RIAA and several major labels sue Megaupload for making the internet a little too cool and convenient

What can I say? I guess when you’re a crazed, dazed, and hungry-hungry vampire, you gotta hopelessly try to squeeze that good blood from whatever wrinkly-ass turnips you can find out there in your churchyard.

According to the website Digital Music News, the lumbering RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) filed a lawsuit against the (defunct since 2012, mind you) file hosting service Megaupload over the weekend. The suit, filed on behalf of Warner and Universal, alleges that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom — along with co-founder Mathias Ortmann, majority shareholder Vestor Limited, and head programer Bram van der Kolk — “willfully engaged in, actively encouraged, and handsomely profited from massive copyright infringement of music on the Megaupload service.” See? And you know that’s a strong argument because it’s got three parts to it.

The suit then goes on to allege that Megaupload made a cool $175 million illegally while the good old music industry underdogs lost some half a billion dollars.

Naturally, Kim Dotcom’s attorney responded this way, probably without even looking up from his chai latte and crossword puzzle: “Megaupload used copyright neutral technology and whatever allegations they can make against Megaupload they can make against YouTube, Dropbox, and others.” Boom. Cancel the internet.

By the way, a court in Spain recently ruled that “offering advanced P2P technology doesn’t automatically encourage exploitative acts nor does it promote an unfair advantage.” But fuck that shitty country, right?!? This is AMERICA. Land of the free continental breakfast! Home of the brave and ballsy lawsuit. Also, just think of all the fucking jobs that these giant suits must be creating in the field of of justice! The RIAA has always been mad up of a bunch of heroes and patriots. Case closed.

• Megaupload: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megaupload
• RIAA: https://www.riaa.com http://j.mp/1jKuShE

Cerberus: Dura - Altered Resonance

By Strauss on Apr 16 2014 

Mister Mattson Ogg (aka Dura) hit me with a tape a couple of months ago, and it’s dodged my Cerberus queue for… I don’t know, let’s call them “personal reasons.” It’s not that I haven’t listened to it. This, being one of the finest albums available in 2014, has been a tough one to justify pulling from my Walkman. It’s just that music like this – beautiful and extremely gorgeous drone music – is starting to seem a bit beyond words in general, or mine at the very least. What other fluffy adjectives are there that I haven’t used yet that might let you know what this sounds like? Altered Resonance is not a tape for reviewing. It’s a tape for simply being. Being on my bike. Being in my office. Being in my bed. Being on the couch next to my cat. Being at the record store. Being in front of a camp fire. Being with Jamie. It has both the emptiness and fullness of such situations. Ogg’s soft paws pawing at guitar strings and letting the transparent layers drift through one another feels like it makes up the substance of the every day, which isn’t to say that it’s boring. But neither is it necessarily interesting or exciting either. Neither background nor foreground; just ground. Wind, water, air and Earth and something else too…

Altered Resonance by Dura http://j.mp/1jKuS0X

♫ Listen: DJ MC - “tha8080’s”

With footwork having long since severed its umbilical ties to Chicago, it’s easy to forget about the artists still producing tracks in the Windy City. One of the lesser-heard and lesser-known is DJ MC, a South Side producer back from a two-year break from uploading — and who also happens to be one of the weirdest and most innovative. He’s at his best when he takes minimalism and repetition to the extreme — as he did on his Bangs & Works Vol. 2 track “Y Fall” and on the unreleased “Super MC” — which is precisely the approach he takes on his latest track, “tha8080’s.”

Sure, footwork can get same-y and incestuous, its tropes becoming traps and its templates becoming hindrances. But when producers allow their tracks to really breathe, when they exhaust the repetition and foreground the choppy loops like they do on this number, it still cuts through the clutter like the knife that originally sliced through the electronic dance scene four years ago. Check it out here:

• DJ MC: https://soundcloud.com/mariocooper http://j.mp/1gGbDFI

Music Review: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
Piñata

[Madlib Invazion; 2014]

by Gabriel Samach

Rating:

A couple weeks back, I developed an insatiable craving for fried chicken from Harold’s Chicken Shack. Which was strange to me, because I’ve never even been to Harold’s. But after listening to Piñata, I had become possessed by this strangely lucid notion of what a six-piece combo from the Chicago chicken joint would taste like. So I took some chicken tenders and a handful of french fries, wedged them between two pieces of white bread, slathered the whole affair in hot sauce, and did my best to satisfy this strange, synesthetic craving that had taken ahold of me. And you know what? Somewhere between the salt and the grease, between that dulcet Madlib sample and Gibbs’ combustion cadence, it tasted pretty much like Piñata told me it would.

Indeed, much like my abstracted interpretation of a Harold’s chicken sandwich, Piñata sits at the beautifully uncanny nexus of reality and fantasy. The album straddles the bullet-proof partition separating the historic and the surreal, the gritty and the fanciful, the Hi-Def lucidity of cable news and the lurid film-reel stutter of blaxploitation — the improbable progeny of both hip-hop’s most playful and inventive producer on the one hand and the rising star of gangsta rap on the other. It’s a collaboration that never should have worked. But it does. And after 10 years, I think we finally have the next Madvillainy.

Piñata, the fruit of Madlib’s three-year collaboration with rapper Freddie Gibbs, is one of the most refreshing, inventive hip-hop albums I’ve heard since Madlib and MF Doom teamed up a decade ago and released arguably the best hip-hop album of its decade. Like Madvillainy before it, Piñata is one of those elusive albums that manages to transfix the listener in an almost narcotic state of rapt serenity. It’s that same breezy sunset nicotine rush you get while listening to Donuts or Since I Left You — that feeling of melting in your seat as every molecule of air becomes sensuously tactile. It’s the type of experience Madlib and many of the musicians at Stones Throw have spent their careers parsing out. And when it works, the result is nothing short of sublime.

And yet, Piñata is decidedly not Madvillainy. On the contrary, while the two albums may share Madlib’s unmistakable imprint and guiding vision, the introduction of Gibbs in the place of Doom has made for a very different, perhaps even more interesting project.

See, Madlib — like his spiritual sibling J Dilla — has always been a producer’s producer. In an era when the rapper behind the mic all too often gets top billing by default, hijacking generic beats and shoving their producers to the sidelines of the liner notes, Madlib has spent his massively prolific career crafting beats so intricate they stand entirely on their own. Where other producers merely sample, Madlib crafts Avalanches-esque sound collages so dense they’re almost unrappable. (It’s no wonder then that Madlib’s rapper persona, Quasimoto, has consistently been his own most successful collaborator.)

In retrospect, this is why the Madvillain project felt like lightning in a jar. Even 10 years later, it’s hard not to feel that MF Doom might have been the only rapper crazy enough to match Madlib’s special brand of reclusive brilliance. After all, how many other rappers would have messed with a track based entirely around an accordion loop? Or interludes from Prohibition-era radio serials? More than any rap album before or since, Madvillainy was the sound of two musicians on the fringe matching each other blow for blow in a balletic bout of inspired, left-field brilliance.

If Madvillain was the result of complete artistic synchronization, Madlib and Gibbs have somehow mastered the sound of coordinated disunity. Indeed, at first glance, few MCs would seem less suited for a Madlib partnership than Gibbs. Where Madlib takes as his sources of inspiration the jazz standards of the Blue Note catalog and Alain Goraguer’s soundtrack to the avant-garde animated film La Planète Sauvage, Gibbs takes his from the world of drug deals and urban decay. A native of Gary, Indiana — a city decimated by the collapse of the steel industry — Gibbs appears to belong to an older era of rap music: an era when rap was still a platform for articulating real social and economic horrors and defending one’s turf, both culturally and literally. Gibbs is in many ways an anachronism, a rapper more in the tradition of The Wu-Tang Clan and Tupac than in that of Jay Z and Kanye West — which is to say, more concerned with watching his neck than with watching the throne.

Understood this way, the stylistic difference between Piñata and Madvillainy becomes quite stark. While Gibbs is every bit as lyrically dexterous as Doom was (and in all likelihood just as insane), the two rappers approach their roles as MC from very different angles. Where Doom handled his verses with a decidedly poetic flair and frequently indulged in streams of Dadaist free association and wordplay, the closest Gibbs gets to indulging in this sort of silliness is a two-minute drunken interlude (complete with an a capella TLC cover) at the end of “Robes.” Case in point: take a look at the music video for “Thuggin’.” MF Doom may have been the self-proclaimed supervillain of rap, but it’s hard to imagine Metal Face gunning down a rival dealer with an AK or selling cocaine out of the slums. If Doom was a gangster in the Saturday morning cartoon sense, Gibbs is the kind that comes on HBO after the kids go to sleep.

The finished product is brilliantly, beautifully schizophrenic. It’s no great surprise that the two artists made the album in almost total isolation and from opposite ends of the country. While Madvillain resulted from a single studio session, Madlib and Gibbs never set foot in the studio together. (As the story goes, Madlib sent Gibbs a catalog of unused beats, Gibbs chose his favorites and wrote the verses, and finally sent the product back to Madlib for the final touches.) And yet, when you finally press play, the thousand-mile distance between Gary and Los Angeles collapses in a glorious supernova outside of space and time. Perhaps this is how “Lakers” and “Knicks” feel like neither California nor New York, but rather some impossible spiritual superposition of the two. Or how “Shame” manages to capture the feeling of closing time at some supernatural diner where Dilla is always on the decks and the donuts are on the house. Or how “Thuggin’” — the very first track to come out of the collaboration — feels as fresh in 2014 as it did when it first dropped almost three years ago.

And “Harold’s”? Well, I guess it sounds something like a handful of chicken tenders, fries, and hot sauce on white bread: a narcotic combination of sodium and grease and a liberal slathering of playful fantasy. So what if it’s a bit off, a bit unreal? Fuck real. This is something even better.

01. Supplier
02. Scarface
03. Deeper
04. High (feat. Danny Brown)
05. Harold’s
06. Bomb (feat. Raekwon)
07. Shitsville
08. Thuggin’
09. Real
10. Uno
11. Robes (feat. Domo Geneisi and Earl Sweatshirt)
12. Broken (feat. Scarface)
13. Lakers (feat. Ab-Soul and Polyester The Saint)
14. Knicks
15. Shame (feat. BJ The Chicago Kid)
16. Watts (feat. Big Time Watts)
17. Piñata (feat. Domo Genesis, G-Wiz, Casey Veggies, Sulaiman, Meechy Darko And Mac Miller) Links: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Madlib Invazion http://j.mp/1jKqO0N

Pure Ground gettin’ all analog up in Europe on first-ever overseas tour, celebrating Chondritic Sound LP

Los Angeles-based minimal synth dudes Pure Ground are about to bring some good old-fashioned American analog creepiness to Europe. With tracks referencing 20th-century science fiction and horror, lyrics about wars/other dystopian shit, and classic analog musical equipment, it’s bound to be fun for everyone! The duo’s recent Daylight & Protection LP compiles both their previous cassette EPs on Chondritic Sound, and will itself be released on Chondritic Sound! Continuing with the analog theme, they also have a limited-edition (60 copies!) VHS called Tenebrous Passages, which features five works of crazy video art paired with exclusive songs:

In May, Pure Ground will be touching down in Gothenburg, Sweden for a month-long jaunt through the Old World that concludes in Prague. They’re playing a couple dates with similar-minded L.A. synth-lovers Soft Metals. Check the dates below and see more details at the Facebook event page.

Daylight & Protection tracklisting:

01. After the Fall
02. Sharp Collapse
03. Obfuscate
04. Going Under the Wire
05. Atlantic Wall
06. From Outside
07. With the Old Ways
08. Sacrificed to Purpose

Dates:

05.13.14 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Skjul Fyra Sex *
05.15.14 - Stockholm, Sweden - Kollaps Records
05.16.14 - Växjö, Sweden - TBD #
05.17.14 - Berlin, Germany - Marie-Antoinette $
05.22.14 - Antwerp, Belgium - Stadslimiet
05.23.14 - Paris, France - TBD
05.24.14 - Brussels, Belgium - Fantastique Nights %
05.28.14 - Barcelona, Spain - Niu
05.30.14 - Madrid, Spain - El Perro de la Parte de Atras del Coche
06.03.14 - Vienna, Austria - Rhiz Vienna
06.05.14 - Budapest, Hungary - TBD
06.06.14 - Prague, Czech Republic - Basement Bar ^

* Trepaneringsritualen
# Soft Metals
$ Echo West
% Soft Metals & Sally Dige
^ Animal Bodies

• Pure Ground: https://www.facebook.com/puregroundpureground
• Chondritic Sound: http://www.chondriticsound.com http://j.mp/1gCuGAw

Premiere: Vial Of Sound - “Myself With You”

Calling all inter-dimensional listeners! AMDISCS has contacted another side of reality and are receiving transmission. Drenched by a Vial Of Sound, the label has pinpointed the intent of communication here as “Myself With You.” Figuring out who is “Myself” and “You” is the universal question here. What if it is you connecting with another version of you from a different world, and it considers this interaction beyond applicable to psyche? Bottom line: AMDISCS just portal’d through another dimension, found YOU (the listener) on the other side, and this is your experience with that version of you outside this world. So wORsh it all back down with a Vial Of Sound, and you’ll be within God’s Oscillator.

The prophecy of self drops April 24, as AMDISCS reveals their newest otherworldly release, the God’s Oscillator EP. Vial Of Sound are among the confines of what IS, and experiencing their music can take you to another level of movement. Like, if you listen enough, you’ll move that funny/new way while dancing to it and totally develop a muscle that’s been unidentified in humans because we’ve never moved in such a way before. So get cut up, flex it out, stream below, and listen to Vial Of Sound’s “Myself With You.”

• Vial Of Sound: https://www.facebook.com/VialOfSound
• AMDISCS: http://amdiscs.com http://j.mp/1gC5o5F

TMT Comics: Casual Flow Studios - “Tk a mmo”

by Ryan GTG http://j.mp/1jImgYI

Polyvinyl to reissue American Football’s lone album with tons of rare material on May 20

I first heard American Football in English class, played as inspiration for a creative writing exercise. Junior year of high school, maybe senior year. The band’s self-titled album soon became the soundtrack for every Friday night I spent holed up in my bedroom wishing I had something cooler to do.

Now I’m listening to that album for the first time in forever and reliving that adolescent despondency, which I promise isn’t as depressing as it sounds. I love American Football, and on May 20, Polyvinyl will be reissuing the band’s self-titled album as a deluxe edition. American Football was originally released in 1999, and the deluxe edition will include live recordings, demos, and practice sessions that document songs the band never ended up recording elsewhere, as well as photographs by Chris Strong, lyrics sheets, liner notes written by the band, and band pictures that no one’s ever seen before.

American Football (Deluxe Edition) will be available as a double LP, double CD, and cassette tape, as well as plain old digital files. When Polyvinyl first announced pre-orders, the label’s website crashed for the first time ever due to such high demand, a testament to how much this album means to so many people. Snag a copy here, and check out “The 7’s,” a previously unreleased track that guitarist Steve Holmes says was one of the first songs American Football ever wrote and one that they typically played as a closer until they wrote “Stay Home”:

• American Football: http://americanfootball.bandcamp.com
• Polyvinyl: https://www.polyvinylrecords.com http://j.mp/1gByqCj

♫ Listen: Magic Fades + Soul Ipsum - Zirconia Reign

Color is no longer an issue under the Zirconia Reign. There is so much fragmented light that a blur of everything fruitful in vibrancy to the viewer is nearly a shimmer of smeared sight. Feeling around is the only option, and echos of what once-was filters into the future plans of capital living. In the urban atmosphere. And here, 1080p Collection was brave enough to visit this future date, snag 60-minutes of conversations between citizens Magic Fades + Soul Ipsum, and brought it back for those adventurous enough to find meaning in Zirconia Reign life. This world and all worlds benefit in everything. Shouldn’t the forger be reliant on the leader. In a way, both Magic Fades + Soul Ipsum lead listeners on a sonic tour of how life FEELS in a post-digital world. It’s telepathic. It comes in sounds and acoustics. There’s the refurbished and the new. Something so pure it feels like a warm shower in the middle of a cold afternoon. It’s always the perfect weather. What you can’t see will never come back to harm you. It’s merely a measure of challenging your senses and preparing them for when the time is right.

1080p Collection does NOT fuck around. There are worlds on that label, and Magic Fades + Soul Ipsum delightfully previews us for the future of Zirconia Reign. Prepare yourself and listen to the release below, find peace within the blindness of color, and grip this tape ASAP off 1080p:

• Soul Ipsum: https://twitter.com/Soul_Ipsum
• Magic Fades: http://magicfades.bandcamp.com
• 1080p Collection: http://1080pcollection.bandcamp.com http://j.mp/1jI5Ak1

Premiere: Dances - Whiter Sands

A lot of modern garage pop relies on a certain amount of an affected atmosphere for it to really work. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and I love the sound of saturated four-track tape just as much as the next guy, but I truly think this becomes problematic when artists begin to consciously affect the recording process in order to align themselves with a specific aesthetic. This type of affectation is often detrimental to the growth of any particular style because it promotes a sort of cyclical nostalgia that often prizes emulation over innovation. There are other ways to deal with stylistic nostalgia other than sheer sonic gimmickry and the dudes in Dances seem to be well aware of that, especially in their debut EP Whiter Sands.

Dances create a brand of smart, yet simplistic guitar pop that equally utilizes the jangle of the dBs and the noisy skronk of the Pixies in its construction. However, instead of trying to emulate the direct sonic qualities of those bands, Dances works with a lot of space in their recordings and focuses on instrumental interplay between the trio. They’re also not afraid to take the touchstones of their influences into stranger territories, which is evident through their quiet electronics that end the otherwise hook-laden “Holy Fool” (more of that please), the sludgy and spacious arrangements on the title track, and the overblown vocals and guitars on punk miniature “Rat.” These musical decisions, when coupled with the album’s pristine production, show that Dances are interested in much more than just nostalgia.

Whiter Sands is out via Black Bell Records. You can stream the album in its entirety below:

• Dances: http://www.dancesmusic.com
• Black Bell Records: http://www.blackbellrecords.com http://j.mp/1jHVOym

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