I have a soft spot for the little guy who fights back against the big boy. The indie musician who is tired of the record industry’s oppressive, greed-driven tactics. The unsung hero who realizes that popularity does not automatically imply quality. The struggling artist who composes, performs, produces, and promotes his own music. The bands who do whatever they can to fight the good fight against the archaic notions held by the big names in the music industry. This is why I like Downliners Sekt. They released an album for free on their website, Statement of Purpose, which sends the message that they have control over their own work as opposed to some money hungry industry executive. Even if their music were crappier than a toilet at a Taco Bell, I would still love them for that metaphorical flipping off of the music industry.
Fortunately, Downliners Sekt’s music is actually quite good, which helps to further their cause. Not only are they an independent band affirming control over their own music, but they also reveal themselves to be talented artists. This shows that you don’t have to be incredibly popular to make good music. The added punch is that you would never hear this kind of music on the radio. Aye, there’s the rub.
But this is not the only way in which Downliners Sekt defies the contemporary standards of the music industry. They also redefine the way in which their music is categorized. For example, when first playing their music in iTunes, I noticed that they labeled their genre as “Electro Noise For Breakbeat Initiates.” Such a term may seem a little heady and pretentious, but it shows them acknowledging themselves as striking out on their own to discover new ground away from preconceived notions of what music should be. Also, the idea that they’re “for initiates” gives the impression that they are going into new territory where they hope others will follow. And they are definitely breaking down barriers and heading in new directions in the way they define themselves. That may sound like a circular argument (they are revolutionary because they say they are), but they also redefine their music in other ways. Take for example, the track numbering system. There are nine tracks total, but in iTunes it lists the total number of tracks as being 99. The first two tracks, “Benz” and “Disable,” are both labeled as track one but “Disable” correctly appears as the second track because of alphabetical ordering. By doing this, Downliners Sekt has manipulated technology in order to achieve the same goal as just listing the tracks in chronological order. This emphasizes further the purely electronic quality of their album and that no conventional means of track numbering is required to keep the songs in order so long as the music playing software knows what track comes after another. It’s just another way of creating distance between themselves and the conventions of the music industry. It may seem minor, but it does add to their statement.
I haven’t actually talked that much about the music itself in this post. The most that I can say is that it has a very starkly minimalist quality about it that carries an aura of dark melancholy. In terms of genre, it’s rather hard to anchor Downliners Sekt to just one label. There are times when listening to their music that I’m reminded of God Lives Underwater, VNV Nation, Imperative Reaction, and Dieselboy. But they are unique enough where comparison or description just doesn’t cut the mustard. You’ll have to listen to them for yourselves. Trust me, you’ll like what you hear. And hey, for having to pay a sum total of diddly squat, that’s a good deal.
Get Statement of Purpose by Downliners Sekt for free at their website
Downliners Sekt – Benz
Downliners Sekt – Disable
Downliners Sekt feat. Emma Louise Yohanan – Weather Underground
Downliners Sekt feat. Mucho Muchacho – La Nueva Escuela
Downliners Sekt feat. Evi Vine – L.R.A.D.
Downliners Sekt – Manvantara
Downliners Sekt – Rewrite Your Memory
Downliners Sekt – The Pledge
Downliners Sekt – Disable (Part 2)
After cruising around Downliners Sekt’s website, I found a link to Evi Vine’s site. Evi Vine contributed to the song “L.R.A.D.” from Statement of Purpose. According to her bio, she used to be a part of “industrial and breakbeat scene” but now her music has a sort of bitter, aggressive alternative rock sound. And she definitely has a dramatically compelling voice that I would like to hear more of.
As far as I know, she has not released an album yet, so enjoy these songs and look for more at her website.
Evi Vine – Better
Evi Vine – Tell Me