Free Music Collection: September 2010

This month’s Free Music Collection is still slightly skewed toward the lo-fi synth spectrum, but as the days grow shorter more and more fall sounds are surfacing.. tunes to ease the transition into cooler nights. Check out the electronic, eclectic and hip-hop sections to supplement your rooftop party. Or dip in the ambient bin for a chill evening of book reading or star gazing.

If you find 45+ free downloads a bit overwhelming I’d recommend bookmarking this and grabbing and album or two a day. But if you need new music daily follow me on twitter @thinkorsmile. I post links there as they are discovered. Or you can follow my twitter list of music bloggers who are doing the dirty work of digging these artists up. Happy exploring.

If you want to hear how I’ve digested this list check out my latest mixtape, 0×005.. music for a crisp evening.

Think or Smile | Free Music Collection: September 2010

  • BEKO – Digital Single Labelrelease a digital single every Monday. pretty eclectic but worth a browse once in a while.
  • Free Music Archiveinteractive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads. so much music I didn’t know where to begin.

If you’re feeling any of these artists show ‘em some love and go see them live. Or if you have any music to share hit me up on TwitterFacebook or good old fashioned email.

Special thanks to bloggers keeping free music discovery alive: smokeDON’Tsmoke, No Modest Bear, Life: Aquatic, Dead as Digital, yvynyl, Head UnderwaterUnholy Rhythms, All Everyone United, Friends With Both Armsboy attractions, Stadiums and Shrines.


Patrick Winfield’s Polaroid Composites

It should be no secret by now that I’m a fan of polaroids. Their ability to take an subject matter and apply to it a distinct nostalgia is unmatched. I’m also a pretty huge fan of nature and collage which made me instantly drawn to these polaroid composites by New York artist Patrick Winfield. He’s been working with polaroids, grids and other mixed media to create collages for a few years now, but out of his current portfolio the composited landscapes, for me, stand apart. I feel like I’m privileged enough to glimpse into someone’s memory of an afternoon’s stroll, each image acting as an instant of time. A glance at the sky, a cloud, a quick look at a pond, a moss speckled boulder, all make up the whole of someone’s experience. In his interview with Dazed Digital, he speaks of a push/pull effect these have on a viewer, which is exactly how I take them in, as memory snippets versus the collective experience. Thats the beauty of art, you get to think of it however you like.. to quote Winfield, it’s “about the journey.”


TELEPHONEME: Alphabet Conspiracy Theory

TELEPHONEME is a short film done by MK12 about language working as a double-agent, carrying hidden meanings, although I think it’s mainly a way of showcasing their motion/ design capabilities, which it does effectively. The film combines live action and animation seamlessly while maintaing a retro feel that’s distinctly contemporary. Every frame is carefully constructed. They even went so far as to design a font and press kit for it which you can download on Apparently, they set out to write their own short story about an alphabet conspiracy and while doing research stumbled across the 1959 educational film “The Alphabet Conspiracy,” part of the Bell Science series, from which they borrowed the voice over. When you have a free hour I’d recommend watching the ’59 version. It’s a little girls journey through human language as guided by the opposing views of The Mad Hatter and Doctor Linguistics. It’s about as confusing/amusing as you might expect, a combination I rather enjoy.


Motion Collage Poem to the tune of Holy Spirits

As of late I’ve been in experimentation ADD mode, testing the waters anywhere I can. This time around I wanted to combine a few of my recent endeavors, collage poems, subtle animation and working more closely with music. I have a lofty goal of writing, scoring and animating my own short film in the not too distant future and I know I have a lifetime left to learn but I feel like these experiments are slowly leading down the proper path.

For this video I worked with the music of Brooklyn’s Holy Spirits. Their (free) demo EP, The Afternoon’s Blood, self-described Baroque pop, sonically achieves the depth and layering that I try to convey in my collage work. The slowly building harmonies they construct with voice I’ve attempted to visually recreate with subtly shifting layers, before coming to rest on a piece of the whole. As the sound moves forward it deposits small pieces along the way, building our experience of the finished work. I listen to a lot of different music as inspiration for my collages and the ones that meld best always have room for thought, ambient but still provide something of substance to grasp onto. Holy Spirits fit the bill quite perfectly.


Kim Asendorf’s pixel sorting Mountain Tour

Kim Asendorf is an artist working out of Bremen, Germany. He’s trained as an industrial electrician but has since taken up studying Media & Social Hacking, & New Media Art and Creative Coding. His blog is full of code test that put on display his curious mind as he experiments with various code libraries and softwares. Typically code tests as art are hard to digest visually but this recent set of mountain landscapes that he’s pixel sorted are contrary to the norm. They retain enough of the original image giving our minds something to grasp onto yet manipulate it in way that let’s us wander among the newly created color fields. I find it quite interesting that photos today can be run through a code sequence and yield images that resemble art that was created 50 years ago. Looking at the sharp juxtaposition of colors, almost torn away from the original image below it, I’m reminded of the AbEx paintings of Clyfford Still. His work didn’t have the depth that these coded mountains do (at least on screen, in person is a different topic entirely) but the idea of manipulating reality to challenge the viewer is shared by both. It makes me wonder what kind of mental process Still was going through that led him to paint color fields that could, half a decade later, be created with a few lines of code and a handful of pixels.

Kim has amassed quite the library of images up on his Flickr page too. If you like the Mountain Tour I’d recommend checking out the results of some of his other coding experiments. His pixel sorted aerials are equally stunning.

Update: As of late, Kim has moved into experimenting with motion. This video for a.d.l.r. applies his pixel sorting technique to the film of a space shuttle launch and the results provide you with an entirely new way of seeing a launch.


Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2010