Ever since our inception, Froglix has been mightily impressed by the quality of independent music emanating from the land Down Under and the city of Brisbane, in particular, has the very real potential of becoming the next big thing in music. What? Brisbane? Drago, surely you jest. Nay my friends, nay. Don’t believe me? Then check out the latest digital sampler from Sounds Like Brisbane. This incredible collaboration compiles tracks from (18) different artists and their respective labels to create one mega Australian indie collective. Genres include everything from jazz, to hip hop (that’s right Australian hip hop), country, alt-rock and…well…you get the picture. It’s a smattering of just about everything and here is the best part. You can download all (18) songs at once or listen to them one by one and download your favs…all for free! Just go to www.soundslikebrisbane.com and have at it!
There are a number of stand out performances but some of my personal favs include “Blue Blood” (DZ Deathrays), “Her Song” (The Medics), “These are a Few of My Favourite Flings” (The Good Ship), “Washed Up” (I Heart Hiroshima) and “Taxes” (Undead Apes).
Aside from the music, what I find most intriguing about the SLB project is that it’s genesis sprung from the labels themselves. Stephen Green from SGC New Media Marketing explains. “There were a few meetings and some of the labels were already helping each other out, so they thought they’d get together and make it official and start the SLB website. They figured that there’s so much good stuff going on that it made sense to pool their fans and let everyone sample what everyone else is doing.” It’s a brilliant idea but will it work? Oh, I’d say so. If memory serves me, I believe Dischord Records in DC made quite splash by unifying the DC punk scene, paving the way for a number influential bands back in the 80’s. Then in the the 90s, it was bands like Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Soundgarden and the like working together and supporting each other that set the stage not only for the “Seattle Sound” but entire grunge genre. Given that track record, I’d say that the labels tying into the SLB know exactly what they are doing and we at Froglix applaud them for pushing the indie envelope and doing their part to get more great music out of the shadows and onto the world’s stage.
genre: electronica, chiptune, trance
Oh music, I am your eager pupil and you rarely disappoint me. Today I learned about a genre I’d never heard of. It’s called chiptune and one of its practitioners is Ben Paulsen, from Wales, who goes by the musical name Byzanite! On his MySpace page (www.myspace.com/byzanite), Ben says chiptune is also referred to as 8-bit/80’s game music and is “music that is made on a step-sequencer running on a games console, preferably a console from the 80’s. In the most common case, it’s a GameBoy.” Okay, let me get this straight, he’s making music on a Nintendo Game Boy? I couldn’t even get past level 4 on Mario Brothers and he’s turning out tunes with his? I’m intrigued, but what’s it sound like?
You won’t find much in the way of vocals, but Byzanite creates dance-ready anthems like “Enigma,” with its relentless pulse, chiming electronics and ray-gun sounding effects. “Panic Attack!” struck me as what a thunderstorm in hell would sound like. “Homebase” features pauses and starts, yet never stops coming. The thing I took away from Byzanite’s music was how cool it sounded when played loudly and how impressive the movements and sequences were. The songs may not hit you immediately, but additional listenings bring the rewards. Byzanite’s music is layered, a bit hypnotic and definitely exciting. Plus, he seems like a good guy, as he writes on his myspace page: “if you wanna know how i make my music, or you just want some help in making your own music, don’t be afraid to message or comment me…i will get back to you as fast as i can: YOU WILL NOT BE IGNORED!” Honestly, it’s hard to ignore music as creative as this. If you like electronica, seek out Byzanite.
genre: reggae | rock | funk
High and Lifted
The Golden Rule
I can see it now, the mighty Sasquatch, just minding his own business, is traipsing around the forests of the Pacific Northwest and stumbles upon a group of unsuspecting campers grooving to the sound stylings of Shelton, WA’s High Ceiling. At first, he’d be pissed (damn Paparazzi chasing him around again) but then, after catching an earful of HC, he’d settle right down and commence to grooving right along side his evolved brethren and sistas!
With Illusion, their 2nd studio offering, Trail Black, brother Joel, Frank Fox, Gabe Olson and Bob Wake embark on a musical journey that is sure to captivate the hearts of roots enthusiasts as well as the jam band devotees. Theirs is a true fusion that draws inspiration from reggae, rock, and funk, with just a hint of trance thrown in for good measure. Wanna get away? Pop this disc in and enjoy the ride!