Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Spinningmerkaba interviews Airtone


Spinningmerkaba interviews Airtone about the new ccMixter Logo.

Airtone, what was your process for creating the new ccMixter Logo?

I’ve been involved in helping to redesign ccMixter since last year, this is ongoing but part of that process has been to redesign the logo, it's been mainly in collaboration with Emily and Kara with feedback from other members of the team. I received some mockups from them and I sent some ideas back based on the mockups and it's been backwards and forwards for a few months until we all collectively decided on the final design. A lot of the direction and ideas came from Emily and Kara and so it was a very collaborative process throughout.

In your mind how does the new logo represent the community of artists that ccMixter represents?

We wanted to incorporate the two Cs and also the X in mixter, and also represent some of the values of the site which were reflected in the tagline which was probably going to be Collaborative Community.

I tried some ideas using the two Cs in various forms. An idea that seemed to be working well was using the Cs as two halves of a circle. A circle can represent lots of things like continuation, loops, records, cells, planets etc. It’s a very simple and effective symbol. The X can represent two paths crossing and creating something new, an intersection or centre.

The font I ended up using was Ubuntu which as well being the font for free open source software, Ubuntu is also a philosophy that recognises the importance of interdependence, sharing and inclusivity.

I think the green colour works well and has connotations of nature and ecology.

I think the site is about collaboration, community,  play, experimentation, exploration and sharing. Hopefully the logo can represent this without being corporate or generic or taking itself too seriously.

How many different versions did you create?

I initially created about 4 pages of quick ideas, maybe 20 or 30 altogether, this was then whittled down to 3 or 4 possibilities which were then refined until we got to one that everyone was happy with.

What design programs do you use?

I used Adobe XD, it has a very simple interface and it’s very quick and easy to use so the focus can be on the design.

When did you join ccMixter as a remix artist?

Before ccMixter I used a site called Reasonstation under the name of barracuda. I was using some music software called Reason and the site allowed you to upload tracks made in Reason and download other peoples tracks, not just the audio but in a format where you could open it in Reason and see how it was made, and if the artist allowed, you could also edit and turn it into something new or a remix. It’s good to see music in a way that you can interact with instead of just being a passive consumer. There were also reviews and an active forum and it was a great way to learn and collaborate and I think something like this would have flourished if it wasn’t for concerns over copyright etc.

From here I got more into remix culture and finding alternatives to copyright which I didn’t think was compatible with digital technology and I still don’t in its current form.

I started using Ableton Live more and a website called Splicemusic, using the name airtone. It allowed you to create music in the web browser and use samples that other people had uploaded. And any track you post could be remixed into something new, the sequencer was very limited compared to a desktop app but we weren’t trying to make music that was professional or commercially viable but it was very creative and a lot of fun.

Even though the site was using Creative Commons I think it was more commercially oriented with investors keen on getting a return, it started to incorporate advertising which I wasn’t keen on. Eventually when it wasn’t making enough money it was sold and subsequently shutdown taking all the sounds and all the music with it.

I think I probably saw something about ccMixter on a blog somewhere.  I was happy to find a website that was more community oriented and listens to and respects the users. 

I first uploaded a track to ccMixter in 2007 but it was in 2009 when I started using it more, I was a bit stuck creatively so I looked on ccMixter for some sounds and inspiration, I found a vocal that I tried something with and it seemed to work well so I uploaded and got an edpick from Loveshadow.

What are your takeaways from being involved with collaborative remix culture?

Music has existed for tens of thousands of years, most of that time it has been shared freely and allowed to evolve, mix and take on new forms that reflect and communicate different cultures and values. I think our current system seems to want to lock music down and turn it into a commodity that benefits the rights holders and platform owners, takes advantage of artists and turns listeners into passive consumers. At the moment people are getting sued even if music is influenced by another track.

I’m hoping platforms like ccMixter can continue to be an alternative to the usual business models and enable a direct relationship, with mutual trust and respect, between artist and listener and encourage participation, learning, exploration and sharing.

I think there is a lot of potential with digital technology and creativity, but there needs to be rethink about ownership, if I create some music or art and share it, I don’t want it to be a finished permanent thing that I own and control, I would rather it be in the public domain or commons so it can be copied, evolve and mix into new forms.

A quote by Brian Eno –

“Stop thinking about artworks as objects and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences. What makes a work of art good for you is not something that’s already inside it but something that happens inside you.”


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Dream Stones Sample Pak (Vocal and Guitar)


Get These Heavy Rock Tones for Free! 

ccMixter's Winter Solstice Event gets hot around the fire of these quintessential stoner rock samples

This creative commons cc-by licensed sample pak is sure to take out into the star space of stoner rock and beyond (I've already received an alt swing remix by apoxode that blew my mind out into another galaxy.)

"I've dropped a few huge hot stones into the collection of Quintessential samples, just to add a little heat and weight into the mix."

Anyway,  rock on sisters and brothers.  It's better to burn out as they say.

ccmixter, spinningmerkaba, jlbrock44, creative commons music, cc-by

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Kush MIxes


This mix is currently available for streaming on ccMixter's Patreon page.  39 songs from the archive.  

Feed your head!


Monday, November 1, 2021

TIme Machine Single from Rooted and RIsing Secret Mixter

Spinningmetkaba TIme Machine Single CoverTime Machine is the remix I produced for the Rooted and Rising Secret Mixter.  My assignment this time was Scomber and I found his stems from a 2009 spoken word upload that became the muse for this retro dance track that is bare naked, just like the lyrics suggest.

I haven't been remixing lately as I've been concentrating on releasing singles of original music.  You can find all that by visiting Jason Brock Music.  This was a fun side project that I hope gets you in the mood for some uplifting movement and connecting with your humanity.  

Here's to connecting to each other through music in the space time continuum!  


Friday, February 5, 2021

I'm Just Tired Remix Receives Ed Pick

My contribution to the Waiting remix event was an original song "I'm Just Tired" which was remixed for an Ed Pick by Stefan Kartenberg.

Get all the details here.

I’m Just Tired

I’m not waiting, I’m just tired
Tired of the laughter and the pain
Tired of the sunshine and the rain
I think I’ll go to bed now
And pretend it’s all a game
Where nothing stays the same

Lay down on my soft pillow When I’m curled up in my blanket
And listen to my favorite songs, Feelin where I belong
And a dream a dream that carries on and on and on...

Sunday, January 3, 2021

THe Best of CCmixer 2020: Spin's Picks


Jazz? Breakbeat? Americana? Dance? Ballads? Experimental?  It's all here in a 120 song playlist that highlights the best music released to the world for free to share use under Creative Commons licenses.

Happy New Year!