Various Artists – [2010] Intelligent Toys: We Make Music

Essential experimental IDM. 3 discs, 51 tracks of IDM à la Sutemos are an earful to chew on. Bring popcorn!

This compilation series by netlabel Sutemos is a little bit like vegetables: they are good for you, but they might not taste good at first. This release contains many different flavours, musical vitamins, experiments in sound design, genre-branching dubstep, IDM, cerebral techno, and lots of electro goodness in general. But, the sound is often outside the realm of “standard” harmony, often even completely devoid of it. Like these sentences, it takes some time to wrap one’s head around. So, if you are looking for easy listening while coding, please move on. If you want to enrich a late night party with an eccentric musical backdrop, give it a spin… Continue reading “Various Artists – [2010] Intelligent Toys: We Make Music”

Coax – [2008] Aeons

Frosty ambient IDM with class. Very versatile EP with fully ambient to almost danceable tracks. A real classic, published at Kahvi.

Back in 2009, I started this series of reviews with Coax’s The Ice Garden. Ever since, I was hesitant to write another review on the same artist. But I have done so multiple times over the years now, so it’s time to finally break the spell and give Coax their second review. Their music deserves it, after all: frosty, ambient IDM, released at the notorious Kahvi netlabel, well known for delivering quality electronica by truck. Continue reading “Coax – [2008] Aeons”

Various Artists – [2008] Super Sommer Clubbing-Charts

Disco fuel. Decent party music compilation from Germany.

frei² by Robert Bienert is a program featured in Freies Radio Kassel, an independent radio station in Germany’s wild centre. For several years, this program has been sending out a steady stream of Creative Commons music. This release consists of individual tracks, on air for a clubbing night over 10 years ago. Enjoy! Continue reading “Various Artists – [2008] Super Sommer Clubbing-Charts”

Daizy – [2011] The Daizy Factory

Laidback easy listening. Simple ambient tracks with distinct flavour.

Another entry from prolific netlabel Enough Records, who have been releasing over 400 albums and EPs since 2002, and are – unlike many others – still active. This weeks album features guitar-based trip hop served on top of ambient synth sounds. A bit too busy for coding, this album makes for a great pool party backdrop (not that I had a pool to test this). Continue reading “Daizy – [2011] The Daizy Factory”

Various Artists – [2005] We Are Bevlar 2

Lavish dance tracks. Old-school underground house from the ’00s.

Not much is written online about netlabel Bevlar, that has published music from 2004 to 2007. If you like the following tracks, it might be worth for you to hunt through their back catalogue of about three dozen releases. Or just wait for me to review my favourite releases in time… Continue reading “Various Artists – [2005] We Are Bevlar 2”

Tunguska Electronic Music Society – [2011] Tunguska Chillout Grooves, Volume 7

Excellent ambient compilation. Many artists collaborate in this long-standing series of relaxing electronica albums.

With Vol. 13 having been released in 2016, I might be a bit late with pointing to this release, but I’d rather point you to some old friends of mine rather than to new acquaintances. This compilation features artists like EugeneKha, one whose solo albums I have reviewed here already some years ago. Continue reading “Tunguska Electronic Music Society – [2011] Tunguska Chillout Grooves, Volume 7”

Qk – [2009] 415

Meditative tech house. Long loops, straight beats, simple two-chord harmonies. Great background music.

This oldie from still active (as of 2018) Colombian netlabel Monofonicos mostly plays with sound texture. Both rhythm and harmony loop with only slight variations, while voicing, instruments and effects vary. The result is a meditative musical carpet. Continue reading “Qk – [2009] 415”

Revolution Void – [2006] Increase the Dosage

Groovy relaxed vibes. Electronically produced jam sessions.

This old gem from the earlier years of Jamendo was one of the early motivators that searching for excellent music outside the realm of radio and CD retail stores was fruitful. If you need an ear pleaser that can provide a decent background track to a late night sit in with friends, give this one a go. Continue reading “Revolution Void – [2006] Increase the Dosage”

Mosaik – [2004] Minutes

Classic netaudio electronica. Still sounding fresh after well over a decade.

Kahvi does what kahvi does best: introducing us music addicts to obscure but resourceful artists out there. This classic only slipped through my earlier release schedule because there was (and still is) no MP3 version of the release available on archive.org. But now that all browsers (yes, I’m looking at you, IE/Edge) support OGG natively, I can include this three track EP here without fear. Oh, yes, the music was worth the wait: Continue reading “Mosaik – [2004] Minutes”

Various Artists – [2011] Quaking Stars

Manifesto of a dead netlabel. Long live Starquake!

Starquake was an active netlabel from 2011 to 2015. During that time, it was dedicated to promote music by their creators and DJs in Torino, Italy. Although short-lived, their music remains an important contribution to the Creative Commons music catalogue for me. Continue reading “Various Artists – [2011] Quaking Stars”