We all know the internet has had quite a large effect on the music industry; Sometimes I doubt that there remains a single soul left in the world that hasn’t contributed a dollar to Apple’s iTunes at least once in their life, but looking at this massive change from a modern perspective, it’s all good, right? Digitalization has allowed artists like Radiohead (and several other open-minded trend setters) to release their work upon completion and without corporate delay. Further, I feel it’s safe to say that a fairly large chunk of those of you who are reading this would find yourselves shit out of luck when it comes to discovering new music without the abundance of audio blogs on the net. In fact, you might actually be forced to (gasp) scour a record store. And I mean, yes, there’s the whole issue of creative copyrights, but seeing as it’s been discussed just about everywhere else on the net, I’m sure we’re all quite aware that merchandise and performance make up most of a musicians income anyway, so really, the only ones getting hurt by free music downloads (in most cases!) are the massive (although it must be mentioned that they seem to be losing steam) record labels. Point being, to sit back and accept the digital takeover as a collective win for the music world is quickly becoming an effortless feat, and this makes it twice as hard for the hesitant few to point out the complications that most certainly do arise.
Sure, there are thousands of complications here and there that I could complain about, but what’s really getting to me as of late is the notion that the ease of the transfer of music across the globe may actually be having a negative affect on the concept of culture that separates one nation’s musical style from another’s. Thinking back a couple years, ever since French artists like Justice pioneered the nu-rave electro sound back in late 2005, we’ve been hearing nothing but knock offs of that particular sound, regardless of the country of origin, and it’s only when an artist emerges that truly has pioneered a unique and individual style that it becomes easy to see what we’re missing.
Hailing from all over Eastern Europe, the project known as Balkan Beat Box claim a “strong urge to create a new musical breed that surpasses the old reality borders,” and after having a listen to a couple of their works, you won’t doubt that they know what they’re doing, and exactly how they’re going to do it. Their music incorporates the talents of 10 unique instrumentalists to create an almost Klezmer-fused electro style distinctive of the Eastern parts of Europe, and though you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed and confused at first, approaching these tracks with an mind will truly open the floodgates of possibility and leave you begging for more. In fact, the Balkan sound has so quickly become irresistible that several other artists, including the Italian Crookers, who were previously completely unrelated to the sound have already made the effort to embrace it within their own work.
Here’s a funky saxophone heavy Balkan Beat Box track, as well as the aforementioned Crookers effort.
Balkan Beat Box – Digital Monkey
Crookers – Gipsy P
Hopping back in the plane, I must say it’s certainly about time we return to Japan to follow up on the early summer post on the Japanese crunch god, Rayflash. Though I can’t go so far as to say that his music has much of a Japanese influence, I can certainly endorse the fact that Ray has truly extended his reach into entirely untouched areas of electro. His mixes are notorious for their audible pool of influences, reaching just as much into the Daft Punk library as they do into the heavy electro of artists like Circuit Freak and The Bloody Beetroots, and his latest track is certainly no exception. His nearly eight minute long remix of Artego‘s “Girl” will take you on a pummeling electro journey through crunchy, hair-raising worlds, and I can guarantee that, assuming you make it out alive, the place you end up will not be the one you expected. All things considered, I would advise that you make use of your seatbelt.
MP3: Artego – Girl (Rayflash Remix)
YSI: Artego – Girl (Rayflash Remix)
ZShare: Artego – Girl (Rayflash Remix)
And for those of you who simply can’t be satisfied by a paltry single track, I thought you might like to know that our good friend Ray has made a special effort to cater to your (and I do mean your; he loves us all) interests. He’s come up with a mixtape that will fill more than an hour of your life with the warped out glitches of his dj sets, and may I say that he’s done an unbelievable job. You may have noticed I’m not prone to posting mixes, but trust me, this one will take power over you. I simply couldn’t hold back.
YSI: Rayflash DJ Mix 2
ZShare: Rayflash DJ Mix 2