Category Archives: Mixes

Music Alliance Pact June 2015

Music Alliance Pact June 2015

Time for MAP, this month featuring the dreamy sounds of Einsteins. Listen to it…and much 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 20-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
EinsteinsHypnotism

It is not quite hypnotic, but rather deeply dreamy. Einsteins have been making sweet electro-pop for a while now, but Hypnotism marks the moment where the group creates a song one wants to live in, a lush collection of synthesizers wherein the softly sung vocals snake through. Less a trance and more like a sweet bedtime escape.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Ciudadano TotoEsta Canción

Last month Argentina’s independent music scene mourned the sudden death of Adrián Nievas, aka Ciudadano Toto, lead singer of electro-pop group Adicta. An all-time favorite of Zonaindie, Adicta was perhaps one of the most underrated bands of the last decade, so if you never listened to them you deserve to (all their albums are one click away). This month’s MAP song is a home-recorded cover version of Cuban legend Silvio Rodríguez that he used to open his recent solo concerts. Sophomore album Flores, Brillos y Arcoiris was released just a couple of months ago). RIP.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
BicentennialSleeper Train

Hailing from Marrickville, a suburb in Sydney’s warehouse district, Bicentennial (Jess Cooper) writes and produces dark but delicate soundscapes layered underneath reverberated chant-like vocals. She cites backpacking around the globe as a major inspiration to her music, which is easy to see in this track’s title with any remaining inspiration coming from her white pet parrot Jai-Chai, whom she claims is never far from her shoulder.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
CíceroIsabel (Carta De Um Pai Aflito)

This song is from Cícero’s third album, A Praia, released a few months ago. Its lyrics are about a father regretting the loss of his daughter, who left home to experience life. The album has elements of traditional indie-rock and Brazilian popular music, usually referred to as MPB.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Mallory ScottLevitate

Mallory Scott’s electro-pop creeps into the deep crevices of the night, but in his latest track Levitate the beats also seep deep into your soul and the melodies into your consciousness.

CHILE: Super 45
Nva PictonEstar

Nva Picton is a duo formed by Miguel Gálvez and Andrés San Martín. It’s also one of the most interesting projects that the Chilean musical scene has bred. Without framing it in a specific genre, they put together experimental RnB, avant-garde electronica and club music in a package that keeps its coherence, regardless of their ambitions. Their single Estar is taken from their first work, EP.01 (Sudamerican Records, 2015).

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
La Sabrosura DuraLa Mona

Bogota’s La Sabrosura Dura is a hard project to explain. Some call them salsa punk. The septet feel the rhythm in their veins, but they don’t require the audience to be skilled in the arts of salsa or tropical rhythms. Indeed, they prefer that the public enjoy it as they please, whether they know the dance or not. They were a sensation at this year’s SXSW and are currently working on their new album. This song, La Mona, is named after one of the many affectionate names given to beer in Colombia.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The New InvestorsAtún

Born out of a love for 1960s surf and psychedelic pop, The New Investors have released eight digital singles so far (all on SoundCloud), but it is with their latest, Atún (video), they get it absolutely right. If this is the level we can expect of their debut album, due out in August 2015, it will be quite excellent.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Gallo Lester ft. La Montra & YuriseibiLa Comparsa

El Gallo Lester started as a YouTube sensation with some weird mashups between current sociopolitical events and his own breed of “mambo metal” music, and it’s quickly becoming an icon of shamelessness, social critique and rebellion. La Comparsa shares the spotlight with two more made-up characters: La Montra, a character made to resemble Rita Indiana’s unique style, and Yuriseibi, a girl who’s always dreamed of being produced by Lester. Be sure to check out his his YouTube channel’s videos and parodies.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Van Fan CuloComí (feat. Jennifer Byron)

Efraaín Granizo is the mind behind Van Fan Culo, an electronic music project that blends different kinds of beats and genres like hard dance, industrial, house, glitch or bombatom. From his first album Ser Rojo Sería, distributed by the Mexican label Casete, we present single Comí featuring Jennifer Byron on vocals.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Sapphira SinggihLost Soul

Sapphira Singgih is a singer-songwriter who has been making her own songs in a lonely room for years. After singing with some of notable groups, mostly psychedelic rock’n’roll, she’s ready to come out on her own.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
RiZA feat. Niwel TsumbuKabembe

As an Irish-based guitarist with Congolese roots, Niwel Tsumbu is a superbly original artist drawing on a stunning array of influences. Kabembe blends central African rhythms and lingala language lyrics with an emotive tale of the day Tsumbu found out his daughter is not his biological relation. RiZA, Tsumbu’s newest outlet, feature the best Irish-African music has to offer and already look set to make waves.

ITALY: Polaroid
MOODSick Pride Nice Vibe

I know why I love MOOD: I saw them live before even knowing what they were going to do. There were these two very young kids on a big stage, only a guitar and a drum set. And then, it happened: they blew everyone away! It was math-rock, it was post-rock, it was loops on delays and rhythms overlapped. And it was very, very, very loud. Daniele and Francesco, just 18 years old now, have released a self-titled first album and shared a stage with the likes of J Mascis, Chain And The Gang and The Death Of Anna Karina.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
DriphtGreen Dub

Formed in 1998, Dripht’s music is a fusion of punk-rock with a reggae feel. To date Dripht has released three EPs – Dripht, Global Warning and Pacifista – and gained a sizeable following in Malta.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Siete CatorceRespira

Marco Polo Gutiérrez, a young producer from Mexicali, Baja California living in Mexico City, works under many different monikers, yet has obtained most of his popularity as Siete Catorce. Like many of his best songs, Respira is designed to be consumed as an immersive experience as the producer steps into frenetic grooves and anxious spaces, which conclude with a very accurate tribal-esque beat. For an artist who is constantly releasing amazing tracks, he’s certainly looking forward with this one.

PERU: SoTB
LagartijacarloVerano Par

Lagartijacarlo is a solo project that began in 2013. Carlo, its only member, composes and produces all his songs with an authentic lo-fi indie essence. His most recent release, Verano Par, is a six-track EP made mainly with a ukulele, a style he calls ukulele-pop.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
EvolsShelter

Evols are due to release their second album, Evols II, this autumn through Porto-based label Wasser Bassin. The quintet’s new record has been in the works for the last two years and we are very excited by the first single, Shelter, which is backed with a video directed by Laetitia Morais.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
The Van T’sGrowler

The Van T’s, led by grunge-loving twins Chloe and Hannah Van Thompson, might just take the Scottish festival scene by storm this summer. Since forming as a harmony-driven acoustic-folk duo, The Van T’s have undergone a radical evolution. They’re now a much noisier proposition with lashings of reverb and a Pixies-esque appreciation of pop distortion. The awesome Growler is taken from their debut EP.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Genius88 Years Old

True to their name, three-piece Genius deliver a mix of earnest and humorous lines set to garage-rock and punk. Following last year’s celebrated album Beaches, this month the band returned with EP Lucky Mistake. Lead track 88 Years Old is a straightforward number with uplifting lyrics.

SPAIN: Musikorner
BeatLoveWhite Whale

BeatLove is an experimental electronic duo formed in 2009 by Bejamín Jiménez and Myriam Fernández, two lovers of rhythm. In 2014 they brought out debut album Interference, and most recently they released Wins, which includes remixes by Fernando Lagreca and Reykjavik 606.

Music Alliance Pact May 2015

Music Alliance Pact May 2015

Time for the May edition of the Music Alliance Pact, featuring one of Make Believe Melodies’ favorite songs of 2015. That would be Half Mile Beach Group’s wind-swept “Twilight,” the lonely stroll-on-the-beach song we all deserve. Listen to it, and many more great songs, 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 19-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Half Mile Beach GroupTwilight

The image that the beach city of Zushi, south-east of Tokyo, has conjured up in recent years has not been particularly positive. It was a rowdy spot and then the local government banned loud music and other fun times from the coast. Thank goodness for outfits such as Half Mile Beach Group, who on Twilight present a windswept and haunting view. It is not quite summer bliss, as the whole thing sounds appropriate for the slow season, but it is a gorgeous representation all the same.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
El GnomoSuicidas Melodías

This new musical project by Martin Reznik (La Filarmonica Cosmica) almost started as a game in 2012, when he recorded several songs on a weekly basis. Some time afterwards, while reviewing the material, Martin realised he had an album in his hands, so he spent the next months polishing the songs and re-recording some instrumental tracks. He also invited musical friends to participate in what became a folk album with a soft psychedelic vibe. Suicidas Melodías is one of these collaborations, in which singer-sonwriter Sofía Viola lends her wonderful voice. You can download the full album from Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Arvo TantyWhite Hum Valley (Hello)

Arvo Tanty is an introduction to producer Michael Dolan’s solo material, following his work with electronic outfit Perth. White Hum Valley (Hello) is a grandiose, cinematic Casiotone orchestra track where slow, effacing rhythms pulse and dissolve at surface break. Dolan says the song was inspired by Joni Mitchell, Mort Garson’s Plantasia and his yearning to make a “Nintendo soundtrack of some kind”.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Otis TrioMontag’s Dream

Montag’s Dream, the opening track of Otis Trio’s debut album 74 Club, probably refers to the main character of the novel Fahrenheit 451. The dark jazz they create fits perfectly with the despair related in the book.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Nina BowzBone

Toronto artist Nina Bowz specializes in artful electro-pop that has quirky twists at every corner.

CHILE: Super 45
Urban MonkCollage

The lack of spirituality is a recurring theme of living in big cities, and for Urban Monk this is a starting point in their musical history. After a season in Brazil, Chai got together with Dhanur to bring out the sounds inside their heads. They have followed up their 2013 debut Primavera En Secreto EP with this year’s release of A Lua – a mixture of pop, rap, shoegaze and Krishna life by these friends from La Serena.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Planes (Estudios Universales)Fue Siempre Lo Mismo

Bogota’s Planes (Estudios Universales) previously appeared in the Music Alliance Pact in August 2012 and much has happened to them since then. Many trips, festivals, soundtracks and the release of their 2014 debut album Las Americas. In it, they continue their wave of dream-pop with alternative rock, creating a beautiful place in the soul of those who listen to them. Album closer Fue Siempre Lo Mismo is a song that speaks of encounters and disappointments.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Speaker Bite MeUh-Ah

This month we try something different, serving up an exclusive taste of a 15-year-old album. Speaker Bite Me’s If Love Is Missing It Must Be Imposed was originally released to little critical acclaim, but it has since grown to become a Danish rock classic and now it’s out on vinyl for the first time.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Les Petit BâtardsFicción

Les Petit Bâtards, with members under 19 years old, have become one of the most acclaimed new bands in Ecuador and are definitely worth keeping an eye on. One reason to believe in them is their intimate, touching first single, Ficción.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Manos MilonakisZyklon Main Theme

Manos Milonakis produces modern classical music for films and theatrical plays, as well as for his independent solo work. The original score for Thanassis Triaridis’ theatrical play Zyklon Or The Destiny is a magnificent set of 10 tracks awash in textures, atmospheres, moods and emotion. His music winds its way through your mind and moves your soul. You should also check out the main theme for the documentary Drink And Be Merry.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Answer SheetRegretful Season

With ukulele, guitar, bass and live loops, Yogyakarta band Answer Sheet bring diversity to Indonesia’s indie-pop scene. You might love how these guys sing in English with a slight Javanese dialect.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
Comrade HatOne Of Them

Multi-instrumental, multi-talented member of multiple Derry acts, Neil Burns – known in this particular guise as Comrade Hat – will throw that hat over anything that catches his fancy. One Of Them is a fine example of his work, designed on piano and guitar but constructed using a delicate touch on synths. Think Moby’s blissful corners constructed using the Rockies for inspiration. This is out of sync with the zeitgeist and all the better for it.

ITALY: Polaroid
Pueblo PeopleDog People

“As if Raymond Carver got drunk in front of the typewriter while Dinosaur Jr’s Green Mind plays on the turntables” – I really like this sentence from the press release for Giving Up On People, Pueblo People debut album. I think it really tells something about the way these songs are written, the spirit behind this raw, powerful music. The guitars are loud, the drum and bass are tight, the vocals are harsh and grasping. Life up against the wall, bad luck, growing up and going separate ways. For sure, one of the best Italian indie-rock albums this year.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
MisturaIssa Tard Wisq

Mistura is a duo whose songs, exclusively in Maltese, have elements of blues and rock, both electric and acoustic. Debut album U d-Dinja Tkompli Ddur, released in October 2014, is a rock concept record divided into four sections of four songs each. Packed with biting social commentary, especially in relation to local issues, it reflects on the theme of repetition and cycles of life. Antonio Olivari and Malcolm Bonnici are the main members, but they also perform as a full electric band with additional musicians.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Error.ErrorΓ

Error.Error is the project of Efrén Valenzuela, a young musician and beatmaker from Hermosillo, Sonora on the north-western desertic corner of Mexico. He is the founder of the netlabel LALALA4e and also operates under the Zonzobot alias. Error.Error recently blew us away with his newest track, written as Γ, an incredibly chilling piece which the artist has branded “reggaetrón”. Γ was accompanied with a futuristic, must-see 3D video created by the artist himself.

PERU: SoTB
PhysicNever Satisfied

Physic began to attract vast attention with only a couple of songs earlier this year, leaving us eager to hear more of their dark post-punk. Fortunately for us, they have just released their self-titled debut and Never Satisfied is one of the jewels of this remarkable album.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Beautify JunkyardsRainbow Garland

Beautify Junkyards’ first album, released in 2013, contained only covers but it drew the attention of many radio stations and journalists, and they were invited to participate in a Brazilian television documentary along with David Byrne, Devendra Banhart and M.I.A. Their new album of original material, The Beast Shouted Love, was released this month and it is one of the best records I have heard this year. It will please fans of Goldfrapp, Beach House, Melody’s Echo Chamber and Foxygen.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
The Great AlbatrossRighteous Man

Every so often you come across a new song that’s so obviously better than anything you’ve heard in months that it stops you in your tracks and makes you realise how much better life is to have it in it. For me, that special something is Righteous Man by The Great Albatross. The creator of this exceptional acoustic heartbreak is A. Wesley Chung, an American based in Glasgow. Righteous Man (video here) is taken from recent EP Roots, which features Avi Zahner-Isenberg from Avi Buffalo – he and Wesley are former bandmates.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Johnny AzariGod Damn Blues

Johnny Azari doesn’t pull any punches with his blues. This is in your face, razor-edge reconstruction of a genre that’s gotten soft. His music is the last swig of whiskey after a long night of drinking. The dark alleyway. This is real-life emotion through music and he’s not cleaning it up just to make a few casual listeners more comfortable.

Music Alliance Pact April 2015

Music Alliance Pact April 2015

Time for MAP, the monthly feature where blogs from more than 30 countries share an artist and a song with the world. For Japan, we are highlighting the driving rock of Tenkiame, the newest project from Azusa Suga (For Tracy Hyde, Shortcake Collage Tape). Hear it and 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 16-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
TenkiameSplash!

Azusa Suga is a Tokyo musician who keeps himself busy. He plays guitar in rising rock outfit For Tracy Hyde and is also the mastermind behind the chillwave-leaning Shortcake Collage Cake project. His newest outfit, Tenkiame, finds him in the vocalist role, merging driving rock with a touch of shoegaze. Splash! is their best cut yet, thanks to how it drives forward and how Suga pushes his voice to raise the emotional stakes.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Los Grillos Del MonteJaqueline

This supergroup formed by Facundo Flores (Onda Vaga, Nacho & Los Caracoles), Tomi Lebrero (El Puchero Misterioso), Martín Reznik (La Filarmónica Cósmica) and Jano Seitún (Campos Magnéticos, Alvy Singer Big Band) has just released their first record. According to the guys, the album sounds like “a bolero who fathered a cumbia, a chorus which is the cousin of the best zamba, and rock music that won’t leave us even if we try”. MAP exclusive download Jaqueline is our favorite track from the album.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Surf DadHoney

Surf Dad is the production duo of George and Declan Sands, brothers from Barwon Heads, a small coastal town near Melbourne. More than a year after releasing the excellent Unholy EP, the siblings have dropped Honey, a pristine, sensual track featuring horns, bells, woodblock, field recordings from their dad’s backyard and their mum, Natisha, on vocals. George had salvaged the vocal recordings from old four-track cassettes that Natisha, an artist herself, compiled in the 1980s. As you might expect from an intimate family collaboration, the boys’ woozy, organic production complements her heady performance perfectly. And Mum’s reaction upon hearing the track? She cried.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Dilly DallyGender Role

Buzz Records is taking Toronto by storm with their incredible roster of artists that include Odonis Odonis, Weaves, Greys, HSY, Anamai and more. Now I bring to you the incredible Dilly Dally, whose “I don’t give a fuck” attitude both on and off stage will have you loving them more and more.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
BalancerRemain Waves

Balancer is a trio formed by Colombians and Puerto Ricans, but based in Brooklyn. Gabriela, Felipe and Francisco have released two EPs and an album called Tipsoo. Their music is striking – it’s a world influenced by indie-rock, psychedelia and electronics. Remain Waves is the first single released from Tipsoo, which takes us through the waves to the shore with a warm, downtempo sound.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The Ball And The WallStanding On My Own

The Ball And The Wall’s latest single, MAP exclusive download Standing On My Own, came out in the UK on vinyl in March. The solo project of producer Noah Rosanes, he only puts out singles with guest vocalists. This one features Ida Wenøe and comes with an excellent “20 directors with 10 seconds each” video. The single’s B-side is So Good.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
EliaHasta El Final

Ignacio Izquierdo, also know as Elia Liut or Elia, is one of the Ecuadorian indie-rock scene’s most interesting musicians. After being part of Motozen, Ignacio began new project Elia Liut, combining folk, pop and alternative rock music. Hasta El Final is the second single from the Sentir EP, produced by Steven Aguilar (Dave Matthews Band, Moby).

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
HMGNCToday & Forever

Homogenic (stylized as HMGNC) is a trio consisting of Dina Dellyana, Grahadea Kusuf and Amandia Syachridar, who distill their many musical passions down to a few simple concepts, expressed as scientifically-constructed pop music which they refer to as electronic sci-pop.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
MuRliBoth Sides (feat. God Knows)

Taken from his Surface Tension EP, Both Sides represents another burst of creative hip-hop from the Limerick-based Rusangano Family collective, of which MuRli is a key member. The vocalist’s Togolese origins shine through in a track that deals with diversity with a cutting and memorable honesty. It’s a glance at fast-modernizing Ireland delivered through a captivating voice.

ITALY: Polaroid
Old Fashioned Lover BoyBarracudas

Old Fashioned Lover Boy’s debut album is called The Iceberg Theory – there is a hint of something majestic but also fragile and incomplete in this music. What we see of an iceberg is only a small part of what’s really there. These songs may seem thin, just another folk-pop record for Bon Iver or The Tallest Man On Earth fans. But while Old Fashioned Lover Boy is a bedroom songwriter with an acoustic guitar and a few synths, the love in his music is much more than this.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
LawallSteven

The state of Colima, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, is well known for its astounding beaches, but scarcely for its indie music. Enter Lawall, a very young band signed to Mexico City label Rock Juvenil, founded by Centavrvs member Paco Martínez. And what a finding Paco has made. This jangly, nostalgic tune has the sparkle of those 80s tunes crafted by Morrissey/Marr.

PERU: SoTB
IndigoDestino

Indigo was one of the most important bands in the development of Peruvian rock at the beginning of the last decade. Their first and only album is essential material. Almost 10 years after their last activity, they’ve returned with the announcement of a new album, from which we can hear Destino, an amazing song that rouses instant nostalgia as it grows in intensity.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
The Leeway If Only

The Leeway are a band formed by Pedro Barquinha – a Portuguese living in New York where he attends the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music – and his friend and fellow student Bennett Sullivan. In March 2014, with three other recruited members, they released an EP. If Only is a new track for 2015, with The Leeway releasing one every month accompanied by a video.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
BWANiMake My Day

BWANi first appeared on the Music Alliance Pact as Bwani Junction in November 2010 and released two albums under their old moniker. Conveniently, the rebranded version of the Edinburgh indie-rock band has coincided with their best work to date – the relentlessly anthemic single Make My Day (backed with a barnstorming video). Get addicted to this MAP exclusive free download before it inevitably appears on album number three.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Cumeo ProjectNew Day Rising

Electronic duo Cumeo Project has already garnered some attention internationally, but it was not until this month that first EP Promised Land came out on US label Shoeboxx Recordings. New Day Rising opens the release brilliantly with great beats and fleeting sounds.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Lydia BurrellCarry Our Weight

An emotive ticking clock of a song, Carry Our Weight bounces in and out between poetic lyrics and a synth that punches in between breaths. This is unabashed music. The lyrics float above melodies that tag behind, both elements reaching higher and higher until the song’s fantastic and satisfying conclusion.

Music Alliance Pact For March 2015

Music Alliance Pact For March 2015

I’ve got a train to catch…but new MAP! Caro Kissa!

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 21-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Caro KissaSaturday Morning

Indie-pop shall truly never fade out of style. As long as there are young people out there with access to some instruments and a computer to record with, the twee stuff will keep on coming. Caro Kissa have released one of the first great indie-pop EPs of the year in Japan with Perfect Dream, and Saturday Morning is an easy-going highlight, showcasing their skippy tempo and solid singing.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Panda ElliotGuerrero (AlexPatri remix)

Panda Elliot is three in one: woman, band and producer. A fresh new face in the music scene, she recently launched her second album Forastera, which shows a more confident Panda Elliot, well established in her own style. After the eclectic single Ligerita, she released Guerrero, a rockin’ feminine song that forces you to move your head. The track is potent and full of energy on its own, so this remix by AlexPatri extends into the realm of fun, uptempo electronic dance.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
KučkaDivinity

A continuation of Kučka’s future R&B leanings hinted at in her previous work, Divinity is a lush, surreal affair. Undulating rhythms sync perfectly with the swirling, cough-syrupy synths and Laura Jane Lowther’s vocals, which sound at once sultry and innocent. Think an antipodean Purity Ring.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Passo TortoIsaurinha

Passo Torto is a quartet formed by renowned musicians from Sao Paulo’s contemporary music scene. Isaurinha is taken from their second album, Passo Elétrico, in which they explore guitars and effects on acoustic bass and cavaquinho (sort of a small guitar often associated with samba), with the lack of percussion elements leaving space for harmonic and melodic experiments.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
MunroeBloodlet

Fans of Lykke Li may enjoy newcomer Kathleen Munroe, who simply goes by Munroe. She makes chilling folk tunes like this one with a tinge of Americana (though I guess this would be Canadiana?). Production-wise, Bloodlet doesn’t have too much but it’s perfect just the way it is. Her lovely voice is all you need.

CHILE: Super 45
Patio SolarPintura

Guitars are back in Chilean pop and Patio Solar proves this. After a couple of self-produced releases (Patio Solar and Driminsún), these youngsters from a little corner of Santiago offer dreamy lo-fi melodies, sometimes close to shoegaze and psychedelia, on their 2015 debut album Temporada. The single Pintura is taken from the record, released through Piloto.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
OkraaHealing

Juan Carlos Torres, the frontman of Bogotá’s Globos de Aire, also goes by the pseudonym Okraa, and with this solo alias he makes deeper, more personal work within electronica. Okraa, who has done remixes for Scottish artist Turtle, shows the well-woven sounds that lead us to take a walk in our minds on Healing, from his debut Dreamachine EP.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Virgin SuicideVirgin Suicide

The quintet Virgin Suicide will release their eponymous debut album on May 18, co-produced and mixed by Sune Rose Wagner (The Raveonettes). Here is first single Virgin Suicide as a MAP exclusive download.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Behind The TigersBehind The Tigers

Behind The Tigers is a new, mysterious project from Santo Domingo. Their name is a literal translation of a colloquial Dominican way of referring to fun-loving guys as “tigres”. Their first song, Behind The Tigers, is a breezy electro-pop tune, but as simple as it sounds, the duo claims there’s more than meets the eye in their lyrics and wordplay.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
La Orden Del Baile AtrevidoSe Fue El Sistema

Se Fue El Sistema is the first single on the new EP by La Orden Del Baile Atrevido (L.O.B.A.), an electro-rock band with a euphoric style dubbed “rotten glamor”. This song mocks the nightmare of Ecuador’s paperwork, but it’s also a criticism of the system in which we live. L.OB.A.’s debut album, Musica Del Cosmos, will be released this year.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Zebra TracksWaves

There’s something totally irresistible about Zebra Tracks’ intoxicating third album, Waves. They make thoroughly exciting, perfectly executed music that brims with fresh ideas, shimmery guitars and thundering rhythms, sharp and moving melodies, bleak, brooding but hopeful arrangements. They have wisely retained the elements that worked previously, yet there is a depth of emotion here they have never accessed before. Zebra Tracks have made an impressive stride forward and you’d be mad not to follow them.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Nic FitMimpi Pergi

If you watched a lot of MTV and crowdsurfed at gigs during the 1990s, then you may have the era forever in your heart as one awesome memory where lots of weird-sounding bands emerged and you love them. Nic Fit will bring back those happy feelings.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
No Monster ClubI’ve Retired

No Monster Club is the solo guise of Bobby Aherne, an ever-present at the heart of some of Dublin indie’s more eccentric and memorable moments. I’ve Retired sees colorfully upbeat verses and bouncing choruses adorned with contrary lyrics: it’s themed around a departure from the scene that’s clearly not about to happen. What’s bound to happen eventually, though, is one of Aherne’s acts make a major, major impact. A space worth watching.

ITALY: Polaroid
Go DugongImagine Me And You

A Love Explosion is the new album by Go Dugong. Spring is approaching here in Italy, so a record full of love and sensuality seems appropriate. There are mellow beats and psychedelic melodies influenced by 60s and 70s Italian soundtracks plus samples from old school Northern Soul hits. The album is free to download via Bandcamp.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Animación Suspendida IICreepy Groovy Hell

Vapor and sine waves are certainly bubbling under the skin of Animación Suspendida II, a duo comprised of Beto Ben and Mou (formerly of Bam Bam, the space-rock band that delivered Red Bull Panamérika’s 2011 album of the year). With an amazing recording process, the pair improvise on iPad music apps, record to tape and then edit the final track. So, no Ableton Live here, just pure Monterrey psy-fi-phuture juice. The video is a must-see.

PERU: SoTB
The Deep Sea MonsterLike A God

The Deep Sea Monster, who formed in 2012, have emerged from Lima’s independent music circuit with a sound encompassing psychedelia and garage rock. Their new self-titled album is a perfect match of experimentation and euphoria. Their challenge is to not limit their music in any way and their full discography is available for free on Bandcamp.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Tape JunkThumb Sucking Generation

The Tape Junk, who first appeared on the Music Alliance Pact in October 2013, release their eponymous second album in April. It was produced by another talented Portuguese musician, Luís Nunes (Walter Benjamin), and recorded in a makeshift studio in Alvito, Alentejo. The calmness of the place comes across on the recording and its sound.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Tongues.Anymore

Tongues. is the electro project of Kill The Waves frontman Tim Kwant, who is wildly succeeding in his mission to create inspiring pop songs that combine raw energy with a delicate touch. Bold synths, deep subs and soaring vocoders have justifiably drawn comparisons to Alt-J, Hot Chip and fellow Glaswegians Chvrches. With around 50,000 plays so far, Colours In The Dark sparked an online stir after being “accidentally” left public on SoundCloud earlier this year. However, MAP exclusive download Anymore is an even more impressive offering, a perfect union of uplifting and emotive.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Flash Flood DarlingsIn The City

Seoul-based Flash Flood Darlings, who was raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, describes his music as romantic synth-pop. Debut album Vorab And Tesoro was released in February and is filled with a dreamy blend of genres. In The City has been well chosen as one of the album’s two lead tracks, offering a synth line that makes it the perfect soundtrack for a night drive through any city.

SPAIN: Musikorner
MIWA*Space Invad*r

MIWA* is the moniker under which Barcelona-based DJ and producer Sergi Miwa releases tracks inspired by avant-garde Japanese pop. His music is an open invitation to a galactic getaway, or a one-way ticket to wherever your imagination takes you.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Hip HatchetCoward’s Luck

There are thousands upon thousands of singer-songwriters in the world – and not a single one of them is like Hip Hatchet. His music is highly personal yet also universal. Every lyric packs a punch and every play reminds you just how powerful sound can be.

Music Alliance Pact February 2015

This month in the Music Alliance Pact, we spotlight young producer Eriqu, who has been making some really exciting electronic music out of Tokyo the last few months. Listen to him, and many 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 19-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
EriquGang Star


Neck-twisting wonkiness has been a common trait in most notable bedroom-produced Japanese electronic music worth checking out. Eriqu has his fair share of all-over-the-place tracks, but when he focuses a bit on the thundering Gang Star, he comes up with one of his best numbers to date. It ploughs ahead, although Eriqu adds a few unsettling touches such as scrambled voices or what sounds like a man making dog barks.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Enero Sera MioHasta Encontrarte


“January will be mine” is the translation of singer-songwriter Sol Fernandez’s artistic project. Her music is a perfect match of soft melodies and dream-pop with carefully crafted arrangements and sound landscapes. This track is from Enero3, her latest work, which is being released through Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Nite FieldsPrescription


Prescription is the second single from Brisbane four-piece Nite Fields’ long-awaited debut record Depersonalisation. While the intricate guitar work and broody vocals echo The Church, there’s a humid, curiously distant tone here that is something totally their own. Starting with sparse prickly guitars and splashy drumming, the song folds in on itself towards the end, becoming slightly claustrophobic but in an intimate, whispery way. Nite Fields keeps you at arm’s length – you have to squint through the haze of effects and layers to get a hold of anything solid, but once you do, you’ve already fallen hard for this moody and mysterious band.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
WillowsThe Shape I’m In


Johnny McArthur and Eric Moore make up the electronic duo Willows. They venture into uncomfortable territory melodically. The swirling repetitive underlying of The Shape I’m In resembles the dizzying sensation of intoxication. The bursts of energy are like the highs that come back to the inevitable lows.

CHILE: Super 45
Sin ÓrbitaAtardecer


Sin Órbita is a duo formed by Paula Roa and Martin Perez Roa, who last year released their first record, Neón EP (Sudamerican Records). Flirting with electronica and soul, the band are a mixture of Massive Attack trip hop cadence and AlunaGeorge sensuality.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The Radar PostTraces


Songwriter and producer Esben Svane will release his debut solo album as The Radar Post in April. The record will also be titled The Radar Post (he’s keeping his real name for an album in Danish later on) and here’s first great single, Traces, which you can also download in WAV format on SoundCloud.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
MULAUp & Down


MULA is a new experimental project formed by Anabel and Cristabel Acevedo (the twins from folk duo Las Acevedo) and up-and-coming DJ Rach Ro. Even though their musical backgrounds are very different, they want to defy certain preconceptions about mixing electronica with more urban styles. Up & Down, their first single, takes from reggaeton rhythms and electronic accents to create a space-like musical journey. Their first full record is out on February 22 on their self-made label, Pulcra Records.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Mama Soy DementeLa Buena Suerte


Mama Soy Demente is an experimental rock band founded in 2005 by El Ermitaño and Jolgorio Vocal. La Buena Suerte is the first single from their third and latest studio album, El Disco Rojo, an eclectic record brimming with energy and power.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
MuchCarried Away


From Malang with Much love. The duo, consisting of Dandy Gilang and Aulia Anggia on vocals, will rock you with their fuzz-pop beat and embrace you with their warm distortion.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
Featuring XWild Love


A pop-rock teenage quintet from the back-roads town of Drogheda on Ireland’s east coast, Featuring X are fast gaining traction for their buoyant, lively sound and skilful axe-womanship. Wild Love is their distinctive cover of Rea Garvey’s classic, loaded with harmonies and feisty riffs. As well as new recordings, we’ve been promised something else, ‘something special’ in 2015.

ITALY: Polaroid
HavahMeno Di Metà


Jonathan Clancy from His Clancyness and A Classic Education recently started a new label called Maple Death. The inaugural release is a split 12” EP between His Electro Blue Voice (already on Sub Pop and Sacred Bones), who contributed a hypnotic 19-minute track, and Havah, the new project of Michele Camorani (from punk hardcore legends La Quiete and Raein). Havah have a darker, colder and more post-punk sound. They usually play fast and short songs, and they are incredible.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
YewsKeep Trying Till It’s Something


Singer-songwriter Yasmin Kuymizakis (Yews) composes and produces ethereal electronic pop music in her bedroom. Currently based in London, she has a different set-up every time she performs live, playfully changing and adapting her simple songs. Her debut Selene EP was released in 2014.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
SotomayorCielo


Raúl Sotomayor and his sister Paulina were part of Mexico City’s Beat Buffet, a hip hop combo that parted ways with its other members a few months ago. Not much time had passed when they announced this new project, whose introduction card is Cielo, a beautiful, downbeat, sensuous electropical tune.

PERU: SoTB
Los OutsaidersNiña


Los Outsaiders are a great garage-rock group based in Lima. Led by Charlie VTW, their sound is influenced by classic and contemporary rock’n’roll. They recently released their first album with the help of producer Gordon Raphael, known for his work with The Strokes.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Cave StoryRichman


Hailing from the city of Caldas da Rainha, Cave Story are Pedro Zina (bass), Gonçalo Formiga (vocals, guitar) and Ricardo “Caguincha” Mendes (drums). Their sound will delight fans of Pavement. Richman is an obvious tribute to the great American musician Jonathan Richman.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
MonogramAnno(mute)


Monogram, aka Liam Rutherford, first appeared in MAP’s August 2013 edition under his previous pseudonym Mast. The accompanying song, Romance, was my favourite of that year. Anno(mute) is a subtler, haunting offering, but remains true to his DIY ethic. Working from a remote cabin studio in the Borders, he plays all instruments, designs his own artwork and self-produces his promo videos to create an all-encompassing experience.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
JoJo BlowhardGood Night


Operating under the motto that “lying is OK”, JoJo Blowhard writes sad songs that make for great company. His first EP Good Night was released in late 2013, but he has come under the spotlight again with the recent release of the title track’s video. A sober melody paired with JoJo Blowhard’s sympathetic voice, the tones from Good Night will linger long after the song has stopped playing.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Buck & CakeBrillo Labial


According to a close friend of Buck & Cake, the music Douche Buck and Cake Moss play is about “leaving subtleness behind, marrying an old man and counting the days to his demise in order to inherit his fortune. It’s dying your hair blonde using cheap products… and refilling your Chanel bottle using that coconut cologne you bought in a dollar shop.” Basically, Buck & Cake’s electropop is about carelessly giving yourself over to the pleasures of life.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Twin LimbLong Shadow


The music of Twin Limb is that constantly folding and dancing smoke of a freshly blown-out candle. Minimalist sounds find itself turning into emotional highs as the pure talent of Twin Limb sneaks through the smallest mannerisms of brilliant songwriting.