Melodic Expectation: reviews of free music, new every weekday
April 29, 2011 8:30 AM   Subscribe

There's a world of music offered online, and some of it is legitimately free. But if you're looking for more than single tracks as offered by RCRD LBL, but you're daunted by the sheer volume of netlabel releases on, MeFite sleeping bear offers an alternative: Melodic Expectation, reviews of music released for free by artists and labels. There are 36 posts to date, with new additions every weekday. [via mefi projects]

Note: In this instance, free means a recording posted by the artist or their label that is available for instant download, pay-what-you-want download, or we'll-email-you-a-link download. sleeping bear checks to be sure the download is legitimate and working at time of post.

Previous posts linking to RCRD LBL:
* where no tear is inconceivably mediocre - A posthumous collection of music by 16 year old Yonlu.
* Learn from us, very much... - Some Velvet Morning, by Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra, with covers.

And if you're looking for more legal, free music, check the prior posts tagged with "netlabels."
posted by filthy light thief (12 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Grooveshark streams whole albums, and has agreements with many labels including EMI.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:43 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Has mefite sleeping bear linked to anything on Metafilter Music?

Just askin'.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:53 AM on April 29, 2011

Glad to see bandcamp is on there. I hope there are multiple genres that show up in the future. There's some good rap on bandcamp. And some really really hilariously bad stuff all around.
posted by cashman at 9:24 AM on April 29, 2011

I've heard a lot of nice stuff on Bandcamp, and the fact that they offer a proper variety of formats is wonderful.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:28 AM on April 29, 2011

Interesting. As someone who currently programs a weekly music-based radio show, the biggest challenge I face is giving a fair shake to new music from bands/artists I've never heard of. The radio station I work with does offer a lot of new releases on CD but the time it takes to pick through the literally hundreds of choices and actually listen to them is prohibitive.

So yeah, sites like this (and the various MP3 blogs) are definitely a help. But what I want, of course, is MORE. More stuff being reviewed. More individuals doing the reviewing. For instance, the Antn Hrkwk - Mutually Assured release that gets noted at MELODIC EXPECTATION. It's great to be alerted to its existence (with a link to the actual tracks for free download) ... but what I really want to know is, which tracks should I dig into? There's a bunch of them. As is, I'm going to probably download them all and then randomly (or certainly with very little review) just throw one or two of them into my mix. Whereas the ideal would be a sense of which tracks are most suitable (rockin'? relaxed? experimental? pop?) for which part of my program.

And so on. I realize this sounds a bit like a spoiled child wanting everything where a few years ago I would've had nothing. But the reality is, there's just so much stuff out there that I'm already at least tangentially aware of that for something completely unknown to penetrate my filters, like I said, I need MORE info, more focus, more filtering.
posted by philip-random at 9:57 AM on April 29, 2011's netlabel section is really hit or miss. Some of it is really classic, and some of the netlabel compilations are great, but the signal to noise to not-amatuer-thrash ration isn't very good. There's genuinely awesome stuff there but it really does require shit-digging. Netwave's podcasts and mixes are one good way that I've found good netlabel stuff, they pick the standout tracks and have themes and have hooked me into some good releases.
posted by fuq at 10:52 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I discovered the Jahtari stuff through, love it. Y'all know about the WFMU Free Music archive, right? (link goes to a friend's page because why not)
posted by jtron at 11:30 AM on April 29, 2011

WFMU's Free Music Archive was covered when it was in "pre-launch" status, back in '08. Thanks for the reminder!
posted by filthy light thief at 1:04 PM on April 29, 2011

Wow! A front page post! Thanks, Sasquatch filthy light thief!

Fuq: my goal was to, in a sense, curate the vast amount of netlabel and otherwise free music on the Internet.

Philip-random: I'll try to make it a point to mention a couple of standout tracks going forward. With some of the 2 or 3 song eps it's easy, but I can understand being daunted an lp's worth of music to sort through. That said, the goal is whole albums (eps, singles) rather than individual tracks, as the internet's got the single mp3 post thing on lockdown.

flapjax: I haven't really dug into music.mefi before. My excuse is that it seems to be track-at-a-time while the blog's focus is albums. But I will look into it. Promise! (can you recommend a good compendium or other entry point?)

Oh, and you can follow the blog on twitter @MelodicEx
Man, an FPP! I'm still geeking out about it!
posted by sleeping bear at 12:25 AM on April 30, 2011

With record labels fading as the traditional gatekeepers of the music industry, the question was asked as early as 2004 "who is going to take on the free-floating morass of mp3s out there?" So it's interesting seeing concrete examples of new forms of curations like this post and this for example. Sweet to find this Explosions In The Sky album by the way. Thanks sleeping bear and filthy light thief!
posted by yoHighness at 6:58 AM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the Dntel/Enya album is really awesome.
posted by fuq at 8:54 AM on April 30, 2011

I'm sure I've posted this before, but the Free Music Archive has some pretty good stuff too.
posted by robotot at 3:22 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

« Older Video Is TIme Travel   |   "Tags: creepy raft made of bugs, nature, ants" Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments