MPFree - March 2016
Palace Winter – Soft Machine
Thursday 31 March, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
As we wend our we towards the end of another week of rather excellent MPFree’s we thought it was time for a bit of psych-pop. Palace Winter’s new track merges a hazy, melodic vocal with a dark, ghostly electronic hum, creating a satisfying blend as oxymoronic as the title.
Palace Winter are Australian singer-songwriter Carl Coleman and Danish producer and pianist Caspar Hesselager. They’ve been recording with each other since 2014 and their self-recorded, self-produced debut album Waiting for the World to Turn is released on 3rd June on Tambourhinoceros Records. As well as winning our ‘favourite label name of the week’ award, the two tracks we’ve heard from the record so far (this and previous single ‘Positron’) have peaked our interest immensely. They’re over in the UK in May playing various Dot to Dot Festivals, so if you’re in the vicinity of Manchester, Bristol or Nottingham, you got no excuses.
Wedding - Kaleidoscope View
Wednesday 30 March, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
Our MPFree is bathed in a sea of analogue warmth if you fancy taking a midweek dip? Wedding manage to channel a bit of Lennon mixed with the mellow delivery of contemporaries like Kurt Vile and Mac DeMarco: for this particular track they went into the studio with the simple task of evoking ‘Phil Collins after a heavy one’. Job done we reckon.
Originally released back in October ‘Kaleidoscope View’ was one of four tracks from Wedding’s self-titled EP. The self-produced affair saw the duo – Thomas Craig and Zachary Taube – record straight to tape machine and was released last year through London’s RIP Records. In fact you can still pick up a physical copy on cassette to truly embrace that tape authenticity. The track popped into our view again thanks to a new video that’s just gone up, with the pair stalking the streets of Berlin, their new home. The great news is that they’re currently finishing work on a follow up EP due to land this autumn.
Submotion Orchestra - In Gold (xxxy Remix)
Tuesday 29 March, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
Submotion Orchestra’s kaleidoscopic blend of bass, electronica, jazz and dub is given a Berlin twist in our Tuesday MPFree. Our friends at XLR8R recently offered up this hypnotic, soulful number which we thought would help boost energy levels for all those back from an Easter break.
Having released their fourth LP Colour Theory on Counter Records back in February, Submotion Orchestra are about to head back on the road, taking their renowned live show to venues and festivals alike. Colour Theory was so well received that Counter decided to recruit a troop of producers to pull together a remix album, with Berlin based xxxy (pron ‘triple ex why’ if you want to casually drop into conversation) providing this house infused cut. The In Gold remix EP is out now, as is the album, which is plenty to keep you going for an hour or so.
Ali B & Jungle Brothers – Gimme That
Monday 28 March, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
To kick off another week of MPFree’s we turn to bona fide hip hop pioneers Jungle Brothers. They’ve come together with London based DJ Ali B and delivered a prime slab of transatlantic hip hop. We give you ‘Gimme That’ for nothing. No grabbing.
Since founding the Native Tongues collective (with De La Soul & Tribe Calle Quest) in the late 80s, Jungle Brothers have released 8 albums, a greatest hits comp and over 20 singles. What’s more the original line-up - Mike Gee, Afrika Baby Bam & DJ Sammy B - took to the road last year playing everywhere from London’s Jazz Café to Bestival. Producer, former Fabric resident, and friend of 6 Music Ali B is a huge fan, and pays his respects on new cut 'Gimme That'. It’s due for release on 29th April on the Jam City label with a couple of remixes chucked in too.
Cate Le Bon - Wonderful
Friday 24 March, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
To cap off another cracking week, we’re delighted to have Cate Le Bon’s latest offering as our MPFree. Full of all the idiosyncratic twists and turns that you’d expect from her, it’s precisely the kind of up-beat, off kilter mood we needed after having to trudge in to work a bank holiday. Not that we’re bitter.
With her much-anticipated 4th album Crab Day due for release on 15th April on Turnstile, Cate Le Bon has shared a free download of the 1st single from it, 'Wonderful'. She’s described it as ‘an awkward love song accompanied by an equally awkward video’ featuring a freeform dance-cum-exercise routine. Directed by regular collaborator Casey Raymond, you can watch it here; we’re planning on using it as inspiration for our morning exercise in studio. If you want to see similar moves in action, and hear the rest of what promises to be an amazing record, then Cate’s touring the UK at the end of May.
TVAM – Gas & Air
Thursday 24 March, Matthew Mills Team Laverne
As it’s Thursday we thought you’d be ready for a distorted, twitchy MPFree. The excellent work of TVAM takes the ambience of Boards Of Canada, distorts it with the grit of Suicide and weaves in the some Adam Curtis style found footage. The result is pulsating, intriguing, and unlike anything else we’re listening to at the moment. And in this case, it’s free.
TVAM is Wigan born musician and artist Joe Oxley, whose latest track ‘Gas & Air’ is released at the end of April on Static Caravan. Following the excellent single ‘Porche Majeure’ released at the end of last year, TVAM seems to be popping up at a pleasingly consistent rate at the moment. Recently announced on the shortlist for Liverpool’s GIT Award 2016 (celebrating new music in the area, other nominees include Stealing Sheep, Hooton Tennis Club and Bill Ryder Jones amongst others) he’s also playing Manchester and London in April and May. His shows combine disintegrating VHS visuals with his heady acoustic, creating a dizzying brew we’re not going to miss.
Melt Yourself Down – Jump The Fire
Wednesday 23 March, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
As it’s Wednesday we thought you’d be ready for some apocalyptic post-punk exotica. So grab your passport and let this hydra-headed serpent take you for a continent-hopping voyage around a globe spinning rapidly off its axis. It is with these words Melt Yourself Down introduce their latest album, and you can download a single from it today.
Both this single, and their 2nd album Last Evenings On Earth, will be released on The Leaf Label on 29th April, and the record sees the 7 piece in typical exploratory form. Themes include “translation, immigration, overcoming obstacles” explains saxophonist Pete Wareham “and most of all, human unity.” Pete and the rest of the band, Kushal Gaya (vocals), Ruth Goller (bass), Shabaka Hutchings (saxophone), Satin Singh (percussion), Tom Skinner (drums) & Leafcutter John (electronics/production) will be taking their incendiary live show on the road from April through to June. You can find tour info here, and check them out when they play a live session for us on 13th April. Excited.
*This is a name your price single, so it's up to you whether you want to support great music
Ink Project – You Don’t Care
Tuesday 22 March, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
We’re keeping things ambient for our Tuesday MPFree, turning on, tuning in and channelling our inner Eno’s (but chucking in a slinky bass line for good measure). The Ink Project create tapestries of mysterious, lo-fi soul, and we guarantee after this taster you’ll dive in for the whole record.
The ever-evolving collective Ink Project released their 2nd full-length album Satellite On on 13th March via the Blind Colour label. ‘You Don’t Care’ is a small sample of the genre-spanning work core members Jez Lloyd, Coreysan and Melanie Dymond have been creating. The rest of the record features guest appearances from Chinese songstress Fifi Rong & Submotion Orchestra’s Simon Beddoe, weaved into an intoxicating blend of beats, soundscapes and soulful vocals.
She Makes War – Paper Thin (featuring Tanya Donelly)*
Monday 21 March, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
We find that Monday MPFree’s work best when they lull you into action. We’ll always go contemplative over abrasive. This tune from She Makes War’s new record is just that, and the lyrics are even included on the Bandcamp page to pour over. Just the job.
She Makes War is the moniker of Laura Kidd and this track is taken from her third album Direction Of Travel, out on The State51 Conspiracy on April 8th. Having already released the raucous, driving lead single ‘Drown Me Out’ at the start of the month, this delicate offering places her vocals centre stage. What’s more she’s joined by Tanya Donelly (of Breeders, Throwing Muses and Belly fame) whose harmonies are the perfect augmentation to Laura’s beautiful lyrics. She Makes War will launch her album on 26th March in Bristol, before taking to the road in May, so make a date and go.
*This is a name your price track, so it's up to you whether you;d like to support new music ;-)
LUC B & HLMNSRA – ‘Asap Rocky Balboa’
Friday 18 March, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
Be warned, our Friday MPFree is a slippery affair with some pretty heavy bass. Born from a London collective who originally met and swapped ideas online, this collaboration is a heady mix of beats and samples perfect to throw some end-of-week shapes to.
This track features on ‘BEAT.IT – Vol. 2’ the second compilation by Beat.it, a project founded by the Italian born but London-based producer Railster. Originally started as a Facebook group, where all the artists could share their latest productions, tips and information – it quickly became a creative hub. This comp, released at the end of last year, comprises of 20 tracks and features 38 artists, with the process ‘aiming to foster new connections across the group members and to generate new unexpected mix of styles’. Well, that it certainly has achieved.
Thursday 17 March, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
For our Thursday MPFree we’re dipping into the world of fashion, sort of. This new Peaking Lights tune is the 1st of a number of ‘random releases’ with the band promising ‘larger projects to follow’ in 2016. Hurrah we say, download this gem and keep your ears tuned for what’s next.
This track came about thanks to sound designer Michael Gaubert, who was commissioned by luxury perfume company Regime des Fleur, to create a piece of music with actress Chloe Sevigny. Several versions were premiered at their New York Fashion Week show in February, and this one from Californian duo Peaking Lights sets the spoken word over a suitably sunny, warm backing. The band announced this was the 1st step into the world on their own ‘flying with the wings of our own label Two Flowers Records’ which bodes well for 2016 in our books.
Flamingods - Rhama
Wednesday 16 March, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
What do you get when you mythologise your favourite animal? Our MPFree today comes from Flamingods, whose name transforms their no.1 creature and transports it to another realm. Take a trip into their psychedelic third record with this intoxicating first taster.
‘Rhama’ is taken from Flamingods upcoming album Majesty which comes out on the 10th June on Soundway Records. Split between London and Bahrain, the band (Kamal, Charles, Sam, Craig & Karthik) experiment with instruments sourced from around the world to conjure their heady, visceral sound. They'll be heading on the road from late April to early July, and picking up many a festival slot come summer, so you should definitely get down and get woozy.
Download De Lux – ‘Oh Man The Future’ (Daniel.T. Remix)
Tuesday 15 March, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
We’re going back to future today, as we revisit one of favourite tracks of last year. De Lux’s post-disco cautionary vision ‘Oh Man The Future’ has been given a pretty boomin’ remix, and it’ll cost you £0.00 to download it.
Originally featured on last year’s excellent Generation (released on Innovative Leisure) ‘Oh Man The Future’ encapsulates everything great about Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco's synth-disco-new-wave-lo-fi-pop. It’s bold and pretty darn funky. Remixed here by LA based DJ, producer and record collector Daniel.T. it’s given us the perfect excuse to spin it again. And probably revisit the original too.
Himmelsrandt – Drops
Monday 14 March, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
Ease your way into another week with a fragile and moving composition from Germany’s Himmelsrandt. With crystal clear strings that cut through the noise like sunlight through a cold day, ‘Drops’ is perfect for the shifting season outside.
Himmelsrandt is the project of Koblenz composer, Peter Honsalek. A graduate of Munich’s University of Music and Performing Arts, he has just released his debut album, Schneeland, through Unperceived Records. ‘Drops’ comes from an earlier EP, Rain, self-released through Bandcamp last summer and available as a ‘Name Your Price’ download.
Clap! Clap! – Playfulness
Friday 11 March, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
If you’re short on weekend plans and within reach of the capital, you should take a look at this year’s Convergence festival – a multimedia, multi-venue celebration of innovative music and art, headed up, this year, by Dave Okumu. The organisers have handily put together a free sampler of featured artists, from which we have plucked today’s dancefloor-ready MPFree.
Clap! Clap! is the moniker of Italian producer, Cristiano Crisci. With a background in jazz, his brand of sparse, beat-centric music is as indebted to Chicago house as it is to tribal rhythms – the latter of which acts as the focal point of the twitching ‘Playfulness’. You can catch Clap! Clap! with Syria’s biggest musical export, Omar Souleyman, at London Koko on the 16th of March as part of Convergence festival, and can find more information about the other events on offer over here.
Left With Pictures – Long Lane
Thursday 10 March, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
Another day, another download. Today’s offering comes from orchestral pop ensemble, Left With Pictures. ‘Long Lane’ is their stark, shimmering tribute to Elliott Smith.
‘Long Lane’ is the first glimpse of Left With Pictures’ third album, Afterlife, which comes out in April on Organ Grinder Records. For this album, the London band worked with Richard Formby, who has produced Darkstar, Ghostpoet, and Wild Beasts – the influence of the latter act can be heard in the acrobatic vocal work of Stuart Barter, which stands front and centre of this delicate track. 'Long Lane' is apparently an ode to Elliott Smith, another voice echoed in the confessional tone at work here.
TV Girl – Taking What’s Not Yours
Wednesday 9 March, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
What better way to get over a relationship than to itemise all that you have gained and lost? In ‘Taking What’s Not Yours’, TV Girl do so literally: a cigarette lighter, half a pack of lentils, a Thomas Pynchon novel, all uprooted in the turmoil of heartbreak. Just tragic.
Taken from their second album, Who Really Cares, which came out last month and is available through Bandcamp, ‘Taking What’s Not Yours’ is that rare song which defies expectation and genre descriptors; as indebted to golden era hip-hop and big beat as they are to Death Cab’s sad-sack indie, the LA band manage to walk a paper-thin line between humour and profundity, often ticking both boxes at once and landing just shy of outright silliness. Hats off to them.
*Available as a ‘Name Your Price’ download – the honesty box of contemporary media. Whilst you can get this track, and indeed the whole album, for free, you’re also welcome to pay for it, should you feel so inclined.
Beverly – Crooked Cop
Tuesday 8 March, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
Celebrate Tuesday with some indie-pop of the jangliest ilk from Brooklyn’s Beverly. Their ‘Crooked Cop’ is an infectious bittersweet gem, and it’s today’s free download.
Having undergone a major line-up shift since co-founder Frankie Rose (formerly of Vivian Girls) moved to the opposite coast, Beverly are now gearing up to release their second album, Blue Swell. Drew Citron worked with producer Scott Rosenthal and a revolving line-up of musicians, including former Drums member Johnny Pierce, to keep the band going, and the resulting record is out May 6th on Kanine Records. You can download album track, ‘Crooked Cop’ for free right now, then catch the band at the following shows in May:
May 16 Manchester, UK – Soup Kitchen
May 17 Bristol, UK – The Louisiana
May 18 London, UK – The Victoria
Ry X – Only
Monday 7 March, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
Hello! Welcome to another week of free music. We start with some cabin in the woods-y folk from Australia’s Ry X. This pastoral cut is called ‘Only’ and it’s yours to keep for absolutely zilch.
Having previously released music with The Acid, Ry Cuming is now gearing up to release his first solo record as Ry X. The album’s called Dawn and it comes out in May via Infectious, but you can download the Bon Iver-channeling ‘Only’ right now. Acquaint yourself with it before he tours the UK in May.
20 Brighton The Great Escape Stage Host Royal Albert Hall / St Georges
21 Oxford St John the Evangelist
22 Coventry Warwick Arts Centre
24 Bristol St Thomas the Martyr
25 Leeds Leeds College of Music (Part of Beacons Presents)
26 London Union Chapel
Heartbeat(s) - Eastside
Friday 4 March, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
What would Friday be without a dancefloor-ready MPFree to mark the occasion? Step to the plate, Heartbeat(s), with a chiming techno-infused banger that should see you through to the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Formerly one half of ultra-Internet electronic duo, LOL Boys, Heartbeat(s) is the project of Vancouver-based artist Markus Garcia. Having put out music on a host of taste-making labels (including the incessantly excellent 1080p), Heartbeat(s) releases his new four-track EP, Forever, Violet, via Miami-born-Brooklyn-based Loveless Records. With nods to Detroit techno, Chicago house, and an undeniable squelchy disco lilt, ‘Eastside’ is a kaleidoscopic snapshot of where electronic music is at right now.
Yila – Overload
Thursday 3 March, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
As we tumble towards the end of another week, we’ve got our sights set on Friday night – with its trudging beat-driven core and colliding modular synths, Yila’s ‘Overload’ is exactly the track to take us there.
‘Overload’ is the first single from London producer, Yila. Featuring members of Floating Points’ live band and released on Rob da Bank’s new imprint, Silver Bear, the track meditates on ideas of digital waste. “There’s a weird sense of us all talking about the same things but really not engaging with important subjects enough”, he says of the song. “It feels like someone else is already doing it so why should we bother standing up and fighting for what we believe in? Just comment on a Facebook post and it rewards the brain.”
Tacocat – Talk
Wednesday 2 March, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
The results are in: the award for ‘Most Internet Band-Name’ goes to… Tacocat! Appropriately, the Seattle quartet’s ‘Talk’ is all about navigating relationships in a digital age – you could call it millennial post-punk, or post-millennial punk, or you could just listen to the damn thing. Yeesh.
Taken from the band’s forthcoming third record, Lost Time – to be released on the unbelievably consistent Hardly Art Records in June – ‘Talk’ runs on barely contained frustration and agitation, a reminder of the feminist oi scene that Tacocat was born out of. Indeed, whilst their name may bring to mind the tumblr apathy for which this generation has become renowned, Tacocat’s brand of power-pop is about as politicised as it comes – a trait that saw them recruited to provide the theme-tune for The Powerpuff Girls reboot. You can catch the band across the UK in May.
Paper Tiger – I’m a Cyborg (but That’s Okay)
Tuesday 1 March, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
0, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 1... bleep, bloop, we’re cyborgs, too. Come join us in this squelchy robot disco, where Paper Tiger are the house band and everyone has got the latest VR helmets and trainers that flash when you walk.
Hats off to XLR8R for pointing us in the direction of the latest from Leeds’ electronica experimentalists, Paper Tiger – their first new material in 18 months. Aptly tagged as ‘SPACE FUNK’ the record puts us, and presumably every person who hears it, in mind of some kind of intergalactic party. Indeed, the outfit themselves offer this forecast for their new music: “Expect this to 'go off' in the club, provided your club is on another planet.”
Everybody loves a spot of free music, so open your minds and get downloading now.