Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One of our fav words; FREE! Featuring The Streets, Frankmusik, Klaxons, Gorillaz and more!

That was just to attract your attention :)

The topic here is FREE music. There have been loads of released recently and the most most most recent one is The Streets: "Cyberspace and Reds" which came out in the last 48 hours.

If you scan that with your smartphone you're one step closer to having this free album! I had JUST been thinking "I wonder what Mr Skinner has been up to" as it has been a couple minutes since Everything Is Borrowed which was brilliant and a sort of understated record compared to his previous outings.
The Streets – Cyberspace & Reds (Mixtape) by Hypetrak
The first track comes bursting out with Kano in tow (who I got to see with Gorillaz, who we will also be talking about, this Summer) with "Came In Through The Door", a bouncing 2-step/grime/dubstep killer setting the pace for a wicked mixtape. I'm going to admit I don't actually know anything about the instrumentals on this album... they are probably well known tracks as opposed to unmastered originals from The Beats label (a la "G.O.O.D. Fridays" from KanYe West) although they could be? If anyone knows please say something in the comments or send an email! "Don't Hide Away" is totally single worthy with Wiley, Rinse, and Ice Kid and if this song is any indicator of what Skinner's new album witll be like? He's gonna have a MONSTER on his hands.

Speaking of monsters... Frankmusik put out the wicked psychological-issue-dancefloor-killer "The Fear Inside" at the end of 2010 priming us for a new album from Monsieur Vincent Frank Turner (a fav of sister blog In Search Of Arcadia). Since the dude spits out amazing tracks, with the frequency that the rest of us have bad ideas, he offered up Long Live Frankmusik EP here in January... and it's a good smattering of tracks to let newbies know what he's all about.

It's hard to single out which track is best as he seemingly intentionally grabbed a bunch of tracks that have little similarity to one another in hopes of appealing to a broad audience. A track that cannot be ignored is "Our Discovery", the Daft Punk homage that works in the name of just about every track they've ever written as the lyrics to the song... this leads to it being a tad silly at times, as he tries to string together every title, but the ingenuity of the track is so striking that any silliness is quickly forgotten. The other tracks "Hurt You Again" (an introspective ballad reminiscent of the best moments on his debut), "Warrior" (a piano driven track that feels like a moody version of "Wonder Woman"), and the Digiraattii produced track "Hate Your Love" (which fans have anxiously been awaiting since a Youtube leak over a year ago, that reminds us of another recent killer collabo with Computerclub called "Losing Streak") paint a picture of what Frankmusik has been up to in between the final single off Complete Me and new single "The Fear Inside" and it's, undoubtedly, a promising glance into what his next album might sound like. As far as "free" goes this is VERY generous... but even if it had been $4 it still would be worth every penny so I suggest you go get it while you can... get it here (as apparently he took it down since I downloaded it last week) and get BRAND new track "Steroworld" here (which is part of Long Live Frankmusik PT 2).
Here's a free one from a while ago you may have forgotten about... it's perfect though...
Frankmusik - Confusion Girl (Russ Chimes Remix) by Russ Chimes

ISoA favs Klaxons also put out a killer EP for X-Mas that die hard fans had been eagerly awaiting for quite sometime. As titles for songs destined for Surfing The Void came out many fans made note of the names so they could look for changes between inception and completion (for example: "Valley Of The Calm Trees" not being called "The Parhelion").

If memory serves correctly Landmarks Of Lunacy are left over tracks from working with Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford... and are nothing short of brilliant (P4K diagreed giving the EP 5.7 I think). They are certainly more subdued than most of Surfing The Void but they are no less good. I can see why they were omitted because within the album they wouldn't have made much sense... but as their own collection of songs they take on a certain gravity, if you will, that strengthens each song substantially. Better said: As a whole these songs work well played one after another which they wouldn't have in another environment. Putting them in this order, in this format, at this time was the perfect way to deal with these excess tracks. They could have given it away with "this weeks" NME, or they could have been gimmicky and done a Radiohead asking you to steal/pay for it, or they simply could have asked you to pay for it lol... But by giving away high quality songs, that are in no way throwaway tracks, perfectly sequenced with no price tag, they effectively bought the on going affection of existing fans and perhaps the new found appreciation of skeptics? Anyway you cut it they are wonderful songs with "Silver Forest" standing out as my favourite. Really though they are all wonderful and should be listened to back to back as often as possible :)
Klaxons - Landmarks of Lunacy EP by acid stag

Lastly there is The Fall from Gorillaz which was made during, well, the fall lol... it can be downloaded here...

During autumn Gorillaz were touring this fair nation and were really taken by the U.S. so Damon made a whole album with an iPad! Each track is named after the cities they toured in (so "Detroit" and "Shytown" are my favs as they are the two closest to me... I went to the Chicago show and it was beyond words). The songs are very short but any offering from Gorillaz is bound to be interesting so I don't even need to tell you much about it lol... but in case you needed info here's some from Wiki:

"The Fall is an album from British alternative group Gorillaz. The album was officially announced on December 20, 2010[1] and soon after released on December 25, 2010 as a free download on the Gorillaz website, exclusively to fans in the band's Sub-Division fan club. The entire album was recorded on group founder Damon Albarn's Apple iPad, during the American leg of the Escape to Plastic Beach World Tour in October 2010, and mixed in England by Stephen Sedgwick. The "Phoner to Arizona" music video, a compilation of footage and images taken from the tour and the phase was posted on YouTube on December 22. Damon Albarn has announced plans for the album to see a physical release in January or February 2011."
Gorillaz - The fall by revolutioncontemporaine

Physical release huh? Reminds me of Nine Inch Nails' Ghosts I-IV or whatever that was called. Perhaps I need to revisit that slice of free music as I know nothing about it despite having it...

Since I've written all this about free music... do you download free music only to never bother listening to it? I mean I downloaded that NIN album but I probably listened to 5 minutes of it? Same thing with the last Girl Talk album... it gave me "Radiohead style options" and I downloaded it saying "I'll pay for it if I like it" and, again, I probably listened to like 5 minutes and then was bored with it. So, again, I pose the question... do you usually listen to free music? Does it age well like fine wine, or does it go bad like a keg of Milwaukee's Best at a frat house between Thanksgiving and Christmas?

I can tell you all these EPs/albums/offerings that I've gone over in this post have my full attention and I give them all a strong 5 star rating or I wouldn't have posted them and associated myself or my blogs with them! But I'm interested as to what you think of these albums and other free albums... so please leave comments...

Zander brought to my attention there are other free digital comps from Skream, Nastynasty, Terror Danjah, The Butterz Crew... and Tyler reminded me of M.I.A.'s "Vicki Leekx" mixtape and other killers like "kills" by jj... so there are obviously other killers... what have you been listening to (other than the HOLY GRAIL of free recordings KanYe West's G.O.O.D. Fridays; a free album almost as good as it's non-free counterpart My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy *perhaps the greatest album ever written*...

Let us know what's up! We love you and want to know about other free shit! Get at us! NLC REPRESENT!

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