Though obviously unorthodox as cover albums go, the past three tribute releases by the 8-Bit Operators name—which cover tunes by Kraftwerk, the Beatles, and Devo—have been wildly fun. Using sounds repurposed from old video game consoles and operating systems, including Game Boys, Atari consoles, and Commodore 64s, a whole gamut of artists under the 8-Bit Operators umbrella have crafted some eccentric and unforgettable tracks. If you think the digital bleeps of video game consoles would be unable to turn the Beatles’ “Because” into a haunting reverie, you’d be forgiven—but also wrong. 8-Bit music is a niche a genre as there is, but there is plenty exciting happening in the field.
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“Everybody’s got a secret preference,” Wet Leather vocalist Matthew Bernstein repeats on the Brooklyn five-piece’s new single. His penchant for the wide open hallmarks of mid-‘80s synth-pop and disco are hardly so well concealed. “Secret Preference” is all big boom-clap drums, silky falsetto, and funk bass—clinically tested summer music, in other words, with a chorus that’s only obvious enough to work. Long live 1985.
Well, they’ve done it again. Australia’s All India Radio has released another free album of remixes and unreleased tracks from their Bandcamp account. It’s called Ghost Songs: Remixed & Unreleased Tracks Vol. 3. and it’s packed with 16 songs spanning 69 minutes. Where are the first two volumes, you ask? Well, here’s the first one and here’s the second one. They are yours for the taking but Martin Kennedy and company will gladly take a donation.
File this under: download them before they’re taken away. Ancient Pistol is guitarist Mike Feeney, a truly independent musician who sculpts his music with a wide array of effects and zero commercial ambitions. Operating out of Brighton, Massachusetts, his Reverbnation page has been ranking quite well there, thanks largely in part to the number of tracks available for free download. As of last count, there were 18 free songs and four available for streaming. Feeney’s latest, Groovy Pavement, is available here on CDBaby.
How did I find out about Ancient Pistol? I went to CDBaby and typed in “Bruce Gilbert”. I discovered “Race with the Blahs” and that just about sealed the deal.
For quite a while, Destination: Out was a great one-stop website for one’s avant-garde/free-jazz edification and downloading. They uploaded all kinds of rare, out-of-print stuff for the temporary taking. They even opened a download store, believeing that they shouldn’t be the only ones with access to these weird and wonderful recordings featuring Peter Brötzmann, Hans Reichel, Sam Rivers, the Schlippenbach Trio and many more.