with noticeable reverb calmly meditate over beautiful riffs with minimal synthetic background drones: Continue reading “Fellirium – [2017] Bill A & 24​/​7”

Demetr – [2016] Different View Of The World

Hard retro synth. Sounds like early 90s dark underground faux disco.

This week’s entry is brought to you by Russian netlabel MNMN Records. Both their homepage and their music look and sound more DIY than average. This release plays electronic industrial tunes. Despite simple song structures, the atmosphere is excellent. Continue reading “Demetr – [2016] Different View Of The World”

Sokio – [2009] Columbia Remixes

Columbian Tech House remixes. Close to 90 minutes of danceable tracks.

Both mainstream and exotic titles got themselves caught in the blender of remix artist Sokio, who took up the task to add special flavours to other artists’ works. The result sounds both refreshing and familiar: Continue reading “Sokio – [2009] Columbia Remixes”

Ryukau – [2015] Muryoku

Minimal bleep sounds. Very experimental science fiction movie backdrop.

Sound samples and single notes from vintage science fiction movies, put together. I would expect to encounter this a) in a over-the-top artsy Scifi movie on ARTE, or b) in a museum for modern art, next to a… interesting piece of metal or unwatchable video montage. Still here? Great, because those tracks are very well put together. Let me give you two samples: Continue reading “Ryukau – [2015] Muryoku”

Counterfly – [2017] The Invisible Journey

Multi-genre blend. Charming combination of uncommon sound combinations with rhythmic orthodoxy.

The term “defying genre boundaries” gets thrown around too often, I concur, but here it is on spot. Electronic click sounds, jazz fusion and funk lines are masterfully mixed in this release at German netlabel Broque. But please, don’t believe me and listen for yourself: Continue reading “Counterfly – [2017] The Invisible Journey”

adamned.age – [2013] transit berlin

Clicky soundtrack for a city. Cinematic and highly enjoyable as headphone fuel.

Here is another gem from netlabel Phonocake, produced by Berlin based artist Hanne Adam. She deals in clicky, futuristic instrumental tacks. The album has a very cinematic feel to it, while the songs are all quite musical (as in: not too experimental). I guess that the work is best consumed while walking the streets of Berlin, but it works quite well elsewhere, too. Continue reading “adamned.age – [2013] transit berlin”

Sister Soleil – [2012] Haunted EP

Indie trip-hop. 4 track EP full of intriguing tracks and collaborations of creative musicians.

Netlabel Sirona Records specialises in specially sounding music. Just looking at their link of backlinks to reviews, music blog “Yeah I know it sucks” is among the most frequent listed; it specialises in reviewing “underground stuff”. So why I am I writing about one of their releases here? Find out for yourself: Continue reading “Sister Soleil – [2012] Haunted EP”

Various Artists – [2012] mix-toor presents: This is material music

Massive music extravaganza. There is a lot of hip hop bonanza going on in 46 tracks.

Most of the tracks are not exactly pop music chart worthy, but then… the music that achieves this feat tends to be of varied quality at best. While I cannot wholeheartedly endorse front to back listening, except you are adventurous, there are many gems tugged tightly between more experimental pieces. I therefore divert from my usual self-limitation of only presenting two tracks, and instead link you to several reasons for recommending this oeuvre: Continue reading “Various Artists – [2012] mix-toor presents: This is material music”

Graham Castronovo – [2012] A Cry Into The Cosmos

Space’y lounge trance. Spacious synth walls, filled with slow beats.

This release has probably similar roots as the more well known music project Symphony of Science, which releases tracks and remixes focused on scientific topics. (Note to self: queue a review for that.) Where was I? Ah yes, this release focuses on pulsating synthesizer sounds and soft percussion. Some songs go a little overboard, but on balance the tracks are well behaved. Judge for yourself with my two favourite picks: Continue reading “Graham Castronovo – [2012] A Cry Into The Cosmos”

Marco Mestichella – [2015] Fragments Of Light

Echoes of pop grandeur. 80’s synth-pop sends best wishes to a fresh take in the new millenium.

This is a two-track single release on notorious (as in: good) netlabel blocSonic. In the description to the artist’s previous release, they described their music as “a blend of trip-hop, soft-rock, retro-pop and cinematic soundtracks”. I tend to agree. Read on for a full description of all (as in: two) tracks. Continue reading “Marco Mestichella – [2015] Fragments Of Light”

Push Against New Fakes – [2014] Any Color You Can’t See

Raw and strong IDM. Uncompromising electronica, straight like the pixel’y album art.

Sometimes eerie, sometimes odd, this release at times sounds. Other tracks are clearly aimed at the dance floor. But all in all, this is quite a gem. Don’t let the edge intros distract you from the quite danceable core this IDM release is. Continue reading “Push Against New Fakes – [2014] Any Color You Can’t See”

Various Artists – [2017] Digital Decade

Fat psy-tech compilation. Tiny speakers need not apply 😉

Netlabel Digital Diamonds celebrates its tenth birthday. The artists mainly produce psychadelic techno and trance. This celebratory compilation features 10 remixes of noteworthy tracks. Continue reading “Various Artists – [2017] Digital Decade”

beat.dowsing – [2012] trigger.melodies

Playful electronica. Synth pads and drums fight against bad weather.

Netlabel Phonocake is a constant source of slightly quirky, but always fun electronic sounds. This album by US artist transient is no exception: happy bleeps and upbeet rhythms fight for (mental) good weather. The full album has 7 tracks, like usual I present 2 noteworthy samples… Continue reading “beat.dowsing – [2012] trigger.melodies”

Ramacod – [2017] Fang

Digestible microsampling. Hundreds of millisecond-long snippets, beautifully arranged, form a danceable melange.

This artists knows how to create a distinct sound, that you will be able to recognise, even after just hearing it for once. I guess that producing these arrangements, made from hundreds of tiny sound samples, must be quite laborious. But the effort pays off in a discernible, groovy end result that you certainly won’t forget. Continue reading “Ramacod – [2017] Fang”

Wings Of An Angel – [2016] Vain Crescent

Excellent quiet ambient.

There are times you need punchy beets, strong rhythm, catchy tunes and a sing-along chorus. This album has none of these. Instead, it features lack of beats, only subtle rhythm, uncatchy, drawn-out tunes and no chorus. In short, this music is not intended to be listened to as a primary activity. Rather, it is perfect to accompany situations in which most other music would be distracting: concentrated reading, meditation, or — now that I think of it — writing blog posts… Read on for almost two hours of such music Continue reading “Wings Of An Angel – [2016] Vain Crescent”