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The curse of the purse...

img  Tobias

In case you hadn't noticed: The two magic words of the experimental scene are "net label": Record companies existing only on the Web, offering releases in virtual formats and free of charge. Predicted by many to be the end of music as we know it, instead they have been a shining example of what the Internet can do for as yet unknown artists: Instead of ruining the income of musicians, they have allowed them to present their music to an interested audience, before going "commercial". German "Tonatom" was one of the first and has been offering excellent cuts mainly in the EP format for some years now. Now, they're back with two highly interesting releases.

Kicking things off is long-standing dark ambient master nightech. Acting as a cover-up for the projects of Ed Sherbakoff (would be a great name for a future James Bond villain), this Russian sound alchemist has been pushing his music almost exclusively via net labels, acquiring the status of an uncompromising, challenging but also extremely diversified artist. While "Till the end of time" (on camomille and again entirely for free) consists of short and concise pieces jumping from warmth to freezing cold and based on minimalistic melodic themes, his recent Tonatom-album is more spaceous and drawn-out. Majestic organ clusters melt into fractal piano drops and cloudy drones cover a dark red sky. Constantly changing moods ensure a full-hour's worth of surprises and sensual stimulation. Based on a philosophic essay entitled "Who controls the Universe and Life", this is no fast-food, but no intellectual extravaganza either.

Just as recommended comes a wonderful Remix-collection celebrating the work of Glasgow-based nq. This man deems any additional information on his persona unnecessary and allows visitors just a shadowy glimps into his strangely named universe (one of the tracks here is called "on ono inakte" - you go figure it out!). His music, however, is anything but inaccesible and seclusive - these are delicate and appealing electronic miniatures, slightly jumpy but always charming. Mormos version of "bidding hide" sounds like a robotic picnic in the blue lagoon and the "deer mix" of "sink" is the ambient dream of the "Ocean Pianist". The record company has a nice way of putting it into one sentence: "6 tracks by 6 artists from 5 different cities and 3 countries, offering little beauties that range from subtle movements and textures to abstract beat structures."

Just to make sure: It won't cost you a penny! Tonatom is entirely for free and they're not asking you to buy any old t-shirts or badges either. Even though we must admit, their logo would look pretty cool on one, actually.

Homepage: Tonatom
Homepage: Nightech
Homepage: nq

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