Originally Published: Sunday, 24 September 2000 Author: Emmett Plant
Published to: daily_feature/Linux.com Feature Story Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Music Notes

Is it me, or do people sound like Lester Bangs when they talk about Linux? 'The new sound of Linux is a more mature sound that brings the smooth grooves of old-school UNIX funk to the newer trip-hop sounds of the Free Software world.' The reason for this is simple; Linux is the new hip sound of the computer industry. Let's apply our inner music critic to the current state of Linux. Read on!

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What can we say about Enlightenment that hasn't been said before? Carsten Haitzler, the saucy aussie, continues to impress and delight. While some fans of the genre feel that Enlightenment is a little too busy, new fans of the 'thunder from down under' are taking Enlightenment to their friends. Cool cover or not, the core competencies of Enlightenment have only gotten better. The new, rich sound of Enlightenment is just a tad too outgoing for fans of the former minimalist movement, and seek listening pleasure in albums from old-school artists like Command Line. Who cares? New releases from Enlightenment continue to dazzle. Let's hope they can keep the beat going.

Is it me, or has every single Linux label had at least one of their bands cover the classic tune 'Market Drop?' We're tired of it, and we want to see new stuff coming from these power artists. Although I could probably find it in my heart to consider the cover an anti-tribute to the Redmond-based retro-band Proprietary, let's hope we can move on to greener pastures as quickly as possible.

Since we're talking about covers, let's get one thing clear. There are a lot of big-name labels signing new bands to break into the Linux scene, but it takes a lot of understanding to make it work. If you're just signing a new band because they've got a hip name, you're only going to have a hip name. It's super-important for these old labels to understand the culture of the Linux music scene before they spend millions of dollars in the wrong direction. One of the popular labels, 'Big Blue,' has made a good impression, but other players like 'Sol' and 'Sandy Imaging' need to get in touch with the listeners, not the market. They need to want Linux to succeed as an accepted musical style before they can expect huge returns.

What about Helix Code? This power duo from Boston way are laying down phat tracks and getting the word out on the street, thanks to front-men Miguel 'Hyperkinetic' de Icaza and Nat 'Tallish' Friedman. While they're trying something new, they've never fallen into the problems of Proprietary, and are keeping it real in a brand new way. Since their seminal work in the Gnome off-shoot of the Linux style, they're making their past work, considered classic by some, sound like a demo tape. Guitar is to Hendrix as Sawfish is to Helix Gnome. Let's hope they can find even more funding for their next release.

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