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”

Various Artists – [2006] The Silent Ballet, Volume I: Poetry Without Words

I can’t best user deaddreamer‘s review:

This compilation is irrestible. It is a chronicle of victory spoken by a silent reader whose emotions are large and resonant so much so that they ripple outward the glory of triumph.

Got curious? Then read on! 😉 Continue reading “Various Artists – [2006] The Silent Ballet, Volume I: Poetry Without Words”

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”

Marco Trovatello – [2018] Not At All

Musical guitar-focused post rock. Spacy in more than one sense.

This release at Cologne-based netlabel Der kleine grüne Würfel comes from ESA’s communication officer, who produces music for a hobby; what a nice surprise! 8 tracks of laid-back, slightly trippy instrumental post rock want to be discovered: Continue reading “Marco Trovatello – [2018] Not At All”

Boxing Fox – [2009] The Shepherd Hates Us

Fun indie ska rock. German band, faux tropical sound, with an air of punk.

Wow, only 9 years after release I come to review this album. 11 tracks of honest ska punk rock, fully equipped with brass section, off-beat guitar riffs and half-screamed lyrics. I find nothing special about this album, but that’s a good thing: it represents its genre well. Continue reading “Boxing Fox – [2009] The Shepherd Hates Us”

The Dots – [2006] The Dots

Rough indie rock & roll. Simple, straight-up songs without bells & whistles, but with guitar & drums.

Electronic music is rather easy to find online. Good, honest and analogue music is much harder to find. Therefore, it’s great to even find cool, classic rock & roll music. This 4-track EP sounds much older than it is. (Yes, this was a compliment.) Continue reading “The Dots – [2006] The Dots”

Wacky Southern Current – [2011] In a Realm of Uncertain Summer

Cinematic instrumental post rock. Like an alternative soundtrack to Magnolia, this slow-paced exercise in wackyness.

The inspiration taken from Air cannot be overheard, and is clearly stated in the album’s release notes. So if you like the alternative sound of the French pop duo, give this album a try on a train ride. Continue reading “Wacky Southern Current – [2011] In a Realm of Uncertain Summer”

Still Pluto – [2014] Songs To Mend The Heart Once Been Torn Apart

Solid soft hard rock. Very well recorded and produced vocal rock music; hard to place on the spectrum between soft and hard rock.

Still Pluto do very conventional, very solid rock in North West Russia (Petrozavodsk, to be precise). From there, their music reached me through the catalogue indie rock netlabel Southern City Lab. So if you are tired of the umpteenth minimal techno release, give this source a try. But back to this week’s offer: Continue reading “Still Pluto – [2014] Songs To Mend The Heart Once Been Torn Apart”

jasmin – [2005] EP02

Jazzy postrock. A modern classic, surfing hard on genre boundaries.

This gem of a EP, released at now inactive Berlin netlabel 12rec is surprisingly hard to classify. Although it ticks all the boxes of instrumental postrock, the songs touch everything from pop music and jazz harmonics. Jazz in disguise, so to speak. Continue reading “jasmin – [2005] EP02”

Emerald Park – [2011] Reality Bites EP

Radio-compatible guitar pop rock. Three relaxed songs from Sweden.

The guitar chords come easily with this release, as well as the snares and drums. The arrangements don’t win prizes for originality, yet are crafted with such care that you can even forgive them with opening with the played-to-death four-chord progression. But judge for yourself whether this is for you. Continue reading “Emerald Park – [2011] Reality Bites EP”

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”