Category Archives: Mixes

Music Alliance Pact November 2014

This month for the Music Alliance Pact – a feature where blogs from all over the world share one song with one another, with Make Believe Melodies repping for Japan – we highlighted a bit of a different sounding artist. The spotlight falls on Toyohirakumin, who often gets lumped into the world of vaporwave, but who doesn’t fall for the trappings of that micro-genre on his most recent album. Listen to it and a lot more great music 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
ToyohirakuminCliff

If the term ‘vaporwave’ gives you chills, either turn back now or try to think beyond whatever concepts of the internet microgenre you have. Toyohirakumin makes music that is often filed as – and in some cases sounds like – vaporwave, but Cliff is far more than an exercise in aesthetics. It is a slow burner, and a minimal one at that, but a compelling throbber from a promising Japanese producer.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Tomás FerreroCuando Te Hablo

In March 2013, a mixed group of musicians gathered together in Cordoba and Buenos Aires to play some songs and sound pieces composed with lyrics taken from the work of a federal collective of artists called Esta Vida No Otra. Some of them recorded the results several months later, and those tracks were then released as a compilation titled 15 Artistas Cantan Esta Vida No Otra. The song we have selected from this album, also available for free at Bandcamp, is Cuando Te Hablo by Tomás Ferrero from the band Rayos Láser.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Open SwimmerSugar Bowl

Open Swimmer’s version of pop is jarring, even discordant at first, but it’s this blatantly simple approach that has us hooked. (Dirty Projectors fans, pay attention now.) Sugar Bowl is a brilliant introduction to the band; playful yodelling is cut and pasted along a steady 4/4 drum beat, while witty banter takes the fore. Songwriter Ben TD was based in Glasgow for seven years, touring extensively and landing multiple sessions on BBC Radio One and a stint at T in the Park before settling in Melbourne. The band comprises some of Melbourne’s most admired independent music alumni (The Harpoons, Seagull). Expect to hear a lot more from this group.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Alessandra LeãoMofo

Alessandra Leão shows off her experimental side with Mofo, taken from her new EP, Pedra De Sal. Avoiding the world music sound from other works, this song has dark music and some weird programming that fits the angst of the lyrics.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Beach SeasonMidnights

There’s not actually much out there on Beach Season besides the fact the project is from Calgary. The smooth vocals of Midnights complements the hip-hop influenced rhythms. This is a duo that won’t be much of a mystery for long.

CHILE: Super 45
The Dagger ComplexVelvet Moon

The Dagger Complex were formed in 2013 by Hernán Díaz (vocals/guitar), Michaela Boman (vocals), Abraham Vicencio (guitar), Gonzalo Chandía (bass) and Ignacio Álvarez (drums). Their debut EP, Vibrant, released by Beast Discos, is a collection of songs inspired by early 90s shoegaze and dream-pop, one foot set in the cadence of bands such as Slowdive or Mojave 3, the other one in the fuzzy mass of noise of The Jesus And Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
IAmFireBurn Your Halo

IAmFire have their debut EP ready and apparently it sounds like a “massive drug experience” to frontman Peter Dolving. Come December, he and the rest of the gang will be releasing this groovy stoner metal dragon and here’s Burn Your Halo as a MAP exclusive download.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Gnómico & Victor VictorMesita De Noche

Hip-hop producer Gnómico has always been interested in preserving Dominican musical culture for the present and future generations. Now he’s embarking on a new project called Sinergia that will add an urban twist to many songs from past decades. The first one is Mesita De Noche, a famous 90s bachata by Victor Victor, now remade with a funky fresh attitude, Gnómico’s own rap verses and Mr Victor himself singing its signature chorus.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Da Culkin ClanSometimes You Make Love

From the city of Cuenca, Da Culkin Clan represents the most weird and experimental contemporary hip hop of the country. Their lyrics and music are a bunch of random, powerful and creative ideas – a mixture of carnival and fiction figures. From debut album Special Dark, we present its first single, Sometimes You Make Love.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Babis PapadopoulosSpring

Babis Papadopoulos blends the organic nature of Greek traditional folk music, rhythms rich with contemporary elements and avant-garde jazz and succeeds in creating a sequence of lush, varied and nostalgic tracks. Spring, the splendid first preview from his forthcoming album, Joy In Pain, Pain In Joy, is dominated by a delicate, recurring melody in bouzouki, mournful violins, a broody viola and the warm restlessness of his guitar.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
BarokkaBarapantura

Dangdut Koplo is one of the most famous electro genres in the shady underground clubs of Indonesia. This trashy dance anthem was created by the guy behind Dubyouth as an introduction.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
SPIESMoosehead

Hyped up by authorities as hefty as The Guardian and NME, Dublin’s SPIES are widely seen as the city’s next big thing. Moosehead is the latest of their slow to emerge singles, released on the band’s own Trout Records label. Leaning on the same glorious desolation that fronted Factory Records’ world-renowned soundscapes, it’s a jittery, dingy piece of indie-rock that brings atmospheric depression up to date. Think social awkwardness meets Interpol, and put a hefty bookmark on this space.

ITALY: Polaroid
KlamMess With The Best, Die In A Nuclear Test

On the cover of Bleak, the debut album by Klam, there is a foggy road, a city in the shadow, a storm seems to be approaching. It’s a perfect introduction to the sound of the band: dark shoegaze with post-punk sharp edges. They can create hazy clouds of feedback, but they can also write vibrant and trembling songs like this one.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
FastidjuKukkuzejt

Fastidju was born when Nigel Baldacchino (essentially a non-musician) started conceiving vague sung melodies and aural structures for existing pieces of writing compiled for the exhibition, Sajda, in 2012. Nigel started seeking collaborations with electronic producers he admired, such as Istishhad Hheva and Cygna, to provide flesh to his musical skeletons. An album was devised and a band took on the task of developing some of the structures – and even creating new songs. Cygna ultimately ended up being the main crucial guiding light in the final studio phase.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
PumcayóDon Jacinto

Hailing from Guadalajara, Pumcayó is a band that weaves their region’s folkloric heritage, with patterns found on Grizzly Bear or Fleet Foxes’ music. Following a Kino-Pravda aesthetic – as in Dziga Vertov’s Soviet documentary from the 20s – the video for the song Don Jacinto follows the semi-industrial art of making colourful papercrafts, a simple decor in Mexican celebrations with a beautifully complex craft.

PERU: SoTB
Mind BlackCocaine

Mirella Bellido is the songwriter and lead singer of Mind Black. These Days is her debut five-track EP that moves through different emotions such as anxiety, perversion, obsession and regret. Mind Black, as defined by its creator, is a balance between the emotional and rational.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
A JigsawNo True Magic

Coimbra band A Jigsaw are back with a new album, No True Magic. Jorri and João Rui, the two members of the folksy alternative band, invited Carla Torgerson (The Walkabouts) to join them on vocals for one of the tracks, Black Jewelled Moon. They also produced the record, which will find new fans in those who appreciate artists such as Tindersticks, Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Los VigilantesAhí Ya No Estoy

After an exhaustive and intense European tour, garage-rockers Los Vigilantes returned to Puerto Rico with a new record under their belt. Aptly titled Al Fin (At Last), it perfectly showcases the band’s brand of melodic surf punk: both infectious and melancholy, it makes your bones rattle, a bit from pain and a bit from joy. Los Vigilantes recently shared a video for the record’s second single, Ahí Ya No Estoy, in which a scorned lover wills himself into feeling hopeful for the future with a little help from his friends, cheering us all up in the process. Dance those blues away with Los Vigilantes.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Billy Jeffrey JnrEternal Blue

Billy Jeffrey Jnr’s debut album, Eternal Blue, received modest attention when it was released in early 2014 but – thanks to the power of word-of-mouth and mesmeric live performances – it continues to gain the Glasgow songwriter a host of new fans and followers with each passing week. Possessing the same otherworldly quality as Bon Iver, it is a record full of elegant moments, with title track Eternal Blue being a personal favourite.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
We Hate JH20

Emo/power-pop band We Hate JH made the finals of this year’s edition of the foremost South Korean rookie competition, Hello Rookie. A brand new single will be out very soon, but 20 is the charming and extremely likeable opening track off the official debut EP Officially, We Hate JH released earlier this year.

SPAIN: Musikorner
RoleShrine II

Role are a four-piece from Madrid whose sound is influenced by dream-pop, trip-hop and even art-rock. They have played live at Valle Eléctrico, one of the most important experimental electronic club nights in Spain, and their first album is due to be released in the first quarter of 2015.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Jenna DeanBlown

Funk-based hip hop is alive and well in the form of this brilliant track from Jenna Dean. Smooth guitars open into a locked groove that swarms around a controlled lyrical outpouring. It’s a song that builds and builds, never letting the listener down.

Music Alliance Pact October 2014

It’s here, the October edition of the Music Alliance Pact! Hopefully you know the drill by now but if not…more than 30 blogs from around the world, sharing songs from their representative country. For Japan, the spotlight falls on The Somedays and their lovely digi-glazed “Remember Me.” Listen to 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 21-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
The SomedaysRemember Me
There is no shortage of indie-pop music in Japan. There has never been a lack of twee-leaning, ennui-dunked groups in this country. Osaka group The Somedays have found a smart way to stand out from the pack. Remember Me is anchored by all the regular trappings of the style – guitar, drums, melancholy vocals – but is given a buzzy edge thanks to the presence of synthesizers, lending a futuristic vibe to their sound.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
UbikaFahrenheit
Hard rock guitars, solid bass and drums plus strong female vocals are the formula behind Ubika. Fahrenheit is the first single from their latest album, Amigos Del Bosque, and it’s inspired by Ray Bradbury’s novel. The song has a video directed by Diego Stickar, which you can watch here.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
The TwoksFirst Light
The Twoks are a Melbourne two-piece comprising Xani Kolac on violin and vocals, and Mark Leahy on drums. Initially the solo instrumental project of Kolac, who studied jazz and improvisation at Victorian College of the Arts, the duo is now renowned on the local live circuit for their unpredictable sets which feature Kolac on loop station and a smorgasbord of effects. On The Twoks’ latest release, First Light EP – which boasts crisp production from Tony Buchen (The Preatures) – Kolac’s improvisations have been whittled down to concise retro-pop tunes in the vein of Pat Benatar or Kate Bush.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
BaleiaBreu
Breu is one of the strongest songs from Baleia’s debut album, released last year. They first caught the attention of the indie press in Brazil with a jazzy cover of Justin Timberlake but in their album they show a handful of influences, resulting in experimental indie-rock that dabbles in baroque pop and folk.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Friends ForeverAs Long As You Call Me
The duo of Jordan Pearson (New Zebra Kid/Halcyon) and Sam McDougall don’t have many songs yet under the moniker Friends Forever, but As Long As You Call Me shows off vintage 80s synth-pop inspiration with sparking melodies.

CHILE: Super 45
Magaly FieldsLove Scene
Magaly Fields is a duo formed by Tomás Stewart (guitar) and Diego Cifuentes (drums) who rock fast and strongly. They released their debut album Chromatic Days in September through Algo Records. Their first single is Love Scene, a fictional tune about a rotten relationship that fantasies that the romance never really happened.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Hit The HayLong Way Home
One of my favorite Danish bands right now, Hit The Hay travel dusty American roads with bags packed with catchy Scandinavian melancholy. Here is my first meeting with them, Long Way Home, as a MAP exclusive download, but do also check out the great Never Wanted Out and Running.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
DoobPut On Your Seat Belt (Brenda M Remix)
True island vibes can be felt all over the work of Doob, a young producer from La Vega who spends his time remixing, and ranging between soul and progressive house on tracks of his own. The original Put On Your Seat Belt song can be heard here, but the one featuring on this MAP edition is a Nu-disco remix by Brenda M, a DJ and collaborator from the neighboring Santiago province.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Estereo HumanzeeInsaciable
In less than one year, Estereo Humanzee return to MAP with their new EP, 8min 20seg. This three-song EP, that came with their new live album Signaux Lumineux, is a real statement of the evolution of their electronic sound.

FRANCE: Your Own Radio
SingapourParis SA
Singapour is the new project from the duo Mondrian, who are composed of Roman Oswald and Lee Gordon. On their track Paris SA (Paris Société Anonyme) they present the Paris you don’t really want to know: €10,000 per square meter, €3 coffee, stressful life. It’s the storytelling of a complicated relationship between Parisians and their city, a kind of “I love you… me neither”.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Dead GumFloat
Panagiotis Spoulos, as Dead Gum, mainly uses guitar and vocals through minimal effects to create instant songs, psychedelic collages and direct, stripped-down bursts. The music itself – partially improvised but fully psychographic – has anthropocentric characteristics and lo-fi character and flirts with punk, bedroom pop and analog noise. Float is the gripping opening track off his upcoming album, GAINER.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
MegatruhAnnelies
Megatruh come from Malang, a small city in the eastern part of Java with plenty of music talent, and Megatruh is one of the latest breed. After a series of painful things happened to frontman Kidung, he started a project influenced by post-punk, psychedelia and noise-rock with 90s sensibilities.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
Conor WalshThe Front
West coast modern-classical pianist Conor Walsh has one foot in Ireland’s contemporary scene through his toned-down samples and nuanced electronics. In the most part, though, his music exudes a mellow timelessness, taking the gorgeous throwback farmland of rural Mayo and converting it into a sound that’s part film score, part desolate romance. At first listen this sounds like simple piano music; let it sit and The Front’s gentle flow whisks you away.

ITALY: Polaroid
NiagaraVanillacola
Niagara are a Turin-based experimental pop duo. They say their sound incorporates elements of electronic, psychedelic, Eastern and dance music, but I think it’s more surprising than this. The track Vanillacola, from their second album Don’t Take It Personally (out now on the UK label Monotreme), is a wonderful example of Niagara’s elusive idea of music: Boards Of Canada synths that destroy a catchy pop structure, while the vocals become more obsessive as the melody gets hypnotic.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Pájaro Sin AlasAlfombra Mágica Mental
Rodolfo Ramos Castro aka Pájaro Sin Alas (“Bird With No Wings”) not only penned one of the most heartbreaking songs of the first half of this decade, but also became a figure whose slow output is worth the wait. Alfombra Mágica Mental functions as bitter sips of shared realities that strangely link the mystery of the Arabian Nights with the barren landscapes of his home state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico.

PERU: SoTB
Las Amigas De NadieShould Not Let It Go
Human Dress is the new album of Las Amigas De Nadie, released two years after Sincronia, a record that created great interest in the Latin American music scene thanks to its originality. Human Dress gives us a much deeper insight into the experimental melodies that the band introduced in their previous album. Should Not Let It Go is their first single, an addictive and remarkable mix of electronic textures and distorted vocals.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Pernas De AlicatePássaros (Casa Para Pássaros, Parte I)
Pernas De Alicate is not really a band but a project started by drummer Carlos BB, who is also a recording studio owner, and Sara Feio, an illustrator. They invited some of their friends and acquaintances to contribute their art, music, illustrations, photography and film for Pernas De Alicate. The music was recorded over Carlos BB’s drums, with every musician invited on a one-by-one basis. The video for Pássaros (Casa Para Pássaros, Parte I) was directed by Sara.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
SamalotValle De Luz
After two intense albums as part of experimental rock group Tachdé, Fernando Samalot has created his own niche in the prolific Puerto Rican music scene with his introspective and meditative songs. With the steady hand of engineer and producer Héctor “Stontape” Hernández, Fernando has created musical landscapes filled with desire, hope and wisdom that seem to travel like wind from our lush Caribbean mountains down to the intricate river channels of the island. Samalot’s most recent EP – available through Bandcamp – features two “sister” songs, Rayo De Luz and Valle De Luz. Both are definitely faces of the same coin.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
The XcertsPop Song
The Xcerts have been my favourite Scottish rock band since their debut album In The Cold Wind We Smile was released in 2009, with its impassioned choruses and gripping moments of melancholy. It wasn’t difficult to fall under its spell. While the follow-up record was deliberately rougher around the edges, their imminent third album, There Is Only You, out on November 3, is an exhibition of The Xcerts’ songwriting strength. The melodic explosion of the aptly-named Pop Song, a MAP exclusive download, is a case in point. Check out the video for it here.

SPAIN: Musikorner
YDVST2044
YDVST breathes mysticism and irrealities. His first EP, DVST / CUTS was written during silent and uncertain nights. It was released by the Sweat Taste label and contains experimental essences of ambient, downtempo and vaporware. This mysterious yet captivating artist from Madrid will certainly develop his projects at his own pace.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
The FervorMoment Of Truth
Louisville, Kentucky’s The Fervor mixes in lush orchestration with pounding vocals that conjure up thoughts of Neko Case. The music is filled with small moments of beauty that once heard as a complete piece results in a blissful listen.

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.