Posts Tagged 'Tra.kz'

Tra.kz Artist Spotlight: Junior Reid (Never Let You Go)

Junior Reid

Hailing from Jamaica’s tough West Kingston Waterhouse district, Junior Reid has been a mainstay of reggae and dance hall music since the 70’s. Junior may be best known as the lead vocalist of Black Uhuru, taking over for Michael Rose in 1985; but in the last few years, he has been infiltrating the hip hop scene. Samples of Junior’s best known hit, “One Blood,” have appeared on the Wu-Tang Clan‘s 2000 album The W, and in The Game’s song “It’s Okay (One Blood).” Junior has also collaborated with Mims to create a remix of his hit “This Is Why I’m Hot.”

Junior’s latest solo album, Living Legend is set to be released October 27th of this year, on Bay Area’s ABB Records. To give you a little taste, he has made his new single, “Never Let You Go,” available through Tra.kz for you to listen to, download and share! After you’ve listened to it, be sure to say hello to Junior on Twitter.

Tra.kz Artist Spotlight: Longwave (”Sideways Sideways Rain”)

longwave

New York born indie rock band, Longwave, was formed in 1999 by guitarist, songwriter and vocalist Steve Schiltz, guitarist Shannon Ferguson, bassist Dave Marchese and drummer Jeremy Greene. While some say their early music was influenced by shoegaze pioneers and post-punk icons, the current Longwave sound is very distinct, perhaps due to their numerous lineup changes over the years. Their most recent release, Secrets are Sinister, debued in November 2008 on Original Signal Recordings (the same label that supports the likes of Ingrid Michaelson and David Ford, whom we interviewed last year).

Longwave is now releasing a new single, “Sideways Sidesways Rain” exclusively on tra.kz! Check it out here.

Controlled Substance Sound Labs Round-Up

controlled_substance_charcoal_biggerIt’s been a great day of new music releases on Twitter and everybody at MixMatchMusic would like to give a big shout out to the folks at Controlled Substance Sound Labs (label umbrella for Stoopid Records and Law Records) for making the tra.kz launch a promotion to remember!

BUT… the music isn’t over yet, as you’ve still got a chance to grab the Controlled Substance tracks and share them with your friends. Check out the complete list of songs that were released today, and download them to your heart’s content.

To download a track, right click on its ‘Download’ link below and click “Save Link As…”

“Behind Closed Doors” by Fishbone
Stream it here: http://tra.kz/f
Download
 
“Too Much (straight board mix)” by Pepper
Stream it here: http://tra.kz/p
Download
 
“Set Me Off” by The Expendables
Stream it here: http://tra.kz/e
Download
 
“Closer to the Sun” by Slightly Stoopid
Stream it here: http://tra.kz/ss
Download
 
“Under the Landslide” by Mat McHugh and The Blackbird
Stream it here: http://tra.kz/m
Download
 
“Feelin’ Alright” by Rebelution
Stream it here: http://tra.kz/r
Download
 
“Love 2 the DJ” by Sabotage Soundsystem
Stream it here: http://tra.kz/s
Download
 
“Season’s Change” by Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad
Stream it here: http://tra.kz/g
Download

To download a track, right click on its ‘Download’ link above and click “Save Link As…”

Tra.kz Artist Spotlight: Rebelution (“Feelin’ Alright Dub”)

rebelution_04_flatWelcome to the Rebelution experience! Rebelution has a roots-rock-reggae sound that would make Mr. Marley smile and the streets of Kingston dance. Feelin’ Alright Dub is a previously unreleased, fully dubbed out version of the track Feelin’ Alright from their album, Courage to Grow. Check it out here.

This Santa Barbara-based reggae quartet is on a mission to spread positivity, unity and awareness to any and all who will listen, and, lately, it seems as if the number of interested parties may never stop growing. Originally formed in 2004, the group consists of vocalist/guitarist Eric Rachmany, keyboardist Rory Carey, drummer Wesley Finley, and bassist Marley D. Williams. It was their mutual attendance of music classes at college in Santa Barbara that initially brought them together, and it was in this environment that the seeds of their successful future were planted.

“Courage To Grow” is an excellent album complete with crafty melodies, socially conscious lyrics and savvy musicianship. Whereas other SoCal reggae-infused groups such as Sublime and the Long Beach Dub All-Stars tend to be rock- or punk-based, Rebelution sticks much more strongly to a vintage “roots” reggae sound. The band is currently on their 2009 Winter Tour, so check them out when they hit your town! Rebelution is looking forward to a promising 2009 and the release of their second full length album.

Welcome to the Tra.kz Artist Spotlight!

To celebrate the launch of tra.kz, a great selection of indie and emerging artists have come together to release new music using tra.kz. Throughout the day, new songs will be released on Twitter, with Evolving Music providing extra golden nuggets of information.

As part of the Tra.kz Artist Spotlight, MixMatchMusic has partnered with the forward-thinking folks over at Controlled Substance Sound Labs to release new music from Pepper, Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, the Expendables, Mat McHugh and the BlackBird, Fishbone, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, and Sabotage Soundsystem.

51198_2808_sourceControlled Substance Sound Labs was formed by brothers Jon and Matt Phillips as an artistic pipeline for the family of artists under Silverback Management. As a firm that has represented the vision and career direction on the management side, they have created a refreshing record label and distribution scenario that caters to the new “independent” minded landscape of the music business, and its changing climate. They have created a trustworthy scenario to release albums and own their own masters and copyrights, which as we all know, is not a practice commonly held by the major label behemoths currently in a steep decline both creatively and from a business standpoint.

Here is the full schedule of today’s Artist Spotlight. Get ready for some great music!

7:30AM: T. Mandrake — Honey
8:00AM: Dreamlin featuring Kim Powers — Fort Gaze
8:30AM: Angel Pier — Skullz and Xs
9:00AM: Throw Me the Statue — Ship
9:30AM: Trifonic — Gutter Box
10:00AM: Fishbone — Behind Closed Doors
11:00AM: Pepper — Too Much (Straight Board Mix)
12:00PM: The Expendables — Set Me Off
1:00PM: Slightly Stoopid — Closer to the Sun
2:00PM: Mat McHugh — Under the Landslide
3:00PM: Rebelution — Feelin’ Alright Dub
4:0PM: Sabotage Soundsystem — Love 2 the DJ
4:30PM: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad — Season’s Change
5:00PM: BLVD — Vortex
5:30PM: Enzyme Dynamite — Girls
6:00PM: Radio Nowhere — London Calling
6:30PM: The Dance Party — Sasha, Don’t Sleep
7:00PM: Alessandra Conti — Empty Words

MixMatchMusic Launches Tra.kz

It seems that the more accessible and fast information becomes, the greater the urge is to make it go faster. The evolution it took to go from snail mail to e-mail was not only a giant cost and speed leap, but a shift in thinking about the way to convey information simply. From there, IM made short and fast the norm for online communication. With these changes in communication and upgrades in data sharing speeds, artists are now not only able to immediately present new content to their fans, but they’re also able to spread the information about that content much more rapidly. Now, as the internet culture reaches another stepping stone in social networking and media, Facebook status messages and sub-141 character Twitter messages have become commonplace, making the need to dumb down traditionally fingernail-on-chalkboard length URLs to something that can link to a site and still hold space for a description. There are numerous sites that provide services like these already, Twitpic for pictures and bit.ly for other content, but this morning marks the launch of a URL shortener specifically made to direct readers to music related content.

MixMatchMusic has been working diligently with the online music community through their site which promotes the collaboration, organization and monetization of user created content. And while online artist content and collaboration remain the primary focus, MMM has been forward thinking in their approach by quickly recognizing and assimilating various aspects of the ever-expanding musical presence on the web, as evidenced by both their Remix Wizard and their site sequencer. It makes sense then that today they offered up a new and incredibly useful tool to the online community in tra.kz, a URL shortener for all things music.

When sending a shortened URL over the web, it’s easy for other people to skim links if they’re not sure of where it’s going or why they should be interested. With tra.kz, users will always know that the link points to an Mp3, artist interview, music video or something else musical, making the custom URL creator perfect for anyone trying to share music related content with a simple and easy to remember link. Like the press release about the tra.kz launch found at tra.kz/l82g.

In conjunction with the launch of tra.kz, numerous artists will team with MixMatchMusic today to release a new song on Twitter each hour. With musicians and fans increasingly turning to Twitter to keep up to date with the latest group information, the ability to share songs and other band related information through an easily recognizable music URL shortener can become central in online promotions. It’d be easy to stop there, create the tra.kz/___ URL and leave it at that. But in the interest of making the service social platform friendly, the Twitter box is provided right below the short form to send directly from there.

Keep checking in today with @EvolvingMusic and @MixMatchMusic for new songs released using the tra.kz link shortener. Artists will include Pepper, Slightly Stoopid and Throw Me the Statue to name just a few. The folks over at Controlled Substance Sound Labs are using the launch as a platform for their artists to interact with their fans and harness the TwitterVerse to drive content exposure. As someone just latching onto Twitter, the idea of something as easy as tra.kz to identify music related content comes as a welcome way to filter links that I’m simply not interested in. For some solid Bay Area hip-hop, I recommend with my first use of tra.kz The Tones’ “The Movemeant” over at tra.kz/thetones. I’m also enjoying this multi-lingual track from Breez Evahflowin and Indiefeed’s very own Dirt E. Dutch at tra.kz/4wind . Enjoy!

Why Musicians Should Jump on the Twitter Bandwagon

Twitter is not just for tech geek bloggers anymore. (Yes, that was a Scobleizer shout out.) Oh no, my friends. Twitter is for everyone. Especially DIY musicians.

Before you read the rest of this post, open another tab and listen to “You’re no one if you’re not on Twitter” in the background. It’s in the little music player at the top of this page. Just a little soundtrack for ya.

And, while you’re distracted, go ahead and follow evolvingmusic on Twitter.

Now, not everyone agrees with the merits of twittering as a part of an overall marketing strategy for musicians. I, however, would not only include Twitter in my strategy, I would make it one of the main features.

I know, Twitter can be mildly reminiscent of a 90s chat room sometimes. (I never really understood the appeal there). But instead of creepy old men posing as teenage girls and lonely housewives looking for excitement, it’s an entirely different crowd. Twitter is full of intelligent, resourceful, witty people who are passionate about new technology, endlessly curious about a wide range of topics, and more than happy to share helpful information. Twitter has become a great resource for all kinds of things, and perhaps surprisingly, for as-it-happens news as well.

But it seems to me that not very many musicians are taking advantage of this brilliantly simple tool. Yet.

As most of us know by now, the music industry has dug itself into a deeper hole than it can get itself out of for the time being and musicians are pretty much on their own when it comes to creating their own success. Obviously, you need a MySpace Music page. (I hate MySpace. I really do. But it IS necessary for musicians.) Obviously, you need a website, where you post your photos, tour dates, bio, etc. The next steps are also important: your blog (let your fans get to know you), your Facebook page, a Last.fm account, a YouTube channel for your music videos. These are all part of a multi-pronged approach to creating your musical identity online. Let your fans find you in the places where they are already spending their time. Give them the content they are already looking for.

Ok, so if I do all this, do I still need Twitter? Who cares what I had for lunch? Isn’t it a waste of my time??

Absolutely not! And here’s why.

First, it’s another way to broadcast the key things that you already have on your MySpace, Facebook, website etc, like tour dates, album release dates, and what not.

Second, and more importantly, it’s a way – similar to blogging – to get more personal. To let your fans get to know you, the person, in addition to you, the musician. Whereas blogging allows you to rant and rave and express your opinions in a very personal way, Twittering (which is technically microblogging), allows for the same thing. Just, you know….in 140 characters or less.

Those who follow you (presumably your fans) are interested in what you have to say, what you are doing, what you are feeling and thinking. They care. Whether you tweet about what city you’re in for your tour tomorrow or how much you hate the president today or what color underwear you have on, they care. (And if they decide they don’t care, they’ll just unfollow you.)

Say important things, say meaningless things, say witty things, ask questions. It’s all relevant if it’s on your mind.

Next, as a way of rewarding your loyal followers, give them stuff. Much like Obama sent his VIP pick out by text message first, you could announce a small show or party only on Twitter, or include a link to a free download in a tweet so your followers get it first.

Lastly, it’s a way to interact with your fans. Ask them for suggestions, like song requests for a set list at an upcoming show. Ask them which songs they like best on your last CD. Let them show their adulation with their @ replies.

One mistake to avoid: Don’t let someone else produce your Twitter content for you. Letting a PR manager or college intern or your unemployed roommate write your updates for you will defeat the purpose. Only you can mold your online identity and make it actually you.

Another tip: Share music with your fans on Twitter! You can do this by using Tra.kz, which will shorten your long audio links into cute, little links that point fans to a player page for the song; the song’s Tra.kz page  displays all the tweets about the song and makes it easy for people to share.

Which artists are currently on Twitter? Only a few have caught on so far. Here is a sampling: Snoop Dogg, MC Hammer, Jimmy Eat World, Sara Bareilles, Bjork, Brett Gurewitz (of Bad Religion), A Fine Frenzy, and Patrick Wilson (of Weezer).


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