Sutemos.net refers to itself as "The subjective e-zine". I'm not sure what that means, but this Lithuanian site does a fine job of releasing interesting electronica via the web. Intelligent Toys 3 is their fourteenth release overall, and the third in their "Intelligent Toys" various artists series. For a compilation released via a Lithuanian website, there sure are a lot of familiar names here: Bitcrush, Bauri, Ochre, Tim Koch, Praveen, Manual. A pretty nice roster and the participation of so many "published" artists just goes to show the respect that Sutemos has earned in the underground electronica scene. These guys know their stuff.
Best of all, it's totally free. Sutemos are not only making interesting electronic music available, they are making it available for free. So you have absolutely nothing to lose by checking them out.
Intelligent Toys 3 contains a whopping 94 minutes worth of music. Since i am old-fashioned and like to listen to CDs, i burn these downloaded MP3 compilations to CD format, so that i can carry it in the car, etc. This sampler thwarts me by being too long, but i guess since these people have fully embraced the apple-scented grasp of digital culture, it doesn't matter too much to them. Well, it inconveniences me, but i am not going to complain (too much). Free is free, after all.
With 94 minutes of free music, there is much to enjoy. Let me discuss, briefly, a few of the highlights here.
SubtractiveLad and Bitcrush kick things
off with Denouement a song which, literarily speaking, should come towards
the end of the compilation. It starts with a series of synth tones that remind
me of the opening chords to the theme song from the original Star Trek series.
For those first few seconds, i almost expect to hear William Shatner. Then
SubtractiveLad and Bitcrush start layering in more sounds, layers of synths
dancing around each other. The song lacks those great, hard Bitcrush rhythms,
but still moves along quite nicely.
St. Lucius Waits by Digitonal is a dubby piano tune a la Loscil. Digitonal play keyboards and acoustic guitar lightly, then echo the living crap out of them. There is a light beat, and eventually some strings come in. This is good ambient work.
Nostalgin by Sleepy Town Manufacture is a very interesting tune. It is kind of Autechre-y, and kind of Boards
of Canada-like at the same time. That is to say, it mixes lush analog keyboards and synth washes with crazy computer-mangled beats. The overall effect is still pretty mellow, but i am particularly impressed with the unique ways that the song progresses. Sleepy Town Manufacture keep me wondering, and i am rather impressed. The fact that this act is one of the Flagship Artists of Sutemos.net is even more interesting. There are several free downloads available on the site, and hearing this song had made me want to explore more of the downloads. So look for more reviews in the future!
Manual contributes the tune Eliya, a nice light combination of strummed
guitar and strange beats. Typical for Manual, but as enjoyable as all of his
Nighthiker (Lackluster Remix) by ENV(itre) tinkles along under echoing
keys like something from Ova
Looven, while in the background there is a scratchy radio sample and
some heavy beats. It's a very Orb-like
tune, with a nice head-bopping groove to it. Lackluster, in fact, seem to
be pretty Orb-influenced. They contribute
a song of their own here, Wallow, and this tune really could have
come off of the BadORb.com sampler. It is very much in that vein, like The
Orb after Thomas Fehlman replaced Thrash. Very interesting.
Overall, there is much to enjoy here, and of course the price is right. People interested in the current state of non-dancefloor electronica would do well to check out Sutemos.net.