Archive for August, 2009

LoopMasters: Audio Producers, Check It!!

Loopmasters.com, the ultimate audio sampling site based out of the UK. “Loopmasters first came to light in 1999 under the ‘Beatnik Samples’ banner, which released 4 Sample CDs known as the ‘Modular Series’, and received excellent reviews in the UK and overseas by the likes of Future Music (Platinum Awards), Sound on Sound (5 star reviews) and many other magazines, mainly for the flexibility and general quality of these titles. The titles were distributed worldwide and were used by many recording artists, multimedia designers, library music producers and dance music producers.” In 2003 Loopmasters officially launched. They’re not your typical audio sampling web site. Loopmasters searches for well known producers to contribute packages of useable samples. We interviewed the Loopmasters team about their product. Check it out…

LG: Hey Loopmasters, hows the audio sampling business these days? Any big news?

LM: Good thanks, lots of great stuff coming out over the coming weeks, we launch Global Underground Sample Series, and we have some great artist titles coming out including a Hardcore pack from Breeze and Styles, trance from Jon 00 Flemming, and some great dance titles from artists like Meat Katie, Jon Carter, Funkagenda and many others!

We also just starting working with Industrial Strength records who have some great Drum and Bass, Techno and Dubstep libraries amoung others in the pipeline, so its exciting times here at Loopmasters with some fantastic new royalty free samples coming from some of hottest producers on the planet. We just took over a new office which also has a nice music studio next door, and have expanded our team to help with social media, distributor projects and some new ideas we have cooking – so watch this space!

LG: What do you look for in the producers that you get to upload samples to your site?

LM: Overall it has to be quality and inspiration every time, as we can help with technical formatting and content selection – overall the producers must have passion and really know their style, genre, or instrument. Apart from that they must be ready to give up their best sounds and musical ideas for the project without worry – as we know that we have to make our customers happy.

LG: Are there any recognizable songs out there that have Loopmasters samples in them?

LM: There are a lot out there for sure, but we prefer to generally operate like a doctor/patient relationship and keep our customers identity a secret.

LG: Anything in the Loopmasters future that we should be aware of?

LM: There is a lot going on here at the moment, we are lucky to have a great group of producers buying and trusting us to provide them with the right sounds, genres and formats – as styles change we have a constant challenge to find the best people to come up with the goods. Outside of our core business we are looking into supporting our customer base more and providing useful information and opportunities – so we launched looptv.net to give an industry focus for music production, artists and interviews. Also we have an exciting record label related project launching which will be new for us and hopefully something we will be very proud of.

In the meantime – watch out for upcoming releases from our Artist and Label series, along with some fantastic products from our partner labels – a couple to keep an eye on are Wave Alchemy, Push Button Bang and Drumdrops.

Thanks for the interview, Loopmasters. Make sure to check out their profile on MixMatchMusic where you can download several of their samples!

First Ever Live Music Festival Webcast on YouTube: San Francisco’s Outside Lands

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There has been a lot of talk lately about live music. Some of us have noted that concert sales are thriving despite the recession, and there seems to be almost a revival of festival-going going on. The Taking Woodstock movie is coming out, which is sure to conjure up some nostalgia and fuel some fires that have been laying dormant. One of the more notable festivals on the West coast is definitely San Francisco’s Outside Lands, which is taking place this weekend.

For those of you who live in or have ever been near the Bay Area in August you know it’s a big deal. The historic Sunset District of San Francisco plays host to this 3 day festival in Golden Gate park, which includes an incredible lineup spanning just about every genre and showcasing both big names and lesser known gems.

Fans who were looking forward to the Beastie Boys headlining will have to shake it off and get excited about Tenacious D jumping in instead. Hopefully, M.I.A. will be able to do the same. She was none too pleased about the change.

In addition to being highly interactive and social media friendly, Outside Lands has taken it a step further and is going where no concert has gone before. It is being broadcast live on YouTube! While we’re doling out the accolades, let us also mention that they are doing their part to keep it green.

Planning on going? Have you seen all the tools out there to help you get organized? First of all, you can stay up-to-date via twitter. (Please note that it’s a “twitterbot for people going to Outside Lands Fest. Send tweet to @osl to broadcast back to everyone following osl.”) Also, you might want to download the iPhone app, try using Ranger Dave’s Magic Scheduler, or hop on to CrowdFire (a place to add your photos, videos, and tweets.)

Dirty Projectors

Dirty Projectors

Brooklyn-based band Dirty Projectors have been releasing albums since 2002, but until this year, have been largely seen as too conceptual and highbrow to be listenable. Frontman, Dave Longstreth, is a Yale grad with a propensity for the inventive and experimental. Past albums include ornate interpretations of Black Flag songs, theatrical orchestral pieces, and inspiration from just about every musical genre you can imagine.

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Their June release, Bitte Orca, does not break from their pattern of imaginative tracks, drawing inspiration from all different styles; it is, however, their first album to seem like a cohesive set, with a sound accessible to a much broader audience. The songs are still intricate enough to keep a listener’s interest, but do not lose them in overly abstract departures, as in the past.

Earlier this year, Dirty Projectors also collaborated with David Byrne on Dark Was the Night, a compilation album put out by Red Hot AIDS Benefit Series and produced by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the band The National. Their track, “Knotty Pine,” is lead by bright acoustic guitars and the driving harmonies of the band’s female vocalists, Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian, and Haley Dekle; and the Talking Heads tinge can be clearly heard.

The band is set to release a new EP, entitled “Temecula Sunrise,” next month. Only time will tell if Dirty Projectors will continue with their approachable art-pop rock sound or head back to the unpredictable world of experimental rock.

Nathen Maxwell & The Original Bunny Gang

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After thirteen years playing with Celtic-punk band Flogging Molly, bassist Nathen Maxwell has put out an album from his solo side-project, Nathen Maxwell & The Original Bunny Gang. Teaming up with his drummer father, who goes by the name maxwellvision, their 10-track disc, White Rabbit, was released last week.

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Surprisingly enough, Maxwell’s album does not fit into a punk rock nor Celtic genre at all. Instead, it is an acoustic album with reggae and folk influences, much more delicate sounding than anything Flogging Molly has ever released. Maxwell explains that he grew up listening to reggae and was inspired to put his heartfelt lyrics to reggae’s softer sound. His lyrics range from topics of politics, in “Chief of a Nation” and “Working for the Man,” to the feelings that come along with new love, in “Love Outlaw” and “Love You Mad”; but all songs share Maxwell’s earnest singing.

Maxwell is the first to warn Flogging Molly fans not to expect what they’re used to; and conversely, tells people who are not fans of the punk band to give him a shot. And as for Flogging Molly’s status, the band is still alive and well but has decreased its touring schedule for the year, allowing Maxwell time to work on this project.

Remix Lyrics Born!

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Heads up fans, producers, and DJs! We’ve got a brand new remix contest for all of you looking for new and impressive ways to participate in the creative process and show off your DIY skills. MixMatchMusic has joined forces with Bay Area rapper Lyrics Born and eyewear company Sutro Vision to bring you a chance to remix Lyrics Born’s newest single, a re-union track with the other half of his Latyrx duo, Lateef the Truthspeaker, called “Pushed Aside, Pulled Apart.”

“Pushed Aside, Pulled Apart” will be appearing on both Lyrics Born’s upcoming Variety Show mixtape and the studio album he has due in 2010. The track utilizes female vocals, synths and moving drum and clap percussion to frame uptempo lyrics from Born and Lateef surrounding the decisions and choices they’ve been faced with making for their careers. Check out the video for the single below.

In an effort to engage and interact with fans, as well as contribute to the growing number of artists allowing fans to remix their work, Lyrics Born has loaded the stems to “Pushed Aside, Pulled Apart” into the MixMatchMusic Remix Wizard and has given you two options for making a remix: Either download the stems for free and use any software you want, or just click on the MixMaker button on the widget to make a remix in MixMatchMusic’s simple online music editor. If you’ve never experienced remixing before, or just want to see how the song was made, check out the MixMaker. Once you’ve completed your remix, upload it so that others can listen to, vote on and share it.

So what will you win? From the entries, Lyrics Born himself will be picking three winners – a grand prize and two runner-up prizes. The grand prize winner will receive a pair of Lyrics Born signed Sutro sunglasses (these shades are sweet!), autographed copies of the entire Variety Show catalog, a Lyrics Born T-Shirt, 2 free tickets to any Lyrics Born show, a meet and greet with Lyrics Bron at said show, and their track featured on LyricsBorn.com presented by Lyrics Born himself.

The 2 runner ups will each receive a pair of Lyrics Born signed Sutro sunglasses (he will sign the case), a copy of the new Lyrics Born Variety Show mixtape, a Lyrics Born T-Shirt and 2 free tickets to any Lyrics Born show as well as their remix featured on LyricsBorn.com. The official rules for the contest are available here.

So what are you waiting for? The contest starts today (Tuesday, August 25th) and runs through Friday September 25th. Tune in, sign on and start mixing!

Posse.com: For Love AND Money

Sometimes the best way to promote something is good old word-of-mouth. This is especially true when it comes to music. Fans are always going to talk to their friends about the music they love. And people generally heed the advice of those they trust before they listen to paid advertising or respond to other marketing efforts. New Zealand-born and currently Australia-based indie-rock trio, Evermore, which is made up of three brothers, took this idea one step further.

Together with their manager, Rebekah Campbell, and their agent, Brett Murrihy, the group (which has arguably one of the least annoying myspace pages ever — nice!) conducted an experiment: attempting to boost their ticket sales by recruiting fans as promoters. Sure lots bands build “street teams,” which help with postering and other guerilla marketing techniques, but Evermore wanted to let their fans sell tickets and get paid a commission. Well guess what? It worked! So they launched posse.com, which is essentially the world’s first peer-to-peer ticketing website. Of course, there will always be people selling their concert tickets on craigslist or scalping them outside the venue last minute, but this is for an entirely different kind of fan.

Posse.com pays you a commission on every ticket you sell (once you’ve reached a minimum amount and once the concert actually happens). For the casual fan this is probably not a huge draw, but for the hardcore fans who have large networks of people and generally like spreading the word about good shows and/or those who see a lot of shows and are looking for ways to save money, this is great! They only launched a few months ago, so it will be interesting to see if this concept catches on and if so, how quickly. They’ve already added a few new acts, including Marilyn Manson. According to the website, you can only become a “posse agent” if you live in Australia, however, they “will be launching in your neck of the woods soon.”

It is now safe to say we have entered the era of the empowered fan, where you can join a “new generation of young music industry entrepreneurs [who] become involved in the business of the artists they are passionate about,” as MTV Australia puts it. Whether it be access to exclusive content and VIP perks, tools for remixing, or P2P ticketing, it seems like everything these days is trending towards giving the power back to the people (i.e. the artists and their fans) and fostering that deep artist/fan connection.

If you’re not familiar with Evermore, here’s a little taste:

iPhone Instrumentals

Thanks to the multitude of applications available from Apple’s App Store, creating music through your phone has come a long way since Towelie’s “Funky Town.”

In fact, some, like rising YouTube sensation The Mentalists, are taking these applications quite seriously. Check out this band’s covers of MGMT’s “Kids” or Estelle’s “American Boy”.

Stanford University even has its own iPhone ensemble, called the Mobile Phone Orchestra, or MoPhO. MoPhoO director, Ge Wang, developed his own application for the group, called Ocarina, which turns the iPhone into a woodwind-like instrument sensitive to touch, movement, or breath.

The App Store has music applications for everything from digital drum pads to mash-up machines to kazoos. Some of the most popular include Jumpei Wada’s Mini Piano, Curious Brain Inc.’s TouchCords, and Magnus Larsson’s DigiDrummer Lite, all free. These apps are very user friendly, allowing even the least music-tech savvy people try their hand at a little music production.

Just another way technology is allowing a more hands-on experience for enjoying music, much like MixMatchMusic’s Remix Wizard allows artists to bring fans into the mix through remix promotions. For an Evolving Music list of other cool music related apps check out this earlier post.


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