Eric Lumbleau is the editor of my favorite music download blog Mutant Sounds, where he curates, presents, and contextualizes fine outré, obscure, and out-of-print recordings. For the most part, this music has has either been swept into the dustbin of audio history or are so painfully rare that only the most dogged (or wealthy) crate-diggers have even the slimmest chance of acquiring an original copy. In the current issue of The Wire, Lumbleau lays out his logic for making this music freely available:
With the lid having already been thoroughly pried off the music-sharing Pandora’s box before I ever wandered into frame at the behest of the Greek collector who had started Mutant Sounds a few months earlier, it never occurred to me when I began my postings that this phenomenon was anything other than a fait accompli. Paradigm shifts are a bitch, but they’re also irreversible, and thus I never felt any real trepidation about the actions that I have taken in making all this obscure and long out-of-print material available for free, as long as we were doing our best to, by our own standards, keep our noses clean and keep in print work out of circulation. Fair being fair, I’ve posted the bulk of my own recorded back catalogue with Vas Deferens Organization, Sound, Tone Float and Jaloppy for free download alongside everyone else’s work.
Four years of postings later, the most notable thing about the response from artists is how little there has been, with only an infinitesimal fraction of those whose work we’ve shared having asked for their material to be removed in the absence of an album being either still in print (in the rare event that something still in print was posted by accident) or being due for reissue. Rather, numerous reissues have come to market as a direct result of those albums having first been discovered on Mutant Sounds and/or made viable enough to reissue because of the increased profile that a previously obscure album has received by being posted on Mutant Sounds.
"Collateral Damage: Mutant Sounds' Eric Lumbleau"
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]