Wednesday, June 27, 2007

His Boy Elroy

Being a supporter of Creative Commons, I look to the success of the ccMixter site as a thriving online community where artists are allowed (well, entreated to!) to ‘rip, mix, and share’. Pulsing with the vibe of open source, the site hosts thousands of samples from musicians across a range of genres, all available for legal sampling and reuse, subject to the specific licence which attaches to the track (clearly stipulated). Interestingly, the site statistics point to the prevalence of BY and BY-NC licences to date:

Attribution Noncommercial Share-Alike 5
Noncommercial Sampling Plus 14
Sampling Plus 40
Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) 67
Attribution (3.0) 135
Attribution Noncommercial 306
Attribution 880

A Cappellas

Attribution Noncommercial Share-Alike 1
Sampling Plus 8
Noncommercial Sampling Plus 9
Attribution (3.0) 37
Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) 87
Attribution Noncommercial 197
Attribution 198

File formats encompass mp3, aac, ogg, flac, and wav. The patterns of use of material, their provenance if you like, are tracked, showing which tracks have been used by which artists in which remixes. Users can ‘create their own remix radio station’ from a random pool of ccMixter’s remixes by selecting a style, such as acoustic, experimental, electronic, trip hop, hip hop, chill, down tempo, and drums ‘n’ bass.

In collaboration with services such as Magnatune (where ‘you pick the price!’ for music), ccMixter regularly hosts remix competitions. Currently, the sites are offering the audio source files to Natchoongi from multi-platinum recording artist Salman Ahmad. They are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial licence (BY-NC). Salman observes:

‘I think what Magnatune and ccMixter represents is the future of music promotion, distribution and marketing. I've already been through the guerilla school of music in my life so taking on the future is something I've always been waiting for!’

Previous competitions have offered tracks by J Vadim, Vieux Farka Toure, Christopher Willits (who recently visited Brisbane!), Fort Minor, Crammed Discs Cibelle, DJ Dolores, Apollo Nove, Copyright Criminals, Lisa Debendictis, WIRED CD, Beastie Boys, and Chuck D.

Yesterday I was delighted to discover the work of 'His Boy Elroy', in particular the piano-driven down-tempo track ‘Revolve’ which was winner in the Creative Commons/Wired Magazine Fine Art of Sampling competition. Download it yourself through iTunes and be inspired!

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