Phantom Circuit #52

By | November 5, 2010

Featuring an atmospheric set of live electronic music by Clutter. The musician behind Clutter, Shaun Blezard, talks about some of his many current projects, the Open Circuit evenings, the creation of Soundonation and why it was time to retire his prolific netlabel Earth Monkey Productions.

Use the player above to listen to the show or listen at

Playlist for Phantom Circuit #52

Available from 6th November 2010

Artist Track Source
Biosphere Transit Insomnia
Interview with Shaun Blezard (Clutter) – part 1
Clutter A Man Would Like to Survive [Live in Ulverston, Cumbria, 24th September 2010]
Interview with Shaun Blezard (Clutter) – part 2
Clutter The Darkest Hour [Live in Ulverston, Cumbria, 24th September 2010]
Interview with Shaun Blezard (Clutter) – part 3
Clutter The End of Solidarity [Live in Ulverston, Cumbria, 24th September 2010]
Clutter Statistical Life Expectation
Interview with Shaun Blezard (Clutter) – part 4
Glissando With a Kiss and a Tear The Silent Ballet: Volume 8
Carole Samaha Mitl el Helm Helm
Arc Vel Cycling Canals [Soundcloud]

3 thoughts on “Phantom Circuit #52

  1. gurdonark

    Thank you for an excellent show. I’ve been a Clutter and Earth Monkey fan since I first happened upon the Earth Monkey artist 4th Alternative’s “New Dawn”. Verian Thomas and I formed the netlabel Negative Sound Institute about a year after Earth Monkey formed, and it was exciting to see its progress as we progressed. We are not on hiatus at NSI, but our releases are quite infrequent. Small enterprises have their own inertias.

    I think that the early netlabel folks (if we treat Earth Monkey as perhaps the start of the “second wave” just after the early movement) tended to imagine netlabels as a “scene” or a “movement”. Now the terms I would use are more like a mechanism or a process for releasing music. I see netlabels now less as movements and more as little free public libraries of music.

    In this sense, I don’t share Shaun’s sense that the movement is no longer special–it’s just gone global, and local, and filled with side roads and by-trails. I like the idea that the world has become an endless array of small time music-sharing.

    A free netlabel is a worthwhile thing. But it’s not an unswerving duty–it’s a kindness. Just as nobody expects authors to spend all their times giving free readings, everyone understands when a musician wishes to go a different route than running a public free forum for music. Yet Earth Monkey is a fine library–like the library in a cool, Cumbrian Atlantis.

    Nothing is more fun than making songs from donated samples–and I hope to donate a can-jo solo or the sound of a Texas prairie to Shaun in the near future.

  2. Clutter

    Some great points raised in Gurdonark’s post. I think I probably over stated the case at times, the trouble I always find in interviews is that they are in real time and no editing of thoughts can happen.

    I do stand by most of what I said, certainly on a personal level of wanting to move ahead and be on a better footing financially as music is how I make a living, with no day job to fall back on.

    I would like to say though that I do still love the net label scene, it has made me many friends and I still regulary contribute exclusive tracks to labels I love, and still download a great deal of net label material. I guess I was just trying to make a case for me finding my way along a path and why I moved away from running Earth Monkey – I am really proud of what myself and the artists achived with EMP and still love and listen to our releases on a regular basis.

    I think the shear number of new labels, with varying levels of quality control has made it a little stagnent maybe. I don’t know, maybe I was just a little jaded after 3 years of really hard work and needed to concentrate on my own art more. I’ll have to think more about this, but wanted to reply to an amazingly insightful comment. It is fantastic to get stopped in your tracks and to have to re-evaluate your thoughts like this.

    so thanks Gurdonark for raising the issues you did and to Phantom Circuit for giving us a platform to be heard in the first place.


  3. gurdonark

    Thanks for the reply, Shaun. I think it’s great what you did with Earth Monkey and with the other projects you’ve done–in particular the work with younger folks to introduce them to experimental music and music-making.

    I am all for musicians making money. I think it makes perfect sense to pursue other avenues than free music, which make more income. The last thing I’d want to do is suggest that “music must be free”. Free music is a sharing and a gift–not a duty. I’m just glad that you and the other earth monkey artists made so much music free. You deserve every credit for that, as it’s great to hear what you’ve done.

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