Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ten Tracks - the Future of Music???

Ten Tracks offers great music at an even greater price.

Record labels these days are trying just about anything in order to stay afloat in the digitally pirated waters. The old ways are out (R.I.P. Tower Records), and some new ways have proven successful (ie Radiohead, NIN, etc.); however, it seems that having an established fan base and mainstream notoriety definitely allows for these aforementioned ventures the positive outcomes. What about the up-and-coming bands that no one has ever heard of? Where do they fit into this new label system? Sure, MySpace and the blogging community (see also RCRD LBL) do their part in getting the lesser known bands their due exposure, but what else is out there?

A label I recently discovered seems to be ditching a lot of rules that once were a part of the music industry's golden standard. Rather than raise the price of an album to recoup the loss in overall sales, online label Ten Tracks has come up with an idea that practically gives music away. For all the fine print, go here, but to just give you the short of it, here goes: each month Ten Tracks releases a digital album of ten songs (makes sense) from various artists (both known and unknown). Each song can be purchased individually for £0.30 each, or the whole album can be purchased for merely £1.00 (a £2.00 saving!). Currently, there three different types of albums each month (called "channels"). Every month each channel will release a new bundle of ten tracks. A description of each channel is posted below:
The Police Box - modern folk, electronica and songwriting
Optimo - world-renowned future-music variations
Open Ear - selection of italo-disco rarities and cutting-edge production flair
I've listened to the October and November Police Box discs - really good stuff on there. So far, many of the bands showcased have come from the Scotland area. Included in that bunch are King Biscuit Time, The Aliens, and Black Affair (all ex-Beta Banders). That's probably why I've enjoyed them so much. For a listen, help yourself:

MP3: King Biscuit Time - "I Let Her In"
MP3: The Aliens - "Pernickitty Jack"