64 Bar Music - an experiment in production

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Last week an old friend got in touch with me. Pete Griffin was always a face on the dance scene around Cardiff and we ran into each other many times about a decade ago. He told me about a project that piqued my interest for its interesting genesis and sideways look at making music work for artists and consumers.

64 Bar Music is a free music project that now spans six albums of mixed music created by volunteer producers, all to 64 bar length, mixed by well-known DJs including, for the latest, DJ Food.

The 64 Bar Music project came about in 2009 when Griffin, also known as DJ Kovas, posted on the Ninja Tune forums and a group of friends came together to make mixes of their own music, all lasting 64 bars and to a specified tempo.

Pete explained the initial concept: "The original challenge was to see how many ways people could interpret a set tempo and a set length. Any style was acceptable, and we've touched on so many styles over the project.

"Everyone has given their time for free, and its a real example of how people can come together online and create something of value, just for the sake of being creative.

"It was never planned to do six albums, we just kept on making them as there seemed to be a will to do so by the people involved, I don't think that will has diminished but the forum is such a creative space, that other projects have been born and maybe it's best to focus on seeing them grow."

Since the launch of the first album, over 40 producers have taken part from all over the globe including France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Russia, Canada, USA, Australia, China and America.

The most recent mix, put together by DJ Food, comes in at 110 bpm, with 28 tracks fused in 52 minutes. You can listen to it and the other albums at 64 Bar Music's Mixcloud or on their blog.

Now, according to Pete, it's time to call it a day: "All good things come to an end and after 8,000 official plays and downloads it's finished."

Listen to him talk about the project and the sixth album:

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