I am sad to say that Free Albums Galore will be closing. Of course, what is here will stay here to allow others to find all these great free albums and as a historical archive of, for me at least a golden era of unusual and exciting music.
Thanks to all who have frequented these pages and thanks to those who expressed their concerns for myself and my family. I want to assure everyone that we are well and happy. The reasons have more to do with changing priorities as I get older.
No, Free Albums Galore is not dead but it is slightly comatose. Unforeseen circumstances and general chaos has forced me to put this site on hiatus. I was hoping I could start again in September but this is not to be. At this point, I should be able to get Free Albums Galore back on its feet in October. Wish me luck and I apologize for any inconvenience.
Sibirskaya Vechora is a 10 member folk ensemble consisting of students and alumni of the Krasnoyarsk College of Arts and the Krasnoyarsk Academy of Music and Theatre. They play the traditional music of Siberia and Russia. The CD titled Muziki, Viryazukhi Moi featured 13 tracks of music recording on tour by this fascinating ensemble. It is an excellent collection of Russian traditional music.
One of the more interesting use of music on the internet is the creation of soundtracks for various silent films in the public domain. Free Albums Galore has featured a few in the past, noticeably The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Mabuse. However Apskaft Presents Battleship Potemkin, a new soundtrack for Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin, a 1925 masterpiece of cinema, may be one of the best. Using various musicians, the predominantly electronic pieces fits each scene almost telepathically, embellishing the action nicely. As a standalone project, the online album is quite atmospheric. You can download the album on its own through the link below. However, for full effect I suggest you watch or download the entire film. Apskaft is a collaborative group/netlabel that releases their works directly to Last.fm. You can check them out here.
The Belgian Kopp netlabel specializes in dark ambient and underground electronica. They have quite a few albums available for free and legal downloads and this intriguingly dark and drone-based album by Playing With Nuns may be among the best. Wave Equation is a dark journey that is a bit uneasy on the brain but hypnotic nonetheless. The artists plays with your ears by mixing unusual sounds with the drones which always keep you guessing where the music is going. This is one of the better dark ambient albums you can get on the internet.
East of Borneo’s Larkspur Sessions will be appreciated by fans of John Zorn, Eugene Chadbourne, Carla Bley and other artists who favor the avant-garde mixed with fun. The trio is a free improvisation ensemble using both acoustic and electronic instrument with the most unusual being the theremin. This may be the first ensemble that I’ve heard in which the strange ghostly sounding theremin holds its own as a member of the group predominantly due to the delicate virtuosity of Lyn Goeringer. Michael DeQuattro plays percussion while Jim Moses adds guitar and bass. The first track titled “Spring Lamb” is a nice taste of the intriguing sounds and beats this album is loaded with. Highly recommended and an early contender for best experimental/improvisation album for 2011.
This is a trip! Art Boys Collection is a Austrian psych-prog-rock group from the 70s whose album Stoned Wall has been resurrected from the junk yard by Golden Pavilion records. It is a blast from the psychedelic past with its Pink Floyd influences and a San Francisco hippie stance via It’s a Beautiful Day. Yes it sounds more than a bit dated but it is actually very enjoyable. I give it a nostalgic recommendation.
Golden Pavilion has generously made Stoned Wall available as a creative commons licensed online album through the Free Music Archives. However, if you like it, you might want to support this label that revives obscure rock albums form the 70s and 80s with limited edition vinyls. Check out the Golden Pavilion website.
Nothing excites me more than a new Bob Ostertag album. The acclaimed electronic music composer started in the analog days and is still in the forefront of electronic and avant-garde composition. The fact that he now releases all of his independent albums free through a Creative Commons license is even more laudable.
His newest album goes a little retro as he plays exclusively on a Buchla 200e modular synthesizer. As described from the Free Music Archive page, the 200e is “Don Buchla’s recent reincarnation of the Buchla 200, which he created in 1970, which was in turn the heir to the Buchla 100 he created in 1963.” It is a somewhat percussive instrument, at least the way Ostertag plays it here, yet also light and playful. This is a straight performance with no overdubbing or sampling. This is quite a pleasant listen without the socio-political overtones in many of Ostertag’s other works.
The link below is the download page from the Free Music Archive. However, you can also go to the composer’s web site to download not only this album but all his others which includes some nice collaborations with Faith No More’s Mike Patton.
Ga’an plays what can be called progressive dark rock. It sounds like a soundtrack for one of those old Italian horror flicks. The music is reminiscent of Goblin yet is also full of influences from such electronic ensembles like Tangerine Dream. This self-titled album, originally released on cassette by Records on Ribs, would be a great choice for Halloween but its creepy cinematic environment should be enjoyable for any dark mood you find yourself in.
From the first track on their self-titled album , The White Soots announce boldly that they arehere to stay. This is a rollicking rock album that borrows equally from 70s hard rock trios and later Metal/Blues bands. The Black Keys come to mind especially in Kyle Byrum’s blues/rock drenched guitar solo on “Give Me Back My Land”. Throw in some White Stripes, Robin Trowers, and Hendrix and you will get the idea. This is the type of album I like to blast through the house until my Classical music loving wife threatens divorce. So excuse while I grab a pair of earphones and rock out.