Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Come Down Music

we'd like to congratulate our close friends, Come Down Music, who've also just released their first album for free online. It's not metal, I'm not sure I can imagine anything less metal, however it has helped me out many times when i've been unable to sleep due to having imbibed strange chemicals.

So for that they should be commended.

You can download their first album, appropriately named "First Album", from

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Towards the free, legal, digital distribution of music

drizzling alleyway.

"...but you've gotta check these guys out! It's metal, but these guys have a lot going on! Their music's actually about some intelligent stuff!"

"If they were that smart, they wouldn't be giving their music away from free."

This comment took me by surprise.

I'd been spending the last three hours sitting in an alleyway, behind a table with a red, gingham tablecloth, behind a large piece of cardboard with the words "RAAAWWR! Free metal cd!" spraypainted across it. A pile of albums and zines and rubik's cubes next to blaring speakers and a winamp visualisation.

"If they were that smart..."

The thing that horrified me the most from uni was when we learnt about the music industry's introduction of compact discs. At the time, cassettes cost around four bucks to manufacture, and were sold for between eight and twelve. When cds were first introducted, they only cost two dollars to press (a plastic disc being a lot cheaper to make than the fiddly, mechanical widgets inside a cassette tape).

Common sense suggests that when new technology makes manufacturing something cheaper, a proportion of that saving should be passed on to the customer. (LMAO, he's talking about economics, but referring to common sense!!)

As we all know, this didn't eventuate. The recording industry realised that people would be willing to pay a premium because the technology was better. This is the point where the industry moved from providing goods as cheaply as possible while still making a profit, to intentionally squeezing as much money out of consumers as they thought they could get away with. And not only did it work incredibly well, but it *continues* to work. In our age of constantly cheaper storage media, the only formats which are the same price as they were a decade ago are the cd and the dvd (the film industry uses this same business model). Curious, no?

At the risk of hyperbole, to me the recording industry feels like a microcosm for the failing of free-market capitalism as a whole: it's nice in theory, but in practice creates oligarchies more interested in a highly profitable status-quo than in competition.

"...they wouldn't be giving their music away for free."

I've heard this so so so many times, most notably from my old folks wailing incredulously, "Not only do you kids spend enough money to put a deposit on a house on a cd, but you're going to give it away for free?!?!?!?!"

In my brief time on this planet, the developed world has already changed dramatically thanks to the internet. The publication of art no longer behaves according to the "law" of supply and demand - any kid with a pc and a net connection can distribute infinitely many copies of their music. The cost of supply is as near to zero as makes no difference. This is a fantastic, beautiful development! Art is how humans communicate those experiences which aren't readily verbalised. How literally awesome that an artist's communications can be instantly transmitted to almost anyone in the world! How liberating that the traditional gatekeepers are rapidly becoming irrelevant!

CD sales have never been the primary source of revenue for musicians. In Australia, an album distributed by a record label needs to go gold (10,000 sales) before the musicians who perform on it make their first cent. The song writers earn their royalties whenever their songs are played: be it live, on radio, or streamed/downloaded from the net. This hasn't changed. Live performances and merch are still, and have always been, the main source of income for most musicians.

Any artist would obviously love to be able to afford to work full-time on their art, but bullying fans (via DRM, lawsuits, or even just inflated pricing in stores) is no way to acheive this. The distribution landscape has changed, and the idea of constructing artificial barriers between your music and the people who might enjoy it is a perversity that goes against the point of creating music.

Time will prove us right or wrong. Maybe Apple will invent new DRM software that gives you an electric shock whenever you listen to music you haven't paid for. Maybe the four of us will end up cynical, old paupers whining "I coulda been a contender, Charlie!" while every other indie musician becomes an overnight millionare. The fact is, the traditional music industry is currently sinking - and like all good rodents, dropbunny are getting the fuck off the ship.

you can still download our debut album 'Hypothesis' for free from, or catch us in the alleyway next to Peril Underground, Elizabeth st, Melbourne every second weekend, for a free copy of the cd.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

quickening of the abstract

UPDATE: In all sincerity, i'd recommend most people skip this post. It's not funny, it's not clever.

This is a bunch of shit written down as the new album continues to crystalize. I'm not sure if it will be interesting to anyone - you have been warned! If it looks like pretentious art-fag psuedo-intellectual proselytizing then that's because it is. LMFAO oh dear "psuedo-intellectual proselytizing" wha?!?! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

The background is that this follows directly from the last album.

Had been sleeping. How can you tell if it was all a dream? Pay more attention to the typeface? Writing in dreams is more honest in its treachery.

shifts and shifts and shifts again

the choice has been made, the path has been laid. The one act of creation shifted reality, the robot reacts as dead and dumb as ever. I see you there!

Following his tantrum throwing proclivities, he wails endlessly at the unfair world and the sleeping primates. While not entirely pointless, the only point is something very seperate. An extraverted nuerotic, his concience manifest in the roaring echos that return to him. The performer is the audience.

so it sings...

To be honest all this occult dribble is just trappings. Decisions had been made, eyes opened, magic worked, long before I considered following someone else's system.

There are similarities, to be sure. And referencing the known allows us to understand the unknown, but still.

I wish i could remember the first step. I think it was when Shem called me a bossy boots.

Volcano in my belly. I can't fucking believe she had a point about that.

So it starts like a calzone - take something you've seen before, let it fold over itself. The fact is reacting to your rage is rarely productive, it amounts to blind thrashing and is more in line with the terrified deaththroes of cattle than productive posthuman behaviour. Holding the rage, distilling, concentrating it, the allowing small precise droplets past your lips. Like science! The person who just sat down smells like poo.

That shit can move mountains, imolate cities, fire people into the sun. Like an orgasm - you have to have some restraint, hold it, hold it for the eart-shattering kaboom.

Magic like music like sex. Sounds like a fun weekend!

So that's the lesson learnt, grasshopper. We are now grade 7 and grade 10. Same again, HAL.

This is where it gets interesting. The trick top hat, i will create as i speak, disappearing forever into limbo, falling faster, faster,

reality takes a back-seat for a second.