Alan Jefferson was inspired: he had heard War of the Worlds and wanted to make his own space epic, and he did, between 1979-1984, in his shed ("AJ Studios") in Hull. He wrote and played the music, wrote the story, narrates the story, sings the songs, made all the artwork, the poster, the storyfile etc. He started selling cassette copies of Galactic Nightmare in 1986 in the back of magazines such as C U Amiga and Future Music, but faded from view, with a few copies being traded by friends. Then a recording made its way to Trunk Records, who have now re-released the album, which you can now hear in full on YouTube.
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)
Santigold is back with her third album, 99¢ (YT playlist), omnivorous pop in a post-genre age. She's been promoting the album throughout 2015, and enjoying the process this time around, trying to incorporate some of the joy from her son, Radek. She's been bending genres since her self-titled debut album, but this time around she's in a different place from her prior album, Master of My Make-Believe, which was fit for the dystopian end of the Age of Aquarius ... crackling with discontent, with a powerful cover designed by Kehinde Wiley (previously). [more inside]
Since he started Akkord (s/t album playlist) with Synkro, Liam Blackburn has been in search of a sound. His last few solo releases skirted past drum & bass through to techno, ambient, IDM and, with 2013's excellent Storm, some sort of ultra-hi-tech jungle.... [H]e's re-emerging as Ancestral Voices on the increasingly out-there label Samurai Horo....The debut album for Blackburn's new alias is "yawning chords, complex drum patterns and existential dread," directly inspired by his mind-expanding, life-altering experiences on Machu Picchu and in the Amazon, and you can hear all of Night Of Visions on Bandcamp.
Billboard and other sources are reporting The Beatles will be available on streaming services, starting Christmas Eve (Dec 24th). [more inside]
Streaming service Rdio is filing for bankruptcy, and Pandora is set to buy its assets for $75 million. Never heard of Rdio? The service was a lesser-known competitor to the likes of Spotify and Apple Music, and did a lot of things right in a low-key way. Its userbase is savvy and fiercely loyal. The service is set to wind down over the next few weeks. The Atlantic: A Eulogy For Rdio. David Greenwald: What Spotify and the rest could learn from Rdio. The Verge: Streaming music has an economics problem. [more inside]
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]
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]
Damian Lazarus is an interesting chap. On one hand, you have the self-proclaimed ancient wizard who channels mysticism into his live rave mixes around the world, while on the other hand there is his well-regarded house music label, Crosstown Rebels, which recently celebrated its tenth birthday with a 3 CD/40 track compilation. You can find a ton from both sides of Damian online. [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.
The DJ-Kicks series was born in Berlin in 1995, and lays claim to the title of the first officially licensed DJ mix series available commercially. In the 20 years since it started, the series has covered house and techno, drum'n'bass and downtempo, and genres without convenient names, put together by musical monuments like Carl Craig, Thievery Corporation, and Four Tet to relative newcomers like Gold Panda and Maya Jane Coles. Besides the expected DJs and producers, the series also includes Daddy G (of Massive Attack) in a rare solo effort, pulling out unreleased dubplates for his mix, and Erlend Øye (of Kings of Convenience and The Whitest Boy Alive) providing his own a capella additions to the mix. For the 50th release, the series comes back to Germany with DJ Koze, bringing you his version of a "modern party mix." That's a lot of words about music, so let's hear it already! [more inside]
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]
Snakes! Bullets! Super secret agents! Bandits! Monkeys and tigers! Espionage and romance! Are you excited yet? Are you on the edge of your seat? Does this sound like a movie to you? Ah, these are the recurring themes in some of classic Bollywood’s greatest cinematic extravaganzas, where acting and plot took a backseat to some of the craziest, over-the-top song and dance scenes ever committed to celluloid. Enter The Bombay Royale, a local 11-piece musical powerhouse who have taken the themes and soundtracks from these films and have infused them with all the colour, production and energy one would expect from a four-plus hour Bollywood movie. The Bombay Royale had first set down to do strictly covers from the gilded ‘60s era of Bollywood, but soon evolved into writing their own material.Sit down with Parvyn Kaur Singh AKA "The Mysterious Lady," one of the singers of the band, for an introduction to the cast of characters behind the albums You Me Bullets Love (Soundcloud; track-by-track description with musical director and saxophonist Andy Williamson, AKA "The Skipper") and The Island of Dr. Electrico (Soundcloud; a review of the Bollywood inspired surf / disco / funk album). [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]
The Killer at Peace: Jerry Lee Lewis's Golden Years
In the living room, directly above Lewis' chair, is a framed photo from the day in December 1956 when Lewis, Cash, Carl Perkins and Presley – a.k.a. "the Million-Dollar Quartet" – hung out and recorded at Sun. Elvis is at the piano, looking upward, eyes fixed on Lewis. Above the bar is a photo from the sessions for the Class of '55 LP, a 1985 reunion of Lewis, Perkins, Cash and Roy Orbison. "All of them, really good friends," he says quietly. "All gone." Lewis took his survival as a point of pride by naming his 2006 comeback LP Last Man Standing. "A lot of people didn't like it when I said that. But they had to accept it."Jerry Lee Lewis is still alive and rocking, having just released his third album in the 2000s, titled Rock & Roll Time, though his most raucous days are behind him.
If you enjoy dark electronic/dance-type music, and you're interested in "dry, haunted synthpop jam(s)" that "sound like what might've happened to Joy Division if Ian Curtis had bought a Casio and a four-track and fired the rest of the band," you might enjoy Former Ghosts, who consist of Freddy Ruppert (This Song Is A Mess But So Am I) with Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, plus Nika Danilova (Zola Jesus), and Yasmine Kittles of Tearist. Former Ghosts only have two albums to their name, Fleurs (2009 - official video: Hold On; fan vid - Mother) and New Love (2010 - official videos: Taurean Nature, New Orleans). [more inside]
From the rather common "skate punk into alternative music" origins to a bedroom producer who signed with Ninja Tune, Bonobo, the stage name for Simon Green, has continued to change musically. From the lone musician who made sample-based music, he has expanded into working with field recordings, studio musicians, and live shows where the band took a four bar drum break transformed it into a seven minute epic drum-sax solo battle, to which the crowd tried to clap along. You can see him live tomorrow at the Alexandra Palace in London in a special Boiler Room session, but until then, there's plenty more to see, hear and read. [more inside]
In 2011, Diplo's Mad Decent label spun off a web-focused sub-label, Jeffree's, focusing on trap, tropical bass, moombahton, and associated distorted club-type sounds. As label honcho Paul Devro explained, the plan was simple: collect what producers had already made, post a new single or EP every two weeks, at first for free, then offer it for sale. The freebie window is closed, but you can still stream the lot, and read about the twelve tracks below the break. [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).
According to the Daptone Gold compilation liner notes (auto-playing music, click on "Biography"to read the notes), written by Pitchfork contributor Douglas Wolk, "the world capital of soul" has moved from the US ("between Memphis and Detroit, with occasional stopovers in New Orleans, Cincinnati and elsewhere") in the 1960, to Lagos in the 1970s, then it went into hiding, finally reappearing in Brooklyn, with Daptone Records. Let's go back - why Lagos in the 1970s? [more inside]
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]
Oorutaichi, an electronic musician from Osaka, “makes drifter music, strung through with expert percussion and electric rays, flowing on a river of magical chants, inspired loops and choruses written in an invented language, undiscovered country left and right.” Oorutaichi has several really, really good animated music videos. [more inside]
The Case for CDs -- as CD sales continue to plummet, Grantland's Steven Hyden takes a "glass-half-full perspective" on those numbers, discusses format nostalgia, and the five types of albums that justify the continued existence of CDs. [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]
Animator Adam Brown took two Calvin and Hobbes comics as keyframes and animated the pair in motion, with some sound: dancing in the forest (Vimeo; YouTube; GIF without the background) and a fireside tiger attack (Vimeo; GIF). [more inside]
Five years ago, Alfred Weisberg-Roberts, aka Alfred Darlington (more widely known as Daedelus) finally released an album with his wife, Laura Darlington, under the group name The Long Lost. And it's beautiful, light and airy orchestral pop that owes a greater debt to Caetano Veloso than Coldcut, the style of music that might not out of place being played live in a knitting shop, which could seem a bit strange for a group releasing their music on Ninja Tune. For further fond words, The Gaslamp Killer considered their album one of his top picks for 2009, and here's a nice interview with Alfred and Laura. But we're really here for the music, so here's their self-titled album, streaming on Grooveshark. [more inside]
"s/s/s started to sound like the Nazi Schutzstaffel with a lisp so we had to change it. We wanted a word with three S’s and Sisyphus felt like a capable anti-hero—endless struggle, the human plague, the existential condition. We are all working towards nothing. Also, the apparent futility of this collaboration—a black rapper from Chicago, a white singer-songwriter from Detroit, and an arty producer with cool glasses, though I dunno where Ryan’s from, Cleveland? We have so little in common but we have deep love for each other and we are pushing that stone together." That's Sufjan Stevens, talking about his collaboration with the rapper Serengeti (David Cohn), and singer/producer Son Lux (Ryan Lott), who released their Beak & Claw EP last year as s/s/s (Bandcamp), and have recently released their debut album as Sisyphus (Bandcamp). [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.
Here's a little something old to bring in the new year: Jacco Gardner and his debut solo album, Cabinet of Curiosities (Grooveshark streaming tracks; full album on YouTube). Why? Because it's a delicious platter of ornate, lushly orchestrated, psych-inflected "soft rock" or "baroque pop" and if you didn't know better, you might guess it was made in the 1960s, not in 2012. The album was created almost solely by Gardner, who played all the instruments except the drums. For live shows, the 25 year old multi-instrumentalist had to enlist more help, as you can see in this live set from Lowlands, and two more, from Ancienne Belgique and at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). [more inside]
Dear music lover and inquisitive individual, have you wondered what the funk of the future might sound like? You have (not)? Well, you're in luck! The good people at Keats//Collective show you a glimpse of what could possibly be future funk, available in a handful of solo albums and four compilations of what they classify as electronic / chillwave / disco / future funk / glo-fi / spacebop. But you really should stop reading and just take a listen to ... [more inside]
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]
There is a universe of recorded DJ mixes to sort through, enough to keep you entertained and dancing for years. Souncloud user R_co fills a pocket of this cosmos with thousands of mixes and some live shows to stream and download, spanning styles and decades, from Bob Marley and the Wailers live in 1975, to a Shep Pettibone Mastermix Danceparty from 1983, Mark Farina live in Los Angeles, 1996, or Masters at Work live in Miami at WMC, 2003, and Carl Craig in Ibiza, 2012. [more inside]
Feel like listening to a concert tonight? Something classical? Or maybe folk is a bit more your style? World? Jazz? Nearly every day, two or three more live concert recordings are added to CBC Radio2's 'Concerts on Demand' library, with nearly 900 concerts now in the list. Each concert is given just as presented live, and you can either stream the whole thing, or choose track by track. Timings are given for all the music, and photo galleries and full descriptions and credits round it all off. All in all, it's a fabulous presentation, and there is more music here than you will ever be able to keep up with!
Dutch broadcast station VPRO's website is Holland’s biggest platform for alternative music. Here's a link to a shitload of streaming live concerts and tracks. You'll have to do a bit of cut and paste once there, but it's the easiest way for me to link to the list. For the cut-and-paste-inept, there's a standard interface, but the site's not in english.