Category Archives: Mixes

Music Alliance Pact August 2014

This month’s Music Alliance Pact is here! For August, we put the spotlight on the fast-rising Qrion, specifically one of her songs from this year’s great Sink EP. Listen to it…and a lot more…below.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 22-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
QrionSink
Sapporo producer Qrion has a knack for manipulating and fitting vocal samples into her songs. Her latest EP features tracks built around ample space and various warped vocals which, depending on how she chooses to deploy them, can sound unnerving or weirdly inviting. Sink touches on both sides, opening with growly voices before pivoting into a surprisingly sweet section.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Como Diamantes TelepáticosSoñar Soñar
The name of the band comes from an Allen Ginsberg quote about the writings of his friend Jack Kerouac (“Each book by Kerouac is unique, a telepathic diamond”). This song by Como Diamantes Telepáticos is the first single from Dorado, their second studio album, in which they explore a more experimental psychedelic pop sound and mysterious lyrics. The album is available in physical format and as a free download from Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Blonde TonguesSeilu
Seilu, the new single from Brisbane’s Blonde Tongues, is a piece of dream-pop with serious emotional pull drawn from slow-build instrumentals and spacey flares of lead guitar. A track about contradictions, thought patterns and lines of friendship, Seilu is coy and seductive rather than brash. There’s no doubt Blonde Tongues still have plenty more depths to reveal in their sound.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Banda do MarHey Nana
Banda do Mar is a project by Marcelo Camelo (former singer of Los Hermanos, one of the biggest Brazilian bands from the last decade), Mallu Magalhães (Brazil’s biggest hype from the MySpace era) and Fred Pinto (Portuguese musician, member of Buraka Som Sistema and Orelha Negra). Hey Nana is their first single, bringing summer early with a catchy melody and some beachy vibes.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Slight BirchingCurrency
Sean Travis Ramsay makes neo-folk tunes under the name Slight Birching. His latest single Currency reveals a slight eerieness created by a haunting pedal steel and unique guitar twangs as Ramsay ponders a larger meaning in life.

CHILE: Super 45
El Gato, La Virgen y El DiabloPilletu
While the Chilean musical scene becomes saturated by predictable naive pop projects, designers Alfredo “Fello” Duarte and Vicente Espinoza recapture the taste for the experimental with a project that mixes visual arts, design and, of course, music. In their debut EP, El Gato, La Virgen y El Diablo (GVD) explore popular folk music (having Argentinian zamba and the Chilean nueva canción movement as their main influences), redefining it through synthesizers and samples. Thanks to this stylistic ambiguity, Beta EP is one of the most interesting releases this year.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The DeSoto CaucusNail In The Wall
When they’re not in Howe Gelb’s Giant Sand or backing the likes of Kurt Wagner, Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, these five guys from Aarhus create music in a dusty American tradition as The DeSoto Caucus. They are three great albums in, and here’s Nail In The Wall from their eponymous latest as a MAP exclusive download.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Perla Marola ft. Anthony Louis-JeuneBon Vibe
Daughter of famed Dominican merengue performer Sergio Vargas, Perla Marola is taking a slightly different musical path. Experimenting with reggae and rap, her collaboration with Haitian singer Anthony “Aton” Louis-Jeune brings a necessary message of unity for both territories. Bon Vibe forms a small part of something bigger, a documentary that will reflect the various lifestyles of the people in these neighboring countries sharing the same island.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Alma RastaSonido Del Ghetto
When we talk about Alma Rasta, we talk about the essence of the reggae movement in Ecuador. With a career spanning more than 20 years, Alma Rasta released second album Sonidos Del Guetto in late 2013. This song, which shares its name with the album, features Chilean musician Cristian Aliaga aka Caliajah.

FRANCE: Your Own Radio
Petit BiscuitBrumes
Petit Biscuit is a young boy (just 14 years old) who is trying to convey emotions with his music. Using guitar and synths, he delivers a cool instrumental track in Brumes. Petit Biscuit is produced by the French label Moose Records, who work with Andrea, Tyord and Julia Losfelt.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Merah BerceritaBunga Dan Tembok
Bunga Dan Tembok (“Flowers And Walls”) is a song about a massive building that has made the beautiful flowers disappear. Merah sings the poems of his father, Wiji Thukul, a famous poet who went missing during the New Order oppression. Bunga Dan Tembok is one of his most well-known works and Cholil (Efek Rumah Kaca) joins him on vocals. All of Merah Bercerita’s songs are beautifully sung.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
Revin GoffSalthill
This tripped-out, mellow take on hip-hop takes its stormy, percussion-heavy angles from the crashing of the Atlantic winter against the Salthill promenade in Ireland’s gorgeous western outpost of Galway. Penned by inventive 23-year-old newcomer Revin Goff, it’s a textured and nuanced release that dripfeeds fuzzy personal narratives, complex and jittery enough to require further listens and comfortably compelling enough to demand them.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Plato’s Dream MachineFik
The latest project of Plato’s Dream Machine ventures through relatively new terrain in the Maltese scene, culminating in their new full-length album Għera, released in April. The band, led by singer-songwriter Robert Farrugia Flores, has successfully reinvented Maltese music giving it a fresh, contemporary sound. Their semi-organic electronica mashed on top of drone riffs and beats is fused with poetical lyrics sung in their native language.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
LAOEquivalent (Merengueando Bootleg)
Mexico City’s art label NAAFI has always digged in the margins, seeking cultural clashes that emerge from the country’s unequal social classes. As one of the heads of NAAFI, Lauro Robles aka LAO – Mexico’s representative in this year’s Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo – summarizes on Equivalent some of his crew’s aesthetic ideals: dark and urban first-world dubstep landscapes, juxtaposed with the distant cries of a decadent MC on board a tropical sound system.

PERU: SoTB
PlaneadorEscarcha De Ipanema
Planeador is a rock band, based in Lima, who were influenced by grunge on their debut album. They are back with their second record, Ausente – available for free download via Bandcamp – and this time their sound is defined by space-rock, shoegaze and lo-fi. Escarcha De Ipanema is a celestial journey through their hypnotic voices.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Los WavesDarling
José Tornada and Jorge Da Fonseca started as League in 2010 but in the summer of 2013 changed their name to Los Waves. This change can be explained by their love of travelling and nature, especially the sea and surf. Some have mentioned MGMT to categorize their sound. They have had their tracks featured in MTV series Awkward as well as Made In Jersey and Criminal Minds on CBS. Darling is their newest single which will be on their album, This Is Los Waves So What?, due out in September. Their “no budget” video for Darling can be watched here.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Former AstronautsTonto Corazón
Former Astronauts is a pop-rock trio hailing from Aguadilla, a town that features many of Puerto Rico’s most beautiful beaches along its west coast. That sunny, cheerful disposition is more than evident in Tonto Corazón, from the band’s just-released debut EP, a song that combines the rhythmic dynamism of Vampire Weekend with Tokyo Police Club’s sharp pop hooks. Even when the lyrics reference soured relations and broken hearts, its bouncy, carefree nature makes it a solid, catchy single, and the perfect song to say goodbye to this crazy summer season.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Exit OzZurobara Spre Orient
Exit Oz’s music is difficult to pin down in one genre, with influences ranging from soothing ambient to noisy electronics and anguished free jazz. The project first came out of the improvisation sessions made in 2011 by Alexandru Iovan (tenor saxophone and vocals) and Ovidiu Zimcea (samples). In 2013, other musicians joined the project as collaborators and they had their first live shows as a trio, together with Lucian Naste on guitar and drum machine. In 2014, after Lucian left the project, the trio reformed with Dorothea Iordănescu playing synthesizer.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Skinny DipperHospital Bed
Idyllic pop is the name of the game for Glasgow-based newcomers Skinny Dipper and their medley of members (eight girls and one guy), all of whom have noteworthy pedigrees in other bands in the Scottish music scene. We have the honour of bringing you an exclusive introduction to their first recorded material in the shape of the genteel Hospital Bed, taken from their debut EP Masks, which will be released through Olive Grove Records on September 8. It’s an immersive listen, showcasing Skinny Dipper’s flawless harmonies and soothing string work.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Jun Bum Sun & The YangbansThe Seven Year Itch
For many centuries public servants – yangbans – were the aristocrats of what is now known as Korea. Jun Bum Sun & The Yangbans aspire to the same balance between the academic and artistic, noticeable particularly in the band’s lyrics. First album Love Songs is a narrative of a relationship and was released this month. The Seven Year Itch is the album’s final track and features Jun Bum Sun’s strangely attractive vocals over a smooth, alluring pop melody.

SPAIN: Musikorner
SkygazeSo Above
Skygaze is the moniker of Jaime Tellado, from Gijón but currently living in Madrid. His music explores the vast and dreamy fields of IDM, similar to Four Tet or Rustie. Skygaze is ready to take off and his next stop is the world.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
AlvvaysArchie, Marry Me
Alvvays feels perched between the sincerity of Belle & Sebastian and the tongue-in-cheek of Kimya Dawson. Musically and lyrically astute, Alvvays sounds like what was great about indie-pop bands of the past and smart enough to make you hear an emotion anew.

Music Alliance Pact July 2014

New MAP! This month, we highlight Left Right Arms. Check it out, and a bunch more of great tunes from around the world, below.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 24-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Left Right ArmsRest
Rest is a song that comes across as though it was recorded under blankets, like the driving sonic aim was to imagine what someone breathing on your neck sounded like. Fitting, considering Left Right Arms records everything from his bedroom in Tokyo, the close quarters coming across clearly in this woozy, ultimately vulnerable moment.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Los TirosAutocontrol
In the past weeks we’ve been listening to Denso y Moderno, the first album by Los Tiros, in a non-stop loop. This band from Quilmes, a city in Greater Buenos Aires, delivers a pop-rock sound with lots of synthesizers and optimistic lyrics. The album has 11 tracks, all potential hits, and Autocontrol is one of them.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
A Dead Forest IndexCast Of Lines
Cast Of Lines is the new 12″ by Melbourne’s A Dead Forest Index. Released recently through Pop Noire (the label run by Savages’ Jehnny Beth), title track Cast Of Lines is an expansive, meditative piece – a precursor for the band’s unique sound palette which has been praised abroad.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
TMPLVoyij
TMPL are a relatively new electro-pop duo from Toronto made up of Kevin O’Brien and singer-songwriter Eli Andreas. By new, I mean they have this one song out called Voyij that takes you on an expansive journey of sounds that gets more exciting at every corner.

CHILE: Super 45
HistéricosMisplaced, Displaced
They chose the right name to express their no-limits energy and rage. Histéricos is a four-piece rock band that always trusts in a good melody and have some clever things to say. At the end of 2013 they released their debut album Misplaced, Displaced (Algo Records) and here we present the title track dedicated to “the ones who get it wrong. The losers, the outsiders. To those who suffered loss and regret. To those who question why”, as they write in their manifesto.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Los ElefantesYo Soy Un Gigoló
The life of the Colombian capital is reflected by the Jamaican music, mainly ska, that Los Elefantes have made ​​for more than 18 years. Feeling independence as a way of life, they are releasing their fourth album, Grandes Exitos de Otros, from which we present the song Yo Soy Un Gigoló, a classic version of Just A Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody, with the lyrics touched by irony.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Blaue BlumeIn Disco Lights
Released a few months back, Blaue Blume’s official EP debut, Beau & Lorette, is bold, ambitious and almost always compelling, not least thanks to mighty songs like Lost Sons Of Boys and MAP exclusive download In Disco Lights.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
TipiHop ProjectSuéltame Que Bailo Solo
TipiHop Project’s mission is to blend Dominican native genres with modern electronic and hip-hop rhythms. Anyone who’s had the opportunity to dance a fast-paced merengue would argue that is nearly impossible to slow it down, but the guys behind TipiHop found a way in Suéltame Que Bailo Solo, the instrumental opener of their first album. The namesake LP has been brewing for almost three years, but now they’re ready to show their musical richness.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Sweet SandraNakkked
Sweet Sandra is a trio based in Quito who use distortion, electronic bits and punk. Their first release, Nasty Disco, is an album of 10 songs. Nakked has heartbreaking screams between the twisted outbursts of drum machine.

FINLAND: Glue
Cats Of TransnistriaSan Francisco
Formed earlier in the year, Cats Of Transnistria is an exciting blend of dream-pop vocals and fuzzy, psyched guitar and keys by the duo of Henna Emilia Hietamäki and Tuomas Alatalo. The band has just released its first recording produced by Black Lizard’s guitarist/vocalist Paltsa-Kai Salama.

FRANCE: Your Own Radio
AndreaMore To Me
From Paris’ indie electronic scene, Andrea plays beats like a surgeon – meticulously. More To Me is the perfect song to chill out to in bed on a Sunday morning. Andrea is also the kind of crazy guy who has a project to produce a sample each day during a month – take a listen to Day 4, which samples Sam Smith.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Pete SunOcean (You)
Drawing influence from sun, sea, urban life and relationships, Pete Sun’s sublime third EP, Phantom Express, contains three shimmering lo-fi, romantic dream-pop songs to hold close to your heart. With his simple, poetic, yet sensitive lyrics and an intimate voice that’s as if he’s whispering a secret into your ear, Pete Sun creates a beautiful scenery to lose yourself in.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
NapolleonRendezvous
After a long musical journey, young Bayu Andrianto’s decision to put reverb on vocals and guitar resulted in raw, space-rock songs. They have been talked about amongst music enthusiasts in Indonesia for the past few months, with hotly-anticipated performances and an album to look forward to.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
BloomsIf I
Blooms’ euphoric yet mellow style of ambient electronica is the brainchild of Louise Cunnane, an Irish woman based in London. The If EP features toned-down flow, soaring soundscapes and stunning vocals, recalling the 5am bliss-out at the end of a manic beach party. If I, the free-to-download EP’s standout track, builds on subtle R&B influences to create a memorable early effort. Cunnane’s delicate potential is abundant and beautiful.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
TroffaHamra y Los MechonesDonde Estás Tú
TroffaHamra (Ruth Abela) is a Maltese singer-songwriter who went travelling to Barcelona in 2010 and ended up staying there. Not much later she formed her band TroffaHamra y Los Mechones, in which she sings and plays guitar, together with four Catalan musicians. Together, and due to their different musical backgrounds, they created an original sound. TroffaHamra’s songwriting is fresh and sincere, and influenced by life experiences and strong emotions. The style of the band sways between swing, bossa nova, folk and Western ska – a mixture of sounds, languages and moods.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
NavukodonozorgThe Goat Of Zachary
He may not be the king of Babylon, but he could well take the throne of Mexican electronica. He may not be named after Morpheus’ rebellion ship in The Matrix, but his music will surely take you on a trip through a decadent post-industrial underworld. Hailing from Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico, Navukodonozorg unleashes a work full of dirty bass, complex rhythms and nonsense melodies. Take the ‘red pill’ and submerge in this fabulous futuristic wonderland.

PERU: SoTB
CatervasAtemporal
Catervas is one of Peru’s most beloved and essential bands. Their long career, embodied in three albums, has contributed some great indie rock with melodies full of excitement and inspiration. This year the band will release their fourth album; Atemporal is its first single, a nostalgic song that honors the classic sound of Catervas.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
MoullinexLove Magnetic
Moullinex is the project of Luis Clara Gomes, a DJ with a remarkable body of work as a producer. His first album as Moullinex, Flora, was released in 2012 and, following two EPs in 2013, a new album is due at the end of this year, which Love Magnetic is an appetizer for. When not working as Moullinex, Luis keeps himself busy remixing other artists (Cut Copy, Sébastien Tellier, Two Door Cinema Club, WhoMadeWho) and managing the label DiscoTexas which he co-founded.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
fAiI Thought The World
fAi is a new project from producer/composer Hector “Stonetape” Hernández and singer Beatriz Faísca. They recently released their first single, the catchy and sweet I Thought The World, a generous slice of perfect summer indie-pop that promises great things from the duo. Stonetape continues to demonstrate his studio chops throughout the song, achieving a confident and measured production, while Beatriz truly surprises with a voice equally mature and flirtatious.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
The Boy Who Cried WolfIt’s Just A Rebel, Sir!
The Boy Who Cried Wolf started their activity when members of two local bands (CHESTER and Breathelast) from Bucharest collided, with a mission to write some tunes that would better react to their primal needs to play wild, fast-paced metal combined with hardcore/punk vibes. In 2013, The Boy Who Cried Wolf released their first debut record, Bad Time Stories, available from Bandcamp as a pay-what-you-want download.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
ForeignfoxYoghurt
No matter how much you think you’re ready for it, the song Foreignfox introduced themselves to the world with, Yoghurt, still knocks you sideways. The raw, stomach-knotting emotion of Jonny Watt’s struggle to come to terms with his father’s cancer diagnosis is unravelled in lyrics of rare candour, backed with some sweeping guitar work and a suitably tear-inducing promo video. Foreignfox’s debut EP, We Float Like Sinking Ships, is available on Bandcamp.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
MessgramMy Funeral
Messgram markets themselves as a modern heaviness hailing from Korea. They put out their first EP a few months ago and recently finished third in the Korean leg of the Redbull Live On The Road competition. With a female vocalist, the style often reminisces the popular gothic metal-influenced bands of the early 00s, but rather than sounding dated, Messgram gets a special edge by blending it with post-hardcore. My Funeral perfectly exhibits this exciting combination.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Cumbres CarrascosaMinimum Sacrifice
Cumbres Carrascosa is the side-project of Miguel Cámara, from The Fruhstucks, and one of the nation’s breakthrough artists of 2014. His music is a blend of psychedelia and the-darkest-chillwave-ever, as you can tell by listening to Minimum Sacrifice, a mesmerizing yet unsettling tune.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
ConveyorTheme XIII (Edit)
Brooklyn’s Conveyor has recently released a fascinating double LP where they reimagine the score for the cult film THX 1138. These expansive soundscapes creep into your brain and create the most perfect moments of sonic serenity.

Tofubeats Shares Mix With Diplo And Friends On The BBC

Kobe’s Tofubeats made a mix for the BBC show Diplo And Friends, which you can listen to above! Don’t usually share mixes here, but this one is really good and features so many artists we love around here (Seiho! Avec Avec! Pa’s Lam System! Parkgolf! bo en! So many more!) that it seems like a nice one to drop in on Sunday evening.

Just know that’s not how you pronounce Kobe.

Music Alliance Pact June 2014

Geez time flies…already June, and that means the June Music Alliance Pact is out. Just in time for the summer we feature Okinawa’s StillSound this month. Check it out!

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 27-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
StillSoundTowns
Based out of the lovely capital city of Okinawa, StillSound makes rubbery electronic music taking sonic cues from the likes of Toro y Moi, and latest song Towns is a slippery bit of funk that moves at an easy-breezy pace perfect for the start of summer. Despite the beachside vibe, Towns conceals a bleeding heart, the vocals revealing far deeper emotions than simply chilling out.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
TemperQuitapenas
Temper is an instrumental rock band with influences that encompass tango, jazz, surf-rock, Hindu movie soundtracks and psychedelic music. This catchy track is from their third album, Clitoxismo: 10 Neurotransmisiones En Círculos, released last year by La Boca Se Te Haga Un Lago, a local independent label which specializes in instrumental music.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
KučkaUnconditional
Perth native Kučka, aka Laura Jane Lowther, makes tinsel-y RnB that falls somewhere between the smooth, subdued sounds of 90s-era Janet Jackson and the cartoonish decadence of K-pop. With her vocals featured on two tracks from A$AP Rocky’s debut album, LONG.LIVE.A$AP, and with a brand new EP due out later this year, Kučka is definitely an artist to keep your eye on.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Russo PassapussoParaquedas
Russo Passapusso, the lead singer of BaianaSystem, is about to release his first solo album. In single Paraquedas he displays a deep appreciation of Brazil’s musical roots. It’s a mixture of samba rock, funk and hip hop to make you dance.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Once A TreeHowling
Hayden John Wolf and Jayli Wolf may show some Europe electronica inspiration in Howling but the duo are indeed from Toronto. Each time Once A Tree drop a track on SoundCloud, they deliver with creative vocals and eargasmic production. Howling proves to be their best tune yet, experimenting with trap-like beats and chilling atmosphere.

CHILE: Super 45
AdelaidaO Sea No Mundial
Adelaida, a trio from Valparaíso, are members of the new brood that’s renewing the Chilean independent rock scene. In their debut album Monolito, they reclaim the best moments from the 90s: grunge’s anger, shoegaze’s walls of sound and the versatility of experimental noise.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Flying BananasFunk No Name
Based on the legend that tells the story of a man who committed suicide by jumping off a seventh floor disguised as a banana, as you can see in this video, Bogotá quintet Flying Bananas make a musical tribute of the deceased using funk, jazz and hip hop. These seasoned musicians have no fear and float between genres with the power of bass, samplers and percussion, as we can hear in Funk No Name.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The OlympicsLeaves
Art-pop quintet The Olympics are in the process of following up on their debut album Mother and Limbo EP with 10 songs in 10 months (to be released as an album later). You can check out the first two, Monument and 4U, while the third great one, Leaves, is a MAP exclusive download.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Franny & ZooeyI Love You
I Love You is taken from Franny & Zooey’s new EP, Bottled Up And Ready To Go. Following the same line of influences as Heavenly, Go Sailor and Talulah Gosh, they exhibit strong pop melodies with some power structures and punk, reminiscent of the Ramones.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
SexoresHistorias De Frio
Historias De Frio, the second album by shoegaze and dream-pop band Sexores, flirts with distortion, ethereal wave and melancholy. The title track envelops the listener in a lethargic, mellow sweetness.

ENGLAND: Drowned In Sound
Lucy ClaireStille
Perhaps it’s obvious with a site name like Drowned in Sound, but we’re a sucker for a swell of strings that leaves you feeling suspended in a sea of melodies. Our love of classical may have begun with watching A Clockwork Orange as a child and blossomed with falling in love with Sigur Rós but my-oh-my is modern classical music on fire right now. Lucy Claire from London melds big strings and glorious electronics.

ESTONIA: Rada7.ee
Firejosé feat Sander MölderMas O Menos
Firejosé (aka Mark Stukis) is an artist born in Estonia and tempered by the jungles of Central America. His roots go deeper and influences run wider than the rainforests of Tortuguero, though. Similarities to Detroit Swindle and Joy Orbison have been drawn, but most recently Firejosé quenched the thirst for Baltic beats with live shows alongside Gold Panda and Bonobo. A well-kept secret from the hype machines, it is the unquenchable desire for deep, shuffled beats that keep Firejosé ablaze.

FINLAND: Glue
Saints Of WinterLullaby March
Inspired by the Finnish Lapland, songwriter Mikko Hautakangas came up with the songs that form the debut of his latest project Saints Of Winter, which is defined by three words: snow, melancholy and hope. The album, Bridges And Windmills, is an indie-folk affair in which songs come to life thanks to the vocals of lead singer Sari. You can pay as much as you wish to download it on Bandcamp. Here is the beautiful opener Lullaby March.

FRANCE: Your Own Radio
AamouroceanYuntekkem
Aamourocean is a​ ​mysterious​ ​indie producer. We don’t know much about him, but who cares? His song Yuntekkem is enthralling as the sampled army choir takes us by the hand to ​a tropical forest.​

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
OpsisAntigone
Based on deep drones, eerie noise, dislocated beats and classical vocal choruses from Byzantium and Renaissance, Opsis’ sublime double album Antigone/Persae conveys musically the eternal agonies of man as they are portrayed in the works of the tragic poets of the ancient world, Sophocles and Aeschylus. It is a personal contemplation on the events taking place in those two tragedies and the emotional variations and torments of their most substantial characters.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
CupumanikLuka Bernegara
Luka Bernegara (“Pain of Nationalism”) is a song about the dirty, bloody politics in Indonesia. The heavy distortion and angst displays a heavy influence of 90s grunge music. As one of the few bands left who label themselves grunge, they enjoy a strong following in Indonesia.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
Red SailWheel Your Wings Home
Built around winding, subtle folky melodies, Red Sail stand out above Ireland’s folk-pop masses. Wheel Your Wings Home is their latest single, a vocal-led rustic beauty backed by Damien Rice’s wonderful touring cellist Vyvienne Long. 2012′s harmony-drenched Paper Cutouts EP and lyrically nuanced follow up We Still Build Forts EP have already seen this unassuming project head across Europe; this delicate musical partnership is threatening to take flight.

ITALY: Polaroid
Yakamoto KotzugaAll These Things I Used To Have
Yakamoto Kotzuga is not Japanese. His real name is Giacomo Mazzucato and he is a 20-year-old Venice-based producer. His sound is influenced by Shlohmo, Shigeto, Gold Panda and Flying Lotus, just to name a few. He’s going to release an album on La Tempesta International and it will be great. But you should forget all these notions and just let his music vibrate and take you to the deepest regions of outer space.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
MontenegroBlackout
With melodic, heavy and catchy guitar riffs like The Cure, and deep vocals like Joy Division, you might think we are somewhere in 80s England. Not at all. Montenegro come from Mexico City, and Blackout sounds fresh without the trite of being too “innovative”. They’re noisy without turning their backs on melancholy (in fact, they just look down at their feet). This quartet embodies the spirit of DIY and seem to make music for their own joy, and fortunately also for ours.

PERU: SoTB
Los FilipzPositivo
Formed in 2004, Los Filipz make something called reggae power – a mix of funk, rock and reggae obviously. The band is promoting their second album Presente, which tries to create a link between people and the world around them.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Bullet6830 Miles
Vladimir Orlov is the leader of Bullet. However, in reality, Orlov is just an alter-ego for the multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and producer Armando Teixeira, who has visited us before in the Music Alliance Pact. 6830 Miles is taken from Cosmic Noise Vol. 1, the third album by Bullet, in which the vocals by Lili take center stage; the second volume will see Orlov’s vocals come to the fore. Bullet should please those into bands such as Air, Saint Etienne or Stereolab.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Dead HandsPerdido Sin Ti (Ricky Martin cover)
Ricky Martin is Puerto Rico’s premier international pop superstar. Indie Martin is a celebration of his career and musical legacy, reinterpreted by emerging artists from the county’s independent music scene. The full compilation will be made available online through Discos Diáspora in August, but you can listen to a new cover each Tuesday via PuertoRicoIndie.com during June and July. Noise and ambient producer Dead Hands is in charge of the third weekly single, an exclusively MAP download. His refreshing take on the fan-favorite Perdido Sin Ti reaches for the pop perfection of The Postal Service, with glitchy melodies and a driving beat that bolster the dual boy-girl vocals sung by Francisco Valls and La Nikko.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Bohemian GrooveSanctuary
From hard rock to psychedelia and blues, Bohemian Groove is reminiscent of 70s rock bands such as Cream, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Sanctuary starts off softly, taking you to a magical place where a wise dog whispers truths of life in your ear, then culminates with Sabbath-like riffing and a mind-bending keyboard solo. It’s taken from the power trio’s debut album Event Horizon.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
NievesWinter
Glasgow duo Nieves sure know how to make a stunning first impression. With a simple acoustic guitar/piano set-up they deliver debut song Winter with immaculate poise, an elegant sadness pervading as singer Brendan Dafters uses the changing of the seasons to tell the story of a relationship’s end. MAP exclusive download Winter and new single Symmetry (check it out on SoundCloud) are taken from Nieves’ debut EP, due out later this summer.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Hyun Lee YangIs Help On The Way?
Hyun Lee Yang made a name for himself as the leader and vocalist of emo-punk band 99anger. After a decade-and-a-half, 99anger disbanded in 2012 but Hyun Lee Yang continued to write songs and in May he finally released his first solo single. Is Help On The Way? is an excellent start: lyrics still in English, the band replaced by an acoustic guitar and a melody that lends itself well to repeated listening.

SPAIN: Musikorner
C.I.A.N.U.R.O.Purity
C.I.A.N.U.R.O. is the Spanish response to Kap Bambino, Crystal Castles or even Purity Ring. They are a trio formed by acid-synth lovers influenced mainly by synth-punk, witch house and post-rave. Their music is as dark and breathtaking as it gets, and Purity, taken from their second EP, is no exception.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Bro. StephenThe Shape
The music of Bro. Stephen just seems to float. On The Shape, the listener is treated to a glider of a song, where Bro. Stephen elevates the craft of folk music to a visceral experience of changing tempos and gentle yet powerful vocals.

Music Alliance Pact May 2014

Music Alliance Pact for May 2014 is here! With summer right around the corner, I spotlighted a track from Kai Takahashi’s latest beat tape. Listen to it…and great music from all over the world…below.

MuClick the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 27-track compilation through Ge.tt here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Kai TakahashiCannibal
The title is extremely misleading – Tokyo producer Kai Takahashi only has summer vibes in mind with this song, a short cut from a recently released mixtape of similarly cut-and-chopped beats. Cannibal is especially warm, a stuttering collection of vocals and island-ready sounds tumbling over one another into a fantastic shot of mid-June weather.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Shaman y Los Pilares De La CreaciónTierna Oscuridad
Tierna Oscuridad is the opening track on Shaman y Los Pilares De La Creación’s second album, released by Concepto Cero, one of La Plata’s finest independent labels. You can hear the whole album via the band’s website. The song is also on the soundtrack for the film Arriba Quemando El Sol, so the sound prevails over the notes, creating a deep atmospheric musical environment.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
YeoKobe
A little over a year ago, Melbourne’s Yeo gave his acoustic guitar the flick and turned to a new friend, the keytar. He had some success in 2013 with the dark, whirring Girl and now he’s back with Kobe, the second single from his forthcoming EP. It’s a big step up for the producer: a shining, ambitious pop song with brash synth stabs, jittery percussion and confident R’n’B vocals. Yeo played Canadian Music Week and some US shows this month. If he doesn’t break the North American market first time round, we reckon he’s got a promising future penning tunes for Justin Timberlake.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Quarto NegroQuando o Mar Não Vem
Quarto Negro are about to release their second album and have just brought out a movie about their time in studio, called GRU-PDX. Quando o Mar Não Vem is taken from debut album Desconocidos, released in 2011, and shows the band’s melodic excellence and sensitivity.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
[MP.G]Black Mesa Rally Cry
[MP.G] My Pet Genius released Might Strike Satellite in 1996 to much critical acclaim. For the past 17 years they have been recording, mixing, switching studios, re-recording, scrapping and re-mixing hundreds of hours of music that will become the colossal double LP, Empire Of Light. A teaser EP called EMP01 reveals what’s to be expected when Empire Of Light finally arrives this fall.

CHILE: Super 45
Fernando MilagrosOtra Vida
Fernando Milagros embraces pop with synths, guitars and guests musicians on his fourth album, Nuevo Sol, a collection of songs about coming back home and going ahead with the truth. Otra Vida, the first single with Andean music arrangements, is the catchiest song on the record.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
MitúCri Cri
Renowned guitarist and producer Julian Salazar, a vital part of Bomba Estéreo, joins with percussionist Franklin Tejedor aka Lamparita to form Mitú, where somehow they pay tribute to Lamparita’s hometown, San Basilio de Palenque. Thus, the traditional rhythms are mixed with analog synthesisers to give a unique characteristic, totally danceable. In 2012 they released their album Potro, and in 2014 Mitú hits back again with Balnear, where the future and the jungle’s past are mixed, as we can hear in their track Cri Cri.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
AnnasaidCollision
Four years on from their full-length debut, Jua, Annasaid released their second on April 28. Titled Rite De Passage there’s a coming of age tale here, but while the quartet has definitely matured in age, arrangements and songwriting, their guitar-on-chest indie-rock is as youthfully energetic as ever. Here’s the excellent first single Collision as a MAP exclusive download.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Diego MenaIntolerante
Diego Mena continues to turn his wheels away from his roots in rock music and on to synth-pop delight. Even though he’s heavily influenced by the 80s , his newest songs sound more current than ever. Intolerante is the first single from his third album Cadáveres En El Closet, a hypnotic ensemble of melodies and smooth singing. The album is out now via Bandcamp.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Nicola CruzNierika
Nicola Cruz is one of Ecuador’s most interesting producers. His work focuses on experimental music that mixes electronics with organic textures and traditional sounds.

ESTONIA: Rada7.ee
Badass YukiAmerica
Citing influences as varied as Burt Bacharach, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Britpop, Badass Yuki are a threesome on the verge of releasing their second album, Open Your Eyes To The Landmass, which is being pressed on vinyl by small family label Porridge Bullet.

FINLAND: Glue
PelotonsBlind Luck
Pelotons is a folk duo formed by Tina Kärkinen (Finnish) and Mike Gale (English), who began making music together at the end of last year and released a debut EP called Burrows. Blind Luck, a very laid-back, soft tune with great harmonies, is the first single from their first full-length, which will be available very shortly through Battle Worldwide Recordings.

FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
La QuinteJ’ai Passé L’Âge
La Quinte is an up-and-coming rap act from Strasbourg composed of four MCs and a beatmaker. What started as a way to fill their free time while paying homage to their elders eventually became a serious project, and the crew has been more and more active and visible in the past few months. By combining old-school instrumentals with topical lyrics, La Quinte have found a unique blend that will surely make some heads turn in the coming months.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
A Victim Of SocietyOnce Again
In their relentlessly brilliant debut album Distractions, A Victim Of Society craft eight intense, hammering and explosively airy rock’n’roll songs and wrap them in a bleary, beautiful package. With layers of fuzz-laced and feedback-laden guitars, raw, tribal drumbeats, repetitive gloomy melodies buried beneath noise and distortion-drenched vocals, they produce an assured, exciting piece of art that works as the ideal soundtrack for a nightmarish post-urban landscape. Listen to the striking Once Again and check out the video for Enough Said.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Careless 061Teen Anger
Careless 061 is a band from Medan, North Sumatra, whose songs sound as if Davey Havok created the music, some angry teenager wrote the lyrics and a bunch of Green Day fans performed it.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
We Cut CornersBlue
Dublin duo We Cut Corners have contrasting loud and quiet streaks. Set up like The White Stripes, only with the singer on drums, the pair’s garage rock with quirky pop melodies have won them a nomination for the Choice Music Prize (“Ireland’s Grammys”) and near universal admiration in a crowded scene. Blue is the fourth single from just-released gorgeous second album Think Nothing, crammed full of their usual brand of sharp lyrics and heart-on-sleeve brashness. A real hidden gem.

ITALY: Polaroid
Vaghe StelleDuemila Kilometri
Vaghe Stelle is a producer based in Turin (real name Daniele Mana) who released his new album Sweet Sixteen on the UK label Astro:Dynamics. The press release explains that the theme of the album is “an attempt to have a conversation with the listener on the subjects of love and despair”. Among all those fractured rhythms and deep cosmic sounds resonates a melancholic vibe, something passionate, and this is what I really love about Vaghe Stelle’s ever-fascinating music.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
StalkoTwo
Stalko are a somewhat restless indie-folk trio who are equally comfortable playing small, intimate acoustic gigs or bigger shows accompanied by various other musicians and instruments. They’ve supported a number of renowned artists such as Adem, Owen Pallett, The Moulettes and Stanley Brinks (Andre Herman Dune). Their debut album Grandiloquence was released to critical acclaim in 2012 and earned them a Best Newcomer win as well as a Best Album nomination at the Malta Music Awards.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Los BandieraCielo Azul
Rolling in the grass, wearing paisley shirts and growing an afro (crowded with lice) is not exclusive for those who lived in the 60s. Coming from the perennial springtime city of Cuernavaca, Los Bandiera are a retro outfit that takes inspiration from both The Byrds and the Mexican psychedelia of Los Dug Dug’s. Cielo Azul is a bittersweet love declaration to lay with your beloved one, staring up at the sun-hazed diamond skies.

PERU: SoTB
Wolves As FriendsSmall Goodbyes
Inspired by the need to express himself as a singular voice comes Wolves As Friends, the personal project of Lima singer-songwriter Rodolfo Caceres. Honest and simple, he conveys heartfelt, meaningful thoughts about what it is to feel left out and lost in the world. Wolves As Friends released debut record Small Goodbyes in 2013.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Throes + The ShineDombolo
Following the worldwide success of Buraka Som Sistema comes another kuduro project made up of Portuguese trio Throes (Marco, Igor and João) and Angolan duo The Shine (Diron and André do Poster). Their work together has already been defined as rockuduro (rock and kuduro). Their sound is wild and energetic and word has spread through their performances at various festivals including Roskilde. Dombolo is taken from just-released new album Mambos De Outros Tipos and has this video.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Sr. LangostaDoido
Puerto Rico’s indie scene skews heavily towards rock-oriented sub-genres – punk, metal, garage, pop or experimental – so it is certainly worth noting when a band like Sr. Langosta comes along to test our musical boundaries and take audiences in new directions. Led by guitarist Jorge Andrés Ferreras, the acid jazz and funk trio’s debut album reveals great musicianship and a playful streak, with an extended band willing to fuse Caribbean and Latin rhythms with the classic rock influence of guitar heroes like Jimi Hendrix. Doido is but a taste of the record’s refreshing sounds.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
FaunletBird Bones
Dark and perverse, Faunlet’s music combines elements of post-punk, shoegaze, gothic noise, post-rock and doom-pop in a style they call dark gaze. The Bucharest group released debut album Fauna Of The Heart Flora From Beyond in January.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Model AeroplanesCrazy
Idols-in-waiting Model Aeroplanes recorded their rollicking debut single Crazy while they were finishing their high school exams, but a career as musicians certainly doesn’t look beyond the teenagers, whose enthusiastic post-punk sound might remind you of Two Door Cinema Club or the first Arctic Monkeys album. Their new single Electricity is released on May 24.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
MonobanDandelion
Indie-folk trio Monoban has members playing acoustic guitar, cello and cajón, a Peruvian percussion instrument. Dandelion is the lead track off debut EP Ghostship, released in April. With its charming and light-hearted melody it’s an extremely addictive track well suited for repeated play.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Fernando LagrecaSilly Girl Meets Silly Boy (Tsowc Remix)
Fernando Lagreca was born in Uruguay, but his heart has been a part of Barcelona since 2002. Electronic music is his passion and he explores it in an organic way, discovering warm melodies and bright landscapes of sound. IDM is what he delivers so it’s no wonder he has signed to Barcelona-based label Irregular, home of The Suicide Of Western Culture and Lasers.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
YVETTEPure Pleasure
The drums and guitars of Brooklyn’s YVETTE thrash heavily like lightning striking steel. What makes this band special is the thoughtful order to the chaos. It’s angry, evil and loud, but the precision ultimately makes YVETTE an unforgettable and important band.