The rise of the internet precipitated a rise in personal musical freedom. Many people became able to produce music for a minimum outlay and with the potential for millions to hear that record online. Peer to peer networks made music exciting again. The same energy that came from punk in the late 70s was felt once more. The idea that music did not have to be created in the way that gargantuan record labels dictated had returned. Of course, these giants fought back, cleansing Napster and turning Myspace into a multi faceted marketing tool. The anonymous nature of the internet, however, means that the major corporations will never be able to prevent the bastardisation of their system, although they can block entry to the mainstream. This column is about those bands who live in cyberspace and artists who buck the system by refusing its rules yet still harbour the irresistible urge to produce great music. The first in this series is about the Kleptones.

Brighton based Eric Kleptone is the man behind the noise that has produced four albums in the last three years, all of which are only available on the internet, from www.kleptones.com. The Kleptones cannot release records conventionally for copyright reasons, as their records are a mutilation of sounds from across the cultural spectrum. This year’s double album '24 Hours' is by far the greatest of the four Kleptones records, a concept record that provides a soundtrack for one long Friday. Starting with an alarm clock at seven AM, the album goes through the day savaging and mashing up records to its heart's content. The eleven AM lull, for example, coolly fits together David Bowie’s ‘It Ain’t Easy’ with the Clash’s ‘Rock the Casbah,’ providing a searing addition to an already iconic song. And so it goes with exquisite corruptions of pop standards, such as the ten PM track that blends Aerosmith, Tori Amos, the White Stripes, Mirwais, Nine Inch Nails, Radio 4 and Primal Scream.

'24 Hours' is somewhat of a departure for the Kleptones however, their previous records being much more confined to Hip Hop. Their first record 'Yoshimi Battles the Hip Hop Robots' is just as it sounds, the Flaming Lips record with a variety of dubbed over rappers, from Pharcyde to the Dead Prez, a format that Danger Mouse notably aped with his 2004 'Grey Album'. Due to their second record, 'A Night at the Hip-Hopera', the Kleptones web hosts were served with a cease and desist order from Disney, the owners of Queen’s original record that had Freddie Mercury’s warblings replaced with very, very angry rap. The Kleptones are now part of a new British film called 'A Swarm of Angels', which intends to be a downloadable, democratic and internet funded project.








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