Stefan's Naturally Aspirated Blog

Icelandic Hip Hop Bubbling Over

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What Quarashi kicked off in the 90’s has become a fully fledged movement, and is now a significant part of the Icelandic music scene. Inspired by The Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine, Quarashi achieved some moderate success on both sides of the pond (USA + Iceland). They are still my favourite representatives of the genre for Iceland, and currently on a comeback, with recent ’Chicago’ single and new album due out imminently. They are the only significant act that ...

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Axwell Λ Ingrosso pioneer social participation via sheet music

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I’m a long term fan of Axel Hedfors aka Axwell from his earliest releases, avidly following the evolution of his label Axtone and his group projects and collaborations including Swedish House Mafia. Those who watched ’One Last Tour’ will understand why the trio is no more, and the core of that group - Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso have now struck out as a duo (Axwell Λ Ingrosso).

 

Their first move was to release their intro track as a free download:

And now they...
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2014 Record Store Day on Saturday - support your local store

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Since last year, we’ve seen very few record stores disappear, as vinyl sales are now tolerably healthy. I myself am buying less vinyl than before, but do still regularly pop into Phonica and Sister Ray, and less frequently into BM, Sounds of the Universe, Reckless Records and Music and Video Exchange - all indicated in the below Map. I highly recommend the two Rough Trade stores also.

 

For Record Store Day (typically 3rd Saturday in April), I always make it a point to support my ...

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Björk innovates once more by releasing every Biophilia album track as an App

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Following Björk’s debut of the Biophilia opus at the Manchester International Festival - featuring elaborate custom-made instruments, nature videos and animations, she now releases said work in the form of iPhone and iPad Apps. The content is nigh identical, although the iPad benefits from greater resolution and larger screen real estate of course.

The main Biophilia App - a ’shell’ in fact - is free to download, you then pay for each track in addition.

With the launch of ...

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Girls run the world at 2011 Glastonbury

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Once again I enjoyed the festival courtesy of the BBC, in my home lounge - and entirely via the Internet. I still feel like I would want to check it out ’on location’ one of these years - as long as I had guarantees of good weather, and could attend ’Kate Moss’ style - i.e. being flown to and from luxury 5 star hotel at the start and end of every day.

Following my minor critique of the Big Weekend website, BBC are making ever more concessions towards the social Internet, ...

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Superb Live Streaming Coverage of Coachella by YouTube

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I always thought the BBC were the masters of live music coverage, and in many ways they still are - in terms of all the behind the scenes footage, biographies, interviews, escapades and impromptu live accoustic sets. For this year though, YouTube has done a sterling job in letting non-attendees witness the live spectacle of Coachella, America’s Glastonbury of sorts, at least a little brother to Glastonbury in most ways.

I’m not going to split hairs on the lineup, I have watched a ...

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Eric Prydz EPIC show at O2 Brixton Academy - 02 April 2011

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As a long-term fan of Eric Prydz in all his guises - Prydz / Pryda / Cirez D etc. (I have most of his output on 12" vinyl - yeah old-school I know!), and as the person who implemented most of the current look-and-feel of his website, I felt doubly proud / excited to have attended this landmark event.

Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 of us were packed into the cinema-style venue (O2 Brixton Academy), brother Markus and his wife Kinga completed our small group. We arrived via Victoria Line - just ...

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The Future of Music Online 2011

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I’m a little (lot) late getting off the mark with this extensive listing this year, I had a backlog of reviews to complete first, also needed to seriously consider my choices for Top 10 albums, took a lot of deliberation to distil the list down to 10, and arrange in correct order of preference; anyway, here goes:


My Top 10 Albums for 2010

  1. Crystal Fighters - Star of Love
  2. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
  3. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  4. Marina and the Diamonds - The Family
...
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MySpace gets a Makeover and Facebook Mashup

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I have updated my MySpace profile now for the first time in about 3 years or more. I rarely use my MySpace Profile, although I use MySpace a whole lot for checking out the latest releases from my many favourite bands.

MySpace has just recently gone through one amazing upheaval - I love the brand evolution, the - my [_____] - ident / motif is genius. The new look and feel is fantastic, and the new Facebook Mashup feature is equally inspired. As MySpace CEO Mike Jones explains:

“We are ...

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The Future of Music Online 2010

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Is Spotify the Future of Music Online? - In part ...

The Future of Music Retail - Introduction

 

2 Significant music-related things happened for me in 2009. Firstly, I signed up for the Premium version of streaming service - Spotify; secondly, I finally succumbed to Apple and bought into the iPhone smartphone. I have several discarded MP3 players and iPods which have somewhat fallen into disuse as I found it a burden to carry around so many devices. The fact that the iPhone comes with iTunes / iPod functionality means that I now always ...

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