THePETEBOX: Music Geek-Out
I’m an unabashed geek, and my latest obsession takes the form of a guy named Pete from Nottingham, UK. Dubbed THePETEBOX, Pete possesses a mind-blowing degree of musical talent. Using nothing but his voice, a guitar and a set of loop pedals he creates songs that have more sonic complexity and pathos than most full-on bands. Given his emphasis on beatboxing and the complexity of the work, you don’t expect him to have a hauntingly beautiful voice. But he does. Honestly, words don’t do his performance justice, you’ve got to see and hear him yourself.
Bear in mind, all of these were shot in one take, with no pre or post-production sound design; everything you hear is created and manipulated solely by him, live.
Here he is doing a cover of MGMT’s “Kids”
Another sick cover, this time with The Pixies’ “Where is My Mind”
One of Pete’s originals entitled “V.O.D.K.A.”
This kind of marriage between artistry and technology makes me glad to be alive. There has never been a better time to be a creative person, no matter your medium, and Pete embodies this idea perfectly.
To that end, I’m incredibly impressed by the savvy of his release strategy. His debut album Future Loops isn’t being fully released until April 11th, 2012. But every two weeks leading up to the drop, he is leaking a new single to YouTube, Last.FM, Spotify, Vimeo and other major streaming music outlets. The singles are purchasable via Amazon and iTunes as they go live. This is the kind of brilliant, progressive thinking the music industry needs; too bad the major labels will never allow it. This constant-trickle is generating sales, buzz and an increased demand on his tour schedule. It’s amazing what a guy can get away with when his first consideration isn’t DRM control and week one release Billboard rankings.
I’ll be very interested to see how this turns out for him financially. It feels like it could be an impressive example of a successful Louis C.K. style self-release for non-celebrity level talent. I hope it is.
I’ll likely follow up with Pete directly in April to see if he’s willing to entertain an interview about his experience. It would be so satisfying to see raw musical talent financially rewarded in the direct-to-fan promise the web has long held, but so rarely delivered on.