Published on September 16 2008

Experimental dark ambient, thirty-minute-long tracks and a hint of demonology: the productions of Amduscias Records are not destined for everyone's listening pleasure. That's just the beauty of Jamendo: there's room for all.

Amduscias

Tom and Holly Maggio live in Greenville, South Carolina. They created the net label Amduscias in March 2007 to release material by their own band, Turmoil. “I had the thought of how cool it was for there to be labels out there that did not want anything from the artist, explains Tom. I think the whole net label scene is there for people who love music.”

With 70 artists “from all over the globe” currently on the label and 170 releases so far, Tom and Holly certainly do love the music. But a particular kind: what you can hear from Amduscias on Jamendo (numerous albums by Turmoil, Tom's project Upheaval and Holly's project Rose Red – they even made a split EP together - more artists will be added shortly) is mostly devoid of melody, traditional song structure or even harmonies. Many albums only have one track, some of which can be half an hour long. “The label deals with any type of non commercial music. We like strange odd music, the kind of stuff you won't hear when you turn on the radio.”

If you're wondering where the label's unusual name came from, it's from Tom's “love of demonology”, Amduscias being not just any demon, but the grand duke of Hades. The nobility of the name is fitting with the label's lack of interest for money. “We don't believe in charging for music. I know for me that my music is a part of my soul and my soul is not for sale.”

Written by amelie

Published on #Features

Published on September 11 2008

You probably didn't think you'd stumble upon a sample-wielding, Amon Tobin-loving, home studio genius among small-town Poland's blue collar population. But that was before coming across Bielebny on Jamendo.

He says it himself: in Grabow Nad Prosna, somewhere in central Poland, “nothing ever happens. It's a very small, sleepy town.” Nevertheless, it hosts Lukasz Biel, a young  workman who worships Brazilian samplemaster Amon Tobin and whose primary concern after he got back home from military service two years ago was to teach himself how to use mixing and sampling software. “Amon Tobin is my mentor. He can take any sounds from his surroundings, mix them and make brilliant music out of them. And I've found another mentor on Jamendo, Tryad, who can do the same thing. I wish I could be as good as them.”

Bielebny

Well at 27 years old, he's already pretty good. His three albums under the name Bielebny, all published on Jamendo, are a clever mix of hip-hop, jazz and other genres, showing great mastery of sound creation and treatment. “Still, he insists, I'm an amateur.”

Originally, Lukasz, who went to art school in Wroclaw, imagined himself going into painting. “But I found in music a better way to express my feelings.” And today, through his music, he feels like he is a part of “a new age, the age of sampling”, unfortunately still stymied by questions of copyright that make it “a black sheep in music genres.” We feel your pain Lukasz. It's high time all that creativity was set free.

Published on September 2 2008

Who needs Nine Inch Nails? Jamendo can proudly boast Fresh Body Shop, a French one-man-band with his very own take on high end industrial pop. Here he shares his secret musical recipe with us.

Fresh Body Shop

The similarities between Fresh Body Shop's music and that of Nine Inch Nails are undeniably strong. Pedro, the Nantes-based musician behind Fresh Body Shop, is even the first to acknowledge them: “My music has been compared to NIN a lot, especially the albums Make This End and Tasteless, with good reason. Trent Reznor (NIN's mastermind and singer) is a great influence, not so much for the 'industrial' aspect of his music but for the way he composes outside of the usual 'guitar/bass/drums' model that can be a bit boring.”

Add to that “a strong vocal resemblance” and you'll get why comparisons are flying. But Pedro says that the songs he's working on at the moment “will veer away from that style”, stressing that many other artists influence him, such as Tricky, Beck, Kurt Cobain or Thom Yorke.

Fresh Body Shop's musical formula, due in no small part to the fact that Pedro writes, sings and records alone (he does have a live band for concerts though), is all about mixing organic elements (guitar and piano) with synthetic beats and melodic vocals. “I don't compose like a guitarist, he explains. I'd rather start form a beat or a bass line, and then add vocals straight away. If the melody isn't any good, I'll move on to another track. The vocals are the central element, I'd rather build around them then add them only at the end”, the way most bands do it.

Active on Jamendo since July 2007, Fresh Body Shop has rapidly become somewhat of a musical staple here, with over 140,000 combined listens of his four published albums. “I wasn't looking to make money, but to get listeners and feedback, and I got lots. I'd been in contact before with a couple of record labels, mostly English and American, but I was always wary of locking up my music by signing to a label that wouldn't have the means to promote it.”

Since then, Pedro's posted his music all over the internet, but it's from Jamendo he got the widest audience. “Building a fanbase is my main priority. If I was after money, I'd quit music and start selling clothes.”