Sonaris Music Reviews Now on InternetDJ!

Recently I partnered with Michael Bordash, the founder and owner of InternetDJ.com to syndicate my music reviews on his website. What this means is, a lot more exposure for you – as an artist. As mentioned on the music reviews page, things are really taking off and I’m getting a lot of requests, so I have had to slow down a bit and be more picky with what I choose to review. That said, I encourage you all to continue to submit your awesome work, and I look forward to listening to it all.

Hey, Soundcloud! An open letter – Fix yourself.

As a paying Soundcloud customer, I am unhappy. Here are what I think the problems are, and then some possible ideas for improvement, as well, so it’s not just a complaint.

The issues I have with Soundcloud:

  • The comment system is terrible (needs up/downvote system like reddit)
  • Bugs everywhere (problems logging in, seeing other people’s profiles)
  • Notification for getting stuff in my dropbox is non-existent so I miss a lot of demos people send in
  • For a long time I had problems uploading, no idea why
  • No real sense of community, at all
  • No rewards for good music, no competitive aspect like charts, etc…
  • No real place to share ideas and have discussions as a group
  • Discussion groups, like facebook, would be huge (right now I mostly communicate with labels and my music licensing group via Facebook, which I hate)
  • No real way to promote music aside from tedious adding of every track to a hundred groups and not getting that many plays out of it
  • Non-existent customer service/support system
  • No way to grab people’s emails in case they want updates in the future
  • My links (Website, FB, Tw, etc…) are not highlighted enough
  • A lot of non-musicians have no idea how to use Soundcloud, and they don’t like making a profile to <3 a track or download it
  • Analytics are piss poor, especially given I’m paying for it, should have Google Analytics integration at the least!
  • Embedding playlists on my website is not customizeable enough in terms of how the player appears
  • Barely ever works on mobile, I’ve heard this from many people
  • No way to sell music via the site itself

Here are some ideas on how I feel Soundcloud could be better:

  • Beatport has a near-monoploy on EDM, which is annoying because their website also sucks balls, and it’s all very nepotistic where you have to know someone, for the most part, to get any sort of promotion. People go nuts about being on the chart there, though, it’s the holy grail for EDM producers to get on the Top 100.
  • Bandcamp is pretty cool, but it’s extremely limited in nearly every way, and there is no community there. Unless I have a ton of followers (which I don’t, because I don’t perform), bandcamp doesn’t really help me much.
  • Work on getting ins with music licensing companies; this is how I make 90% of what I make creating music. There are lots of movie studios and ad agencies out there looking for ways to license music, and they are still having to do it in an old school way, via a middleman, or an outdated site like audiosparx. This could be a huge incentive for artists to use your site.
  • Make giving away music fun for the artist (I give away almost 50% of the stuff I make, just to get my name out there); some kind of reward system for giving out free stuff would be cool, even if it’s asking a person to leave their email address in exchange for a free download, or tokens to promote my music on your site
  • Have producer remix battles, where people on the site can challenge one another to a remix battle of any track on the site, (if a remix pack is available) and let other users and visitors vote for their favorite.
  • Do free contests (remix competitions, etc…)

Looking for Vocalist: EDM, House, Trance, DnB – The Search is On!

I’ve been “sort of” looking around for a vocalist to work with on an on-going basis for a while, but so far it hasn’t panned out – mostly due to their interests or schedule. I’d love to find someone in Denver, so we can sit down and work on stuff together, but this isn’t a requirement. I’ve worked with vocalists over the “net” in all of my previous projects and it usually works out ok, so I’m not opposed to that. Read more about what I’m looking for, here >>>

Sonaris Music Review: Alb(L)um by TimHeld

Update: Lookout for TimHeld’s Kickstarter to raise funds for this release. With a pitch like “I will come rock a house party at YOUR house if you are in the Seattle area. I will come to Eburg if you throw in gas money.” for $100 supporters, how can you resist?

Taking another dive into atmospheric, experimental music with TimHeld’s forthcoming album, the aptly titled – Alb(L)um.

Rather than a “performance piece” I would equate this album more to the highly technical playing of a Van Cliburn award winner, if they were to perform experimental music. It’s not easy to listen to, sometimes downright jarring with the amount of jagged, raw sounds. One can only imagine the stamina it takes to produce something like this, the effort the ears must put forth to endure a beating such as that of the jack-hammering white noise.

No doubt about it, this album goes hard in the paint, without any mercy or melodic pretense. Each piece is crafted, as if by an engineer, with pinpoint precision. Little room for error is left with the positioning and structure of the various sound elements which comprise this release.

The tracks flow well as a sequence, each with its own persona, but each as dangerous sounding as the last. The imagery presented is diverse, but all centered around a tension, an everpresent theme through the album. There are ripping synths, techno beats, industrial – heavy-machinery-like sounds, sidechained backing pads, delayed and filtered vocals, and more, all coming together to form a complex atmospheric system.

The album is mixed well, with some interesting panning and compression. It’s a complete package.

The highlight, for me, is the massive industrial beat which hit halfway through Blip, sending chills through my body with it’s raw, unrelenting march-like presence. Easily a Matrix-esque soundtrack piece, perhaps something to be played obscenely loud in a German basement techno club.

The album is a mixed bag of different vibes and emotions, like something from the mind of Amon Tobin or perhaps Trent Reznor… if you’re into industrial/experimental, rather than melodic – easy listening – music, you’ll definitely want to check this out when it’s released worldwide on December 31, 2013. Stay tuned, but in the meantime check out TimHeld’s Bandcamp page for more of that creative goodness.

New Sonaris Music: 4 “New” Releases

For someone who works in marketing, I seem to be really bad when it comes to promoting my music. Maybe it’s a case of the chef not wanting to cook at home, or perhaps that I see my music as something deeply personal and while I want to put it out in the world I don’t want to sell or promote it myself kind of thing, or maybe a bit of both – but, here are some releases I haven’t mentioned on here at all:

Live it up, Play it loud Vol 2 (Compilation/ 4 Tracks) – Feb 2013 [AVR]

These Moments EP – Feb 2013 [AVR]

Beats & Breaks Essentials Vol 3 (Compilation/ 1 Track) – Dec 2012 [LWR]

Glowing EP (Remix) – Sept 2012 [AVR]

So, five new original Sonaris tracks and a remix. Check them out, listen, share and enjoy. I hope you like listening to them as much as I liked creating them.

P.S. If you don’t feel like paying for the tracks, you can download decent quality shortened previews of all of them on the Sonaris Soundcloud page.