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New albums and singles on Invisible Agent Records

new invisible agent releasesThere are a several singles and albums circling Invisible Agent HQ and I’m too excited about these upcoming releases to stay quiet any longer. Here’s some exciting new music about to coming in for a smooth landing:

First in the holding pattern is the rising star Eomac who will soon grace us with a new EP entitled ‘Battery Baby’. It’s getting increasingly difficult to lock Eomac down to one genre which is a good thing. I guess this EP could be described as an amalgamation of dark and dirty baselines, rave-o-matic riffs and breakbeat stylings. This will be Eomac’s inaugural release on Invisible Agent and will be available in all good download stores worldwide in August.

Remixes are ready and mastered for John Dalton’s well received techno production ‘fifteen’. This EP has diverse remixes by Danseizure, Eomac and Ebauche. It was always going to be difficult to top John’s original output, but I am sure you’ll be as impressed as I was when I first heard these distinct and fresh re-works by fellow Invisible Agent producers. This EP is bound to send x-ray machines in to overload. More information coming soon…

Last but not least is Danseizure who’s weighed in with some heavy cargo. Known to hang out at the Forest Record Collective counter, Dan Gorman has produced experimental soundscapes and scores for several years. This Dan’s 3rd album to be released on Invisible Agent Records and I’m very excited about his latest body of work. As always, Dan’s sounds are meticulously crafted and will leave you mesmerized. Touch down of these releases is imminent, stayed tuned to cash in on your frequent flier miles.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 21st July 2010 Leave a comment!

Lots of services, not much choice.

monkey businessPurchasing music online? Ever wonder why certain songs are labeled as ‘Album Only’?

If you have an account on any of the popular music download services you will notice selected tracks labeled as ‘Album Only‘, meaning that you can’t buy them individually, only as part of the entire ‘album’. So who’s in control of this activity? the artist, the record label or the distributor?

Consumer choice verses artistic integrity?

Large record labels have a range of digital-release strategies designed to optimize revenues. They want you to buy the entire album, they don’t want users to ‘cherry pick’ the best tracks. Some will argue this approach is about maintaining artistic integrity, it’s not just the record labels who demand restricted sales. For instance, Pink Floyd only want you to download their entire album, not individual songs. Some argue that they have a right to these demands. I’m not going to argue with a band that has sold over 200 Million albums. They consider their albums as a single piece of art, that’s their choice. The likes of AC/DC, Led Zepplin and The Beatles take the same approach. So you won’t find those bands on iTunes. According to figures this approach doesn’t affect their album sales.

However, I’ve come across many remixes and compilations containing tracks marked as ‘Album Only’. In certain cases, I own most of the tracks already. I’ve had to buy a bunch of tracks that I already own, just to get two tracks marked as ‘Album Only’. It’s a rather frustrating experience. I now refuse to buy any releases that are sold this way. I’ve seen Emusic and other distributors lambasted by users for selling music in this way. Write a note to the record label, in these cases they are in control of this ‘Album Only’ option, not the distributor.

Billions of track sales but not that much profit

Even though iTunes is credited with pioneering the uniform 99 cents a song pricing model, they still get up to skullduggery with track pricing. After doing further research, it appears iTunes automatically marks all songs over 10 minutes long as ‘Album Only’. Most distributors and shops allow an opt out, but not with iTunes. In this particular case, it seems artisitic integrity has nothing to do with it. Apple has said it makes little profit from iTunes because of the costs of running the online store. iTunes had a cash turnover of $4 billion last year and are just a minimal profit-making lure for prospective iPhone and iPad customers. I wonder will the upcoming Google Music offer more choice and give the artists a fair cut of the sales? Is it just a lure for prospective Android customers and a gap filler in the Google portfolio. Let’s wait and see.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 19th July 2010 2 Comments

The war on music

home_taping_is_killing_musicpngLike oil, music is pumped out and commoditized by large corporations. Commoditization occurs as a goods or services market loses differentiation across its supply base. Sound familiar? The goods in question is the garbage being churned out by the music industry. Like the wars waged for other commodities, the corporations are at war with consumers and the battle field is the Internet.

Technology is killing music

In the 80′s and 90′s people would ask their friends for recommendations and share mixtapes. It’s apparent that ‘high speed dubbing’ has been replaced by ‘drag and drop’. Thank goodness for that, it took me hours to splice mix tapes and my music doesn’t degrade over time. Like a broken record, pardon the pun, the music industry has used the same old line since the 1980′s. Copying is killing music? No, the only thing killing music is the music industry.

Failed to diversify, blame the Internet

It’s now possible to obtain trend information and track specific files being sharing in the digital domain. This type of information was not easily obtained in the world of analogue high-speed dubbing. These figures are the biggest weapon in the music industries arsenal of misinformation. I doubt that even a paltry 10% of blank cassette or VHS tapes sold in the 80′s were used in dictaphones or handy cams. Cassettes were used for copying and distributing, and the large labels still made huge profits. The Industry skews figures to justify their war on customers. They want to squeeze every last cent out of the us to maximize their profits. Music is not a commodity, they should stop treating it like one.

The internet, and all it entails – MySpace, social networking, file-sharing, blogs – has destroyed the importance of the physical ownership of music. – Hazel Sheffield – The Guardian

Peculiar statements such as this highlights the successful brainwashing of the masses by the RIAA and the big four. Vinyl sales are increasing. The Internet is an enabler and an important communication tool for musicians, local music scenes, independent labels and alternative music festivals. Social networking sites have enabled other people to share tracklists, music reviews and podcasts. Most importantly; discovery and even creation of new sounds and genres. For example the Internet has aided the growth of the Dubstep scene worldwide through forums and blogs.

It’s foolish to ignore the future of music distribution. It’s obvious that the old encumbents are bloated and slow to act. The 2009 book ‘Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Recording Industry in the Digital Age’ sums up the music industries loss of control

amid the actions of extravagant, sometimes cocaine-addicted executives — ending with the seismic domination of the download,
which slipped out of the industry’s control before its chiefs could decide how to harness it.

A fine example is the demise of Tower Records. Music industry ‘experts’ blame Tower Records’ closure on its failure to compete with the Internet. The high paid executives probably never heard the saying ‘if you can’t beat them join them’. You’re meant to be ‘on’ the Internet. Not competing with it. I’m sure if Tower had taken their head out of the sand and started selling music online in parallel to allow iPod docking facility in their stores they would be still be alive and kicking today. The once-ubiquitous Tower Records is gone because they failed to diversify.

Today, it’s clear Sony is failing to diversify. Over the years Sony has been abismal in the field of innovation and diversification. Like the ingenious mini-disk, the Sony Memory key and their fabulous attempt to infiltrate your computer with a DRM trojan virus. Ironically, even after attempting to copy Apple iTunes, the mighty Sony failed again with ‘Sony Connect’.  Their profits dropped from a whopping 2.2Billion US$ in 2007 to  110 million in 2008. Chump change I shout! Sony & others have shot themselves in the foot repeatedly while pointing the blame elsewhere….

How are we ever going to tame this rampant corporation killer know as the Internet? Answers on a postcard to 550 Madison Avenue, New York.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 26th June 2010 4 Comments

New ‘Swarm Intelligence’ DJ mix – Against the Grain

simonhayesAnother DJ mix to download from Berlin based label owner & producer Simon Hayes. If you enjoyed Simon’s previous Agentcast you’ll love his new mix entitled ‘Against the grain’ over at SwarmIntelligence.net. Plenty of Irish based labels representing. It’s full of energy and rolling beats, get downloading because it’s absolutely banging. Check out the track listing below.

Download free DJ mix now

01. Throbbing Gristle – Seperated [Mute Records]
02. Scorn – Doors [Hymen Records]
03. Pan Sonic – Pan Finale [Blast First Petite]
04. Autechre – Pce Freeze 28i [Warp]
05. Dual Purpose – anx9i [30mil Recordings]
06. Surgeon – The Crawling Frog is Torn and Smiles [Dynamic Tension]
07. Exium – Fresh Meat [Nheoma]
08. Cynthia Stern – Follow (The Wee DJs Mix) [Input - Output Inc.]
09. Eomac – Unite [!Kaboogie]
10. Somatic Responses – Cymrojunk [Acroplane Recordings]
11. Moderat – Seamonkey (Surgeon Remix) [BPitch Control]
12. Unknown Artist – Ugandan Speed Trials B [DN]
13. Fran Hartnett – Sword & Shield [Forthcoming on Stasis Records]
14. Synapscape – Folded Sheets of Silver [Ant-Zen]
15. Bas Mooy – Bloedneus (Oliver Kucera Remix) [Audio Assault]
16. Obscurum – Dom (Reeko Mix) [Mechanisms Industries]
17. Bradley Strider – Untitled [Rephlex]
18. Autechre – 90101-5l-l [Warp]
19. Rory St John – Silence is Golden, Ductape is Silver [Unreleased]
20. Swarm Intelligence – Hcdoer [Unreleased]
21. Cabaret Voltaire – Lost Possibilities of Modern Dreams [Virgin]
22. Shane O’ Donovan – CFRmx2 [!Kaboogie]
23. Nonima – Antisocialite pt. II [Forthcoming on Stasis Records]

Invisible AgentAdded by: Invisible Agent | 22nd June 2010 1 Comment

Download Podcasts and DJ mixes the easy way

Do you want an easy way to download DJ mixes and podcasts?

You need Juice, an excellent program written by the fathers of podcasting Adam Curry and Dave Winer. Juice is a podcatcher, a podcatcher is piece of software that allows you to subscribe to a podcast or RSS feed. Juice will automatically download any new DJ mixes or podcasts as they become available, this is particularly useful if you decide to listen to many podcasts as it saves you from having to visit each individual website and download the podcasts manually.

There’s even more excellent features.

  • Synch it with your mp3 player so that Juice automatically loads your podcasts on to the player. Perfect if you running out the door. A whole bunch of new mixes for you to listen to on the go.
  • It supports Bittorrent and several other formats.
  • If the media player on the system supports it, the downloaded content is automatically added to playlists.
  • The content is kept on the local harddrive in nested folders, titled with the show’s name.
  • The system works on Mac, Linux and Windows.
  • An alternative to iTunes.

If you download this little gem, be sure to add our AgentCast RSS feed URL

http://feeds2.feedburner.com/AgentCast/

Happy listening!

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 13th June 2010 Leave a comment!

Pay for illegal music downloads?

copying kills limasThe Internet revolution is like the railway revolution of 200 years ago. New and excessive opportunities are available for everyone. The major record labels missed the 6.15 and while they stand freezing on the virtual platform they whine about ‘piracy’ and CD sales being down. They fail to point out that online music sales are increasing at an exponential rate. They state that the increase in digital sales has not made up for the decrease in revenue from CD sales. Let’s get one thing straight, video didn’t kill the radio star and the Internet is a powerful tool for musicians, event promoters and record labels.

Choice please

I’m surprised the entertainment industry hasn’t reported ground breaking news like ‘VHS sales down’. Well, that’s because VHS sales are up! Drops in CD sales are obviously not because the technology is archaic and well, absolutely rubbish. The fact of the matter is: large record labels don’t want to give the customer what they want, choice.

track-by-track purchases create a significant revenue shortfall: where in the past those consumers would have generated revenue equivalent to an entire album’s worth of sales, now they only offer a small percentage of that revenue.

Major labels don’t appreciate users who want to select a few tracks from an album. They force users to download the entire album. I’m sure musicians will argue that you must listen to their entire album to fully appreciate its magical journey. However, users should still have a choice.

Meanwhile, the larger labels continue to cloud the waters with complaints of revenue loss due to ‘online priacy’. Hopefully they’ll all stop stamping their feet soon and appoint executives who have a brain.

There’s a set of data that shows that file sharing is actually good for artists. Not bad for artists. So maybe we shouldn’t be stopping it all the time – Douglas Merrill, EMI’s newly appointed president of digital music group

Big brother is getting bigger

It seems Google, Amazon and Apple want to create a DRM cloud. They want to digitally watermark your downloads. Apple and Walmart are already using this technique to track users. Labels are demanding that a user can only stream music that is watermarked to their username a.k.a ‘dirty MP3s’. Change the username, or try to stream music that you’ve ripped from a CD, and those songs won’t play. Yes, it’s true, DRM is raising its ugly head again.

To make matters worse, major labels are making deals with large ISPs to offer music on tap. Dirty MP3s and dirty ISPs, I have a bad feeling about this….

One of the UK’s top ISPs is preparing to launch an unlimited music service that would see it pay record labels for songs illegally downloaded by its customer

Ironically, Warner, Sony BMG, EMI and Universal face up to $6 billion in damages for pirating a massive 300,000 tracks. Seems you can have your cake and eat it.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 12th June 2010 4 Comments

After Vinyl: Staying in control

can-vinyl-last-foreverI love vinyl as much as the next old school audiophile. But at times temperatures in South East Asia soar in to the 40′s and humidity is in the 90′s. It’s clear that records were not built for this type of environment. Trust me, warping is confirmation. Records should be stored in a dust free, low humidity setting with a temperature between 16 and 21 degrees Celsius. Anyhow, there are no record shops selling 12″ vinyl in Phnom Penh and flying to Tokyo every month for a shopping spree is tempting but out of the question. It’s not easy to expand an existing collection.

Carry less, do more

I don’t intend to lug 40 Kgs of hardware and vinyl around to play a set. You can call me lazy, but the standard tools of my craft are packed away. Final Scratch, Tracktor and Mixxx are all fantastic inventions. But ditching just my record bag still leaves me with 20 Kgs of Technics plus the mixer to lug around. Even though it looks like vinyl is going to out last MP3s. Luckily for the mobile DJ, software and hardware developers have come up with new ranges of innovative gadgets to make our life easier. You can replace your record bag, turntables and mixer with just one box. No, it’s not an iPod.

USB DJ controllers

Similar to purchasing any new gadget this is going to take endless hours of research. Will it interact with my DAW? Does it need proprietory software? Does it have a motorized controller? Is it powered by USB? The list is potentially endless. There are 50+ offerings of DJ controllers from Reloop, Vestax, Numark, Novation, Stanton, Akai etc…and prices range from $99 to $1000+. This is going to be fun.

Research is king

It’s worth doing your research. For instance, the Vestax VCI300 does not run on AMD CPU powered computers. I’ve seen controllers without a cross fader (I’m certain the design engineers have a valid reason for this). Some hardware will only operate with 1 particular DAW, others will only run on Windows. It also depends on your DJ’ing style. There are specific controllers aimed at the turntablist or straight up house or techno DJ. These factors will whittle your list down rapidly. However, it’s most likely your will still end up with a hand full of equally dazzling gadgets battling it out for your number one spot.

It’s looking like it will take me another few weeks of research to find a solution that suits me. The biggest challenge will be finding a store that sells it in Cambodia. Wish me luck.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 8th June 2010 1 Comment

Goodbye darkness my old friend

flac-logoExcellent news from the friendly folk at Juno. They are phasing out MP3 downloads. Horray!

As from today Juno have stopped accepting label uploads and deliveries in MP3 and will only accept lossless WAV, FLAC or AIFF.
We will continue to sell your releases in MP3, WAV and FLAC formats, but will only accept content deliveries in lossless formats (not MP3)

FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, an audio format similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality.

Invisible Agent has always supplied free downloads in the OGG format along side MP3. Ogg Vorbis is an open method of encoding, compressing, and streaming digital audio. Ogg compares favorably to MP3.
All our other releases have always been available for purchase in the WAV, FLAC or AIFF format on a multitude of online shops. Just click on our banner on :)

Purchase this release

  • Digital Download Stores

    • Amazon website
    • Bandcamp website
    • Dance Music Hub website
    • DJ Tunes website
    • Emusic website
    • flyfi website
    • Groove Mobile website
    • Groupie Tunes website
    • imeem website
    • isound website
    • iTunes website
    • Juno Download website
    • LaLa website
    • Last FM website
    • LimeWire website
    • LiveWire Mobile website
    • mBop website
    • Mix and Burn website
    • MTraks website
    • MTV3 website
    • Napster website
    • Navio website
    • PureTracks website
    • Rhapsody website
    • ShockHound website
    • TrackItDown website

Please note that on some of the sites listed above it is not possible for us to link directly to an Invisible Agent releases page.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 2nd June 2010 1 Comment

Beem on the squeeze

beem in the studioElectronic music producer & recording artist Fredrik Mjelle A.K.A ‘Beem‘ has released his 3rd album, a 9 tracker entitled ‘Peel’.

Beem is a co-founder of Skweee, a musical style with origins in Nordic countries Sweden and Finland. So what’s the deal with Skweee? Some say it’s a Nordic take on minimal techno, 8-bit hip-hop/dubstep hybrid or r&b made by the electronica crowd. Whatever you want to call it, this album is a happy-go-lucky journey, full of funk, layered with rich chords and jammed with retro-synth hooks. Apparently Beem has turned down offers from multiple record labels and released his album for free.

Early Skweee releases were exclusively put out on 7″ vinyl, major players in the Skweee arena are labels such as Flogsta Danshall and its producer-founder Pavan, the Finnish record label Harmönia and Norwegian dødpop to name just a few. Get your fill of Skweee, Wonky, Aquacrunk, you know it’s good for you.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 1st June 2010 1 Comment

Back to the future

MC TunesIn 1990 I saw MC Tunes vs. 808 State performing ‘tunes splits the atom’ on ‘Top Of The Pops’. Within a few weeks I’d saved enough money to purchase the MC Tunes album entitled ‘The North At Its Heights’. Twenty years later my cassette tapes remain un-digitized. Transferring all that wow and flutter isn’t very appealing, not to mention the time it would take me to record, edit and tag. So I headed over to Emusic and to my delight I was able to download the album within a few clicks.  Next thing I knew I was downloading old favorites such as Double Trouble & the Rebel MC, Stereo MCs and Tyree Cooper….. I’m loving every minute of them, and no sign of an ‘auto-reverse’ button anywhere! Glad to see Nicky Lockett is still keepin’ it real.

Write a comment and let me know of any old diddies you’ve rediscovered.

Invisible AgentAdded by: Invisible Agent | 30th May 2010 Leave a comment!

  • Digital Download Stores

    • Amazon website
    • Bandcamp website
    • Dance Music Hub website
    • DJ Tunes website
    • Emusic website
    • flyfi website
    • Groove Mobile website
    • Groupie Tunes website
    • imeem website
    • isound website
    • iTunes website
    • Juno Download website
    • LaLa website
    • Last FM website
    • LimeWire website
    • LiveWire Mobile website
    • mBop website
    • Mix and Burn website
    • MTraks website
    • MTV3 website
    • Napster website
    • Navio website
    • PureTracks website
    • Rhapsody website
    • ShockHound website
    • TrackItDown website
  • All content © Invisible Agent 2009