I briefly mentioned the new Kleptones album a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I got a chance to hear the episode of the Radio Clash podcast that included an interview with “Eric Kleptone,” the leader of the Kleptones. Hearing his perspective on his efforts was fascinating.
It turns out that he was in a band and that was unable to get the proper clearances for the sample-based music they were making, so they decided to eschew the legal approach to making and releasing music all together. At first, that might sound like the reaction of a spoiled refusing to play by the rules. But along with the legal approach, they have also eschewed any chance of receiving money for their efforts. They make their work available for free at no small cost (and no small risk) to themselves. And it’s not good just because it’s transgressive or novel. I found Eric’s description of 24 Hours as a sort of aural version of Ulysses or Finnegans Wake (my terms, not his) pretty convincing. And I think Night at the Hip-Hopera is one of the best albums of the decade.
And if you do decide to give any of their music a listen, by all means, download it via BitTorrent to save their bandwidth.