Use Spotify? Let’s Connect!

Spotify has become ubiquitous among my music loving peers, so I figured I’d share my profile in the hopes that some of you may want to follow myself and each other on the streaming service.


My Spotify Profile

I’m not a paid user, for several reasons. First and foremost is that I spend enough money on music as it is. Vinyl is expensive. Second is the fact that albums can arbitrarily disappear; I won’t pay hard earned cash for something I can’t guarantee I can use in the way I intend to. Finally, I use it as a glorified mp3 player half the time anyway. I bring a handful of my personal music to work on a thumb drive and load it into the desktop client. It’s way easier than booting up iTunes, and I can stream a lot of the new releases that I haven’t purchased yet. Also it scrobbles to flawlessly, which is important to me.

I have to deal with ads, but it’s a small price to pay for having a vast collection of decent-quality streaming music for free.

I’m interested in the conversation around the morality of Spotify as it pertains to compensating artists. I know it’s not the best solution for lesser known artists, yet at the same time can expose them to a much wider audience than anything short of paid advertising could achieve. What do you think? I’d love to hear what my thoughtful and intelligent readers think!

What are your thoughts and experiences with Spotify? If you’re a subscriber, does the arbitrarily shifting library bother you at all? Do you use the program socially or simply as an internet radio? The app is truly robust and offers a wealth of tools beyond mere listening, and I’m curious about how everyone uses it.

I love talking and sharing about music, obviously. I use the built-in messenger every day, trading and recommending tracks with several friends. I try to maximize my experience, using everything the service offers, including collaborative playlists. If you’re interested in talking, trading tunes, or making a playlist with me, please follow and say hello!

I wanted a decent image on this post, so here’s my Spotify avatar, my reflection in the window of Vertigo Music:


Aphex Twin’s new, free music: a pair of favorites so far

Basically, I feel like turning everything into craziness. It’s off, it won’t ever match, it’s.. what?

This is perfect.

I meant the music; this is one of the most perfect moments so far during my journey through all 110 freely shared Aphex Twin (as user48736353001 on Soundcloud) songs. The couplet of 4 Red Calx[slo] and luke vibert spiral staircase [future music competition] [afx remix] stands apart in a menagerie of music that already consists of some of the best stuff I’ve heard all year. Completely given away for free.

Red Calx is an aural lullaby in hushed, ambient tones. Ultra-minimal construction, with merely a small, undulating melody slowly evaporates into fog, it’s gorgeous in a highly specific way. Brian Eno would have sold his soul for this little riff. There’s nothing much to it, but what is there is undeniable.

The second track races through a laser forest over a wobbly synth rhythm and noodly ray gun melodies, a perfect counterpoint to the meditative calm before it.

Those words at the beginning? The remnants of trying to blog drunk from my phone, apparently. I found an unpublished post that I don’t remember starting. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


If you’re an Aphex fan and haven’t already done so, get to the user48736353001 page and click Download on everything. Absolutely everything. This is great music by one of the most important artists alive today, and it’s free. You can also simply listen to it streaming, but there’s no guarantee this music will remain in perpetuity.

Here’s a Reddit thread where people have been collecting the files into single downloads. And having Reddit discussions, so be careful.

Edit: Even cooler, here’s a direct link to an ever-updating single download! This may not remain live; I’ll update as needed.

Marco Shuttle – Visione


Seeing ‘with Donato Dozzy’ attached to the first track on this debut album from Marco Shuttle, I absolutely had to listen. As a total unknown to me, the bespoke surrealism of the cover art caught my eye, but Dozzy grabbed my attention. As half of Voices From The Lake and an incredible techno artist in his own right, this guy will always deserve my time.

Featuring on this album is an endorsement that’s paid off handsomely. This is one of the best albums of 2015 so far. The best news is that the entire thing is streaming free:

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Andromeda Galaxy: Largest Photo Ever [video]

A couple days ago, NASA released a new photo of the Andromeda galaxy, our closest galactic neighbor.

Hubble produced one of the largest images ever created. With 1,500,000,000 pixels, you’d apparently need “more than 600 HD television screens” to view the entire thing at once. Instead, check this sublime video to get a swooping, zooming view of the galaxy.

What you’re seeing is a selection of over 100 million stars embedded in a section of the disc galaxy, spanning 40,000 light-years. That’s astounding.

If you want to see the full image for yourself, check out Hubble’s Zoom Tool. You’ll be able to pan and zoom as deep as you’d like, to view individual stars from the far end of the galaxy. It’ll take a minute to load at the deepest levels, but it’s worth it.

Sharpest ever view of the Andromeda Galaxy

Here’s a smaller “thumbnail” of the real deal, just to give you an idea of the scope at play here.

And finally, if you’re enjoying the song in that video, I’ve got it streaming below. Artist name Koda; he’s new to me.

Watching the video, I was thinking at first that I was hearing Ryan Teague. By the end I was convinced it was Sigur Rós. I’d say Koda falls somewhere between, and far more subtly. It’s not normally my sort of thing, but I might check out his other work.

So, I’m well aware you can view the image on all sorts of high profile sites, but I wanted to share it here because I’ve got a deeply rooted fascination with and love for anything space related. Thanks for reading!

Please, for the love of all that is holy, check out that Zoom Tool!

Another new Zs track streaming right here: “Corps”

Yesterday I wrote about and shared the 18 minute title track for Zs’ upcoming album, Xe. You can listen here. I later realized that the band’s own Soundcloud page held a second lengthy piece, called Corps. It’s another fantastic slice of weird avant jazz that’s got my anticipation off the charts at this point.

The tune opens with a guitar riff marrying Dick Dale surf licks with Steve Reich minimalism, creating a line for the insistent percussion and tenor sax asteroids to dance over. Think Misirlou fucking with Electric Counterpoint and you’re on the right page. The rhythm loosens up, allowing the drums and saxophone to each billow up and take turns leading the sound. It’s a fantastic, tightly wound jam that ends in an effervescent free-jazz cloud.

Because the band absolutely thrives in a live setting, here’s a brief, energetic take on the song:

Now that I’ve fallen into a youtube hole and saved a load of Zs videos, you’ll likely see a handful more of these posts before the album drops on January 27th.


Protip: you can order the album directly from Northern Spy Records for $17 on vinyl, right here: XE On Northern Spy.

Noisy jazz mutants Zs release a new album next week; title track streaming here!

Next week, muscular avant jazz champions Zs will release their long awaited album Xe, the first true followup to 2010’s monumental freakout New Slaves. I was already excited about the news. Now that I’ve heard the title track, I’m losing my patience.

Always evolving, never repeating, Zs are set to render us all dumbstruck again:

While I haven’t written much about Zs, they are in fact my favorite jazz project working today. I’ve shared a pair of posts about bandleader Sam Hillmer’s solo project a couple years back, and mentioned the group on my Best Of The Rest Of 2010 post. My words book-ending that list turned prophetic: “…any one of these albums may end up defining the year as much as the ‘true’ list.” In the case of New Slaves, that sentence couldn’t be any truer.

The double LP set is a monster, crossing cavernous metal and noise rock with free jazz of the highest order. The title track is, to my ears, a love letter to John Coltrane’s divisive masterpiece, Ascension. As the months of 2011 wore on, I found myself returning again and again to the album, eventually regarding it with a sense of awe for powerfully (and permanently) shifting my tastes more than than anything I’d mentioned on the official Best Of The Year list.


Now, we have Xe dropping on January 27th, 2015. Judging by the initial nuanced throb of the title track, this looks to be perhaps less outwardly punishing than the last album. However, when the percussion starts tumbling over itself, and the guitar flares out of its surf metal loop, the tune erupts for the final third, with Hillmer soloing all over the place in a tight frenzy. Instead of a total wildfire, perhaps we’ll get a controlled burn with this new release.

Order the album directly from Northern Spy Records right here: XE On Northern Spy.