So I finally got around to getting my hands on _Oscillator_.

27 March 2007

Long-time readers of my website know that I've been a fan of the band Information Society for years on end - ever since their first big single (What's On Your Mind? (Pure Energy) hit the airwaves. The band has been through this, that, and the other thing over the years, and now they're back together and have a new album coming out. Last week the first single from their upcoming album (entitled Oscillator) was released on the Net only to downloadable online music stores like iTunes.

Now, I've got a pretty big chip on my shoulder about downloadable music stores because so many of them restrict what you can do and where you can listen to the songs you download with DRM, digital rights management, which happens to be anything but. I'm kind of quiet about it because I'd rather let my dollars do the talking for me. Contrary to what the RIAA might say of most of the people on the Net, I don't have any problem with paying for music but I'm always on the lookout for good music that doesn't suck. InSoc, knowing its fans are by and large computer geeks who know what time it is, released Oscillator on more than just one music site - a few of them don't use DRM, so I spent some time researching the online music stores they listed in this post to determine which ones didn't use DRM.

This evening I settled on, which offers monthly subscriptions for downloading high-bitrate .mp3 files (between 177 and 320 kbps) of the songs they have for sale. I signed up for 50 downloads per month at $14.98us plus thirty (30) free downloads for my trial offer. Of course, I downloaded Oscillator immediately, and then replaced my copy of Don't Be Afraid, which my friend April from undergrad at IUP never returned before I left (though I did leave rather precipitously).

To quote the great Derek C.F. Pegritz, this is my jam. This is worth a monthly subscription to eMusic.

Also let me say this: In addition to not infecting their wares with DRM, they also don't seem to care what OS and/or browser you're running. They offer a dedicated file downloading utility for MacOS and Windows, but if you're not running either of those you can download tracks one at a time. Due to the fact that web browsers developed after 1999 have no problem downloading more than one file at a time, this is irrelevant.

As such, I must strongly recommend for all of your legal music downloading needs. I also strongly recommend that you pimp to any and all bands you might happen to be friends with to sell their albums in .mp3 format through. I haven't browsed much of their selection yet but what I have seen so far has been a ray of CRT-emitted light in an otherwise bewildering day.

The tracks I've heard so far are definitely a nod back to InSoc's work circa 1988-1989 - it's happy, poppy music chock-full of sawtooth waves (hi, Kurt) that work miracles on an overclocked, synthetic soul. I wasn't so sure about Christopher Anton taking over as point man for the band, but I'm willing to give him a chance. After some pondering, his voice sounds a little deeper than I'm used to hearing in synthpop music.

Like I keep telling various fandoms (most of which have thrown me out for doing so), 'different' and 'new' do not necessarily imply 'broken' or 'bad'.

I highly recommend track number two, the Kasino Mix of Back In the Day - you can definitely cut a rug to it. As for I Like the Way You Werk It... it's a favourite of mine, to say the least.

Okay. Enough fan-wanking. I'm off to bed.