The evolution of blocSonic continues with “Songs About Something XE”

Cover of Just Plain Ant 'Songs About Something XE'

We set things off in 2007 with our premiere release, “netBloc Vol. 1: The Opening Salvo”. Even at that early stage, I knew that I wanted blocSonic to be a bit more than your standard “netlabel”. I didn’t want blocSonic to be completely self-serving… it was to be a promotional vehicle for netlabels, artists and the netaudio culture. However, what I didn’t know was if artists and netlabels were going to be supportive of the compilation idea and send me lossless versions of their music to be included. Happily my worries were for naught. Everyone involved has been extremely supportive over the years and my positive experience with the netBloc series got me thinking about original releases. Our first original release was back in February 2009, Just Plain Ant’s “Dig Deep”. Well here we are nearly a year later and I’ve got another premiere release for you to enjoy and it’s the talented Just Plain Ant bringing it once again!

So what is the Xtended Edition (XE) series? Before answering that question, let me start by explaining why the XE series. In the first 3 years of putting together the netBloc series, I’ve seen netlabels come and go. Some of those netlabels who’ve gone inactive had some very talented artists among their rosters and those artists’ releases have languished since the apparent demise of their labels. That got me thinking about re-releases and what form a re-release would take on blocSonic. I began to think about the many ways that the mainstream music industry have handled it. One particular re-release format that I’ve liked (when Universal has done it with classic albums) is the “Deluxe Edition” series. Universal’s series usually consists of the first disc being the original release and a second disc containing perviously unreleased material – demos, outtakes & alternate versions. Well our XE series is quite similar, though in the future won’t be limited to two discs. Each release in this series will feature the originally released album and at least one other disc containing demos, outtakes, alternate versions & remixes. Where we stray from the “Deluxe Edition” model is that each of ours will also feature completely new album art. As with all our releases, each is made available in three high-quality audio formats — FLAC, 320kbs MP3 & 192kbs MP3.

After deciding to go forward with our own special format of re-releases it was time to approach the artists. Among the releases that got me thinking about re-releases in the first place was Just Plain Ant’s “Fly”. An excellent release he released via Jamendo that I felt was worth more shine. Unfortunately that was not to be. As happens often, artists sometimes grow weary of early releases that they feel no longer represent their sound to the fullest. I could respect that. However, Ant was interested in seeing his terrific Just Plain Sounds release “Songs About Something” re-released in this format. At first I was hesitant, only because my original plan was to resurrect releases from netlabels who’ve shut down. That hesitation didn’t last long though. I quickly adapted the plan to include releases of living and breathing netlabels. However way you look at it, the goal of the Xtended Edition series is to bring more exposure to releases.

With the release of “Songs About Something XE” the evolution of blocSonic continues. This edition of Just Plain Ant’s foray into the world of trip-hop and downtempo delivers over two hours of soulful, chilled beats! Disc one is the original album in it’s entirety and disc two is packed with new Just Plain Ant songs and remixes by RVA (Richmond, Virginia) talents such as Annu, Oh.Bliv, Sleaze and Rowan. So, thanks again for downloading and listening. I hope you enjoy this premiere XE release, there are more on the way! As always, if you dig this release… spread it around… share with friends… share with strangers… share it with anyone.

Check out the album here.

Mike Gregoire