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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ninja Tune's 20th Birthday, Stop Piracy for $1, and Bitches Brew Hits the Stage

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 10:45 AM

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From SF Weekly's latest print music section:

Eskmo, Amon Tobin, Kid Koala, and more at Ninja Tune's free 20th birthday party: "Ninja Tune's dreamy beats and sample-sewn collages skirt the edges of electronica, dance, dubstep, ambient, and experimental, but for years, the label has been stylistically tethered to trip-hop. Founder Matt Black appreciates the success that this connection has yielded, yet he has struggled to get away from it by pointedly making his sounds more difficult to categorize. He likens the label's sense of variety to a rainforest that needs to be preserved."

How to stop piracy for $1: "Nearly all the music fans I know, no matter their age -- even those who own independent local record stores -- explore new music by downloading it for free. Many of them also go out and buy that music on CD or vinyl if they decide they like it. Dickins' $1 or $3 albums would almost certainly change that behavior by lowering the cost of exploration. Yes, artists would make less money from each sale. But right now they're not getting a cent from most downloads."

Bringing Bitches Brew to the stage: Bitches Brew is the one album in the Davis canon that most enduringly changed what we know and accept as jazz. Released in early 1970, this epic and startling weld of avant-garde, psychedelic rock, and proto-funk stands as singular and singularly influential. Most non-jazzbo listeners today are floored by the dreamlike atmospherics sustained over 20-plus-minute cuts like "Pharaoh's Dance" and the title track, and equally entranced by Davis' trumpet cutting through the chaos with the insinuative force of a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo.


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Ian S. Port

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