Naono – Sleepy Pebbles

What is it like to float around in dreams? Or in memories of my life? How can I easily start to think about who I am and what life is or what I want it to be? Naono simplifies the process of getting into the mode to reflect on those sorts of questions. The times I put in on, the thoroughly crafted songs make me feel like I want to escape into myself where there is only me. Into a large space in my mind where I focus everything on my well-being. These tracks pull out different beautiful memories of life but also thoughts of the now and visions for the future, in threads of melodies and discreet rhythms which slowly roll on in an almost infinitely or faster but still relaxing drum sequence.

Archaic Horizon Release Page
Album Art of Naono – Sleepy Pebbles
License: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Sleepy Pebbles is an album for those lonely moments that one at times can need. To pause time and feel the sensation of living in this century filled with this vast amount of messages each day which want to reach us. The songs have finely composed melodies which loop and mix with hymns, imperfect strings and short vocals appearing in the background as sort of searching elements which all try to grasp anything which the mind then sticks to, because the mind sure does, there are some sounds which are hard to pass by unnoticed. For being an album one can argue that it is rather short and that more could be offered to the listener with only about almost 35 minutes of relaxation.

The tracks which are offered thrive with what seems to be some sampled sound and they often tend to enter some state of lo-fi transcendent spirit, giving the album a generous variety of sounds although the release keeps a steady and carefully molded impression in my mind. And throughout its way it does never risk getting boring or repetitive. However I would like to have more variation in the vocals as with other commercial alternatives such as Moby, I feel that some more elements of voices can be very powerful in how they affect one’s impression.

Download the album from Soundshiva and enjoy this relaxing craft in audiophile quality FLAC or lower quality with MP3. You can also find free experimental and ambient releases at Naono’s netlabel Archaic Horizon.

Naono – Sleepy Pebbles is licensed with CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 so feel free to share it!

Review: The Tunnel

You have probably heard or seen the low budget horror flicks filmed from the characters’ point of view with a hand-held camera and where the person last standing dies in the end. This film is not like that. Similar to other commercials movie of this sub-genre of horror, the audience gets to follow the members of a news team which are investigating what is going in an old tunnel in Sydney. The town politicians had plans to work and expand the tunnel system which would affect a lot of people in the city. The construction would also find out about the homeless people who are believed to dwell all their lives down in the labyrinth maze of tunnels and branches of those. I find the storyline interesting because of all the motifs that are presented to the audience about why the crew would go down in the tunnel without any security to do their news story. The circumstances do not allow any other way and it makes it credible as it in other cases would be seen as plain stupidity for such a decision. It also offers a perspective on what kind of lengths an individual can go in order to keep their job which they do not really enjoy, like the main character Natasha Warner does to discover why the government of New South Wales would trash their plans of new ideas for construction in the tunnel that was built to supply and improve their infrastructure of already historical tunnels in Sydney. Natasha Warner is played by Bel Deliá and helped by the team Peter, Steven and Tangles. These roles are done by Andy Rodoreda, Steve Davis and Luke Arnold and all the actors have a great influence of the credible and they help to make many of the scenes enjoyable.

There are obvious sources of inspiration from the same genre which have influenced this work heavily but there are some differences. The directing of camera, lighting and auditory work turns out to be very realistic and as the viewer follow the news team, the work is divided between different characters and as a team of four and it develops into being a thrilling feature. This is because the story affects the news team and how the production changes in quality which has an ultra-realistic effect on the result. It never goes over the top in terms of, what often can annoy one when watching horror movies of this sort is that they rarely portray a background of characters which in contrary is supported by the storyline in this one.

The movie is a bit of a slow starter and one can really how the movie was intended to have a documentary semblance as the crew is interviewed and at times the scenes’ conversations, which at times can be viewed as depicting work environment of a female news reporter in a male dominated business. However the story is much more developed than other commercial forerunners within this genre. As the news team progresses in the tunnel several things are discovered, historical remnants are found and it adds a good impression of the scenography work and some nice trivial details to the story which can be of great interest to people interested in history. In the end, what they experience in the tunnel as a result is something largely different then what they came for.

– This is horror I never wish to experience as a real documentary.

Download the free P2P-version of the movie as a torrent in HD or SD through VODO which has more information of the release.

The licensing of this movie is interesting because it is only the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) version which is licensed with a Creative Commons license however the other releases use copyright for commercial purposes. Interestingly there has not been any press material licensed with the Creative Commons license and that is why there is no featured imaged for this post on the front page. This is disappointing and paradoxical because it makes the sharing of the movie suffer because of the copyrighted license on material which could be advantageous for the movie’s distribution. I will have to get in contact with the producers and ask them about a permission.

There is quite a unique story about how the creative minds featuring writers and producers Julian Harvey and Enzo Tedeschi, director Carlo Ledesma, executive producers Valerie Petrenko and Achmed Salama who also worked as the online and marketing director for the movie, wanted to create something special in distribution of films through the company Distracted Media. They started the 135k project, which broke down the production cost of the budget into the amount of movie frames that would be recorded – which were 135 000 frames or $135 000 or 90 minutes of film, which is regarded as a feature film. One can only see this as a very pedagogical approach on how to get a crowdfunding campaign successful by using simple concrete values that which simplifies how the budget is spent and that adds a lot of trust to the people that want to support it. It is certainly a recipe for success and these filmmakers from Australia put in a huge effort to remind us that they offer good films in addition to innovative distribution.

If you have an opinion on the review please comment below and if you like The Tunnel feel free to share your view!

Album art for Luces del Aire.

Review: Universildo – Luces del Aire

I find it very difficult to keep still when I hear Universildo‘s EP. The simple layers are building up an atmosphere that is hard to beat. The sounds have an exotic touch with a temperature that can give even the coldest person a warm feel run along their skin. The spirit of it can ignite some rhythmic feelings that either could turn into dancing freely or lying still and daydreaming as well, an artistic duality of music that is hard to come by.

Album art for Luces del Aire.
Album art for Luces del Aire – download and listen to the EP while you read!

The best track is “Llave Materna” which means something like “Mother key” and is the track filled with most exploration in the rhythmic sense. How Universildo was able to wind different rhythms together and turn it into such an intensive and aggressive but still optimistic track is a wonder. Personally I find it very hard not to get excited and motivated for a challenge. On the other side I feel it is a rather psychologically heavy track due to its more vibrant and darker tones with snares hitting hard to disrupt the peaceful chords. The other tunes are much warmer and make up sounds with nature that easily can make one think of imaginary forests and landscapes in fairy tales inhibited by another kind of sound then one usually can hear developed. The name “Lights of the Air” catches theme and impression of it very well.

Luces del Aire is an EP filled with intimate beats built up by minimal drum sounds, which sometimes reminds one of dub. These, adjoined by beautifully reverbed acoustic guitar and strings from synthesizers give a lot of integrity to the music when joined together. It could be described as an alchemist’s dream of making some of the most organic sounds turn to gold because of its rash mix of styles and sounds. It feels like an experiment that was well worth the effort and engagement that put into it.

The artist Universildo consists of the sole producer Pedro Canale from Argentina who also is known as Chancha via Circuito and Verde Kiri. Universildo is his project which features his experimental expressions and one can clearly hear that. Download here.

Luces del Aire (catalog name hdm01) got available for free through the netlabel Hipi Duki Muzik on the 26th of October, 2009. Hipi Duki Muzik are based in Barcelona, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina, founded in 2008. Read about it at SoundShiva

Released with the Creative Commons license BY-NC-ND.

Review: The Yes Men Fix The World

What do you think about the world? Do you think it needs saving?

The Yes Men Fix the World depicts Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno and how they have loads of fun while doing pranks to do their fair share of saving it. When watching this movie, one could almost believe it is a mockumentary with fake representations of corporations and people representing different organisations. Those are the things which are the exact opposite. The only things in this movie which are what the Yes Men are doing throughout it. They are activists and the one gets a vantage point of what these men do.

The product is one of the most joyful documentaries that I have seen in my life filled with hilarious media stunts and hoaxes. It represents not only how a movie with an agenda like this can be funded by people around the globe but how much change one can accomplish with a handful of ideas. I would almost dare calling it a comedy because there are numerous examples of humour which seem entirely independent from what one can see in commercial comedies and series. However the movie works a lot with showing the contrast of their seemingly amusing work as activists. With their visits to Bhopal in India which suffered from DOW Chemical’s accident in 1984, where thousands of Indians died and the homeless people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina they show where their inspiration and motivating drivers come from.

Andy and Mike are probably the rock stars in modern activism today. With the things they seem to have an endless supply of courage but it is believable. It does not feel like an underfunded movie even though it has a clear budget documentary side to it. Instead it turns the budget issue into some entertaining sketches at the “Headquarters” which makes good pausing points for reviewing the storyline and events. Even though it seems Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno pull off new pranks as all they do, they do not give an insightful overview of what the consequences are which leads the viewer to believe that it is free from risks.

Production still from the Survivaball Lecture hoax

Apart from having what some people call a clear political agenda, this movie breaks down questions of corporations and ethics to the sole core. It brings up great examples of what our world looks like and how many people who actually needs the hoaxes and stunts of The Yes Men. They present a credible view that saving the world does not necessarily mean sacrifices or loss.

Let it be a joyful and hectic ride on a rollercoaster instead.

Read more on VODO. Download the movie in low definition as a torrent. An HD version torrent is available at ClearBits. The Yes Men have recently reached enough funding for a new movie, a sequel that goes by the name of The Yes Men Are Revolting that now needs funding for campaigning.

The Yes Men Fix the World is licensed with Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND license

Review: Incentive – Incentive

What is an incentive? What is it that makes us do things in our lives? Whether it is an everyday routine e.g. getting up a bit earlier to come in time for work or more unusual, to bunker up with food because there is a storm coming that will cause chaos and destruction there are many things that can work as incentives. Incentives are an interesting phenomena in our lives that come in different shapes and forms. They can also be obvious as a news anchor warns of that storm heading towards your area – or it could be like the album Incentive by the artist with the same name. In today’s society, one gets exposed to unmeasurable amounts of incentives every day, but often we do not know about it because we have never thought of things from different perspectives. I think that this album intends to change that a bit.

Incentive Album Cover!

I have often thought of art and its common nature of creating incentives for target audiences. Visual artists such as painters, photographers and moviemakers can depict war and crimes against human rights or natural disasters. However, in that medium, there is no ability to experience the incentive from an external source as you go, the incentive has to be the reason for the incentive you realise as a result. Music has exactly that ability, with the openness of interpreting for the situation as it happens and can affect one’s interpretations psychologically.

These are songs that personifies incentive like various imminent dangers approaching somewhere, any time. The artist Incentive has worked with an extremely distorted sound for the songs and that is a successful recipe in terms of communicating the theme of it. One can also find it rather impressive to conjure such sounds that feel very electronic but yet bring out the most evolutionary instincts of fear and survival. There has been a thorough production with a good amount of instruments and sounds to manipulate these into sounding very aggressive. There is also a very interesting sample in the latter half of the track Osiris, featuring a woman who discusses our “excess technology” that we can get rid of and connect more as humans.

This album and its sound is probably way over the top for what some listeners can stand but one can also find it interesting how this is develops one sort of music which is very relevant to our surrounding technologies and chaotic events and noises circling around us. It can inspire one to discover incentives.

Download Incentive’s album here. James Osborne from Pittsburgh, US, is the man behind the alias Incentive. He blogs at Nuclear Boy and is a co-founder and admin of his label Dystopiaq! His music was described with the statement “IDM and Drum n’ Bass, mangled and tortured from hell.”!

Incentive is licensed with Creative Commons:  [Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0]