Friday, December 9, 2011
The English electro pop sensation Ladytron celebrate their new album, Gravity The Seducer which was released September 13th on Nettwerk, with a free download of the song "White Elephant" courtesy of Amoeba Records. This is an amazing track and video.
- M Pereira
Click here to download White Elephant
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Air is a music duo from Versailles, France, consisting of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel. They are also the composers of the soundtrack for the film "The Virgin Suicides" which was the subject of our very first blog post and podcast. They could easily be considered the quintessential french pop or electronica act of our generation.
Air has recently started taking pre orders for an unusual soundtrack / film project entitled "Le Voyage Dans La Lune" which we find to be one of the most exciting projects Air has been involved in since their soundtrack for the film "The Virgin Suicides."
For those that aren't familiar, Le Voyage dans la lune is a 1902 French black-and-white silent science fiction film. It is based loosely on two popular novels of the time: Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon and H. G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon.
The film was written and directed by Georges Méliès, assisted by his brother Gaston. The film runs 14 minutes if projected at 16 frames per second, which was the standard frame rate at the time the film was produced. A Trip to the Moon is the first science fiction film, and uses innovative animation and special effects, including the well-known image of the spaceship landing in the Moon's eye.
After finishing work on the film, Georges Méliès intended to release it in America and thereby make lots of money. Unfortunately, Thomas A. Edison's film technicians had already secretly made copies of the film, which was showed across the USA within weeks. Melies never made any money from the film's American showings, and went broke several years later (while Edison made a fortune on the film.)
In 2002, a print of the film was discovered in a barn in France. It was amazing in that not only is it the most complete cut of the film (16 minutes long), but it was entirely hand-colored. The film was restored and premiered at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival the following year.
After creating the soundtrack to the recently discovered colorized (and highly psychedelic) version of the film, Air decided to create an entire album inspired by the film. Air's Nicolas Godin said of the album: "A Trip to the Moon' is undoubtedly more organic than most of our past projects. We wanted it to sound 'handmade and knocked together', a bit like Méliès' special effects. Everything is played live..."
The album is due out February 7th 2009 and you can preview a clip from the actual film with one of the songs from Air's forthcoming album below. This music video of sorts is quite a treat to watch, we here at Musica Phenomena were mesmerized by the new colorized imagery set to Air's music. It's a must watch and a must own in our opinion (both the colorized version of the film and the upcoming album by Air).
- M Pereira
Monday, November 28, 2011
David Bowie is a an artist known the world over. Not just a rock star but a rock icon, idol, and living legend. Not only one of the most prolific musician / songwriter / singers, but one who has put out handfuls of classic, memorable, influential albums and songs in many genres; a one-man evolutionary chameleon, as his song "Changes" can be seen to suggest. Unlike other big artists, when asking a fan their favorite Bowie album or song, the answer would nearly never be the same. Best known for his earlier work as Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, or his later pop song period starting with the "Scary Monsters" album with hits, "Fashion" and "Ashes To Ashes", and progressing to his biggest splash on the pop charts with, "China Girl", "Let's Dance" and "Modern Love" from the "Let's Dance" album, it is, at first, easy to overlook some of his best work. That is where "Low" comes in. With it's subtle appeal, it takes its' time to work itself permanently into your body and soul. "Low" was the beginning of David Bowie's Berlin Trilogy, which, interestingly, actually began in Paris, France, and was produced, mixed and finished in Berlin, Germany. It was during this time of his Berlin Period that Bowie was kicking his cocaine addiction and had asked Brian Eno to join him, along with a select group of classically trained musician-friends. Brian Eno, you should know, is the synthesizer-songwriter extraordinaire, who began with Roxy Music, went solo and then moved his way through amazing collaborations with David Byrne of Talking Heads, U2, more recently, Coldplay, and is now solo again with his new release with legendary label, Warp Records. Brian Eno, who we will talk about in later posts evolved indie and electronic music with his amazing synthesizer work and has influenced many great artists we are big fans of. "Low" can be defined as an art-rock album combining avant-garde songwriting with groundbreaking soundscape synthesizers that carved a path for electronic minimalism many years before those words would be common in today's cutting-edge music. "Low" is divided into two parts, a vocal side A, and a (mostly) instrumental side B. Although I can almost guarantee the original album will eventually work it's magic on you, it may take repeat listens before you fully succumb to it's inevitable spell. It has grasped many listeners of many music styles and as an example of it's charm, is considered Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and Moby's favorite album of all time, both, of whom, have given an homage to it in their own songs. It has been a big influence on me for a project of mine named Of The Arcane that I will post a few songs from sometime this year. This podcast / mixtape here is "Low Broken Radio", a compilation album of selected songs by artists all over the world, with the theme being that "You are stranded in your car with only your radio working, with every song a song from "Low", and each song a different genre, by a different artist, in the order of the original album". I should say that although it has an indie and electronic focus, don't be surprised to find gems, you will surprise yourself you like, touched by dubstep, rock, pop, experimental, jazz, and there's even a hymn of "Warszawa", my favorite song from the original. I believe it is a must-have for David Bowie fans and an interest for anyone trying to find really cool artists they weren't aware of, and for anyone who likes thematic tributes. And for those David Bowie collector's, I can assure you that many of the tracks on this podcast are exclusive and cannot be found on any other cd compilation or release. The Swerve, as well as Chairlift, Matthew Dear and many others we think you will like are featured on this podcast. I even got to vocal coach one of the contributions. After downloading, please email us if you'd like a Playlist. Enjoy!
- Michael Fierce
Download the podcast on iTunes FREE by clicking here!
And for those that don't use iTunes you can download the podcast by clicking here!
Monday, November 21, 2011
As I'm sure know by now, Class Actress are one of the great up and coming indie, electro pop acts hailing from the US. Fronted by Elizabeth Harper who's shimmering 80's influenced pop vocals and impeccable sense of style harken back to fond memories of Yaz and Human League while still managing to stay relevant.
Recently Italian producers Casa del Mirto did a stylish reworking of Class Actress' latest single "Weekend" which we felt was well worth a listen. Check it out below.
- M Pereira
Class Actress - Weekend (Casa del Mirto Remix) by Carpark Records
Friday, November 4, 2011
For those of you who are not familiar with Phantogram, Phantogram is an American electronic rock duo comprised of Sarah Barthel (vocals, keyboards) and Josh Carter (vocals, guitars), from Saratoga Springs New York. They're Wiki page describes their sound as "street beat, psych pop", but I'd be more apt to call what they do a mixture of Inditronica and Shoegaze. In any case this duo is definitely worth checking out and for a limited time iTunes has their new song 16 Years available as a free download, just click here.
I recently got a chance to see the duo live at The Fillmore in San Francisco and was taken by their mesmerizing and emotional collage of lights and sound. Phantogram give me hope for the future of pop music in a time when we are inundated with a sea of commercial mediocrity coming at us from all sides. It just goes to show you that eventually the cream does rise to the top. And so you know, Phantogram, is one of the seventeen artists featured on our first podcast, "Ghosts Of The Virgin Suicides", avaiable to download for free further down this page.
For those that don't have itunes you can check out this awesome clip of them performing the song live at "The Moog Sound Lab" below.
- M Pereira
Friday, October 28, 2011
For those of you that are huge Halloween, Michael Myers fans, I noticed something that needed further discussion.
Michael Myers was locked up in an asylum after killing his sister, Judith, when he was just 6 years old in the year 1963. He escaped 15 years later in 1978 just as his psychiatric doctor, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) arrives with an assistant in his car to the Smith's Grove Sanitarium. While Dr. Loomis is checking out the unusualness of patients roaming about in the rain and the driveway gate being left open, his suspicions immediately jump to the conclusion that Michael Myers has somehow escaped. He knows it is the night before Halloween, when Michael not only became a murderer, but when he was locked up, hopefully forever. But it was not to be so. "The Shape", as Michael Myers was known then, attacks Dr. Loomis' assistant, still in the car, who jumps out, leaving Michael Myers to escape away in the car to terrorize the town of Haddonfield on Halloween once again.
So how did Michael Myers, who has been carefully supervised and locked up in an asylum since he was 6 learn how to drive? Is this a huge and terrible implausibility made by writer / director, John Carpenter, and screenplay writer, Debra Hill? Or is it that someone at the asylum gave Michael driving lessons as Dr. Loomis cynically suggests? Well. I don't think so. Research has determined that the Smith's Grove Sanitarium had a pretty big budget, being able to afford a nearly world-renowned Dr. Sam Loomis, who regularly meets and evaluates the condition and progress of a murdering child in a seemingly well-off community. It is no stretch whatsoever during the 70’s for the sanitarium to have been able to afford many luxuries during the more financially prosperous generation of baby boomers, in what is now considered to be the "golden age of the working class.” Arcade games were very popular then and it would not be uncommon to find one at a pool hall, pizza parlor, skating rink, bowling alley, and yes, even occasionally at a hospital, or in this case, sanitarium. I have even determined exactly what arcade game Michael Myers played, learned, and practiced his skills as a driver, based on its' year of release, popularity (it was voted one of "The Ten Greatest Arcade Games of the 1970's”) and the nature, and object of it's goal, stated here in this description:
Designer: Howell Ivy
Sequels: Death Race 98, Super Death Chase
Inspired by the 1975 cult film Death Race 2000 (starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone) Death Race featured a steering wheel and an acceleration pedal. The nature of the game - running down "gremlins" that resembled stick people - and the working title, Pedestrian, touched off a media avalanche of controversy.
Maybe this idea should be explored further, maybe even in a short film context? Who knows? Well....not most of the Smith's Grove Sanitarium staff, anyway. Most of them are gone. Maybe only Michael Myers knows for sure. Halloween food for thought.
- Michael Fierce
Check out my podcast that Mikael Johnston and I compiled especially for Halloween.
And for those of you who don't use iTunes you can download our podcast episode here.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Those of you not yet familiar with M83 can hear one of his songs in our "Ghosts Of The Virgin Suicides" Podcast. M83 is an electronic indie pop act by French musician Anthony Gonzalez. The musical style of M83 owes something to the shoegaze genre in its extensive use of reverb effects and lyrics spoken softly over loud instrumentals, although M83's songs employ considerably less guitar than most shoegaze bands. Gonzalez records mainly on his own, often with the help of his brother Yann Gonzalez, vocalist/keyboardist Morgan Kibby, and drummer Loïc Maurin. iTunes is offering a free 256 kbps AAC download this week of M83s new release Midnight City, which is a higher quality version than a 320 kbps MP3 for those non technofiles out there. This song is absolutely amazing, so grab it now while it's still free.
- M Pereira
UPDATE 10/29/2011: Unfortunately all good things come to an end and Midnight City is no longer free on iTunes but still well worth checking out and buying.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
The Virgin Suicides, both as a movie and as a soundtrack has been hugely influential on the artists of today. Hundreds of bands, maybe without even fully realizing it have woven some of it's magic into their projects. The Ghosts Of The Virgin Suicides can be interpreted as an homage to the original movie soundtrack by Air and to the film itself by Sophia Coppola, or as a sequel of sorts. I think of it as both. The Lisbon girls and their story will continue to do their hauntings in many different forms and hopefully you will enjoy this one.
- Michael Fierce
Download our "Ghosts Of The Virgin Suicides" Podcast episode free.
For those of you who don't use iTunes here is a direct download link to this Podcast episode. "Ghosts Of The Virgin Suicides" Direct Download Link
Welcome to Musica Phenomena. Musica Phenomena is a a blog and series of podcast mixtapes, which focus on indie and electronic music. The name Musica, to show that our first intent is to discuss and promote music of the non-typical variety. Phenomena, comes from the film of the same name by Dario Argento, showing our secondary intent is discussing and critiquing music-related films. Our podcasts will be very theme-oriented, covering many genres connected to indie and electronic music. We will bring you the rarest, most interesting and obscure, alternate, or remixed versions of songs in each of our podcast episodes. We invite you to listen and contribute to our podcasts, reviews, and discussions. If you have something you want to say or contribute, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you send music for consideration to be included in a future posting please send a link only. Please do not attach actual files to your email unless personally requested by us to do so.