Published on August 28 2008

This Berlin-based band-cum-label figures the best way to get people interested in its experimental, multidisciplinary approach to music is to give it out for free. Good, that's what Jamendo's here for.

Gruenanlage

Gruenanlage, the band, is three Berlin musicians playing some sort of electro-rock with many influences (Bauhaus, Radiohead, Einstürzende Neubauten, Joy Division, to name a few) and many guests (including actors, photographers and web designers). Gruenanlage.com, the website and indie label, was created around it in 2004, “when mainstream media couldn't do anything with our work. The radios didn't play our music because it was too strange, too complex and too sophisticated, explains Marcel Weller who, in addition to playing guitar and bass, programs the drum machines, records and does mixing and mastering. However, it's nothing new to say that mainstream media does not leave much room for innovation and performance.”

Gruenanlage.com, a label striving to be “open to all possible forms of expression and to reach all people interested in the examination of society and the human condition”, not only features music by the band and its three members individually (Marcel Weller, Markus Wenninger and Jan Treuner), as well as Ewa Firsowicz (songwriting); it also offers other art forms, like visual performances, audio drama and even literature. Jan Treuner's new novel will be available on the website next year.

Right now, the team is busy planning concerts in the next few months for Ewa Firsowicz and Gruenanlage at which they will sell CDs. On the web on the other hand, the music is all free: “the idea is to get more publicity, and that way there are no obstacles like Gema (the German ASCAP or MCPS-PRS) to overcome while using the web as an output.” Sounds appealing? Gruenanlage.com is open to “all artists with nuggets buried in their computers”...

Published on August 27 2008

Started as an initiative for and by independent musicians, this guide just went online (it's still in beta). Its goal is to collect and share useful information for all musicians trying to get their music out there by any means, "to help [them] win fans globally by getting [their] music created, distributed and just plain noticed".

From legal matters to playing live to manufacturing a CD, all issues concerning indie bands are addressed, with loads of links and info. The "Music hosting sites" tab lists Jamendo of course. Thanks guys!

Indie Band Survival Guide

 

 

Written by amelie

Published on #News

Published on August 26 2008

After the Philippines, let us introduce the sole representative of Guatemala on Jamendo, young pop singer Pamela Garcia.

Pamela Garcia

She took up the guitar eight years ago because she needed to accompany her singing. Then she rapidly “fell in love with writing” and understood that “this was what [she] wanted to do for the rest of [her] life.” Now Pamela Garcia is some kind of an underground celebrity in Guatemala City (she's also a theater actress): radios don't play her music “because it's not commercial”, which makes her “an outsider”, but “from time to time, people say hi to me in the street. That makes me realize that people who have heard or seen me really like what I do.”

She also explains that making a living from your music in Guatemala is hard. Local musicians, receiving little support because the public is generally more interested in international artists, need to work on the side to support themselves. “But, she says, refusing to be discouraged, that doesn't mean that there aren't some who manage.”

Pamela has only uploaded two songs on Jamendo. She regrets not having had much time to devote to her music lately, but that's going to change; and she's got plenty of plans to keep herself busy. “Right now, I’m writing again. I want to record my new material and share it with you. I also want to play concerts more often again, and in the future write music for theater.”

Published on August 22 2008

Every now and then you'll stumble upon a hidden gem on Jamendo. That's exactly what happened when we discovered Papa Dada, three Belgians kicking up a storm with only a piano, a bass and drums.

Papa Dada

Their 6-track EP “prePOPsterous” is the kind that impresses with just one listen: the songs, the recording, the melodies, everything is so masterfully crafted you'd think these three musicians from Brussels have an entire professional career under their belt. But Papa Dada only exists since 2005, and John, Julien and Hubert are just three mostly self-taught thirtysomething musicians who have been playing in bands since they were teenagers. “One of the great strengths of Papa Dada is that we're not trying to impress people with our technicality, yet we have enough mastery to reproduce what's in our heads”, says Hubert (drums and backing vocals).

Surprisingly, the band doesn't have much of an audience yet, they say. They have only played a few dozen gigs in Belgium, “but the name is starting to get around, and we're beginning to see people sing and clap at concerts without being our friends, which is nice.” “prePOPsterous”, their only release, was recorded in 2007: they sell it at concerts and published it on Jamendo, appreciative of the fact that here they “get reviews from musicians instead of journalists, explains Hubert. We don't have a problem with giving out our music for free, that's the best way it can get around! We're not looking to become millionaire rock stars, we just want to make music and get it heard.”

Inevitably, similarities are striking between Papa Dada, with its piano/distorted bass/drums formula, and the band that popularized it, Ben Folds Five, particularly on a track like the brilliant “Art Gallery”. But comparisons are cut short: “It's a band we like, sure, but we're not trying to imitate them, clarifies Hubert. It's only a coincidence that our line-up is the same as theirs.”

So what's next for Papa Dada? A few gigs in september, but mostly work on new songs in  order to record a new EP by the end of 2008. “We've been playing together for four years, so we're starting to explore new sounds and technologies... We might even bring out some guitars!”

Published on August 20 2008

Ching Teoh is a Malaysian painter. When she needed music for a video presenting her technique, she naturally turned to Jamendo.

She's 37 and runs a picture framing shop with her husband on the island of Penang, in northern Malaysia. On her blog, Ching Teoh posts regularly about “[her] new paintings, [her] thoughts, [her] findings on the internet and [her]  travels.” One day, she made a video showing off her particular technique of painting over plaster-like paste and needed music to go with it. People on a forum had introduced her to Jamendo some time earlier, so she logged in and looked for an suitable track (which ended up being “Old Portrait” by Madjan), to accompany her images, putting to good use the magic of Creative Commons freedom.

“I like jazz, solo guitar, mostly soft music”, she explains about her musical choice, hoping that the video can help bring some attention to her work. “I don't live 100% from my art yet, but I'm aiming to be able to.” In the meantime, she's been telling her music-loving friends about Jamendo, helping us in turn build our reputation in Malaysia. Thanks Ching!

Below is the video in question.

Written by amelie

Published on #Features