MPFree - January 2015
Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnald’s - Four (Darkstar Remix)
Friday 1 January, Team Mary Anne Hobbs
Happy New Year! Make your first day of 2016 the best one yet by downloading and listening to this Darkstar remix of two of Mary Anne's favourite artists of 2015, Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnald’s...
"This is a slow-burning interpretation by Darkstar of the beautiful original track", she says. The original version was released as part of a compilation record called 'Collaborative Works' which came out via Erased Tapes in October.
Juce – The Other One
Hey you! Free download...more info to follow shortly!
Citizens! – Lighten Up (Davidian Remix)
Wednesday 28 January, by Frank Team Laverne
What with all the excitement of yesterday’s festival announcement special, we didn’t have time to give you your MPFree. Sorry! Here’s an absolute banger of a remix to make up for it.
Citizens! have been in Paris, recording the follow-up to 2012’s Here We Are, but to give fans a little something to tide them over, they have dropped the previously unreleased ‘Lighten Up’, as well as five eclectic remixes to go along with it. Our pick of the bunch is this version from 22 year-old, Nottingham-based, Davidian. The rework takes the all-out house approach, finding the lurking groove within the original cut.
Phoebe Robinson – For Now
Monday 26 January, by Frank Team Laverne
Welcome back to another week of free music. We’re kicking this one off with a delicate piece of nu-folk from Norfolk’s Phoebe Robinson. It just might be the perfect track to ease you into a Monday afternoon.
‘For Now’ is the title track of Phoebe Robinson’s debut EP, which came out last August. The self-released CD sold out promptly, but you can still get it as a ‘name your price’ download via her Bandcamp. There’s not much more we can tell you about this young upstart, except that she sums up her music as being influenced by ‘the nu-folk movement and the crazy feminists of the seventies.’ Sounds good to us.
Aero Flynn – Dk/Pi
Friday 23 January, by Frank Team Laverne
The weekend is more or less upon us, but school isn’t dismissed just yet. Your final MPFree this week comes from Wisconsin’s Aero Flynn, and it’s a master class in refined post-punk.
Aero Flynn is the project of Josh Scott, a veteran of the same Wisconsin music scene that birthed Bon Iver and Volcano Choir. His band, Amateur Love, was apparently a source of great envy for Vernon in the early 2000s – the two frontmen dipped into the same pool of musicians for early incarnations of their respective projects, but it was Scott’s group that drew the most attention. After abruptly ending that project, Scott has spent the last decade flirting with record deals and new projects before drawing back at the last minute. Finally, an album from the reclusive musician surfaces, produced by Bon Iver himself. It’s clear that the release is a landmark event for all those familiar with Scott’s work, and it’s not hard to see why. ‘Dk/Pi’ is a powerful yet delicate demonstration of its creator’s potential.
Dele Sosimi - Sanctuary (Titeknots Remix)
Thursday 22 January, by Ashley Team Laverne
Today’s MPFree is from a bit of a legend! You may not know the name, but you’ll certainly appreciate this guy’s talent. He is from the Egypt 80 band, famous for backing Mr Fela Kuti, and today’s MPFree was his keyboardist no less. Ironic then that his track Sanctuary has been remixed by the synth-toting fancies of Titeknots.
Dele was actually born in Hackney, East London, but soon returned to his parents’ native Nigeria at the age of four. This track is a beautiful coming together of the ethnic sounds of Nigeria and the dance floor friendly vibes so associated with Titeknots. He’s a mysterious south coast producer, and Tru Thoughts recording artist, who says he makes “house music for dancers, not head-nodders”. Download now.
Rebekka Karijord – Use My Body While it’s Still Young
Wednesday 21 January, by Frank Team Laverne
On today’s MPFree, the frighteningly multi-talented Rebekka Karijord sings about the rapid passage of time. It’s a feeling we can all relate to; we’re already hurtling towards the end of January leaving little but a trail of spent bandwidth in our wake, all in the name of delivering you free tunes.
Rebekka Karijord is a Norway-born, Sweden-based composer/performer/writer who has written music for a variety of media, including film, theatre, and dance, as well as working steadily as an actress. ‘Use My Body While it’s Still Young’ initially saw releases on her second album, We Became Ourselves, which is just about to get the deluxe reissue treatment. The track’s urgent, electronic backdrop provides the perfect platform for the central theme of the ticking clock.
*Follow the link, then right-click the song title to download.
Jens Lekman - Postcards #3
Monday 20 January, by Ashley Team Laverne
We all knew that Jens Lekman was pretty prolific, but his latest project really takes the biscuit. He’s planning on writing and releasing a new song every week in 2015. We could actually just make this the MPFree feature for an entire year couldn’t we?
Eerily echoing Paul Simon, ‘Postcard #3’ is about two Australians who, for some reason, decided to get married in northern Sweden, and who convinced Lekman to play at their wedding. Is it fact or is it fiction, nobody knows, but knowing this guy as we do, we’d have to say fact. Stereogum will be posting the songs as they come, so keep an eye. We’re not sure it’s fair to dedicate a feature entirely to Jens for a year, unfortunately.
Yokan System – Klee
Monday 19th January, by Frank Team Laverne
The weekend may be over but we’re not ready to let it go just yet. Today’s MPFree is the club-tinged ‘Klee’ from Japan’s Yokan System, and it should have you casting your mind ahead to Friday already.
Yokan system are Japanese duo, Mai and Tsukasa. 'Klee' is taken from the 'Yokan Teresa' single, out 9th February on Ample Play records. The band cite Warpaint, Björk, and Blonde Redhead as some of their influences, but here we find them at their most vibrant and synth heavy, bringing to mind Crystal Castles, or the early Ed Banger output. Whatever their influences, there’s no denying the power of this bold piece of electro. You can catch them live over here next month:
Friday 13/2/2015 - The Waiting Room, London with Charles Howl
Sunday 15/2/2015 - The Doghouse, Halifax
Wednesday 18/2/2015 - The Social, London
Arca – Love You in Chains
Friday 16th January, by Frank Team Laverne
Sometimes our tireless hunt to deliver free music to you good people sends us casting an eye back through the deep, deep, archives of the internet. Arca might be best known for his incredible production work with Kanye or FKA Twigs, but before all that, there was ‘Love You in Chains’.
Venezuelan-born Dalston resident, Alejandro Ghersi, has been busy making a name for himself as a producer for some of the most innovative names in modern music, but he is also an artist in his own right. His usual style, as showcased on last year’s debut, Xen, is deep, dark, and ominous, so ‘Love You in Chains’, which hit the net back in 2011, may come as something of a surprise to those familiar with his more recent work. It is a warm, soulful, love song that manages to say a lot with very few words.
Chastity Belt – Time to Go Home
Thursday 15th January, by Frank Team Laverne
There are some nights (and bars) kept afloat exclusively by our grim determination to have fun. On today’s MPFree, Seattle art-rockers, Chastity Belt, document one such spiralling night. Everyone should have called it quits hours ago, but no-one does – we’ve all been there.
Formed in Walla Walla, Washington, Chastity Belt are an all-girl four piece who have since relocated to Seattle – a fitting home for their dark, gloomy, guitar-driven music. After a couple of Bandcamp EPs, they released their debut album, entitled No Regrets, on Help Yourself in 2013. ‘Time to Go Home’ is the first single to be released since the band signed to Hardly Art, and it shows Chastity Belt at the top of their game – Julia Shapiro’s slow, drawn out vocals are the focal point here, but equally impressive is the driving post-punk beneath.
Grandbrothers – Wuppertal
Wednesday 14th January, by Frank Team Laverne
As another week rushes by, consider this an invitation to slow down for a moment. The beautiful, piano-driven, ‘Wuppertal’ from Grandbrothers deserves a little bit of your time and attention, but that’s okay – you can download it and revisit it any time you like.
Grandbrothers are German duo, Erol Sarp and Lukas Vogel. The pair met at university in Dusseldorf, and soon began making spiralling, neo-classical compositions that effortlessly skirt the border between electronic and organic music. ‘Wuppertal’ is the first glimpse we’ve had of their upcoming debut album, to be released on March 23rd, and we can only hope that the release lives up to the giddying, cinematic, heights established here.
Forth Wanderers – Painting of Blue
Tuesday 13th January, by Frank Team Laverne
Good old Jersey, or the Garden State, as we like to call it round here; it gave us Springsteen, it gave us The Sopranos, it even gave us our new best pal, Meryl Streep, and now – to cap it all off – it’s giving us an excellent slacker jam from Forth Wanderers, to have and to keep as today’s MPFree.
‘Painting of Blue’ is the second track on Tough Love, the debut mini-album from Forth Wanderers, which is available as a ‘name your price’ download over at their Bandcamp. The Montclair quintet is fronted by Ava Trilling, whose funny/sad musings on suburban life and love are the perfect accompaniment to the band’s woozy, spiralling jams. Chief songwriter, Ben Guterl, has done his homework, here – there are traces of Pavement, Built To Spill, and Jersey compatriots Real Estate, but Forth Wanderers manage to emerge from this understated release sounding very much themselves.
*Just in case you are really, really, easily offended: following the download link will take you to Forth Wanderer’s Bandcamp, where you might chance upon an instance of choice language.
Kodachrome – Cheerdown
Monday 12 January, by Frank Team Laverne
Wet Monday mornings are nobody’s favourite, but we’re here to make it all a little bit better with a synth pop gem that soothes like rain at the window. Today’s MPFree is ‘Cheerdown’ from Kodachrome.
Following on from last year’s excellent album, Aftermaths, Brooklyn duo, Kodachrome, have just brought out an EP of B-Sides and remixes, titled After Aftermaths (har har). ‘Cheerdown’ is the release’s low-key closer, and it shows the usually energetic band at their most melancholy and subdued, with Elissa’s whispered vocals sitting atop a soft, almost ominous, synth line and a slow, scattered timpani beat. You can download the whole EP as a ‘name your price’ download over at Kodachrome’s Bandcamp.
Lxury - Let Down
Friday 9 January, by Ashley Team Laverne
Yesterday it was Warren XCLnce, today’s it’s London-based producer Lxury. What on Earth has happened to spelling, hey? Aptronym hmm? The music is just great, will get you up and moving and is available, just for you, for free download.
Lxury is Andy Smith and his second EP ‘Into The Everywhere’ is out 26th January, it's the follow up to debut EP Playground. He’s also featured on Pete Tong’s Future Stars and Annie Mac Presents, so it’s obvious this guy is going places, and having the Greco Roman label (Joe Goddard’s label) backing you up is no small thing in the dance world. In fact it’s a reason to take note. Download it now to enjoy the old skool samples, rumbling bass and dance floor addictiveness at your own listening pleasure.
Warren XCLnce - Time Is Love
Thursday 8 January, by Ashley Team Laverne
Fancy an entire compilation’s worth of free music? Then today is your lucky day traveller. Again it comes from the land known as Nottingham – Lone was our MPFree on Tuesday - but this time, instead of it being from a producer, it’s from a label, a clothes shop, a visual arts ensemble, and an art collective.
This track is from Nottingham-based company called Mimm and they’ve pulled together some of their favourite artists (including Nottingham’s Lone). Called the Mimm Exploration Compilation, this is apparently the collective’s first compilation for over two years. We’re not sure of the reasons behind the break, but this set of tracks is, again, music to really create some headspace and just gives you the freedom to let you feel what you’re hearing. The wave of dance music with a beating soul is becoming more and more apparent, and Warren XCLnce is a great example of that. London-based and currently unsigned, he’s remixed the likes of Alpines and Sade classic The Sweetest Taboo, which you simply have to check out here. It’s pure excellence.
Hollands – Great White Shark
Wednesday 7 January, by Ashley Team Laverne
I wonder if they have free, downloadable music on Kepler 438b. What would that sound like? Anyway, here on Earth we have more music for your digital collections. Today’s choice cut comes from indie-rock duo Hollands.
They are multi-instrumentalist John-Paul Norpoth, the son of a classical flautist, and violinist Jannina Norpoth, the daughter of Detroit-based avant-garde jazz guitarist Spencer Barefield, and their pulsing indie pop really puts a spring in your step. They’ve basically created a modern take on Mr Blue Sky, mixing fun, folk, rock and elements of classical. Now all we need is the weather to really pep us all up. The track is taken from their debut album, Restless Youth, which was released last November. Check them out.
Lone – Life Time Loop
Tuesday 6 January, by Ashley Team Laverne
Today’s free download comes from that great town known as Nottingham, which is really starting to etch itself onto the contemporary musical map. British producer Matthew Cutler, better known as Lone, is joining the wave of creative and intelligent electronica out there at the moment and this track creates a real space for the mind to wander and…it’s simply superb.
‘Life Time Loop’ has been released as a thank you by Lone, after he tweeted; “Thank you all for making 2014 an amazing year”, followed by the link. And the year that he refers to was, in part, due to the release of new album Reality Testing – released on the impressive R&S Records (the former of James Blake and the like), you simply must try and search out their IOTDXI compilation. You'll be hearing much more from him this year as well, and he plays The Brickworks, Nottingham on 30th January.
Thom Yorke – Youwouldn'tlikemewhenI'mangry
Monday 5 January, by Ashley Team Laverne
Morning downloaders. There was a huge wave of internet excitement when Thom Yorke revealed his new album, Tomorrow's Modern Boxes, on BitTorrent a few months ago. Boxing Day saw it get its Bandcamp release – at last we all proclaimed – and now, to further entice us into TY’s web of experimentation, he’s releasing a track for free.
The song takes its name from The Incredible Hulk – we’re going with the TV series here, and we can safely assume, the comics. But self-releasing a solo album these days is not something that we see all too often, and again it's coming down to the artists to think of new ways of grabbing an audience's attention, rather than the labels. Thom always does a good job of keeping us all guessing what he’s up to. Speculation is still rife that Radiohead are working on new material with Nigel Godrich following the appearance of a random photo of a white record. Plus we're very excited that Jonny Greenwood shared the score for Inherent Vice, the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie based off the Thomas Pynchon novel. The soundtrack includes the Radiohead-written song "Spooks". It's going to be a busy year this one!
Om Unit - March of the Cosmic Diaspora
Friday 2 January, by Helen Team Mary Anne
It’s the first Friday of a New Year & unique electronic producer Om Unit has chosen to celebrate the arrival of 2015 by dropping this sensational new release. It’s called ‘March Of The Cosmic Diaspora’ and if you think the title is a lot deal with, wait until you hear the track, it’s juddering, it’s magnificent, the bass pulsates through textures of sound putting you on edge & shaking you awake into a slightly distorted reality.
Having produced music since he was a teenager, Jim Coles has moved through Jungle, to Turntablism, represented the UK in the DMC World DJ Championships & finally arrived as Om Unit. Having collaborated with the likes of Daedelus, Ital Shek and Illum Sphere, Om Unit has resisted trends and developed his own solid sound.
Flake Music - Spanway Hits
Thursday 1 January, by Helen Team Mary Anne
They might have only existed as an obscure college band if it weren’t for the fact that Flake Music served as the first incarnation of the Shins & delivered the first recorded material from singer James Mercer to the world. In Spanyway Hits you can hear the hallmarks of Mercer’s craft. His delivery may have developed but that melodic style with vocals reaching for the higher notes is there, as is the rhythmic guitar and lyric heavy content
Flake Music released just one record which has subsequently been remastered by Kennie Takahashi (who has worked with Broken Bells) and re-released on SubPop giving you another chance to hear where it all began. It was during his time in Flake Music that Mercer began recording his own music under the name ‘The Shins’ and gradually the other members of Flake Music joined him. So in Layman’s terms, this is very early Shins and it’s pretty good
Everybody loves a spot of free music, so open your minds and get downloading now.