MPFree - January 2016
Space People - Cars
Friday 29 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
For our Friday MPFree we’re going full on cosmic, with this glitchy drop from NYC, via another planetary system. With off-kilter vocal samples falling into a deep grove, it’s a tune that deserves an immediate 2nd listen. Which is lucky, because you can download it below.
Just before the New Year, the NYC-based bedroom producer known as Space People released his impressive twenty-track debut beat tape titled SHMM on the choice New York imprint Styles Upon Styles (S.U.S.). The entire tape was recorded at his parents’ house and, where he revealed that he’d only listened to Earth Wind and Fire whilst making the album. If that’s what it takes to create sounds like this, then we’re well on board.
Landside – Red Forest
Thursday 28 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
Our MPFree today sees the bringing together of Iceland and Italy. No, not frozen pizzas, but Landside, a collaboration that’s gifted us this brooding, ambient tune. It’s been getting under our skin all week so we thought it was time to pass on to you.
Landside is the debut collaboration between Italian producers Hunter/Game and the Icelandic band Kúra. The sound draws as much from the deep vibe and melancholic ambience of Kúraʼs reflective, dubby moods, as the more insistent groove of Hunter/Game's dancefloor roots. ‘Red Forest’ is the first track born of the project, with vocals provided by fellow Icelander, Fanney Osk.
We/Or/Me – Dreaming Heart
Wednesday 27 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
We’ve picked a wistful one for our Wednesday MPFree, with a serene ballad from We/Or/Me. On the coast of Lake Michigan, a weary traveller stares over the water in conversation with someone departed. Come on over and listen in with us.
We/Or/Me is the musical alias of Bahhaj Taherzadeh, an Irish-born, Chicago-based musician. This delicate track is the second single from his upcoming new record Everything Behind Us Is A Dream, due out this Friday (29th Jan). Produced by Adam Selzer (The Decemberists, M.Ward) what we’ve heard so far suggests another gem in a string of intimate, ethereal folk records. He’s over from The States with a single UK gig in London on 17th February, so get yourself down to the Harrison Pub for what’s sure to be something quite special.
Grand Salvo – Bird
Tuesday 26 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
For a Tuesday treat our MPFree is another bumper offering, thanks to an excellent Antipodean sampler from Bedroom Suck Records. The glorious orchestration throughout Grand Salvo’s quietly soaring tune hooked us in, so we plucked it out of the collection for you.
Grand Salvo is Melbourne songsmith Paddy Mann who’s been releasing material since 2000, with his last offering, Slay Me In My Sleep, landing in 2012. Bedroom Suck Records is a label also based in Melbourne, who are celebrating last year, and looking forward to the next with this eclectic sampler. ‘Waste-a-Life: Bedroom Suck Records 2016’ is crammed full of great stuff (an Elton John cover from Scott & Charlene's Wedding? Yes please) so don’t waste yours and grab the lot.
*This is a name your price album, so it's up to you if you want to support new music ;-)
Kinder Than Wolves – Hazel Days
Monday 25 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
To start this weeks’ wave of free music we’ve found this brooding track from Kinder Than Wolves. Ethereal vocals float within a heady wash of guitars, and there’s even hint of brass at the end we reckon. Feel like something you can cope with on a Monday? We thought so.
Hailing from sunny Orlando, Kinder Than Wolves are musical trio Grant Freeman, Paige Coley & Ryan Snow. They met as audio engineers at college and that craft is evident in the layered depths of their sound. This is the first offering from their debut EP Mean Something which is released on 15th April. We’ll certainly be keeping an ear out for what’s to come.
Khotin – Baikal Acid
Friday 22 January, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
We’ve been sitting on this late-night tune all week, just waiting for the opportune moment to point you in its direction. Now it’s Friday and the weekend is upon us; it’s time to get lost in Khotin’s melodic deep house.
Released on Vancouver’s taste-making 1080p, ‘Baikal Acid’ is the title track from Dylan Khotin-Foote’s new EP. The Edmonton producer used to make sweet, sad love songs with little more than a Casiotone under the moniker of Happy Trendy. Now he’s moved away from confessional vocals and deeper into the world of disco and house, but his songs have retained something of that early intimacy; like all the best electronic music, ‘Baikal Acid’ conveys a whole spectrum of emotion without saying a word.
Swaying Wires – Nowhere
Thursday 21 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
For today’s MPfree we’ve grabbed a track that’s perfect for gazing out of the window to, because it’s Thursday and it’s good to take a couple of minutes out. Over to the mesmeric vocals of Tina Karkinen to lure us all away with a wintry and beguiling ballad.
This track is taken from the Finnish four piece’s 2nd album I Left A Burning House which came out on Battle Worldwide last Friday. Lauren featured another track of theirs on her 6 Music Recommends show the other day, but this moody, melodious single is yours for free. 2016 is looking like the year Swaying Wires could swing into full view.
My Autumn Empire – The Following
Wednesday 20 January, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
After a break from the blogosphere to reveal the 6 Music Festival line-up, we’re back on the hunt for free music and looking to make up for lost time. Today’s offering is a woozy and ominous bit of psychedelia from the West Midlands’ My Autumn Empire.
Taken from the excellently named Dreams of Death and Other Favourites, ‘The Following’ is a misty slow-burner of a song; sprawling, cinematic, and deeply creepy, it seems to take its cues as from traditional pastoral folk and Italian horror scores in equal measure. This is multi-instrumentalist Ben Holton’s fourth record as My Autumn Empire, and something of a departure from the brighter pop sound of previous efforts. The album is available now on Wayside and Woodland.
Leaf Erikson – Cypress feat. Intricate Dialect
Monday 18 January, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
Slip into another week with a smart and smooth piece of hip-hop nostalgia. Leaf Erikson’s intricate and soulful ‘Cypress’ throws back to a golden age of Detroit rap.
Offered up as a taste of new EP, Hidden Gems – out now on Fifty Records – ‘Cypress’ features smooth, jazzy production from fellow Detroit native, Shady EV, and a guest spot from Intricate Dialect. The album aims to "paint a picture of hip-hop's resurrection", a statement of intent that sits well with the MCs’ acrobatic interweaving verses and the crate-digging showiness of EV’s production, recalling a time when rappers told stories and Dilla’s beats reigned supreme.
*Be advised: the downloadable version of this song features some strong language.
Thomass Jackson – Simon (Alternate Arpped Version)
Friday 15 January, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
From Le dame Noir Records, purveyors of the deepest and darkest disco around, comes a wonky Thomass Jackson re-edit to kick-start your weekend. The spaced-out ‘Simon (Alternate Arpped Version)’ is your MPFree today.
Offered up as free download by the good folks over at XLR8R, this new track from Mexico-based producer Thomass Jackson appeared in its original form on last year’s Think People EP. Prior to that release, Jackson put out bangers on a selection of esteemed imprints, though it appears he’s found a home at Parisian label, Le dame Noir; his ominous, sci-fi influenced grooves sit happily alongside the most eerie and ominous of their sublime late-night disco roster.
Arca - Urchin
Thursday 14 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
Today’s MPFree is all about light and shade, chaos and serenity, grime and purity – you get the idea? Arca released ‘Urchin’ at the end of a massive 2015 and we think it’s a perfect display of the beauty and tension present in all his music.
Dalston based, Venezuelan born Alejandro Ghersi, AKA Arca had a pretty good 2015. He released his sophomore album Mutant on Mute in November, having already received co-producer credits on Bjork’s Vulnicura in January – not bad bookends. He shared another track ‘Monstruosidad’ just a week before ‘Urchin’, which is the kind of productivity we love when the tracks are this great.
Shannon and the Clams - Corvette
Wednesday 13 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
We’re going sultry and vintage for our midweek MPFree, with a brooding track from Shannon and the Clams. ‘Corvette’ takes the nostalgic trope of romance behind the wheel of 50s car, and morphs it into an altogether darker, timeless image.
‘Corvette’ was the lead single from Gone by the Dawn, the fourth and latest LP from Bay Area trio Shannon and the Clams. Cody Blanchard (singer and guitarist) Shannon Shaw (singer and bassist) & Nate Mayhem (drummer and keys) are old hands at giving the past a contemporary twist, beautifully honed on their latest release. It was out on Hardly Art records last September, an outfit describing themselves as a ‘scrappy little record label located in Seattle’. Well if that’s scrappy then we don’t want tidy.
TW Walsh – Young Rebels
Tuesday 12 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
We thought today needed something solid and uplifting in the MPFree slot, and this driving, scuzzy gem from TW Walsh fits the bill we reckon. Describing himself as Can meets Bo Diddley, this tune is the first offering from a new album ‘Fruitless Research’, which is ironic given our delight at finding this free nugget on world wide web for you.
Timothy William Walsh has been a mainstay of the indie community for over a decade, as a past member of Pedro The Lion, Headphones and The Soft Drugs, and as an experienced engineer (mastering the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Damien Jurado). This track features on his new album Fruitless Research, which is released on Graveface Records on 12th Feb (there’s a free gig to celebrate if you happen to be in Massachusetts too).
*follow link, right click song title and 'save link as' to download
Real Cosby – Like Ya Do
Friday 08 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
For our final MPFree of the week, we’re turning to Colorado based label Shoeboxx Recordings. Their third annual compilation dropped at the end of last year, and nestled among the tracks was this nugget from collective boss Real Cosby. A mellow but invigorating end to the week we reckon.
Shoeboxx Recordings was setup by Paul Banker (AKA Real Cosby) back in 2012, and has been releasing ‘pillowy beats between the sheets’ (to quote their Soundcloud) out of Denver since then. Their compilation VOL. THREE is dedicated to the ever-growing community of artists and musicians they surround themselves with every day, and by the sounds of the collection, Colorado’s a pretty symphonious place to be right now.
Little Simz – Sea Level (ft. ALXA + Mick Jenkins)
Thursday 07 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
We’re heading deep under water for our Thursday MPFree. After 2015 saw the release of her lauded debut album, North London’s Little Simz still had time to release ‘Drop X’ at the end of December. We’ve plucked out ‘Sea Level (ft. ALXA + Mick Jenkins) for you; because it’s hypnotic, off-kilter and brilliant.
This is Little Simz (AKA Simbi Ajikawo) fifth ‘Drop’, released on her own label AGE 101. It marks her tenth solo release (hence the X) which is pretty good going for a 21 year old. Her debut album A Curious Tale of Trials & Persons was released in September 2015 and was nominated by Gilles Peterson (of this parish) for Album of the Year at his Worldwide Awards. She’s currently on the road, so go and check her out. After all, if Gilles likes it, it’s good. Simple as.
*This is a name your price album, so it's up to you if you want to support new music ;-)
New Order – Tutti Frutti (Tom Rowlands Remix)
Wednesday 06 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
For our midweek MPFree we’re revisiting one of our favourite records of last year. New Order’s triumphant show for us at Maida Vale in October is still lingering fresh in the memory, and they've just released a huge remix of single Tutti Frutti courtesy of friend and regular collaborator, Chemical Brother Tom. Now that really is spoiling us.
Tom Rowlands and the New Order gang are obviously enjoying each other’s company at the moment, with Tom producing ‘Singularity’ and ‘Unlearn This Hatred’ from the bands monumental 2015 return, Music Complete. The Chemical Brother’s admiration for the band has always been apparent (Bernard Sumner providing vocals to 1999’s ‘Out Of Control’) and in an MPFree Xtra Xclusive - you can still celebrate their 20 years of brilliance by listening to their ‘Chemical Christmas’ show for 6 Music (it does contain more New Order) by clicking HERE!
Douglas Dare – The Edge
Tuesday 05 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
Hey folks, for today’s MPFree we’re serving you up eleven for the price of one thanks to our friends at Erased Tapes. Collection VII is a New Year offering from the label, featuring highlights from Nils Frahm, A Winged Vistory For The Sullen, Rival Consoles, and this exclusive, delicate offering from Douglas Dare.
Bridport native, now London based singer-songwriter Douglas Dare, released his debut album Whelm on Erased Tapes back in 2014. This latest, haunting offering and is a ‘very rough desk mix’ from his new record, and is one of two exclusive tracks on the compilation (the other being a Rival Consoles remix of Ólafur Arnolds & Nils Frahm = yes please). The lo-fi lyrics declare “Set out on a path, without a map or dial. Thank you explorer for the edge.” Erased Tapes in a nutshell.
*to download the entire compilation, click this link, enter your details, follow instructions, then head to the 'Downloads' page.
DJ Shadow - Swerve
Monday 04 January, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
Happy New Year folks and good luck to all those back at work. We’re right here with you! The good news is that we’ve got a brand new DJ Shadow track as our inaugural MPFree of 2016. It’s called ‘Swerve’, it’s the first cut from a new LP, and it’s a banger.
It’s been over a year since Josh Davis AKA DJ Shadow’s Liquid Amber EP, so he dropped this hypnotic track to tide his fans over whilst he works on an as yet untitled new LP. Promised this year, the new material will come ‘in all shapes and forms’ and with the zigzagging directions taken in this track alone, we’re pretty excited about it.
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.
Everybody loves a spot of free music, so open your minds and get downloading now.