Tuesday, November 14, 2023

BSOTS 182 - Life At Camp Lo-Fi: The First Nine Years


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This episode's track list (title / artist / source / license):

1.  Everybody Stopped Calling Me by Friends Or Whatever [blocSonic] (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) (2010)

2.  In Matacumbo by Cosmic Analog Ensemble [Upitup] (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) (2013)

3.  Mango Tree by Chandeliers [Free Music Archive] (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) (2008)

4.  The Shoreline by Big La Vs. Todd [Bandcamp] (2023)

5.  Datenight by Jonny Sonic [Bandcamp] (2010)

6.  Dance To The Drummer's Beat by Dharma [Netlabel Archive] (CC BY-ND-NC 1.0) (1999)

7.  Misunderstood by Lovespirals [Bandcamp] (2023)

8.  Bag Of Nothingness by Comfort Fit [Free Music Archive] (CC BY-NC 3.0) (2009)

9.  The Force May Be With You by Idmonster [Internet Archive] (CC NY-ND-NC 1.0) (2001)

I haven't worked out just how many generations 18 years covers in the world of podcasting, but it's enough to know that it was a vastly different world in 2005.  A world without as many social media bells and whistles, one where few contemplated how artificial intelligence tools could improve their podcasting workflow or how to create episode teasers in the form of audiograms or Instagram reels.  A lot has changed, but some things remain the same.  For me, nothing matters more than the music that I share on the show.  I never wanted to do anything else in podcasting other than champion independent artists and connect the dots between various musical genres through this medium.  

There's a whole lot of music that has been played on this show over 18 years, and it would be foolish to suggest to you that nine songs could cover even a fraction of that time.  However, some of these songs and artists are reminiscent of specific moments within BSOTS history.  The selections from Lovespirals and Big La Vs. Todd represent my connection to the Music Podcasting Consortium, a like-minded collective of avid music supporters and creators that represents my first online community within the podosphere.  Whether Todd Kelley (a.k.a. The Big La) is curating a music mix or in the lab crafting beats of his own, the head nod factor is always priority number one with him.  "The Shoreline" is a calming instrumental piece and one of my personal favorites from his Kneel Before Todd album.  The music of Lovespirals appeared within the first ten episodes of Radio BSOTS and is one of the first podsafe artists ever played on this show.  Their new single "Misunderstood" is a continuation of the ethereal attributes that make their work so special (and besides that, atmospheric drum and bass is the way to my heart).

Over the years, podsafe music resources faded away one by one, but thankfully the Free Music Archive is still around.  Founded in 2009, I've been virtually crate digging through this website since its beginning stages in beta mode, always finding works that have both intrigued and surprised me.  A cut like "Mango Tree" by Chandeliers brings me right back to those early days of searching for music on the FMA.  This one's a total earworm, marrying lyrics and vocals that lean towards folk with an off-kilter funk groove accentuated by the bass, keys, and rhythm guitar.  "Bag Of Nothingness" is another FMA find, where producer Comfort Fit takes the funk and launches full speed into the future,  creating a hip-hop/electronic beat hybrid that stays crunchy even in milk.  

Prior to the FMA's existence, a universe of netlabels brought me in touch with an endless amount of Creative Commons licensed music.  The blocSonic netlabel would have been the first, and I try to represent for their output as often as possible.  The self-titled album by Friends Or Whatever is one of my all-time favorite blocSonic releases and the shimmering brilliance of "Everybody Stopped Calling Me" is just one of the reasons why.  No Type (no longer active) was another netlabel that I came across soon after blocSonic and I fell hard for their focus on experimental electronic music.  The introspective beauty of "The Force May Be With You" by Idmonster is reminiscent of work from labels like Project Mooncircle, the warm chords occasionally disturbed by slivers of voices, clicks, and digital static.  Upitup Records is more of a recent discovery for me, but the music of Cosmic Analog Ensemble has been played on this show well over a decade ago.  He's a multi-instrumentalist that's capable of creating soulful jazz numbers to sample-heavy hip-hop instrumentals that feel like Madlib during his most leftfield moments.  I cannot stop playing "In Matacumbo" and it would be criminal not to share that cut with you.  The same can be said for "Dance To The Drummer's Beat" by Dharma.  It's impossible to keep still when those breakbeats kick in.  Believe it or not, that cut dates back to 1999, proving that the Creative Commons crates are deep and full of amazing cuts that deserve more exposure.  (Seek and ye shall find.)  It was released on Mono211, a label that stopped releasing music 20 years ago.  Thanks to the efforts of those behind the Netlabel Archive for preserving the works of inactive imprints and ensuring that their output won't be lost forever.

And then there's Jonny Sonic, an artist that ended up becoming the unofficial voice of the BSOTS GONE (buck)WILD episodes.  His music is often punchy and insistent, never forsaking the funk in its approach.  I love the horn section on "Datenight" and how Jonny's voice just seems to cut through his big band that's right behind him.  I've been playing his music since at least 2006 and he's the first artist that I reach for whenever BSOTS needs to blow off some steam.  Should you need some music to bring you back from the brink, here's hoping that the selections within this episode can bring some semblance of peace your way.  

Other key info:
BSOTS 149 - Grooves And Gratitude
BSOTS 151 - BUCKWILD:  The Shouting Match Never Really Ended (pt. one)
BSOTS 152 - BUCKWILD:  The Shouting Match Never Really Ended (pt. two)
Queue Points Show #119 - Exploring The Soundscapes
Julien Smith
Lost In The Sauce
Bloc Discovery Sessions

BSOTS theme music by Cy Tru (edited by Macedonia).  ID drops courtesy of Fave, Kahlief Adams, Aspektz, Jonny Sonic, and Darrenkeith.

Music by SoulProdMusic from Pixabay.

This work is licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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