Exploring Creative Commons Music

Honestly, I’m not really sure where to look for Creative Commons music. Given it seemed there was a wealth of content on archive.org though, I decided that was as good a place as any to start - alas I was disappointed. In the regard of looking for Asian style music anyway.

It was curious because I found a Korean movie OST, and a few episodes of the anime Chihayafuru, as well as other anime on that individual’s account - which I’m quite sure are not in the creative commons or public domain, nor owned by the individual who owned that account. Therefore it concerned me to see it there - let it not be said I’m a creative commons expert though.

Nonetheless, I managed to find some actual Creative Commons songs among that heap, checking the ‘usage’ line in each link and listening until I found something I liked. Of course, you can’t expect to have words in this music, it’s purely instrumental, but it makes me think of potential uses it could have in a Visual Novel - if they let me use it.

The first is Hanami by Moabi, from France. The first track is called Hey You - a bit rude?!

Moabi from Toulouse, France, collected three own pieces and two remixes for this fantastic release called "Hanami" (japanese for "enjoying the beauty of flowers").

Set up between Electronica, IDM, Experimental music and Ambient, all five pieces have a very unique, deep feeling. An impressive mix of beautiful melodies, intense atmosphere and twinkle-toed beats. Starting with the more beat-orientated "Hey You" the EP gets calmer with every following track, finding it's end in the quiet and subtle "Moll"-piece with over nine minutes of glitches and hounted melodies.

Warm your cold winter-feet with this warming organic sounds.

Complex and mysterious.

Then comes In a Distant Forest Somewhere by Akira Kosemura, assumedly from Japan. The first track is called Forest In the Morning. These songs give me somewhat UN-GO vibes, don’t you think?

One of the first all-ambient releases on Monotonik in quite some time, this 3-track EP from relatively undiscovered Japanese artist Akira Kosemura is a beautifully naturalistic drift through what sounds like field recordings twinned with sweet sine waves melodies - reminiscent of anything from Lackluster at his most ambient to fellow Japanese Monotonik releaser Sabii.

Thus, we have three delicate treats to enjoy - firstly, 'Forest In The Morning' has a repeated motif and an almost sepuchral tempo, but overall sounds like the trilling of nature happily at work. Following up, 'June' is definitely all about life in the forest, with woodpeckers, and calm, and wonder. Finally, the cutely named 'Catnap' strays almost into Brian Eno territory, with shimmering lakes of sound, and bass wandering in to shake your convictions and restore your happiness, all at once.

Overall, a most appetizing debut for Kosemura (who thanks friend Yuma Saito for the cover image to the EP), and the start of what we hope will be a glorious summer for all Monotonik listeners. And try to relax as much as these tracks do, OK?

I see a peaceful morning scene, but with again an air of mystery surrounding it…

Let’s move on to something slightly traditional: Netlabel Battle Vinyl Release from 2004. I have no idea what exactly this is supposed to be, but the usage is not present. You can check out the collection of songs which seem to be part of a competition in a community somewhere, though I can’t see any links to it.

I’ve only really listed to the first track, rokurokubi by makunouchi bento, but it’s a curious mix of sound - traditional and as they say, hypmotic. At the same time also with an air of suspense… and potential danger. No wonder.

makunouchi bento - rokurokubi part 2
introduced with perfection, this song integrates elements of chant and a resonant shakuhachi with tribal, jungle-type percussion to emanor its audience into a hypnotic trance. the song then progresses into a varied 4/4 rhythm pattern, keeping the pervasive aerophone as its dominant overlay. slowly a set of taiko drums are introduced and build to create a complexity of rhythms to finish out the masterpiece.

rokurokubi part 2 is the second of a four part ep to be released by makunouchi bento in the future. when listening to this piece it may be helpful to know that the rokurokubi (ë­ëñ) "are goblins or demons found in Japanese folklore. They look like normal human beings by day, but at night they gain the ability to stretch their necks to great lengths. They can also change their faces to those of terrifying oni (Japanese ogres) to better scare mortals."

And lastly, some game-type music though I would have said the rest would possibly have also been suitable for games. Well, other than rokurokubi, that might have been a little too distracting. It’s Killbots by Blasterhead (aka Akihiro Ito), from Japan assumedly. The first track is called Skyblue Monday, and what an intro!

Having been beguiled by the retro bleep sensibilities of Japanese videogame composer Akihiro Ito, aka Blasterhead, ever since hearing some of his Nintendo GameBoy tracks via Osaka-based 'chiptune' meta-site Vorc.org, we hunted him down, and the results of this predatory action come in the form of the wonderful GameBoy-based rave bleep release you see before you, 'Killbots EP'.

When he's not sneaking off for some GameBoy rave action, Blasterhead is sometimes sneaking GB sounds into the soundtracks of the PC hentai dating games he provides music for, and is now providing music for (non-adult!) Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 versions of the (distinctly risque!) Kero-Q PC dating title Moekko Company (Moekan), about 'an enigmatic man served unquestioningly by five beautiful maids with equally mysterious pasts.'

But we get the fruits of his Killbot spree, non-mysteriously and immediately, and the EP, originally released as a 500-copy limited-edition CD with the addition of a (non-included) live track, and largely composed with the homebrew Nintendo GameBoy music composition tool LittleSound DJ, starts with the almost robotic, percussively smart GameBoy romp of 'Skyblue Monday', before seguing into the sirens and pitch bends of the rave-like 'Killbots'. The rest of the EP is similarly sparkling, with 'We Are Here' a particular highlight, all intelligent repetition and danceable retro beats.

A curiously retro feel, mixed in with a just barely-out-of-reach recording of what seems to be a train station announcement. I feel like there are even better things to come.