_100310 :: A long introduction (with some cool music)

This is a first post, so let me elaborate a bit on the purpose and function of this blog. It’s been five years since I’ve started searching for music in the netlabel scene and almost ten years since I’ve started listening to homemade and/or independently released music. The last couple of years I’ve been listening almost exclusively to music I’ve downloaded from netlabels or received from artists who share their music freely. During this time I’ve been asked by several people for recommendations from the netlabel scene and I always try to bring releases, artists or netlabels that I think they will appreciate to their attention. This blog is a more ‘formal’ way to keep doing the same thing: share and support the music I like. It is not my style to stick to a tight schedule, so posting on this blog will probably be infrequent. Also, the content of the posts will depend on my mood and free time, so some posts will be telegraphically short tracklists and some full album reviews. The selection of music will be pretty much freestyle, although it will be governed by the sounds and netlabels I’ve grown to be accustomed to. Sometimes I may also write about something related to the music scene or music in general. I am looking forward to input and participation from other people as well and I encourage the interested reader to contact me.

Segue - SynesthesiaSynesthesia [apl045]
by Segue

As you can see, I have chosen to intersperse the text with some music, in order to attract some potential readers to my ramblings. For this blog post I chose some oldish favorites released on netlabels that are defunct or in an indefinite hiatus. They are a few of those releases that I consider as classics. And since I managed to get a proper writing flow, I’ll use some space to express a few thoughts regarding the netlabel scene and internet music in general. It seems to be a relatively common belief that the internet is infested with such a huge volume of music that there is no point in sharing musical creations through it anymore. Furthermore, many people consider the role of netlabels as obsoleted by socialization and promotion services, such as Last.fm, MySpace or Facebook. Moreover, sometimes vague accusations are launched against netlabels or artists that are “ruining the scene” with their output. What saddens me the most is that the above beliefs have spread within the circles of independent electronic music producers and promoters and even some pioneers of this scene seem to express similar opinions. Although I realize that this may be a somewhat valid perspective of the independent electronic music circuit, I can’t help thinking that those who share it are missing the big picture. I believe that what is viewed by others as an excess of musical information is actually a path that leads to greater appreciation of mind-blowing music and its creators.

Idhren - Dwarf PlanetDwarf Planet [diginet014]
by Idhren

Inevitably, most of the available music forms a vague background to one’s personal musical foreground. That’s how it’s been and that’s how it’s going to be. Music distributed online is no exception. Sure, it is usually free and it used to be an innovative way to reach out to people, but nowadays people who are into trends say it is “so 1999” and classify it under “stale”, so no difference there. So what is the difference between the conventional commercial approach, the Last.fm, MySpace or Facebook approach and the netlabel approach to music promotion? To me it is the fact that people running netlabels go out of their way to promote the music of other people without any direct profit. It is a firm belief of mine that being determined to promote an artist, in whose skills one believes, without benefiting from this activity (fame isn’t actually a motive since this kind of “pie” in the netlabel scene is still very small to actually feed anyone) is what keeps this scene alive. This determination, which exists in various degrees among netlabels, doesn’t exist in personal pages and profiles and, most of the times, isn’t so manifestly obvious for commercial labels.

Relative Q - Beauty and Her Broken ThingsBeauty and Her Broken Things [one04]
by Relative Q

I am very aware that there are exceptions: netlabels that seem to purposelessly catapult questionable pieces of audio in every direction. I also firmly believe that these cases are just passing flies, not on a time scale nor on a fan base scale, but on an appreciation scale. To me appreciation of even just a handful of listeners is what makes some netlabels special, because this appreciation is reflected on the way music is chosen and treated. In this context, netlabels are like astronomical objects: some shine very brightly for a short period and then disappear, some others shine steadily and moderately for a long time and both categories are beautiful to watch as they evolve. There are others that remain dark objects far away in space and keeping an eye on them doesn’t make much sense. Overall though, the sky dome looks magnificent.

Wavespan - WavespanWavespan [mtk161] (Monotonik)
by Wavespan

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