Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Pequeno Céu at August's Music Alliance Pact

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 17-track compilation through Dropbox here.

Julieta y Los Espíritus - El Látigo (Modex remix)
This is a song from the new project of Julieta Brotsky (aka July Sky). It's not the original version from the album, but a great remix released a couple of weeks ago by post-punk band Modex. Julieta's beautiful voice can also be heard on several tracks by indie-pop band Entre Ríos, and in Varias Artistas, the female ensemble put together by singer-songwriter Lucas Marti.

 AUSTRALIAWho The Bloody Hell Are They?
These Guy - Coming Around
Brisbane trio These Guy was originally the solo project of singer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Saxby. Latest track Coming Around combines the lofty vocals and downer lyrics of Saxby's earlier work. Along with buoyant pop production, the result is a track that's interesting at every turn. The absence of any kind of rhythm guitar leaves Saxby's vocals and synth-fiddling to carry the melodic weight of the track. Coming Around is a testament to Saxby's ear for off-kilter production and hopefully points to a more experimental/avant-pop future for These Guy.

 BRASILMeio Desligado
Pequeno Céu - Quatro
Post-rock six-piece Pequeno Céu started as a solo project some years ago before releasing their first album as a band in 2014. Pequeno Céu differs from other math/post-rock ensembles because of the Brazilian influences and simplicity of their short instrumental songs, such as Quatro. For fans of BADBADNOTGOOD, Hurtmold and Tortoise.

 CANADARide The Tempo
Mauno - Reeling
Experimental shapeshifters Mauno (pronounced mao-no) reel you in with their off-kilter pop tunes. The Halifax group is unafraid to test you with their strange sounds.

 CHILESuper 45
AYEAYE - A Medianoche Me Llevaré Tu Alma
After the dissolution of the duo Mostro, and following the many collaborations with Chilean/German DJ Matias Aguayo, the producer and illustrator Carlos Reinoso decided to embark on AYEAYE, a project influenced by dance music as rhythmic experimentation. A Medianoche Me Llevaré Tu Alma ("At Midnight I Will Take Your Soul) is his first single.

 COLOMBIAEl Parlante Amarillo
Danicattack - Perdónate
A feeling of being home defines Danicattack. This Bogota quintet, led by Daniel Lopez, is always exploring new ideas through lyrics and sounds. Their song Perdónate recalls a world of dreams intermingled with the material reality of bodies, as we can see it in the video.

 DENMARKAll Scandinavian
ONBC - White Trash
Risen from the ashes of Oliver North Boy Choir and comprising members who have been and still are part of Superheroes, Private, The Boombox Hearts and epo-555, ONBC released their dreamy and melancholic indie-pop debut Crash, Burn & Cry back in May. Here's first single White Trash as a MAP exclusive download.

 ECUADORPlan Arteria
Pastizales - La Casa y La Nada
Pastizales is the solo project of Bernardo Arevalo, who brings us a refreshing lo-fi folk sound. From his debut six-track EP we proudly present La Casa y La Nada, a single that takes the listener into a deeply relaxing, wonderful environment.

Sajama Cut - Fatamorgana
Fatamorgana is taken from Hobgoblin, the latest album by Jakarta indie-rock outfit Sajama Cut. This song is for every father who never gives up raising their kids with love and compassion in the big city of evil.

 IRELANDHendicott Writing
Bitch Falcon - TMJ
TMJ is the third single from highly-rated, grungy Dublin trio Bitch Falcon, who are taking the Irish capital's sticky-floored corners by storm. Named after the temporomandibular joint (which joins the jaw to the rest of the skull), it's poppy and melodic by this particular act's standards, but nevertheless appropriately face-melting. One to pump up the bass on and let their rhythms pummel the base of your soles. Bitch Falcon are one of the most promising rock acts that Ireland has produced this decade.

 JAPANMake Believe Melodies
Clone - Follow Me
The bulk of Follow Me, from Tokyo bedroom track maker Clone, draws sounds from the Nintendo video game Pikmin. The plant people players guide around to collect treasure are the primary source, the sound of them being thrown and generally squeaking being the go-to for Clone. Yet this is not merely a bit of video game nostalgia, as Clone constructs it all into a fast-paced dance number that blooms into something quite madcap.

 MALTAStagedive Malta
Xtruppaw - Iċ-Ċawl Iċul
Five-piece Xtruppaw play a concoction of styles such as punk-rock, ska, 80s metal, 70s disco, Maltese ghana and country and western. The truly distinguishing feature of the band's music is the lyrics. Xtruppaw songs are all, without exception, sung in Maltese about the Maltese lifestyle, zooming into the raw and crude perspective of the mundane, pointing out the absurdities that we all take for granted with a tongue-in-cheek and often irreverent approach. Xtruppaw have recorded and released two full-length albums to date.

 MEXICORBMA Radio Panamérika
Turning Torso - Up
Through his landscapist and often acidic compositions, David Sánchez - a young artist from Querétaro creating clever, stirring electronic music under the Turning Torso moniker - is capable of exploring and transmitting a wide variety of complex emotions with his superbly arranged productions. On Up, Turning Torso densely weaves an uplifting yet murky atmosphere whose shape acquires a crooked appearance as the piece progresses. Throwing in some IDM beats that bring to mind the textures of Autechre and his characteristic jazz guitar work which serves as a sort of guide in the middle of the track, Sánchez manifests a robust framework nurtured by a vast intellect.

Diorama - Travelling
Diorama is a Lima-based instrumental rock band. They released their first EP in 2013, which was met with critical acclaim. Travelling is a song filled with moments of beauty and elegance.

 PORTUGALPosso Ouvir Um Disco?
Joana Barra Vaz - Tanto Faz
Tanto Faz is the first single from the new Joana Barra Vaz album, Mergulho Em Loba, due out later this year. Mergulho Em Loba is part of a trilogy started in 2012 with Passeio Pelo Trilho. Joana's music will please fans of the kind of indie-pop started by Leslie Feist.

The Insomniac Project - In And Out (Of My Head)
This debut single by The Insomniac Project wears its 80s disco influences loud and proud and has all the ingredients of a synth-pop dancefloor classic. With the Glasgow six-piece having teased with a few SoundCloud demo uploads over the past year, it's a privilege to offer In And Out (Of My Head) exclusively via the Music Alliance Pact ahead of its official release on August 31.

Floating Island - Parade
Electronica quartet Floating Island released third single Parade this month. The festive pop number is produced by Floating Island member Flash Flood Darlings (our March 2015 MAP artist) together with main songwriter NoohNooh.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Passo Torto at Music Alliance Pact

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.

Panda Elliot - Guerrero (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.

 AUSTRALIAWho The Bloody Hell Are They?
Kučka - Divinity
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.

 BRASILMeio Desligado
Passo Torto - Isaurinha
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.

 CANADARide The Tempo
Munroe - Bloodlet
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.

 CHILESuper 45
Patio Solar - Pintura
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.

 COLOMBIAEl Parlante Amarillo
Okraa - Healing
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.

 DENMARKAll Scandinavian
Virgin Suicide - Virgin 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.

Behind The Tigers - Behind 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.

 ECUADORPlan Arteria
La Orden Del Baile Atrevido - Se 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.

Zebra Tracks - Waves
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.

Nic Fit - Mimpi 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.

 IRELANDHendicott Writing
No Monster Club - I'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.

Go Dugong - Imagine 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.

 JAPANMake Believe Melodies
Caro Kissa - Saturday 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.

 MEXICORed Bull Panamérika
Animación Suspendida II - Creepy 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.

The Deep Sea Monster - Like 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.

 PORTUGALPosso Ouvir Um Disco?
Tape Junk - Thumb 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.

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.

Flash Flood Darlings - In 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.

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.

Hip Hatchet - Coward'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.

Friday, 16 January 2015

First 2015's Music Alliance Pact

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 18-track compilation through Dropbox here.

Mariana Päraway - Sirena
Somewhere between Mendoza and the Andes, Mariana Päraway becomes a mountain siren who sings about entangled fates in her latest album, Hilario. Mariana's music navigates through pop, folk and electronic landscapes resulting in a deep, refined sound exploration.

   AUSTRALIAWho The Bloody Hell Are They?
AFXJIM - Distant
Sydneysider Travis Baird is a multi-instrumentalist who earns a living scoring video installations, playing as a session musician and performing on tour with the likes of Melodie Nelson and Sounds Like Sunset. AFXJIM is Baird's solo project, which consists of home recordings pieced together from loops, drum machines and field recordings of everything from kindergarten classroom chatter to police radio transmissions. It's a subtle fusion of experimental electronica and acoustic songwriting, falling somewhere between Tortoise-inspired post-rock and the folktronica of early Four Tet. Distant is the title track of AFXJIM's second LP. Carried on a bed of slide guitar and rumbling percussion, the track's centrepiece sample features singing "recorded to MiniDisc in a bus-top karaoke bar in the Costa Rican backwoods".

 BRASILMeio Desligado
Duani - Aproveita
"Aproveita" is the first single from Duani's debut solo album, which will be released this year. He became famous in Brazil in the 90s, playing forró (a very danceable rhythm strongly related to the Northeast culture of the country) with the band Forroçacana. In this single, he plays all instruments and sings. The lyrics are a manifest about comprehension in love and its different ways of desire, packaged with black music and soul.

 CANADARide The Tempo
Morning Show - I'm Listening
Alt-folk trio Morning Show features members of Bed Of Stars and The Archers. The multi-instrumentalists show a pallet that is heavily influenced by Canadian peers such as Dan Mangan, Hey Rosetta! and Wintersleep. I'm Listening is a beautiful, balanced single you will have on repeat.

 CHILESuper 45
Tus Amigos Nuevos - Paraná
If we have to blame someone for why Chilean rock has been overshadowed by the pop scene, all darts would point to the extreme seriousness with which most of bands go on stage. Luckily, Tus Amigos Nuevos have been refreshing the idea that rock can be cathartic, danceable and, above all, very funny. This year they promise to be even more so thanks to their second album, from which Paraná is the first single.

 COLOMBIAEl Parlante Amarillo
Diamante Eléctrico - Todo Va A Arder
Bogotá power trio Diamante Eléctrico have a lot of blues influences in their DNA. Juan Galeano, the lead singer, bassist and producer, worked with Gavin Lurssen (Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters) to master their latest EP, called B. Todo Va A Arder is a good example of what Diamente Eléctrico can do, and will do on stage when they open for Foo Fighters in Bogotá this month.

 DENMARKAll Scandinavian MOMO - Lemon
MOMO is what happens when a Faroese singer (Dánjal á Neystabø) and a Danish noise-guitarist (Stephan Sieben) clash in music. It also means "peach" in Japanese and the theme for the duo's first electro-pop album is fruit. The first single is Lemon and it's here as a MAP exclusive download.

 ECUADORPlan Arteria
La Máquina Camaleön - Hoy (Más Allá Que El Mar)
La Máquina Camaleön is one of the most original bands in Quito's indie music scene. Debut album Roja evenly blends folk, psychedelic rock, reverb guitars and organic sounds. Their song Hoy (Más Allá Que El Mar) is a clear example of the sonic versatility of this group led by Felipe Andrés María.

Vincent Vega - Recreational Suicide
Vincent Vega is a rock band formed in 2005. Inspired by At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta, Mastodon, Tool and Queens Of The Stone Age, they released the album Always Hard To Make A Change, Just Like How To Stay The Same in 2008. They recently emerged from a two-year hiatus, and Recreational Suicide is one of the new songs that marks their comeback with a darker, heavier sound.

 IRELANDHendicott Writing
Axis Of - Munro Bagger
Having dropped their metal edge in favour of a rough-around-the-edges melodic punk-rock buzz, north-coast Northern Irish act Axis Of look set to explode in 2015. Famed for their vibrant live show, the three-piece were described by UK magazine Rock Sound as "the most exciting act to come out of Northern Ireland, possibly ever". Second album The Mid Brae Inn, out this month, features this vicious, craggy melody and plenty more worth getting your teeth stuck into.

Peter Kernel - High Fever
Peter Kernel are Barbara and Aris. They want to play pop-rock music "in a primitive and sexy manner", and they can really do it. Thrill Addict is their third album and it is full of dark percussion and loud guitars, screams and whispers. Their sound is wild, unpredictable and, ultimately, beautifully seductive.

 JAPANMake Believe Melodies
X-Files - Cleanfight
Yes, yes, this Tokyo-area project fronted by Sho Takeuchi has the same name as a certain sci-fi show from the 1990s. Yet his music is far more serious than that moniker implies. Cleanfight unfolds slowly, backed by a clattering beat and dashes of distant piano. Yet, as the song lumbers on, X-Files introduces guitar, which cuts through everything else. It is serious and ultimately focused.

 MEXICORed Bull Panamérika
Francisco Martínez - Nichim
Nichim means "flower" in Tzotzil, an ethnic tongue spoken in the south-eastern state of Chiapas (yes, where the Zapatistas rose a decade ago, bringing attention to the conditions of the indigenous inhabitants all over Mexico). Francisco Martínez, multi-instrumentalist with alt-roots band Centavrvs, has this spin-off project filled with sensuous folkloric rhythms and the unique feature of rapper Slajem Kop making rhymes in Tzotzil. Truly beautiful.

Astronaut Project - Night
Formed in 2014, Astronaut Project sees Alberto Zegarra explore new musical sensibilities through alternative pop, in contrast to the style of his previous bands. In February, he will release an EP. Astronaut Project's first single is Night and it's great.

 PORTUGALPosso Ouvir Um Disco?
Imploding Stars - Earthquake
Imploding Stars are a quintet who began playing in 2011. They classify their sound as post-rock and we are sure people who like Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai or God Is An Astronaut will become instant fans. Earthquake, taken from their new record A Mountain & A Tree, comes with this video.

KLOË - Grip
The hype around Glasgow electro-pop singer KLOË (aka 18-year-old Chloé Latimer) is at feverish levels - and for good reason. She has justifiably drawn comparisons with CHVRCHES and Ellie Goulding and, just like those two acts, her debut song was premiered on the website of New York label Neon Gold. The track in question, Grip, is both brooding and blissful, having been shaped into contemporary sublimity by super-producer/drummer Lewis Gardiner (Prides). The first live outing from KLOË in February is sure to be buzzing.

Kim Sawol X Kim Haewon - Go To Hell
Both members of singer-songwriter duo Kim Sawol X Kim Haewon have been making fine music on their own, but in 2014 they teamed up for a joint EP called {Secret}. It stunned everyone with its dreamy sound and seductive atmosphere, inspiring comparisons with Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. Go To Hell is an attractive duet with a simple yet stylish arrangement.

Spirit Animal - Party In The Back
It's always an all out funk-rock party with Spirit Animal, and they'll never apologize for fusing their amazing talent with overflowing fun. Party In The Back is the perfect upbeat song to melt away the winter blues and get the body moving.