MPFree - March 2015
Nils Frahm – Wall
Tuesday 31 March, by Frank Team Laverne
This past Sunday saw the birth of a new holiday: Piano Day. Invented by neo-classical legend, Nils Frahm, the aim of the day was a fairly simple one – to step back and appreciate the joy that a piano can bring. Nils helped us all towards achieving that by dropping a surprise album, entirely free of charge.
It’s hard to choose a highlight from Nils Frahm’s beautiful new album, Solo. Mary Anne Hobbs announced the release on the inaugural Piano Day with album closer, ‘Four Hands’ – a gentle and dazzling demonstration of Frahm’s virtuosity. The low key, Philip Glass reminiscent ‘Circling’ shows the piano at its most stripped back and essential. ‘Walls’ is a powerful, almost aggressive, use of the instrument – though no less beautiful for it. Thankfully, there’s no need to choose a favourite track from the German composer’s new album, because it’s all available for free download. That being said, records like this don’t come around too often, and if you do choose to support this project further, by purchasing the CD or vinyl, all proceeds will go towards funding the creation of the Klavins M450 piano, the prototype of which was used to create this stunning album.
*Follow the link to download the entire album for free
Cafe Lanai – Lanai
Monday 30 March, by Frank Team Laverne
If Friday’s MPFree was on all-out banger to set you up for the weekend, think of today’s offering as a helping hand towards easing you out of it. This gentle, house-tinged track from Vancouver upstarts, Café Lanai, should make your Monday morning that much easier.
The eponymous track from Café Lanai is the first we’ve heard from the duo’s upcoming debut EP, entitled Paradise. With any luck, it should be a fitting name for the release; we can only hope it’s all as warm and bright as this shimmering summer tune. You can get that record on the 30th of June.
DJ Haus – Feel the Change Comin’ On (Innershades Remix)
Friday 27 March, by Ashley Team Laverne
Can you feel the change? Today’s MPFree is a real dirge into late night old school house. Hoorah for Fridays we hear you cry. And the author of said piece? Well, he has a very appropriate name.
DJ Haus is the “bossman of the digital rave factory Unknown to the Unknown”, a
production obsessive championed by the likes of Ben UFO and Hot Chip. He was in London recently with an Unknown to the Unknown takeover at Boiler Room and there are lots of this guy’s sets online. If you like your haus hard (sorry) with a splash of rave, this is the DJ for you. This particular track is remixed by Belgium producer Innershades, and one to watch on the dance scene in 2015.
Tough Crowd - Forget Yesterday (Peet Remix)
Thursday 26 March, by Ashley Team Laverne
It’s not very often we get to feature Hip Hop from Leeds, but today shall be one of those days. We’ve been enjoying the likes of Badbadnot good recently, who mix-up old school Hip Hop with elements of Jazz, and that’s exactly what Tough Crowd excel at. And this is only their debut record.
TC is a sextet from Leeds who emerged in 2014. Consisting of many “familiar faces within WY Hip Hop”, the group features the likes of Flame Giller; MCs ExP & JND, Luke Wynter of Roller Trio & Colin Sutton of The Abstract Hip Hop Orchestra. WY BTW is West Yorkshire. They’re part of the Style Warrior imprint, which was originally set up to do small runs of T-Shirts celebrating old school UK Hip Hop. They’re now branching out into small runs of 7” and this is part of one of them. DJ Yoda is a fan as well, so we’re know they’re going far this lot.
*bit tricky to find this one, but click through and head to the 3rd option down, entitled ‘digital track’.
Angharad Drake – Swing
Wednesday 25 March, by Merrily Team Laverne
Our MPFree today is from Angharad Drake, a singer-songwriter based in Brisbane, Australia. She has made a name for herself locally through her live performances. Our Australian friends Tripple J have shown her support – and you can hear why! Her voice has a refreshing simplicity that comes with ease, which makes ‘Swing’ a joyful daydream for your ears.
‘Swing’ is the title track from her 8 song EP, which she released in 2014 via Bandcamp.
Devil Say Dance – Icarus Fly
Tuesday 24 March, by Merrily Team Laverne
The five piece alternative rock band going by the name of: ‘Devil Say Dance’ provides today’s MPFree. Crediting The Pixies, Blur, Radiohead and Pink Floyd as their influences, this stormy melodic track is a gem. It’s packed with delicate vocals and gentle hypnotic rhythms giving it a dreamy moody feel.
The track is available on a free sampler album from Foof Records: ‘Foof Yourself Vol 2’ which also features tracks from Soulonaut, Tonight We Fly, Forrest Cokely, Ziegler Co and Harriet J Woodcock.
Icarus Fly can also be found on Embers, the debut album from Devil Say Dance which was released earlier this year.
The Fireworks – Runaround
Monday 23rd March, by Merrily Team Laverne
A new day, another MPFree and today it comes from London/Brighton quartet The Fireworks. The band have described their sound as “loud fuzzy pop” not only could we not describe it better ourselves we like it!
(Then right click on the track name, below the picture)
Runaround is the second track to be taken from their debut album Switch Me On, which was released last month on Shelflife Records.
Ibeyi - Ghosts
Friday 20 March, by Ashley Team Laverne
Our very own Steve Lamacq is currently as SXSW Festival, so you may have heard his broadcast yesterday, and he’s back there today, with the likes Spring King, Blossoms, SOAK, Gengahr, the excellent Little Simz and Jack Garratt. And to give you an even greater scope of what’s going over in Austin, Texas NPR have collated over 100 artists’ tracks to give away for free download.
If this was cheesy television, it’d be called a bonanza. We’ve picked out French-Cuban twins Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz, better known as Ibeyi. Their self-titled debut is certainly worth your attention, as it’ll be appearing in many Best Of end of year lists. They were also in session with our very own Gilles Peterson a little while back. Although the burnt embers of Trip Hop were mainly confined to one city – one of the UK’s strongest exports? Portishead, Tricky, Massive Attack – Ibeyi are bringing something altogether more haunting, stripped down and organic. Their sound instantly feels classic. Their father was the famous Cuban percussionist Miguel “Angá” Díaz, who played with the Buena Vista Social Club. And although he apparently passed on nothing of his talents or know-how, there’s either something in the gene pool…or the water. Download now.
Twin Peaks - Mirror Of Time
Thursday 19 March, by Ashley Team Laverne
Your daily dose of free music heads to Chicago today, and to a quintet who have released an entire album’s worth of demos for free download. The album also comes with the message: “a glimpse into the bedroom feels of each songwriter and hopefully a treat for everyone :)”
We played ‘Irene’ and ‘I Found A New Way’ a fair few times, so it’s a band we’ve had our eye on for some time. Their second album Wild Onion was released last year and saw Cadien, Connor, Clay, Colin, and Jack reach new heights in lo-fi pop-psyche. These demos are a beautiful demonstration of how strong their song writing is; by stripping away the production you are left with a bare bones band creating haunting melody and racket. Download and enjoy now :)
Herbert - Suddenly
Wednesday 18 March, by Ashley Team Laverne
The MPFree took a sabbatical for one day only due to yesterday’s excellent 6 Music Recommends day. If you missed it, you simply must invest as the 6 Music presenters played nothing but new music for an hour each…all day. But onto matters of the day, and today’s free download is part of a 19-track compilation that can be yours for £0.00.
The compilation is from artists taking part in Convergence; a series of events that bring together music, art and technology and looks specifically at ‘futuristic thought’ and where the music industry goes to next. Pantha du Prince, Gary Numan, Tricky, Andrew Weatherall, Vessels, Andy Stott, and Batida all have played, or will play, live. George Clinton discussed his work a couple of days ago, and Matthew Herbert revisited his Herbert moniker last night for a pretty special set as well as discussing his relationship to technology. He’s also given ‘Suddenly’, from 2001’s classic album Bodily Functions, to the free comp. Tonight, Snow Ghosts play with Portico at London’s Village Underground.
Barbarossa – Imager
Monday 16 March, by Ashley Team Laverne
The one they call Red Beard (in Italian) is back with brand new material. Following 2013’s excellent Bloodlines album – featuring the audacious Turbine – James Mathé now prepares album number 3, and it seems he’s maintaining his love of vintage analogue gear.
The album is called Imager and sees the east London musician stripping things back even further to rolling synth rhythms combined with those ethereal vocals. It sees the light of day on 11th May (12th for the U.S.) through the Memphis Industries label, but you can grab this for free right now. Having toured with the likes of the Jose Gonzalez in the past, he now makes an appearance on tape, along with the likes of Ash Workman and Katy Young of Peggy Sue. To celebrate the album, Barbarossa is playing two gigs: one in London on 10th June at The Lexington; the other in Paris a day later.
Fluida - Deep Down (Dub)
Friday 13 March, by Merrily Team Laverne
There’s not much known about the project going by the name of ‘Fluida’. But don’t worry about that – it’s all about the music. Today’s MPFree combines natural and electronic sounds for a percussive tribal house track, we even think it has a bit of a Balearic touch. It’s a perfect MPFree for that Friday feeling.
Debut EP ‘Red Spiral’ is out on April 13 on Southern Fried Records.
Team Morale – Ubuntu
Thursday 12 March, by Merrily Team Laverne
Hailed as ‘the most exciting young production duo”, George Cloke and Oli Dewdeny, from Kent are making some pretty ambient waves with their new single ‘Ubuntu’.
The pair says: “We've always had a vast range of influences. When Team Morale began we had a real identity crisis, unable to settle on what kind of music we wanted to create. With 'Ubuntu' we resolved to fully embrace our influences and deliver a cohesive statement of intent for the EP and the band moving forward."
Ubuntu is the first single off the band’s second EP: Satori which is released on 6 April.
Tame Impala - Let It Happen
Wednesday 11 March, by Merrily Team Laverne
The Australian melodic rockers have only gone and released a brand new track! At an epic 8 minutes it’s one of the best value for no-money MPFrees!
The track is a tasty morsel of what we can expect from the new album, due out later this year. Their last album was Lonerism in 2012. Those Tame Impala boys are spoiling us with new info today as they’ve also announced their summer tour dates which include:
4-6 September: End of the Road Festival
4-6 September: Ireland - Electric Picnic
6 September: Co. Laois, Ireland - Stradbally Hall
8 September: Glasgow, Scotland - Barrowland
9 September: Liverpool, England - Olympia
10-13 September – Bestival
Outfit - Genderless
Tuesday 10 March, by Merrily Team Laverne
Today’s MPFree is courtesy of the Liverpool 5-piece band: Outfit. No Stranger to 6music (we’ve played them before). Singer Andrew has said “This song is about feeling disconnected from your body and your sexuality almost to the point where your self disappears completely.”
Genderless is the first single to be taken from their new album Slowness which is released 15 June on Memphis Industries. Catch them live at The Lexington 13 May or at Field Day in June & Manchesters’ Parklife.
Chromatics – I Can Never Be Myself
Monday 9 March, by Merrily Team Laverne
Our MPFree today comes from a band that loves cinema. Hailing from Portland, Oregon you may recognise the glitzy sound of Chromatics from the soundtrack to Drive and Taken 2.
Ruth Radelet’s vocals are backed by labelmate (Italians Do It Better) Megan Louise from Desire. Songwriter and producer Johnny Jewel creates soft focus synth lines combined with thumping drums for a pure lightheaded melodrama, fizzing and swooning akin to an early M83…or so they say. Sit back and listen and imagine the widescreen.
Vessels – Echo In
Friday 6 March, by Ashley Team Laverne
Today’s free download comes from a band who you always felt were on the verge of greatness, but now with their latest material they might have just arrived.
The Leeds-based quintet Vessels return with "Echo In," a new single from new album Dilate. It’s their third, following 2011’s Helioscope and 2008’s White Fields and Open Devices. The well-produced, blissed-out electronica replaces the frenetic energy of the previous material and really sees them starting to confidently find their sound. The album is also well worth your time, so go forth and prosper. You can also catch them live at the following dates:
- March 11 – The Live Rooms, Chester
- March 12 – Village Underground, London
- March 13 – St. John At Hackney
- March 14 – Start The Bus, Bristol
- March 15 – Rainbow, Birmingham
- March 16 – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
- March 17 – Nice n Sleazy, Glasgow
- March 18 – Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Leeds
- April 25 – Opium Rooms, Dublin
- June 17 – Oslo, LONDON
- July 24 – Secret Garden Party, Cambridgeshire
*just click through, and find the faint grey download button toward the bottom of the article.
The Orange Peels - Headcleaner
Thursday 5 March, by Ashley Team Laverne
Today’s free track comes from a band who describes their music as “West-Coast Headphones Music”. Perhaps they should be a Headphones Moment instead, but for now we’ll stick with the MPFree feature for them, as luckily they’re giving away their brand new track ‘Headcleaner’ for free.
This is the first new music we’ve seen from Allen Clapp, Jill Pries, John Moremen, Gabriel Coan since their fifth album Sun Moon in 2013. The Boulder Creek, California quartet – now based in the San Francisco Bay area – will be releasing their 6th album Begin The Begone, on 15th May, so keep an eye out for it. 'Head Cleaner' starts off with a pop-grunge intro before descending into an atmospheric soft rock sing-along. There just aren't enough of those around these days, so get downloading.
Aphex Twin - Lannerlog
Wednesday 4 March, by Ashley Team Laverne
Richard D. James seemed to have a ‘quiet’ few years from actually releasing music. But since his return on the dark web last year, he now cannot stop releasing stuff. It seems he’s raiding the archive and releasing everything from musings and experiments, to full-on produced and mastered tracks.
‘Lannerlog’ was part of a fresh batch of over 170 songs released online last week. There was a comment that went with the track on Soundcloud, that was later removed: “Got so many tapes left and just found another box that I hadn't seen in many years and not given to anyone, wanted to get as many of the old ones up." Luckily, some plucky fans have broken down this newly released material in pretty frightening detail, from song titles and samples, to where they’ve heard the track before. It’s actually a bit of a work of art, check it out here.
Rozi Plain – Actually
Tuesday 3 March, by Ashley Team Laverne
Today’s MPFree comes from show favourite Rozi Plain, a London-based musician originally from Winchester, who specialises in an Alt-Folk (yeah, we went there) that will have you longing for days of yore.
Rozi is somebody we’ve had our ears on for some time now, and as soon as we heard this track we started playing it. Luckily, it’s now available as a free download from her website. It’s brand new and from her third album Friend, released 4th May. Her previous albums were 2008’s Inside Over Here and 2012’s Joined Sometimes Unjoined. She also released a split 7” last year with Racheal Dadd, and it seems everything she comes into contact with, we just have to play. So no doubt you’ll be hearing plenty more from her in the future. And if her sound tickles your eardrums, then you can check her out tonight in Bristol, tomorrow in London, 5th Manchester, 6th Dublin, 7th Morecambe, 8th Kingston Upon Hull, 9th Glasgow, 10th Leeds and 12th Brighton.
Static In Verona – Blindfold
Monday 2 March, by Ashley Team Laverne
Hola! MPFree rolling into town once more to scour an area of the internet the size of Wales, to bring you the latest and best in the free music. Today’s download comes from Chicago-based Rob Merz AKA Static In Verona, and this guy really knows his catchy pop.
This track is taken from second album Everything You Knew Before You Knew Everything, which is available to stream on his Bandcamp page right now. Although the album has been around for quite a while now, it’s new to our ears and it’s only right that we present it hence forth. Expect the likes of Wilco and Bon Iver, with some cheeky pop sheen and big bells.
Everybody loves a spot of free music, so open your minds and get downloading now.