To kick off your weekend listening with a full album of delicious IDM, our friend Quantazelle / Liz McLean Knight offers up a compilation from her label subVariant. While big-name artists have gotten lots of publicity for doing free or pay-what-you-will albums, oddly a smaller group of them have chosen a Creative Commons license. subVariant does do that with a noncommercial / no derivative license – a bit restrictive, in that it doesn’t allow remixes, but perhaps a decent start.

And licensing aside, this is a lovely, clever compilation of tracks.

Interestingly, the physical object did sell out on eBay. When it comes to enthusiastic fans, it seems digital isn’t reducing the value of tangible objects – it may be doing just the opposite. (Adding still more irony, the tongue-and-cheek name for the album was “Coaster,” just what CDs have supposedly become.)

My label’s latest glitchy techno / IDM compilation is now a free digital download: SubvaritraxTM [Liz Revision Blog]

Product page / download links on fractalspin (warning: autoplays)

I quite like this album, released in the heady days of 2005 – there are some lovely, delicate tracks on there. The price is right, though, so grab it (registration required) and let us know what you think. If you torrent it, which you can under the CC license, feel free to post a link.


SUBVARITRAX™ is a new form of treatment for Sonic Mediocrity Overexposure (SMO). SUBVARITRAX™ works by providing a mix between emotionally-poignant-yet-sonically-dense IDM, and scientifically formulated, provocatively glitchy minimal techno. With contributions from Quench (Funckarma), Ochre, Tim Koch, edIT, Kero, Matthew Mercer and others, SUBVARITRAX™ is a new type of neurostimulant proven to help people with SMO as well as being an enjoyable listen in its own right. Ask your abstract electronic music specialist if SUBVARITRAX™ is right for you.

“Though one is struck initially by Subvaritrax’s distinctive pharmaceutical packaging, the comp’s presentation is trumped by the potency of the medication itself. Virtually a primer for current electronic music trends, the release collects what could be the best bits from imaginary comps by Merck, Neo Ouija, Spectral Sound, and M-Nus into an 80-minute, 17-track set. Such largesse is often wearying but [it] maintains interest by extending the stylistic range beyond a single genre…A terrific outing by the Chicago-based subVariant imprint, the ‘instrumental neuro-stimulant’ Subvaritrax more than makes good on its promise to treat Sonic Mediocrity Overexposure (SMO) with a therapeutically forward-thinking mix of melodic IDM and glitchy minimal techno.” -Ron Schepper, TEXTURA.

Love? Raves? Constructive criticism? You know where to write back.

Now, I’m going to spin this while I code. You can’t fire up Eclipse in silence.

  • Thanks, Peter!

    Here's the torrent:

  • and I turned off autoplay

  • Just gave it a listen, and there is some really great stuff on here! Thanks for the release!

  • thanks for this comp – nice label, Liz.

    "subVariant does do that with a noncommercial / no derivative license – a bit restrictive, in that it doesn’t allow remixes, but perhaps a decent start." – yes, but you can always contact the artist and ask directly for permission to remix 🙂

    i love CC licensing!

  • Right, absolutely! And it's really always best to contact the artist anyway — that's part of the point of remixing their work, right?

  • Cody

    Just curious, but is the CD case a condom wrapper? I know Chester French did something of the sort with their "she loves everybody" ep.

  • djdune

    torrent link broken ?

  • gbsr

    wait.. is cdm going to link albums now?

  • Yeah, why not?

    And if there's important stuff we should know about, please tip us. (That'll be as in emails, not bribes.) That's where the tech stuff comes from, so why not the music, too?

  • Polite

    I like how you get 8 emails from fractalspin when you sign up and order the album.

    Looking forward to having a listen though, thanks!

  • gbsr

    @Peter: nah its just that i seem to remember this:

    "The basic idea here is that we assume people will use these tools to make music, and, under optimal circumstances, may even make money on that music. (Not always, but it’s nice work when you can get it!) I don’t mean to get defensive. I’m just puzzled when this turns out to be a problem."

    i thought that was the point of this blog, to provide links and information about tools for musicians, not provide free music, as there are billions and billions of free music blogs.

  • Right, but I never said talking about music wasn't also relevant. It's not a primary focus, but it'd be a little strange if it didn't appear now and then.

  • gbsr

    just found it odd, thats all. its all good man. havent listened yet, but that fhloston paradigm album seems quite sweet anyways. 🙂

  • ehdyn

    Tried to sign up, but the websites not accepting my info -keeps telling me there's a problem. I've quadruple checked it and cant figure out whats off.


  • Nikola here is the link enjoy 😀 msn: 😀