Free Music Digger // With his Podcast called “Machtdose” Podcaster Roland presents a treasure box full of the most terrific netlabel-music around. While fascinated hopping from country to country he presents music from all kind of genres. His Machtdose Show gives a damn about music-boundaries and leads you each time into new corners of the netlabel world. An interview with a Netaudio-Podcaster.

When did you make your first contact with the free music scene, especially netlabels? Do you remember the first release you downloaded?

I can’t remember exactly but it must have been in 2003 or 2004 when I had discovered the (now dead) site. On webjay you were able to create playlists with links to online available mp3’s - and through playlists by other users I became aware of netlabels like Observatory, Tokyo Dawn and Bevlar (unfortunately all three aren’t active anymore, last two are even down for a longer time now).

I then presented in my weblog ronsens a first playlist called sentimental journey in netaudio and that was the start of collecting netaudio tracks by myself. The next lists were then already published on Machtdose, a more music-centered weblog originally initiated by my friend Gregor. Some time later I went then to present the tracks in a podcast with moderation.

What drives you to dig especially into the world of netlabels?

Simple answer: the music. This is really what it is all about: the music and nothing else. If you visit a netlabel site you normally know exactly nothing about the presented tracks and artists. You just listen to their music - and then it’s on your site to decide if you like it or not. There’s no marketing strategy, no public image, no music critic who tries to take influence on that.

Next big point is that you have access to really international music which you wouldn’t listen to otherwise, from artists all over the world - and not only the main markets. In our last episode we’ve had music from Bulgaria, Portugal, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, Hungary, Austria, the United States, Spain, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada and Argentinia - and it’s like that month per month.

A lot of people claim that the netlabels are a bunch of amateurs. “They give their music away for free”, they say, “because otherwise noone would buy their records.” What would be your answer to such a statement?

Besides it isn’t true and that there are enough examples of “professional” musicians who have released on netlabels?

Even if you agree that most netlabel artists won’t earn any money with their work - what’s wrong with that? Often enough it is for example a conscious decision not to follow any commercial logic - like the one which is basis of this statement: that commercial success is a serious indicator for the quality of music. I think most of us have made other experiences, just listen to top seller music charts and you know what I mean.

Last not least: if you take a look on the development of the music market and the fact that music is getting more and more an “immaterial” good with profound consequences for its distribution, you shouldn’t be too snobby about netlabelism - on the contrary it will probably give you some hints of what could be possible future models for promoting music.

If you compare the last years of so called netlabelism, what is your main impression? Are there any tendencies? What do you think about the future of free music and in particular about the future of netlabels?

I don’t see a general trend right now - which is probably another plus: I think there is a vivid scene but actually it doesn’t act like some. We simply have a lot of people who are doing their things and that is it.

As I intimated before - I really think that the future of “free” music is the future of music (distribution) in general. Our everyday life experience is already that we can get every kind of music “for free”, isn’t it?

Your podcast-show delivers a wide range of different music styles. Have you any favorite netlabels and musicians?

I have so many! There’s e. g. Monotonik which I call “the mother” because it is one of the oldest ones (200th release lately, congrats by the way). There are others like, aerotone,, I could also take laridae or test tube - labels I know for longer but which have had some great releases especially in the last time. Also I permanently discover new promising labels, recently e. g. Dusted Wax Kingdom or Budabeats.

At the end I would like to hear some music after talking about it. What are current Top-5-Free-Music-Songs?

Ok, I will try to add some tracks which hasn’t been presented in Machtdose already and give a short comment to each:

You’ve asked also for some favourite musicians - here’s one of them. Granlab, one of the broque makers (another excellent label), has just released a new EP, from it:

granlab - “a sneaked suffer”

One of the most interesting releases in the last time was for me XYDZOD - Y (puls09), a mashup of traditional African music and electronica, here’s the opener:

XYDZOD - “afaera”

Next one has not only a funny title it is a marvellous track from the latest release at Yuki Yaki and is in heavy rotation at home right now:

David Carew - “Bored Of Canada”

Another great discovery was the excellent Hiphop Label Random Flow, they have for instance the duo D3Zs who raps in English and Japanese (and this sounds beautifully).

DZ9s - “Let the Music Play”

At the end another all-time favourite artist, this time it’s iambic² and from his latest release (laridae037):

iambic² - “this day goes nowhere”

Thank you very much for the interview!

Podcast: Machtdose Podcast