Wondercore Island is a Melbourne-based label/ artist management and PR company label that supports a range of future soul, alternative and hip-hop acts, including Clever Austin, Ainslie Wills, Jaala, Oscar Key Sung, Vulture St. Tape Gang, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Sampa the Great, to name a few groups and artists. You can check out more from this umbrella group/ thing on Vimeo, YouTube, Soundcloud and perhaps most conveniently on Bandcamp, where they have a number of mixtapes and other musical collections available to stream and download for free.
A few months back, Chance the Rapper released Coloring Book mixtape (Soundcloud), "one of the strongest rap albums released this year, an uplifting mix of spiritual and grounded that even an atheist can catch the Spirit to." (Pitchfork) That mixtape features a ton of guests, including Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Future, Justin Bieber ... and Noname. Who? She's a Chicago rapper, formerly known as Noname Gypsy, and with her own mixtape, Telefone (Soundcloud), she "has only further solidified her reputation as a deft and hyper-intelligent young rapper, at first a one woman Digable Planets for the melodic Chicago contemporary, but quickly something wholly unique." (Noisey/Vice)
Elènne (ɛ'lɛn) makes a wide range of dance music, from lush vocal pop (Between Us feat. Mothica), something with chopped beats and vocals (King of Thebes), and a bit of marching band percussion with strings and ... I don't know what (Burning Bridges). Many of the tracks are free to download via Soundcloud or Dropbox, plus Elènne has a Bandcamp account. For more music, here is Elènne's Yellow Mix #1, a pick of current favorites and inspirations. For even more musical selections, Elènne picks a track per week on Facebook.
El-P has recruited an all-star cast of producers* to help him deliver the album in its full feline glory. But first, we needed cats... Run the Jewels don't take themselves too seriously, because Meow the Jewels (playlist, NSFW lyrics) is really happening. You can download the remix album for free, or buy it in various formats, with all proceeds of the album will go to charities that benefit victims of police violence. [more inside]
The Very Polish Cut Outs is a label/ collective/ collection of that has been busy bringing Poland’s lost grooves to a new world audience, everything from disco, funk, soul, electronic and psychedelic for the past few years. They're active on Facebook, where you can get previews of new releases and hear more funky fun music, or you can go straight to the source with their Soundcloud and Mixcloud accounts. Of course, there's even more, if you're down to dig. [more inside]
If you enjoy laid back/ hazy/ chilled/ lo-fi hip-hop type beats, you may well enjoy the sounds of the Saikei Collective, which is based in the Philippines but includes a fluid roster of like-minded cats* from around the world, making original beats and remixing some tracks you may recognize. Since April 2015, the collective has posted nine releases on Bandcamp, consisting of five compilations, one collection of "two-player" collaborations, and three solo releases. [more inside]
Björk has been getting involved with TRI▼ANGLE Records a good bit, after The Haxan Cloak, a notable inclusion on the Tri Angle roster, was involved making Vulnicura, as well as producing a new remix. Back in February, Björk represented Tri Angle on Rinse FM with Holy Other and Celestial Trax, and then in May, she dropped in on Tri Angle's 5th Anniversary/Birthday Party to mix for an hour, and uploaded that set to Soundcloud (if you prefer YouTube, someone uploaded the set in four parts: 1, 2, 3, 4 - set to repeating video recorded from the show). If you'd like some more weirdness for your weekend, Nicolas Jaar recently shared a new, non-syncing version of Pomegranates (previously) as a free download linked through Facebook and Twitter, reposted by Factmag, where you can read some of the extensive liner notes before downloading the file.
At the end of 2014 I had an immediate urge to release a solo piano album which I recorded some time ago, and I was looking for a specific occasion to do so. I wanted it to be a nice surprise for everyone, so I thought of a meaningful release date to begin with.Join with Nils Frahm in celebrating Piano Day by enjoying his album Solo for free (sample: "Wall"), or enjoy other celebrations of the piano in his Piano Day 2015 playlist.
Seconds later it came to my mind: I was about to create my own holiday in order to come up with a reason for this release. Moreover, if I could be proud of something, then of being responsible for an annual celebration of the piano. And here comes the best bit, Piano Day will happen on the 88th day of the year, which most of the time is the 29th of March. Piano Day is intended to be the most joyful of all holidays.
Eskmo took a few Tom Waits songs that he love and mashed them with Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 by Aphex Twin, and created Aphex Waits (Soundcloud with free DL; YouTube). If you'd like more weird electronic music from Eskmo, Dazed has a preview stream of his new album along with an interview about it. Then there's Eskmo's self-titled album on Grooveshark, which he released on Ninja Tune back in 2010, which lead to videos for Cloudlight [previously], We Got More [previously], and Color Dropping. He has also shared more music on Soundcloud.
Lorn has never been one to shy away from the darkness in his music. However, where as his previous release, Ask the Dust (Grooveshark) was bleak and mechanical in it's struggle with its demons, The Maze to Nowhere (Bandcamp) is melodic, fuzzy and at times even warm. If you've listened to Lorn's previous releases, 'warm' is generally not a word associated with his tunes. Whereas his previous effort worked with the bleakness of empty space, we find him filling in those cracks on this album with static, fuzz and ambient effects. The resulting product is a much more organic sounding beast, and man, does it sound great.From the Sputnik Music review of Lorn's first of ? parts in The Maze to Nowhere series of pay-what-you-want EPs on Bandcamp, which now includes Part 2 and Part 3, still with no end in sight. [more inside]
If a band opened their set saying they were going to wake people up with techno music, you would probably not expect the musicians to be a BAFTA-award winning modern classical composer and a member from an electronic pop/dance group, but that's how Kiasmos introduced their music during Iceland Airwaves/KEXPort in Reykjavík. If you like what you hear there, here are a few more tracks on Grooveshark, and read on for more on the members of Kiasmos, Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen. [more inside]
Rid yourself of those winter blues with Ursula 1000's Winter (Mega)Mixes, which are not focused on winter music, but rather an upbeat mix of deep, funky, sleazy, acid tinged delights, as Alex Gimeno, the Brooklyn-based retro-futuristic producer/DJ/multi-instrumentalist labeled his latest mix. Read on for more sampladelic easy listening breakbeat tracks in a style similar to continental popsters from Pizzicato Five to Dimitri from Paris, plus some fuzzy garage rock-influenced tunes! [more inside]
Whether you're welcoming a new day or a new year, you might enjoy some music to welcome the sun. For your enjoyment, 80 minutes of upbeat dance music set to abstract visuals in a live sunrise set from DSK CHK, a slightly more downbeat live mix from Mija & Skrillex at Bonaroo, and bliss out as the sun rises with Tycho at Burning Man, one of a handful of sets available to stream and download from this summer's burn. [more inside]
"If you want to hear music, you know what you do - you turn on the radio, put on a CD, or even go to a concert. But as the age of the info superhighway inches forward, you can even get music from your own home computer." That's the intro to a short CNN segment on IUMA, the Internet Underground Music Archive, which opened in 1992 as an effort for unsigned bands to share their music on the world-wide web, for free. Unfortunately, it fell the way of many early 1990s online entities: it was bought out, then the new owners couldn't keep up with changing times, and the site went dark. Except before IUMA disappeared, John Gilmore grabbed much of the material and backed it up on tapes, and turned to (MeFi's Own) Jason Scott and Archive.org to bring back IUMA. They did, and you can now browse through over 45,000 bands and artists, and more than 680,000 tracks of music.
Here's a look back at sounds of summers past, with a review of EMI's series of Balearic compilations, and for a bit more mystery and diversity, mixes that focus and include Balearic styles from Test Pressing. If the whole "Balearic" thing is confusing, Boiler Room TV has a nice write-up with photos from the period to set the mood, where the music was a mix of mixture of soul, reggae, rock, pop, and Latin, mixed with chill out, lounge and dance music. [more inside]
Looking for some instrumental, funky, downtempo and slightly sinister soundtrack music? Klint, who as worked on soundtracks before, including Snatch, has released his own soundtrack album, Nothing Left Of Us (stream and download for a limited time from Soundcloud). News of this new album comes from Cheap Thrills Music, a label run by Joshua 'Hervé' Harvey. Both Cheap Thrills and Hervé have more tracks and mixes up on Soundcloud, including plenty of streaming sounds a few free downloads from each, though that's more of deep and dirty house, as heard in Hervé's Hate On Me mixtape (stream/dl), and from the "Tear The House Up" from Hervé x Zebra Katz (Official Music Video, NSFW lyrics).
808 State is an English electronic group that formed in 1987, and take their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and their shared state of mind. As a trio, they produced their iconic track, Pacific, which fused influences of house music, jazz fusion and exotica. The group changed membership a bit over the years, but one way or another 808 State have released six albums* to date, and a number of singles, EPs, and promotional discs. 808state.com has a ton of information, including an extensive visual discography, a list of other productions and remixes, and over a gig of demos, live tracks, and other non-album audio to download. Given the group's 27 year-long history, there's a lot more to see and hear. [more inside]
There are numerous ways that bands reach out to potential and current fans, and you can add a few more to the list with Noisetrade, Stageit and Concert Window. Noisetrade allows artists and bands to give away music, like a few tracks and covers from Dr. Dog and Saint Rich, to the whole First Album Live from They Might Be Giants, and now e/audio books, too, in trade for an email address and zip code. If you prefer live music, Stageit and Concert Window allow fans to watch unrecorded, streaming shows from bands anywhere in the world, for whatever price fans see fit. [more inside]
While the name Michael “House Shoes” Buchanan remains unknown to most, he's been involved with the Detroit hip-hop community since '94, producing some beats for an (unreleased) EP by Elzhi in 1998, plus a few other projects in the 1990s, but he really started making noise in the 2000s, finally releasing his own album, Let It Go, in 2012, which he then offered as a free download in 2013. All the while, he's continued to act as "Detroit's Hip-Hop Ambassador to the World," promoting other up-and-coming acts through various channels, including his on-going series, "The Gift," in which he promotes new artists. [NOTE: NSFW lyrics throughout the music] [more inside]
Six Degrees Records is a record label based in San Francisco that represents a range of "world music" sounds. You can dig into their discography through official mixes from the label or the usual array of samplers on Soundcloud, or listen to a ton of complete albums from 17 artists and groups on Bandcamp, from Malian guitarist and singer Vieux Farka Touré to the man who made the label, Karsh Kale, who is considered one of the pioneering figures in defining the Asian Underground genre, to the Brazilian singer/songwriter, Céu and the Iranian singer and musician, Azam Ali. If this is all too overwhelming, just grab the free 10-track sampler.
William Benjamin Bensussen is a DJ and producer who started DJing in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, where his weird, heavy sound was generally a dancefloor killer, earning him the name The Gaslamp Killer But he kept at it, and found a home in Los Angeles, performing with the Low End Theory crew. On December 1, 2012, Gaslamp Killer joined an ever-growing list of notable DJs and appeared on BBC Radio 1 with an Essential Mix "This runs the gamut, freak flag and spliff waving in the air. 2 brutal and beautiful hours of raw beats, boom bap, and Birdman. There is psych-rock, there is juke, there is Spaghetti Western. Exclusives from Lotus, HudMo, and Dilla." If you like what you hear, there's even more below the break. [more inside]