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CULTURE CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK Free Your Mind by Josh Rosenblatt AST SUMMER A RECORD LABEL, RECESSION Recordings, was born that spit in the face of everything a record label does. Not only did it not provide physical copies of its recordings to interested buyers, it didn’t offer anything for buyers at all. Buyers, as it turned out, were not welcome. Instead, all the music on this label was available for nothing. In the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Recession Recordings offered itself as a musical equivalent of the breadlinemanna downloaded from heaven, or in this case, Houston. The dominant sound on Recession is electronic, but its ethos is about as punk as you can get. Recession’s roster of artistsHouston DJs About This Product, edgy minimalist duo the Jerks, ambient artist Algebra, collagist Dino Felipe and othersare stubborn experimentalists who have liberated themselves from convention simply by refusing to sell anything. As a consequence, the music on Recession doesn’t need consumer appeal, and that makes for challenging listening. About This Product, for one, doesn’t seem interested in making their music welcoming. Their blend Recession Recordings ido liberated itself by refusing to sell anything. DECEMBER 10, 2010 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 33