A Brief Study of Free Music in South America

A final year degree essay…


My initial goals in starting research for this project were to gauge the reactions to two specific questions, the first regarding how locally based influences are within a free music movement which is largely non-regional given its having been founded, as a concept, with the internet in mind. I wanted to seek out strands within the output of Latin American contributors to free culture which could be tied back to local styles, be they an evolution of traditional culture or as a variation or re-definition of contemporary genres within music which had been adapted to hold a distinctness from their original inspirations. How capable I am of answering such questions at this point I’m unsure given the limited replies received to the planned bulk of my supporting evidence, the interviews which I sent out to various labels and artists. Whilst numerous individuals were willing to participate the task of being asked to break down the realities of an entire local movement is no easy one, in a field where regional analysis of the scene is seemingly non-existent there appeared to be little hope for or sense of a unifying sense of self within Latin American free music. In itself, of course, that offered some answers to the questions I’d planned to place my focus on, albeit not answers which particularly lent themselves to in-depth analysis. Continue reading “A Brief Study of Free Music in South America”

Money Matters

Marketing, managers, production, PR, information management, lackies who bring the coffee and secretly resent you so deeply that they routinely gob in your drink and of course the hangers on and followers who make the whole gig roll along – all the perks of a musical corporate adventure. Continue reading “Money Matters”

Circling Sharks

Ideals are Free

Last time out I did a fairly limited job of advocating a skill sharing site which, as a lesser function, I believed could help someartists earn some money – a suggestion which led to extensive debate and proved, if it needed proving, that opinions on money in the free music community are divided say the least. A discussion emerged though and, despite disagreements, it remained a matter for those within the wider community to discuss – today I’m asking what happens if an issue like that is taken out of our control; what happens if the sharks close in? Continue reading “Circling Sharks”

Sailing the Sonic Seas

The lost Island of Hyper-Experimental Trance Techno Ambient Soundscapes

Music, like almost nothing else, lends itself to obsession. For any sound, style or genre, no matter how hard to digest, no matter how obscure, no matter how bad even you’ll still find a hardcore of devotees lurking in a dark corner somewhere fixated on it to the point of mania. It’s a beautiful thing – even if the music itself leaves you cold there’s no small measure of joy in finding people who truly love what they’re into building up whole worlds around it. That said though there’s a hell of a battle to fight in ever getting those little self-contained spheres to open up their fixation to the rest of the world. Continue reading “Sailing the Sonic Seas”

We’re Not Alone?

Concrete re-enforced Clubhouse

Like a lot of good things in life free music exists in it’s own little room, packed to capacity with enthusiastic, occasionally smart and usually quite obsessive people all looking towards the great pile of music in the center and mumbling amongst themselves about how great it all is. Continue reading “We’re Not Alone?”