MP3: The Music Revolution

By Mike Ventarola

Chain Border

What looked like a passing fad has slowly become a major trend. Folks at www.mp3.com seem to be working at a crazy pace to get all the worldwide artists onto the site.

Some consumers, however, are still confused about MP3 technology. Basically MP3 allows for a larger amount of information compressed into a smaller space. The positive benefit to the music fan is more music and less clutter. However, MP3 players, as small as they are, have a bit of a price tag attached to them. At least the folks at MP3.com have continued to offer the MP3 format onto a disc, so that you can basically purchase a CD for as little as $5.99 without the added expense of a player that will only play the MP3 format. Those with a CD burner can also download the songs and burn them on their own home based burner.

How does MP3.com differ from Napster? This question has been posed time and again. Basically it comes down to money for the artist. Napster allowed anyone to upload songs and anyone could help themselves to download it without the artist receiving a dime. This really pissed off the major record labels more than it did most artists, save for Metallica and a few other bands that milked the "angry" PR for all it was worth. Needless to say this resulted in countless losses of revenue to the artists and the labels who make a living with music. MP3.com, on the other hand, pays the artist for the downloads and listens they receive. They can do this because of the large volume of advertising dollars generated from the many banners on the multitude of pages.

Presently, some established artists have already confessed that they make more money from MP3's Pay for Play and download program than they do from their own label! We are on the forefront of a musical revolution and naturally the major labels are a bit nervous about this because the artist finally is in control of their career and not the other way around.

MP3.com also offers a program to play the MP3's called Music Match. There is a free downloadable version and quite frankly, not to have this is just insane. You can stream 90 songs or more from a radio station in a matter of seconds, 2 to 5 seconds to be exact, and you can hear constant streamed music without any break up or buffering like we have come to endure with Real Radio and some of the other net radio programs.

The latest news on the forefront of MP3 is that artists from Madonna, Squeeze, The Fixx, A Flock of Seagulls and many other luminary names, past and present, have hopped aboard the MP3 bandwagon because it has been determined that this new technology DOES help to sell music to the public.

On the gothic homefront, the band Myssouri, who formed in 1998 in Atlanta, Georgia have risen rapidly from small art-house shows to full-scale concerts at most of the city's premier venues such as The Cotton Club, The Tabernacle, The Echolounge, The Masquerade and The EARL. MYSSOURI has opened for such internationally renowned artists as 16 Horsepower, The Damned and The Angels of Light (ex-Swans). The 1999 debut album, MALAMERICA (a limited pressing of 500 copies), was the only self-released CD to break the top 5 on WRAS 88.5 FM (the largest student-run radio station in the USA) in heavy rotation, and it hit #1 on their weekly all-request program. Following a brief hiatus in late 1999, during which bandleader Michael Bradley toured as guitarist/vocalist for The Living Jarboe (acclaimed chanteuse for Swans), MYSSOURI have hit the new year with a vengeance. Thus far, they are shooting videos for their songs Open Contempt and Blindly, compiling new material for their second album, completed a webcast performance and interview on Media1st.com, appeared as a feature article in Southeastern Performer magazine. With all this activity, the band still manages to perform numerous shows, including appearances in Atlanta's annual Music Midtown Festival, Atlantis Music Conference, and the first ever CMJ Changemusic Festival. In addition, the band is the cover/feature article in the January 2001 Starvox, are a part of the 30th anniversary of WRAS 88.5 FM concert and currently have a brand new 5 song EP called Furnace Songs which has become an overnight sensation. http://www.mp3.com/myssouri

Jessica's Crime just released a new single called Love is Vengeance which is the final track for their upcoming 2nd album. The band has discovered new found fans with their Sisters of Mercy flavored song Don't Cry, currently in the top 20 on the goth charts at MP3.com. In addition, they also have an EP of cover tunes that includes Gary Numan's Are Friends Electric and Abba's Gimmee, Gimmee, Gimmee, all redone with a gothic dance flair that is resonating well with fans and clubs alike. http://www.mp3.com/jessicascrime

Mors Syphilitica have uploaded additional songs from their almost out of print recordings. Mephisto Waltz placed additional songs from their latest Immersion CD on MP3.com as well. The outpouring of fan support has been so great that the artists have assured me that a new CD is in the works. Mors Syphilitica has been sitting tightly on a new CD that is slated for release in March and Mephisto Walz has a back catalog of previously unreleased tracks being made available from their parent label, Cleopatra, which should be available by the time this article reaches print. http://www.mp3.com/morssyphilitica and http://www.mp3.com/mephistowalz

Spook masters Midnight Syndicate just placed a couple of tunes on MP3.com with a huge event scheduled for their latest release that is due out sometime in March. The group assured me that at least 2 tracks from their latest CD will be made available online for the many fans who have supported this work. Quite frankly, this trio creates some of the most macabre atmospheric music and is a required mainstay in your music collection. Keep an eye on their page at http://www.mp3.com/midnightsyndicate for more details as they become available.

Neo Medieval music maestro's The Soil Bleeds Black have a tune from their forthcoming CD also available. Keep an eye out for this work slated for world release in March 2001. http://www.mp3.com/thesoilbleedsblack

Projekt label artists Lycia have a CD that was just released and is available now called Compilation Appearance Vol. 1 - The Arizona Years. You can find more info on the Projekt site at http://projekt.com. Some may recall that Lycia had thought they lost the interest of their fan base sometime ago, causing them to disband. However, since the inclusion of their many great works on MP3.com, they have reached old and new fans alike, regenerating their career which spans more than a decade. What was a bittersweet parting has turned into a Phoenix rising from the ashes for this duo who have the greatest hearts and personalities you could ever come across.

MP3.com has been a major boon for the darlings The Changelings who have almost sold out of every pressed CD they have ever made during the 2000 holiday season! Needless to say, this has distribution companies vying fiercely for whatever discs are available. If you have held off on owning some of their great music, act fast because you may not get the chance later!

Many changes occur rather rapidly with the online music revolution of MP3.com. Check back to Hidden Sanctuary at http://www.mp3.com/stations/hiddensanctuary for more developments as they take place.

Bob Westphal from The Shape of Things to Come, the only gothic/industrial radio show in the prime time slot, has been an East Coast phenomenon for more than 20 years! Tune in on Saturday's from 6- 9 PM to make a song request, call for prizes or drop an email just to say hi and thanks for the music. The show can be accessed on the web anywhere in the world at http://www.wfdu.fm.

In Perpetual Motion remains an ever growing entity in the sea of shows that are cropping up on the net. The incorrigible crew is led by the wacky and wonderful DJ Macross where they not only offer you the best new music from unsigned artists, but web cams of their crazy antics as the show airs. Part comedy, part music, part insanity and 100% of fun. Tune in every day at http://www.gothicindustrial.com. New shows of 6 hours duration are posted on Fridays of each week. The site also has archives of past shows as well and is highly recommended.

Margot Day, luminary artist from the outset of the gothic underground with the band The Plague, currently has an industrial dance re-mix of her song Wicked and Wize available for downloading. GITM rehashed the song and managed to poise Day as the Empress of the gothic industrial underground.

Artist Catharsist has three new tracks The Hourglass Mass (drumnbass), Dreamtime Visions, and Higher that will catch listeners off guard. The artist has the ability to fluctuate through many octave ranges as well as through a multitude of dark emotions. These latest tracks show a more somber and darker side of the artist's psyche.

On a personal note, a major thanks goes out to all the listeners who have tuned into these programs, sent fan letters or suggestions. These stations are meant to be YOUR gateway into the underground music world, bypassing the major labels who have made a quest at keeping this music from the population. Because of your support, the artists have been able to finance new projects to continue to bring you the music you have come to love.

Hot Industrial/Goth band SPF1000 made an impressive debut on MP3 that was met with almost instantaneous fan response. As of this writing there are a few new additions to their MP3 page. Their delightfully dark dance tune "Haunted House" has just been reworked and re-mixed which they promise is even better than the original. It's hard to perfect on perfection, but they have and you owe it to yourself to hear what the fuss is all about. The band has also added a new version of an older song, "Hyper Drive," that was done with Blayne Alexander (Insight 23) for their side project Good Time With A Bad Girl. It's not too spooky but it is fun.

SPF1000 also started rehearsals mid January in preparation for their live debut which should hopefully be sometime in March. The band is open at present to any gig info as they are planning on touring with a vengeance to thank the fans who have instantaneously embraced their music.

3SKS (Tri-state Killing Spree) factoid. Yes, the band with the name from hell but the sound and image sculpted by the best Grecian gods and goddesses since the rise of Athens. Not many people are aware that this extraordinarily talented band managed to record their entire album Happy Death Heaven, using a four track and two minidisks. This basically means that everything had to be recorded in real time with no punch ins or outs, hence, if they messed up at the end of a song, they had to completely redo it! Each time a track was recorded, they had to bounce it into the master copy which means at the end of the recording there was only two tracks. What this translates to the casual listener is that their talent is so awesome that one practically gets a live recording from this work! If you have not sampled as much as a note from these scrumptious musicians, you have certainly left a huge void in your music collection.

The new Fiction8 Chaotica CD is getting a lot of attention! It's being called a "must have" album of infectious dark pop/dance. Don't forget, you can always order via credit card right from our site: http://www.nilaihah.com/catalog.htm. Check out upcoming CD release parties in these cities to see if you'll win free CD's and stickers:

JAN 19 - DC (Bound)
JAN 20 - Seattle (Mercury)
Milwaukee/Chicago (Catalyst)
JAN 26 - Cleveland (The Chamber)
LA (Antiquity)
FEB 16 - St. Pete/Tampa (The Castle)
TBA - Toronto (Sanctuary)

Interested club DJ's/promoters should email nilaihah@nilaihah.com to schedule a release party in your city.

The Azoic are finishing up their 3rd CD and are hoping for a March release. They need your help in naming their 3rd CD which has songs all about "change." Send your ideas to nilaihah@nilaihah.com with "CD title" in the subject. The Azoic will choose one winner and they will receive free CD's, a t-shirt, and stickers from the Nilaihah Records catalog. What do you have to loose? They are excited by the dancier direction and have new remixes from Assemblage 23, Flesh Field, God Module, Dubok, Fiction8, Oneiroid Psychosis, Signal 12, Manhole Vortex, Dave Scott, and Sunless.

Dissonance is working on a new release, their 2nd. Cat also plans to work with Lars of Oneiroid Psychosis on a new Dissonance track.

Visit The Hidden Sanctuary for the latest news!

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