Its not easy being a musician these days. Gone are the days of recording and releasing an album and simply releasing it into the market place, playing a tour to promote it and hoping for the best. There have been plenty of ways that musicians and record labels have tried in the past to draw attention to themselves. Colored vinyl, limited editions, extra tracks, free gig tickets - they've all been flogged to death in the past. Now it's time to move on into the age of technology and find other ways of attracting attention and selling more units. Canadian band Metric have been around for a few years now and their last two albums, "Fantasies" and "Synthetica" (which featured a great cameo vocal from none other than the recently departed Lou Reed) have been damned near perfect indi rock masterpieces. Always willing to experiment with something new, the band have put together this beautiful looking iOS app that lets you play around and remix songs from the album as well as delivering some great visual effects to keep you amused while you do it.
To be honest, I'm surprised that other artists haven't taken on a more aggressive stance when it comes to releasing music these days and one has to admire Metric in taking on such a powerful product and presenting it so well. The app gives you the chance to interact with and create unique new versions of all the songs from the band's superb "Synthetica" album yourself. It allows you to remix all 11 tracks from "Synthetica" as well as the previously hard to find "Synthetica Reflections" companion album. Then you can re-sequence them in whatever order you feel like. The app - put together by innovative app creation team Snibbe Studio who created great apps for Bjork, Passion Pit and Philip Glass in recent years - is quite beautiful and inspired by the work of the late-Sixties Italian architecture collective known as Superstudio. When the band recorded the album they were inspired by the work and imagery of the collective and the images presented are quite stunning and eye-catching. If you want to try the app out and see what it can do you can check out the free track "Lost Kitten" with each additional song costing under a dollar. You can download them all for around eight bucks.
It's great to see artists moving into new areas of music and artistic collaboration and I hope this beautiful looking interactive music app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch will be the start of a new era in music. The Synthetica app let's you remix, filter and sequence all the songs from the band's last album and make them their own. It's a very easy to use app that lets you mess with all the instruments, timbre, tempo and sequence of the music just by touching the screen - you'll get the hang of it in just a minute or two - and you really need no musical skills at all to get involved. There are also some pretty cool little visuals that you can play around with too. This is a great app for the band - it gives them another road to selling their music - as well as their fans who can create unique versions of their favorite songs as well as getting a visual treat to accompany them. Go Metric!