Hear The Track HereA relatively new development in internet music, 'netlabels' have become something of great interest to me. The key word here being infrastructure; ways to get your product to the right ears. Since I first came across them a couple of years ago, the number of netlabels around has rocketed and - as always - that's not necessarily a good thing. As ever, its about content and, to my way of thinking there are few 'class' netlabels, ones that have their own identity and sound. The most successful netlabel I know of is Sweden's 23 seconds whose roster of artists is carefully balanced and therein lies the key to success. Variety and diversity are the key elements to the affair so let me introduce you to another netlabel that seems to have its act together No-Source, an American netlabel whose roster of twenty plus musicians definitely needs checking out. The reason I know about this is because Nate Kitchens told me about it and who is Nate Kitchens you ask? One half of Apsis Lappet, an indie rock band (the other half being David Gorran) who are on No-Source with two albums.
The very best thing about this sparkly internet music world is the fact that it allows ordinary musicians (ie you and me) to (sometimes) do extraordinary things and over the years I have, I suppose, developed a bit of a deaf ear to the age old curse of home recording, the lo-fi mix. Add to that the sheer quirkiness of some of the music around and - when it works - it can be amazing. When it doesn't work it can be quite painful for all concerned. So, if you can get past a basic, functional mix and don't mind the whimsical nature of the track then Fading Blue has a great deal to offer, there are flashes of inspiration in the performance and in the arrangement but sadly not enough to really put this song over the top into Must Have territory.
See, for me it's always the song, or melody in the case of instrumentals and - although distinctly idiosyncratic - Faded Blue is as they say where I come from, a bloody good song. The usual lazy reference for artists like this is the legendary Syd Barrett but I doubt whether to many of this generation would have actually heard him. His style, however, seems to be gaining ground wherever you look, the closest comparison for Soundclickers is Thomas J Marchant in his more whimsical moments. Oh btw another home recording foible is present in the track and, although slight, is noticeable namely vocal pitch, and lets not mention the ever-so-slightly out of time drumtrack. Still, if you have an ear for the rougher (in sound mind) end of the unsigned spectrum Apsis Lappet supply enough surprises for the track to ultimately work and I wonder whether there is a track that would do it for me. Judging by this, I think they probably do.
Somewhat patchy but Recommended for ideas and charm