“Color in a world of monochrome” is the tagline for the thirteenth netBloc compilation release from blocSonic, and there couldn’t be a more appropriate way to describe this collection of photos, artwork, and of course fantastic free music.

A feast of visual and audio delights, there’s more than enough here to keep you interested for the long haul, and to make you want more.

Much of the time I find free compilations a little boring, because they often come across like a bunch of random songs thrown together to try to draw attention to a label or a blog. But when I was introduced to the world of blocSonic’s netBloc releases, I had to learn to listen and look at free compilations in a different light. These are collections that each have their own purpose, carefully assembled into packages that look as good as they sound.

It would be impossible to discuss the extraordinary nature of netBloc music without giving equal attention to the visual aspect, the virtual packaging that for me is just as interesting and engaging as the songs. It’s really not enough just to download the music – you’ll want to have the album booklet and the package art, as well . So much time and attention has been given to making these more than just music releases – they’re multimedia packages that will keep you listening, watching, and thinking for many hours, wrapped up in a fantasy world where images and music are just two halves of the same art form.

This particular netBloc (volume 13) is of particular interest not only because the songs fit the theme of “color in a world of monochrome” (i.e. bright gems that stand out from the grey background of noise), but because this theme has a more literal meaning, as well. The PDF booklet features the innovative photography of Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii, taken from the Library of Congress’ collection of his work. Gorskii was the first person to come up with a method for taking color photos, and the results, from the first decade of the 20th century, are nothing short of stunning. The photos and the accompanying graphic design within the album booklet make for great browsing while you’re listening to this eclectic set of tunes – pop it on your Kindle or iPad, kick back on the sofa, and immerse yourself for an hour or so. You’ll be treated to alternative pop, post-rock, electronica, and even French hip-hop, all tied together with amazingly vivid imagery.

Related Links:
netBloc 13 main page
All blocSonic netBlocs
netBloc 13 on Archive.org

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