Continuo’s updates

Suddenly mid-January, 150 additional visitors showed daily on Continuo after a post on Nau Pyrata. For several weeks, they rummaged through all my files, downloaded whatever they could and left no comment whatsoever. They behaved like chinese people, grabbing everything in sight, as if deprived from mp3s for ages. They’re gone now and I can breathe again, feeling at home with the more or less 300 dedicated readers following this blog since the beginning. I assume the kind of music championed on Continuo cannot really attract many hundred readers on this planet and 300 visitors a day is more than I could dream of. I know the blogosphere is like real life: a majority of passive people and a few proactive ones. But with the blogosphere almost completely dead at the moment, and too many bloggers eager to serve the interests of major companies and mainstream musicians, I’m afraid passivity is ultimately going to enhance the scarcity of good music released and distributed. Anyway, thanks to the dedicated followers who’ve been visiting regularly since last autumn.

Both Cora Emens and Hessel Veldman (All Chemix Radio and FNTC members) have been extensively commenting on the FNTC ‘Opera’ cassette post, between last January 21-25, 2008. Cora provided historical information helping those interested getting an idea as of how the All Chemix Radio and the Fanatic/FNTC’s episodes were born. Cora and Hessel slightly disagree on the early days of this extraordinary adventure, though. Finally, it would be useful to have Willem De Ridder’s point of view, unfortunately he doesn’t reply to my emails.

I’ve been asked to contribute to Ubuweb’s new Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine archives. At first, I was interested but I have mixed feelings about the result. Basically they took my mp3s and uploaded it over there without further comment or introduction, safe for the cassette blurb (including subscription rates!). I’ve been asked to write a new introduction and an updated cassettography but this hasn’t appear on Ubu. Kenny Goldsmith uploaded several additional issues of those mighty tapes, so a visit to their Sound page is mandatory. No one is to complain when hard to find good music is being made available, but the way it is done is quite perplexing. Additionally, Tellus #13 ‘Power Electronics’ have been posted on Shards Of Beauty blog, and has yet to appear on Ubu. A picture of the cover can be found here.

17 Responses to “Continuo’s updates”

  1. 1 Maldoror February 15, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Behaved like Chinese people?

    You are doing a great job!

  2. 2 kevinass February 16, 2008 at 6:09 am

    hello….i stumbled in here by accident a few days ago (can one stagger on the internet? I’m more of a staggerer than a stumbler) and have been enjoying myself plenty! thanks so much. Ever been on a plane with japanese men? The blind aggression is amazing.

  3. 3 Cratforsite February 16, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Hey, got here via the “Dualtrack” blog, which i got to via “Mutant Sounds”, which I got to through investigating the NWW list. And this is a great blog that I check every week. Awesome stuff!

  4. 4 p. somniferum February 17, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Well, C, you know my standpoint. You provide great context and great material. I have my personal beefs with Ubu, at least parts of it, not really germane to this post.

    Oh, sorry for the fits and starts with which my blog posts are spewed up to the internet. :) I guess it’s just the way I operate.

    Still, Continuo is one of the finest blogs in operation, and you should certainly know that I share this opinion with others.

  5. 5 pyrata February 17, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    hey man… visiting doesn’t hurt. besides, in each 100 new may be some that really may enjoy your posts.
    P )»

  6. 6 howie February 17, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I hear what you’re saying. And I confess to having done a bit of rummaging myself and not said thanks. Sorry for that. Consider thanks duly given for an excellent site. I ran an experimental label myself back in the day and see some of our contemporaries (not exactly ‘the opposition’, though, we were pretty low key and localised) are uploading (or are being uploaded) their cassette-only releases. Maybe I should raid the archive cupboard…

    Anyway, thanks for some really interesting stuff. I appreciate it, even if I’ve been slow to say thanks. I appreciate your hard work. AND, I suspect, are presenting music a lot more interesting and imaginative than those sites that continue to attract the ire of the RIAA. I mean…who actually downloads Britney? I’d love to know.

  7. 7 j.henry February 20, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    continuo! — i’m sorry you feel bad about the ubu stuffs! — i’m out of touch with that too, kenny’s taken the project on himself with his (vastly superior) resources (he’s now got a student at UPenn digitizing the set — like you, i’m told when they’re upped & w/o hands in — btw see 5-6 now here, ha, just tonight : :

    but HEY!, it’s a developing process (give it time! we’ll see how project winds up when the archive is more complete!) &besides, that place is an archive of primary infos.

    anyhow, i feel really bad that you’re upset about the way it’s turning. like i said, i’ve no real hand in it any more as i don’t have the resources / access. (what do they say in horror films, it’s grown beyond my control?)

    but i’ll close as always with my earnest admiration for yr site. i love the work you do here & have things to say when time catches up & my ears get a chance to needle.

    keep on the good work noble contiuo! you’ve friends & compatriots behind you.

    yrs ever,
    j.h c

    (also, on a personal sharity aside, despite my poetical bursts lately at j.h site, i’ve some things brewing special for you — more knowles & some tasty japanese cassette treats…)

  8. 8 Fee the Bunny February 22, 2008 at 5:04 am

    Hello, I guess I would be one of those 150 arrivals from Nau Pyrata who came by to pillage your store of music (sorry, not Chinese though, hehe). Anyways, I didn’t know where to really put this but this post seems a good place for it, so here it goes…

    Thanks for the wonderful posts of some truly unique music. I’ve been craving something new and different for months now and well, what you have here really hit the spot. I don’t really know much of anything about where these recordings come from or anything of their history, but I can say what matters more than that…I like it! And beyond that, you do a great job of not just posting the music for us to enjoy, but trying to give us some background on it, making it all the better.

    So I suppose you’ve gained at least one new reader thanks to that site.

    Thanks again!

  9. 9 Lucky February 22, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Merci for the Musicworks cassettes. Appreciate most of Oswald’s works, especially the early stuff.

    I’m not a regular visitor of your blog, but I stumbled by months ago without leaving a note, I think. This time I came from Bravo Juju. :D

    I’m glad to see a blog like this still going. The info you provide is essential. I agree with Henry J. that Ubuweb is a great ressource for so much material which is otherwise unavailable, but I can understand your point.


  10. 10 Soundslike1981 July 22, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    The work/service you’re doing here is much appreciated. As I’ve just stumbled across your blog whilst researching Urban Sax, I plan to do a little “scouring” about–my areas of expertise tend to wind down after the early 1980s, so I’m keen to test out some of the later work you feature. Hope it won’t be a bother to you.

    But next rant–perhaps “locusts,” rather than “Chinese people” (?!)

    I would recommend being perhaps a little more optimistic, a little less cynical, about those who choose to enjoy music silently. Often, we feel that further speechifying about art adds little value, at least from ourselves. Silence does not pronounce ignorance, indifference, or ingratitude.

    Keep up the good work,


  11. 11 continuo July 22, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    “Silently”??? You mean, when offered a present, you never say a word of gratitude? Are you kidding? I don’t even believe you. Anyway, help yourself in the music+info offered here.

  12. 12 Soundslike1981 July 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Pardon me if I misunderstood, but I took your avowed disdain for “passive people” to mean those who do not tend toward verbalised examination/explication of the beauty/significance/”importance”/etc. of music; not simply of those without common courtesy. If you only meant discourtesy, fine. But I felt I detected a sort of condescension (and possibly a baffling bit of racism, to boot) that I’ve found to be a weirdly common counterpoint to the generosity of those who ‘curate’ music/mp3 blogs.

    I’m a big opponent of old-style hording/rarification/mystification amongst uber-music-geeks: the scarcity/obscurity of ones music does not make one “special” in any way. And I’m a big proponent of sharing music–especially the o.o.p., the obscure, the unduly forgotten–as a means toward ending old notions of exclusivity in musical appreciation. The only thing that should matter in identifying deep appreciation of music is passion–not access, not connections, not “knowledge,” not how much money one has to spend. But when free dissemination of music seems to come not wholly freely, when it comes with a need for explicit recognition of some specialness on the part of the sharer–well, it’s still a public service, but it seems to me slightly less noble than it might be, and a little less of a real break from the traditions of music snobbery.

    I’m not saying one shouldn’t hope for a simple “thanks” as a sharer, or that that’s an unreasonable “payment” for anyone. But I’m not sure I’d go around spouting racial epithets at those who don’t manage one; nor expressing relief when fewer people hear the work you’re sharing, since ostensibly it’s about getting the music to more people than had the chance to hear it “the first time round”. Ultimately all I was saying was that if your personal benefit in creating this blog was the fact that it feels good to know more people rather than fewer are enjoying high-quality art–it might do you some good, ease your troubled mind, if you didn’t presume that “passive” participants were failing to ‘properly’ appreciate the music, or to appreciate your efforts.

  13. 13 continuo July 23, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    It seems ironical to be accused of snobbery just because I’m not reposting Soulseek music on this blog. I wish someone could teach you how to rate blogs more accurately and not as mere mp3 repositories a la Soulseek. Your comment is appreciated, anyway.

  14. 14 Soundslike1981 July 26, 2008 at 12:06 am

    I’m not sure how that follows, or what you even intend to convey–that you are in fact “special”?

    I haven’t been particularly interested in blogs, and while the better amongst them (of which yours is one) are clearly more curated than typical free-for-all music sharing, I don’t think anyone needs to be “taught” to appreciate them. They’re not art, they’re not charity. They’re still just sharing other peoples work (in cases like yours,) not generating new content, however obscure their focus, and as such it seems a bit odd to get testy about being a “repository”. Do you think you’re achieving a rarefied oeuvre here, a cumulative thesis to enlighten your visitors? Take it all a little less seriously and you probably won’t find yourself casting racial pejoratives around because some presumed unwashed masses have enjoyed–but in the wrong way–the gift you’re giving.

    I don’t think my comment is appreciated, particularly, because it doesn’t seem to have been understood or engaged in any way.

  15. 15 daniel70 August 8, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Dear Continuo,

    what can i say? sorry to not have posted earlier, as i have been dl-ing from your blog quite regularrly over the past month or two.. i recognize the time and work you spend on maintaining this blog, and am truly grateful for that! i hope you will continue to do so for times to come…

    with due respects,

  16. 16 Don April 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I am rather new to the “blogosphere” and what seems to separate yours is not only the beautifully rare, fascinating and esoteric music but the historical context, overview and comments you give.It’s a cut above to me. My thanks.

  17. 17 continuo April 25, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Don. Thanks for the compliment. This blog is slowly becoming a modest encyclopedia of the obscure, for which I merely try to provide clues and whereabouts.
    You’re own music would be very welcome on this blog, if you’d send along some mp3 files from hard to find releases. Feel free to contact me at
    Thanks again for dropping by, Don.

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