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FAWM is here! Here’s a few musicians to follow

February is upon us, and as many of you may know, that means it's time for FAWM. If you're not aware of FAWM, it is February Album Writing Month. The concept is to create 14 tracks in 28 days.

Over at the FAWM website, musicians can upload their tracks for the community to listen, and receive feedback on their tracks from fellow fawmers. According to the site, there are 2,095 musicians committed to writing an album this month. As it is not reasonably possible to listen to all of those fine folks, I've decided to highlight just a few iOS musicians that I am particularly fond of.

PantsofDeath

I've featured PantsofDeath on this site before, and he's simply one of my favorite musicians using iOS devices out there today. PoD (aka Jon Rawlinson) is a master of percussion, and his subject matter veers from light-hearted comic pieces to the more dark and twisted. His theme for this years FAWM album is centered around, in his words "the terrifying and nightmarish TV programs of my childhood, the products of Acid addled brains of the 60's BBC staff, narrated in clipped received English, filmed in a shed and watched on crappy black and white TV sets." Awesome. He is also creating a running diary on his blog site, which gives some details about each track, including some of the apps used, and background regarding the show being featured.

Here's one track that he's posted so far, about Jimmy Savile, the BBC personality/child molester. It's going to be a very interesting month when PantsofDeath is involved!

PantsofDeath's FAWM page can be found here.


Carbonates on Mars

Carbonates on Mars is yet another musician I've featured here on iOS MARS (see album review for The Interrupted Journey here). Carbonates on Mars, aka Gareth Farmer, is a tough one to pin down with regards to genre. While a lot of his tracks tend towards ambient, his tracks so far for FAWM have been much more uptempo, with some acid glitch stuff going on. Needless to say, I have no idea what direction he's going to go with the rest of his tracks, but I'm definitely along for the ride.

One of his tracks (heard below) called "dew drops on a crystal garden" has a nice mix of his ambient style, along with some really cool lead "stabs".

Carbonates of Mars' FAWM page can be found here.


Supersonic Tartan Death Machine

If you're not familiar with Supersonic Tartan Death Machine (STDM), you've been missing out. The brainchild of Jeff McCarthy, it is a wild mix of many genres of music, with the constant being bagpipes. Yes, bagpipes. But don't think that this is a gimmick. This sounds awesome. From traditional Scottish tunes to rock covers, STDM does it all.

The artist page for STDM provides a list of apps commonly used:  Animoog, Audacity, Audiobus, Beatmaker 2, BeatTime, Elastic Drums, Figure, Glitchbreaks, Guitarism, Impaktor, NanoStudio, ReMaster, Reason 8, Samplr, SunVox, THOR, ThumbJam, Turnado and of course GarageBand for iOS and Mac. As you can see, variety is the name of the game here.

STDM is also going for a theme-based album. This is going to be a sweet trip. Here's a track called "Incarceration", which according to the liner notes sees the lead character Ewen being abducted by aliens.

Supersonic Tartan Death Machine's FAWM page can be found here.


Frozen Lonesome

Frozen Lonesome (aka Steve Raizen) is another favorite musician of mine in the iOS world. I reviewed his most recent album on the site awhile back, and it is in steady rotation during my work day.

Self-described as "electronica, ambient string-fuzz and generally pleasing electronic noise", Frozen Lonesome takes you to some interesting places. For this year's FAWM, Steve is going for a "mad scientist" themed album, which is sure to produce some crazy results.

For the following track, titled "Stay Here and Marry Me", Steve used several great apps, including apeFilter by apeSoft and Borderlands Granular, which I swear on my mother is THIS CLOSE to being updated with some great features (you've got to believe me on this one).


I'm incredibly impressed at the musicians who have dedicated themselves to this challenge of writing 14 songs in 28 days. It's a major task, and a major accomplishment for those who complete it successfully. It is a testament of the artist who can not only possess the creativity and talent to do so, but to actually dedicate themselves to performing and recording so many tracks. I am in awe of these musicians listed here, and the other 2,000+ participating this year.

If you're interested in participating in the future, check out the site over at fawm.org. It's a great idea, and a good chance for you to get a lot of feedback from musicians worldwide.

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