Thursday, December 31, 2009

Headphone Commute's Best of 2009 [part 3]

Three more lists from Headphone Commute's Best of 2009 have been published on the main site!

Music For Walking And Not Crying In The Autumn Rain

Music For The Frosty Night When I Miss Your Warm Light

Music For Watching The Snow Slowly Fall In The Moonlight

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Headphone Commute's Best of 2009 [part 2]

Three more lists from Headphone Commute's Best of 2009 have been published on the main site!

Music For Crawling Through Abandoned Cities

Music For Withered Leaves And Lonely Fishtanks

Music For Kicking Your Brain Back Into The Groove

I've got 9 more lists to go! Each one is being revealed one day at a time, so stop by often and save all your money! :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Headphone Commute's Best of 2009 [part 1]

Headphone Commute's Best of 2009 lists are being published one per day on our main site. Be sure to visit and check out the currently revealed lists:

Music For The Film Behind Closed Eyelids

Music For Bending Light And Stopping Time

Music For Awakened Spirits And Open Minds

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Reflections on 2009 : Simon Scott

Simon Scott stops by to share his thoughts on music in 2009. It must be a great year for Simon. Late last year he launched his own label, Kesh Recordings, kicking off with a compilation 88 Tapes, featuring some of my favorite ambient and experimental artists. This year, Kesh released albums by Hannu, Saito Koji, Martin Herterich, and Autistici, while Simon himself released his solo debut, Navigare on Erik Skodvin's Miasmah Recordings. Here are Simon's reflections on the year in music, as well as his favorite releases of 2009.


2009 has been an amazing year and definitely my favorite year of the whole decade which I feel started slow and gradually caught up with itself. We have been treated to so many fine albums it has been hard to compile a list of favorite releases. Personally it was great to release Hannu’s second album “Hintergarten” on my Kesh label after working really closely on it for two years with the official Finnish “artist of the year” (he has won his awards not for music but for his visual work). My label of the year is of course Miasmah who I feel honored to have had my debut album “Navigare” released on (vinyl included of course) and they are a great as a record label but superb aesthetics due to Erik Skodvin’s artwork designs.

“Wintermusic” by Nils Frahm was released on a Berlin based label called ‘Sonic Pieces’ who make limited edition homemade covers and create beautiful physical releases housing wonderful music inside. Seasons (pre-din) released a crackling electroacoustic album “Your Eyes the Stars and Your Hands the Sea” featuring location sounds on the wonderful Type label. Mr Seasons also runs his ‘Thy’ micro-label and it is also worth noting that every release (he has many limited edition gems in his back catalogue if you are lucky enough to grab them now) are skillfully created using scalpel and card. I also love the fact that vinyl is making a welcome return to people’s music collections (see Leyland Kirby’s triple vinyl debut) despite unhappy memories of moving heavy boxes of these physical delights during a recent house move.

I feel that the current climate of artists who create expressive and original musical art are part of a movement that will be looked back on as a golden period of growth for sonic art, electroacoustic and electronic experimental music. The packaging of the Raster-Noton has it’s aesthetic together to such an inspiring level and labels such as 12k and Touch are also heavy weights of creative design, photography releasing consistently astonishing music. Many smaller labels are being inspired to find new ways to package and release great music such as Digitalis and Root Strata (USA), Under The Spire (UK) and Home Normal (UK), Flau and Spekk (JP) and Room40 (AU).

Other personal highlights include experiencing live audio and visual collaborations at Plateaux Festival in Poland together including Fennesz and Lillevan, digital artist Josh Ott with his home made SuperDraw software accompany Ezekiel Honig and Morgan Packard (check his SuperCollider software “Ripple”) from the NY based Anticipate label and the stunning Deaf Center with Claudio Sinatti. I have been really lucky to have played live in numerous churches this year and a highlight was my debut gig in Manchester with Machinefabriek and Xela along with a performance at Sonar Festival in Barcelona where I sung and played guitar for The Sight Below.

My place of the year has been Cambridge, which I call home, but Berlin made the biggest impact on me as not only is it a great place with a lot of friendly faces but it has the best analogue studio called Dunton Studio owned by Nils Frahm featuring restored pre-war microphones, tape to tape machines and vintage synths.

New years resolution for 2010 is to begin a second album, stay off the nicotine and put out lots of vinyl on Kesh.

simon scott.

Favorite Releases of 2009
1.Hannu- Hintergarten (kesh Recordings)
2.Nils Frahm-Wintermusik (Sonic pieces)
3.Alva Noto- Xerrox Vol.2 (raster noton)
4.Mark Templeton and Aa.Munson- Acre Loss (Anticipate)
5.Leyland Kirby- Sadly, the future is no longer what is was (History always favours the winners)
6.Concern- Truth & Distance (Digitalis)
7.Svarte Greiner- Kappe (Type)
8.Seasons (Pre-Din)- Your Eyes the Stars and Your Hands the Sea (Type)
9.Taylor Deupree- Sealast (12k)
10.Jasper TX- Singing stones (Fang Bomb)
11.Isnaj Dui- Unstable Equilibrium (Home Normal)
12. Machinefabriek + Gareth Davies- Soundlines (Studio Machinefabriek)
13.William Fowler Collins- Perdition Hill Radio (Type)
14.Lawrence English- A colour for Autumn (12k)
15.Peter Jorgensen-To (Low Point)

Organic Ambient

OK. I screwed up... A year ago, right about this time, I made a set of mixes to showcase my favorite artists and releases of 2008. These were the Intelligent Breakcore and Modern Classical mixes that I already have shared with you on Headphone Commute. But there was one more that I have failed to publish. I can come up with many excuses for this - some of them are valid - hard drive crash has sent me on an agonizing search for backed up files across multiple media. But now the mix is here, and you can finally enjoy, before 2009 rolls over into another decade!

Download free mix, and see full track listing only on Headphone Commute

Friday, December 18, 2009

Reflections on 2009 : Stephan Mathieu, offthesky, Paavoharju, worriedaboutsatan and Klimek

We still have some time until the end of the year, and I'm in no rush to publish my list of favorite releases. Meanwhile, you guys are doing a great job at submitting Your Votes! These will be tabulated and aggregated at the end of the year to present the Reader's selections. Keep them coming! While the list is growing, I decided to reach out to my favorite artists and labels, and ask them to share their thoughts on the music of 2009. These are now presented to you, in the order that they have been submitted, one installment at a time.

This first part includes reflections from Stephan Mathieu, offthesky, Paavoharju, worriedaboutsatan and Klimek. I hope you enjoy!

Read part one of the article only on Headphone Commute.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monolake - Silence (Imbalance Computer Music)

It goes like this. I wake up in my abandoned shelter made of found brick and metal scraps. It's been raining for over a month now. But the water collecting in the corners is undrinkable. It is full of ash and oily fluid. There is only one way out of here. I step outside into the eternal darkness, and climb the nearby unrecognizable object. Far ahead is a column of rising smoke. The electrical storm rolls in the distance. I start walking towards the echo of a machine made rhythm. I feel sad for our abandoned planet. And I don't have any hope for survival. The liner notes of Monolake's seventh album, Silence, tell a different story. But in my mind, there is my own. Either way - the story is futuristic, full of tension, survival, and hope. The words are reflected in music, composed by Robert Henke during the last year leading up to September 2009. Henke's staple sound has created a whole new branch of style springing off of minimal techno. This metallic, atonal, and rhythm driven mathematical progression captures your nerve endings, and sparks through your cells. The cavernous area of your head that was once possessed by thought is now a plausible site for transmission. On Silence, Henke moves further away from the four-to-the-floor pounding beat towards a dark, and groovy rolling pattern, that must be heavily influenced by dubstep. That's not a surprise, considering that Monolake's new partner in crime, Torsten Pröfrock, has recently bridged the gap between dubstep and techno by remixing Shackleton's Death Is Not Final as T++. The influence is contagious. And in this chain reaction Henke creates his own style. And the production? It's pristine! I fought the following thought for a while, and finally decided to break down and directly quote the first part of production notes: Sound sources include field recordings of airport announcements, hammering on metal plates at the former Kabelwerk Oberspree, Berlin, several sounds captured inside the large radio antenna dome at Teufelsberg, Berlin, dripping water at the Botanical Garden Florence, air condition systems and turbines in Las Vegas, Frankfurt and Tokyo, walking on rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, wind from the Grand Canyon, a friends answering machine, a printer, conversations via mobile phones, typing on an old Macintosh keyboard and recordings from tunnel works in Switzerland. Synthetic sounds created with the software instruments Operator, Tension, Analog and the build in effects inside Ableton Live. Additional sound design and sequencing using MAXMSP / MaxForLive. Additional reverb: various impulse repsonses via Altiverb. Composed, edited and mixed in Live with a pair of Genelec 8040s. Mastering by Rashad Becker at Audioanwendungen September 2009. Field recordings captured with a Sony PCM D-50. I'm not going to waste your time here, and tell you about Henke's contribution towards the evolution of sound on more than one physical plane - you can read all about contributions towards Ableton or his own designed midi-controller Monodeck on Wikipedia. What I want to capture here is how this album made me feel. And that indescribable feeling is pretty close to what I felt for the first time when I heard Plastikman's Sheet One back in 1993. Since then I've been jonesing for more. And Henke has finally hit that spot. His Silence is the answer. Silence is released on Monolake's own label - [ml/i] (Monolake / Imbalance Computer Music), and is available in CD, digital, and 2xLP formats. This release follows Monolake's recent two track EP, Atlas / Titan which was in turn remixed by T++. There is also a 60-minute single track, endlessly permutating atmospheric installation piece released by Robert Henke this summer, titled Indigo_Transform (Imbalance Computer Music, 2009). |

Two and a Half Questions with Robert Henke

The story on the liner notes of Silence - where is that from?
I wrote it by myself. I like to play with my imagination, and fragments of stories help me finding a topic or a common color for an album. Sometimes when making music these stories just arrive and if I am in the right mood I dive into them and let them grow and write them down. I think very much in film scenes.

In your mind, who is the protagonist of the story told by Silence.
There are many possible options. One story could start like this: The protagonist is a biologist. He is in his thirties, very bright as pretty much everyone at the station. He used to work for a pharmaceutical company in Switzerland, but he is from another country. Whilst working for the company he felt more and more unhappy. He is an idealistic person, and wanted to move things, change the world etc... Instead he got stuck in administrativa. In his spare time ( and sometimes during working hours too...) he was following his special topic, research on some bacteria which usually is found next to super hot spots on the ground of the ocean. He got in contact with a researcher from Australia, Carl Miller. Miller at some point told the protagonist that he got a very interesting job offer for him: Joining an international team of high profile researchers who are supposed to work in a newly built laboratory high up in the mountains of Patagonia. The lab is privately financed by a group of entrepreneurs who are confident that they can find out some very interesting immunologic mechanism of a particular plant which might have a dramatic impact on the creation of new pharmaceutical products. The protagonists relationship in Basel is not really working out anymore, he is bored by his job, and he likes the adventure. So, he takes a plane to Melbourne to meet with Miller.

That was two years ago.

At the beginning it all went very well, Miller had a good hand with finding the right people, everyone liked the idea of living in this kind of film like scenario and they indeed found out amazing things. However, living up there in total isolation became more and more an issue. The project had to be secret, and the security was tight. For the outside world everyone working there pretty much vanished from the planet. And then that stupid accident happened .......

Besides composing ambient works, is this the first time you broke the 4/4 techno rhythm? If so, what prompted the transformation?
I checked my older releases and figured out that the 4/4 was never the most common beat for Monolake. When I were using a straight bassdrum in the past, I often augmented it with additional elements to move the focus away from that metrical imperative. The most important change for me is the fact that Silence is the first release with which I feel completely fine as far as the rhythmical side is concerned. And I am very much looking forward to follow this momentum further and see where I'll land next.

In your production notes, you speak out against compression and the "loudness war". Tell us a bit more about production and mastering for this specific album.
My intention was to create an album with lots of space in between the sounds, create an environment more informed by a cinematic perspective, and less from a musical one. I wanted to expose every detail of the sounds and allow the listener to really dive into it. The sounds in Silence are meant to be 'sound objects', placed in a virtual sonic space. This is a very different approach from how music production works normally. The ideal here is often to blend the sounds as much as possible and to get them all right in front. I decided against that, I went for a sound which is very different. And sometimes being different simply implies doing things _not_.

To my great surprise some people in a very nerdy web forum took it really personal and argued against my 'dogmatism' and that compression is a useful thing to do and that there is a reason why all good studies have tons of compressors and so on. But I never stated I dislike compressors as tools. I just found them wrong in the context of what I wanted to achieve. It took me also quite some time to convince Rashad, my mastering guy, to work without compression, but at the end we were both very satisfied with the result.

Due to the range in dynamics, this album sounds to me a lot more complex and deeper when played in my studio, then in my headphones. You're an experienced sound-engineer - what are your comments on my sonic observation?
Your observation makes sense to me. One reason why compression is such a powerful tool in the studio is the fact that compressed signals sound better on smaller systems. The more 'mainstream' you want a production to be, the more you should follow that rule. For Silence I made the decision that the album is enjoyed best with good speakers. With pop productions I often experience the opposite; music which sounds great on small shitty systems and totally flat on really good speakers. Since I am not competing with those anyway I do not see this as such a problem....

There are plenty of field recordings and organic sources used in Silence. Tell us about recording your favorite one.
I like hidden connections. The walking on stones in the desert on the track "Infinite Snow" I recorded with my former Monolake partner Gerhard Behles, while we were on holiday together in the USA in 1994. A lot of sounds on the very last track "Observatory" were recorded in the dome of the former US / British army obersevation center in Berlin Teufelsberg, while I explored the space with Torsten 'T++' Pröfrock. The answering machine on the track "Reconnect" is from my friend Lillevan, a renewed video artist. Another track features a totally distorted mobile phone connection during a discussion about the cover of the CD with my graphics designer. It is very important to me that each single sound has its own history and meaning. I could have access to tons of sounds from archives but I never use them. Instead I make my own recordings, which ensures that the sounds are connected to me. Music has to be personal. If it is not, it stays generic.

Any sound installations or ambient albums in the works?
I am playing around with several ideas. Not sure if the next release will be a Monolake 12" or a Robert Henke work... |

Monday, December 14, 2009

Clint Mansell - Moon (Black Records)

There is something peculiar about soundtracks. This is music composed specifically for the moving images on the screen. But why should it be limited to film, and not accompany the daily scenes of life or stunning visuals behind my eyelids. I close the door behind me and set towards my commute to work. The music somehow follows every turn and step I make. It swells in crescendo and dies out in silence in all the right places. Or maybe it's the other way around. It is the music that drives my thought patterns. The drums marching me towards determination, the soft piano guiding me forth to acceptance. This is Clint Mansell's yet another film score that goes onto my permanent rotations. Starting off his career as a lead singer and a guitarist for Pop Will Eat Itself, Mansell ventured into creating his first films soundtrack for Darren Aronofsky's debut film, π. Placing his compositions among the works by Autechre, Orbital and Aphex Twin (among many others), Mansell set off on a new path in writing cinematic music. Two years later, in 2000, Mansell became a star composer among the cult followers, with his soundtrack release for Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream performed by the Kronos Quartet. The rest is history. Among my favorite works by Mansell are his soundtracks for films like The Fountain, Smokin' Aces, The Wrestler, and now, Moon. The music conveys the feelings of ambient longing, rhythmic anxiousness, and atmospheric nostalgia. A minimal piano melody is at the center stage of each piece. Propelled forwards by this unifying theme, each variation on the main melody evokes a new emotion. Being absorbed within this repeating cinematic pattern over 55 minutes of music, puts me in a mild trance. Hard as I try, some tracks move into the background of my consciousness, as my thoughts trail away, only to be awakened into this gloomy reality with a familiar pattern, as if on a queue by a hypnotist. I am writing this review without having seen the film yet. And that's just as well. I am bonding with the music on a whole different level. And when I finally see the movie, it will be as if a good old friend is playing in the background. I think that it's more than a metaphor. It is exactly the case.

Two and a Half Questions with Clint Mansell

Describe your process of composing a soundtrack.

I am becoming more discerning with my choice of project.Initially,I worked on any job I was offered-primarily for experience and knowledge about film and its music requirements from a composers view...I've kissed a lot of frogs along the way but its been necessary to discover,not only how the job is done,but what it is that I CAN do and what I WANT to do.

My preference is for a project that stimulates me intellectually and artistically.Something that I know will bring music out of me that I will be excited about.I have no 'poker face',if I'm not 'into' a project I can't fake it and that benefits no one!

I need to immerse myself in a project.I like to be involved from as early as possible,not necessarily to write but to be aware of the project,its background,its needs...I need to absorb it,to know it..this way,when I start writing I have a connection...for me,its about more than the story,the performances...theres an undercurrent of tone and feeling that the music can help,or hinder,and if I don't connect with that tone the music will be at odds with the film,and we don't want that!

How did your production change since the times of Pop Will Eat Itself?

Technology advancements have opened up many new doors since those days-its been nearly 15 years since I left PWEI.However,its fundamentally the same idea,but,for me as a computer-based 'musician' CPU power and software development gives more options and easier(in theory!)execution.

Also,you can never under-estimate the power of experience.Having been writing music for nearly 30 years has allowed me a certain confidence and discipline in not fighting the process too much.I had the worst case of writers block just before I scored ?€and the problems were enthusiasm,desire and inspiration-I learned that if its not happening,do something else,try something else-if that doesn't work,do something else...

At some point I stopped trying to make music like other people.Let me explain-I would write a piece of music/song and then analyze why it wasn't as good as Artist A/Group B/Composer C/whoever...I was trying to shape my music to what was going on a round me.At some point,I let it all go and started to make the music i felt/heard inside me-regardless of whether it was substandard to anything/anyone else.I had to find what was truly in me.

Tell us about your upcoming appearance at the Ghent International Film Festival. How do you prepare your music for a live performance?

I have wanted to perform my film music live from the very beginning and being offered the chance to perform in Belgium gave me the push to see how it would work.

Originally,I was asked to prepare my music for a full orchestra and perhaps conduct.I didn't feel this was how I perceieved my work and decided I wanted to blend the contemporary side of my sound with the classical by forming a neo-classical rock band,as such,with piano,string quartet,guitars,bass,drums and keyboards.This gives me the most flexible approach to performing my scores.

I re-arranged pieces into palatable arrangements that i felt retained the essence of the music as it exists in the related film but also was suited to the live environment.Its a further extension ofhow I have been arranging my score releases recently-taking the core idea of the film and the score but re-arranging the music into a more traditional(for want of a better word)arrangement that gives an overall listening experience-as opposed to just taking the music out of the film and sticking on a CD.essentially,what I have tried to do with the music is take it on further from the recorded work to another level in the live performance.

Who are your contemporary musical inspirations?


Suicide,Stooges,Joy Division,Godspeed You Black Emperor,John Carpenter,Zbigniew Priesner,The Adverts,Tangerine Dream,Soap & Skin,Glenn name a few.

We last spoke back in 2008 and I asked you about your thoughts on releasing a solo album. How is that going?

The general concept of a solo record doesn't really appeal to me.I need context and the inner workings of myself are just not interesting enough to me to excite me...however,I write constantly so there is always the possibility.

Writing for a film always presents new challenges and ideas that force me to respond in ways I,perhaps,wouldn't have considered,left to my own devices.Until I jump that hurdle a solo record will remain undelivered....

If it's not a secret, what are you working on right now?

Black Swan!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

50 (MORE!) Albums, EPs and Compilations of 2008

Hold up, hold up. Rewind selector! Before I attempt to sit down and put together my list of favorite albums of 2009, I must pay homage to the music that slipped past me in the year before. I have said this time and again - there is simply way too much music! Every year, I reflect on the year prior and attempt to catch up on all of the releases. And I refuse to let them go! So here is a list of albums that has not made it to my list of Headphone Commute's Best of 2008, but have been in my rotation since the publication, and deserve to be recognized in this flashback to 2008.

See the entire list only on Headphone Commute.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

20 Compilations and Mixes of 2009 [part 2]

Here are ten more entries to complete Headphone Commute's 20 Compilations and Mixes of 2009. I've been trying to get these off of my chest for a whole year! Now that I'm finally sharing these recommendations with you, I feel much better. There is an amazing selection of music below, spanning across a variety of genres such as downtempo, psybient, modern classical, experimental, ambient, dark and crunchy IDM, dubstep, and everything in between!

Read part one of the article only on Headphone Commute.

Rena Jones - Indra's Web (Cartesian Binary)

It's not so uncommon to see classically trained pianists turn to electronic music production. After all, it's not a huge stretch from the piano to a midi controller keyboard. It's considerably rarer to find producers who are actually cellists and violinists by training. But Rena Jones is certainly not your garden variety producer. She's a multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer with more than 20 years of classical violin study and 12 years of the cello behind her. That background is reflected in Indra's Web, her fourth solo album and the first on her newly established label, Cartesian Binary Recordings. Indra's Web weaves together weighty downtempo electronica with swooning modern classical, with Jones backed up on more than half of the album by three string players from the New Millennium Orchestra. Jones is also credited with vocals, mixing, programming and Rhodes, and the album also features a live drummer, a clarinetist and a vocalist. In addition to the graceful strings, the album is marked by a hefty bottom end and gently skittering percussion as well as the intricate and spellbinding compositions, which do full justice to the album's name. Indra's Web is a metaphor found in Buddhism and Hinduism for "the structure of reality, representing the interconnectedness and interdependency of all things, describing a rich and diverse universe where infinitely repeated mutual relations exist between all of its elements and entities." That's as good of a way as any to describe the music. It immediately grabs hold of you and sucks you in but the songs are not so easily digested on the first listen. They're subtle and, like elaborate labyrinths, they take time to reveal themselves. You need to explore the nooks and crannies before you can find your way out. But they're beautiful, enchanted labyrinths, green and flowery, and time moves in hazy slow motion inside of them. I will resist the urge to discuss individual songs (except to say that the one-two punch of On the Drift and Point of Existence is a knockout). Suffice it to say that Indra's Web is an extremely rewarding album and unique in the way it combines beat-driven electronic music with classical moods. It's seamlessly done, completely blurring the lines between genres. It's as good of an illustration as any of the inevitable futility of categorizing art. This is simply beautiful music that will endure.

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Review by Tigon |

Two and a Half Questions with Rena Jones

With all that classical cello and violin training, how did you get into synths and producing?
I think it all really began when I was about 14 and started playing with four tracks. I believe I had a little casio keyboard and a 4 track and just slowly worked my way up to digital audio workstations, soft-synths, consoles and outboard gear. For as long as I can remember, I was always looking at ways that I could compose and produce music on my own and to me it has always felt like a natural progression in my search to expand my sonic palette. I have always been as equally fascinated by the technology and development of music as well as studying the craft of perfecting a live instrument so for me studying how to build circuits and mix on a 72 channel console or program a synth in Reaktor or mastering a style on the cello were all working towards the same goal.

The way classical and electronic traditions come together in your music is really like a meeting of equals. It truly blurs the line between genres. Is that a conscious decision? What does each tradition have to offer, in your mind?
I do really enjoy blurring the line of genres and have spent many years trying to prefect that equality or balance in the songs. I think blending electronic and organic is actually a very difficult thing to pull off well and the more the lines are blurred the better. Plus I never really understood the madness with genres to be honest. Half of the genres are the same beat just slowed down or speed up a few BPM. I'd rather look at a track in the mindset of, does that song make me feel, does it tell the story and paint a picture or does it just make me nod my head etc..

Indra's Web is a Buddhist concept about the interconnectedness of all things. Is your choice of this metaphor for your album a reflection of your own beliefs?
The philosophy I think is a beautiful metaphor just as most philosophies are. There is a lot to be said however, for how intricately our world is interconnected. There are many philosophies based on this idea including grand Mother Spider which is a Native American philosophy. New advances in quantum physics and science are showing us a similar concept as well including the holographic universe, fractal theory and the butterfly effect. So to answer your question, on some level yes this is a part of my belief structure but I equally believe that getting attached to any one idea is bad and that the moment humans get attached to any dogma or religion we have missed the point entirely. Plus, I think the concept just really lends itself towards great art...

The album is released on your own label, Cartesian Binary Recordings. First of all, what does that intriguing name represent? And why did you decide to start your own label?
I started the label for many reasons, most importantly to have fewer people between me and my fans gobbling up the funds as well as complete artistic freedom but also to develop stronger relations in the licensing world for games and film. The music business is changing every second and it's important these days if an artist wants to survive that they must have a very strong business mindset as well as an artistic one as well. Long gone are the days of getting "signed" and making it. However, if you have a smart business model and really go for it as an individual, you can actually make it work. As for the name of the label, it really has two meanings. Cartesian as in cartesian coordinate system which is basically an x/y grid. This idea was playing on the concept that math and music are interchangeable and that music is math and vice versa. Then the other play on Cartesian is the Cartesian Philosophy or dualism The word "Cartesius" is the latin form of the name Descartes. Cartesian dualism is simply Descartes concept of dualism "cogito ergo sum" "I think therefore I am". In this philosophy he reasons the body can be divided into parts but that the mind and soul are indivisible.

Any projects in the works? What can we expect from you in the future?
At the moment, I am working on a new EP for Spring 2010 as well as some new releases for the label including a remix CD and a compilation and hopefully will also be releasing other artists on my label in the future. There's also a few random quest appearances on strings I am working on right now with a handful of producers and a small tour in the works.

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Two and a Half Questions written by Tigon. |

Sunday, December 6, 2009

20 Compilations and Mixes of 2009 [part 1]

Compilations are notoriously difficult to cover. Usually, when I write an article on a collection of tracks, I spend some time capturing a specific theme or concept that the volume is made up of, and then feverishly rattle off the contributors. It’s tough to encapsulate the theme otherwise. That doesn’t mean that I don’t listen to them, of course. There are plenty of mixes and compilations that make it to the top of my rotations.

Read part one of the article only on Headphone Commute.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Best of 2009 – Your Votes

December is here. Can you believe it? A year of music already gone. A DECADE of music, if you will, is behind us. And something barely audible is already stretching its tentacles into 2010 to begin another trend. But before we leap into the new year, I think it’s time we celebrate 2009 the only way that I know. So help me out with your votes for Best of 2009! Here’s what I need from you. I’ll make it easy, but please stick to the format in order to help me compile all of this at the end.

Submit your for best of 2009

Thank you!