Tangents is the Home of Un-Popular Culture, or so they say. Features elaborated essays on all things nice from the vaults of Western Human culture. Tangents was conceived by fanzine veteran Alistair Fitchett who'd previously done titles like "Fantastique" and "Fire Raiders". In 1995, the first copies of Tangents were published as a paper magazine, but the title was soon transformed into Ones and Zeros (in other words, a WebZine). Oh, and the current "cover"-star on the homepage is Rose of alt-pop girl band The Pipettes - could give you a hint on the attitude behind Tangents.
Wire Magazine must be the prototype eclectic periodical. It was founded way back in 1982 and made its way through the times - Wire is still commited to the independent spirit and continues to support new and challenging music from all over the world. The magazine has a neat modern layout and features plenty of reviews and in-depth articles in each issue. There's a lot of music in there you probably never heard of, but sometimes the front page sports really famous artists like Bjork, Sonic Youth or Radiohead - it's all in the mix, you know.
It all started with a fan site about Meat Beat Manifesto whose title "Brainwashed (This Way)" was adopted as the name of the platform. Today, Brainwashed hosts a whole bunch of sites dedicated to challenging musicians ranging from 1980ies' heroes and heroines such as Diamanda Galás or Coil to current names in intellectual rock and electronica.
Downloading music from the internet seems to be the rage of the day, so Warp Records have taken the plunge to offer most of their catalogue on their MP3-download-site Bleep. Warp have wisely avoided any so-called Digital Rights Management and the tracks are encoded using Variable Bit Rate Conversion, which guarantees good quality at a reasonable bandwidth. Prices are 99 pence per track and 7 to 9 £ for whole albums. Whether vinyl aficionados and collectors will pick up on faceless bits and bytes remains to be seen. However, a good offer that doubles as a pre-listening platform for those who prefer to purchase music on hard ware.
Berwick Street in London Soho is home to the shop of Sister Ray Records (and a couple of other record stores, of course). Sister Ray's are specialized in a wide range of independent music, from 1980ies style to modern electronica, and they have a lot of rare collector's items on offer. Definitely worth a visit - and they have an online store, too.
One of the big names in independent record labels. Started in 1978 by Geoff Travis, Rough Trade was built on a record store and released a couple of very fine records by artists like Pere Ubu or The Fall throughout the 1980ies and 1990ies. Complementing their London stores in Talbot Road and Neil's Yard, Rough Trade have installed a Web-based mailorder - everything is done for your convenience...
Silly name, but a good online source for independent music on CD, whatever the style. CD Baby will also help unsigned artists in distributing and promoting their releases - and they offer really fair distribution deals, too.
As the name suggests, this site deals with the outer limits of music creation. The goal of the site is to arouse interest in less conventional instruments and to discuss principles and problems alike. Hints on how to build your instrument are also provided. Might be of interest for those who prefer building their instruments themselves rather than buying them in music stores.
DIY is an online forum set up by the fine Fat Cat label. Its purpose is to help independent musicians in recording, publishing and releasing their music on their own. How is that done? Well, by giving appropriate advice on topics like "Mastering" or "Distribution" and by providing a detailed list of possible resources. Highly recommended.
Hundreds of hours of an eclectic musical mix from artists like Ryoji Ikeda, Panacea, Chris and Cosey or Godspeed You Black Emperor, compiled by the staff of Brainwashed WebZine.
"Mixing it" is BBC Radio 3's radio show for challenging and contemporary music. The show is almost synonymous with the names of Mark Russell and Robert Sandall and their unique co-presentation. Russell and Sandall will play whatever music stirs their mind and discuss it at length during the show. Expect an eclectic mix of Michael Nyman, Harry Partch, Can, Gamelan music and Aphex Twin. "Mixing it" is essential listening for all those who want to broaden their musical horizons. Requires streaming software by Real Networks.
In a cunning marketing ploy,
sister labels Kill Rock Stars (KRS) and 5, Rue Christine (5RC) have launched
a 24/7 radio show to showcase new and older talent on their roster. Expect
a white-knuckle ride through rough and mostly guitar-based music, and
if you stay tuned long enough, you might catch a glimpse of music by Deerhoof
or the wonderful Decemberists.
Another label-related webradio, it's the Beggar's Banquet group broadcasting new tunes of and interviews with the label's artists. Beggar's stands for sublabels 4AD, MoWax, Too Pure, Wiiija, Mantra, XL Recordings, and - last, but certainly not least - Beggar's Banquet. Well, you can tune in to music from Six By Seven, Tanya Donelly, The Breeders or Mark Lanegan. Nice, if you like the label's bands. AVDeck use Apple Computer's Quick Time technology, so you will have to use the Quick Time Player software.
FM is an endeavour by a London-based musicians' collective. It's a classic
narrowcast firmly dedicated to new and challenging music from around the
globe. Prepare for the strange and the obscure, as the Resonance FM programme
presents a highly versatile and sophisticated mix of philosophical talk,
Taiwanese karaoke, Glenn Gould, Death Metal, or the latest in Argentinian
Electro - you get the picture...