Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Top 10 Free Internet Albums of 2010

Another Top 10 Free Music list for 2010 - this time it's downloadable actual records, rather than someone's digital mixtape. Whereas I could recommend pretty much all of the previous List o' Mixes, you should let your tastes guide you on these. If you know you don't like ambient or hip-hop or electronic or heavy music and have no interest exploring them, then just steer clear of those. Otherwise, these are some pretty quality titles that I got for nothing!

[Edit, 12/23]: I'd be remiss not to mention...
#0. Decem per Decem ~ Astral Headspace, Vol. 4 (2010)

Top tier are full albums by a single artist, lower half are mostly compilations of some sort. Album title links are internal to previous Astral posts... After the cover and sample video links, I write some kind of something about it... Then the final section of each entry includes the relevant info to download, stream, or whatever - the most important part!

#1. II - Snailface

Snailface II
"Fishy Man-Goat Terrifies Couples Parked at Lake Worth / Mogollon" from Snailface II (2010)
"Botanomancer (Sap Cave of the Magi)" from Snailface (2009)

Their debut was the #18 of 2009's Next 10 Metal Albums. This one is just as free, and maybe more awesome!! Anthemic party-sludge, now with a theme: mythic and legendary man-beasts. Yowie! Almasty! The Navidad! Momo! Tied together with the 3-part Yeti stories/interludes "The Mandate of Himalayan Blood." Man-Goat! Nuk-Luk! Hibagon!

Just download it from here, and then maybe purchase it physical-style through here. (2 cassettes for $10? Mega!!) Skunk Ape!

#2. Dead Mellotron - Dead Mellotron

Dead Mellotron
"1993" from Dead Mellotron (2010)
"Ghost Light Constellation" from Ghost Light Constellation (2009)

Track 1. "Intro" 6min 11sec. Ha! After the extended spacedrift, it's some buttery proto-shoegaze rock. Like Psychedelic Furs or Jesus + Mary Chain, I dunno. England, c. 1984, vocals drowning in echo, new-wave guitars that combust into noise, tasteful drumming... plus good tunes! Not the kind of thing I hear rock bands doing so much, but pretty analagous to the hypnagogic thing going on in electronic pop.

No longer free, but only $3. I'm still counting it, because of obscure and complicated "Free in 2010" eligibility rules. Download or stream this or last year's Ghost Light Constellation here at BandCamp.

#3. "Besides..." - Diego Bernal

"El Corrido de Chico B" from "Besides..." (2010)
"2nd Degreed Bern" from "Besides..." (2010)

I listen to very little rap anymore, I'm just out of it. And Bernal's music is mainly just based around hip-hop beats, with different styles of samples. Some voices, but more jazzy keys, horn charts, bloopy synths, exotica breaks, crime soundtrack vibrations, all kinds of stuff... "Cumbiatches Brew" is a pretty damn clever song title too. Plus he's a lawyer from San Antonio, Tejas - is good.

Stream/download from here, and look for last year's Bring It On Home EP under "more releases..." on the right-hand side. Also, Four Corners (2009) is to be had for nothin' over here.

[Edit: added 1/4/2011]
3b. A Field of Sunken Horses EP - Moon Wiring Club

A Field of Sunken Horses EP

I'm dropping this in after the fact, because I found it before year-end and the hip-hop beats/non-hip-hop music theme allowed it here. A satisfying 4-song EP from Moon Wiring Club, originally posted in The Wire. That British thing with more beats, a la what they did with Belbury Poly on the Study Series 7".

#4. Bog Planet - Mac Mavis
Avaruusromua 20 vuotta - various artists

Bog Planet
"Clear" by Mac Mavis, from Gatefinder (2003)
"Journey" by Pharaoh Overlord, from #3 (2005)

Bog Planet is a great 4-song EP of sci-fi ambient/glitch - or maybe it's chill/trance. Not sure if I would need a full album, but it's perfect at this length. I find myself listening to it a lot more than I would've expected, and I'd probably try a different Mac Mavis record if the opportunity arose. The second one is a hugely giant collection of tracks from Finland, honoring the 20th anniversary of the Avaruusromua ("Space Junk") radio show. Artists include Mavis, Zoät-Aon (#3, Drone/Ambient 2005), Mika Vainio, Pharaoh Overlord, Sigma, and a lot of others I don't know from anywhere else. There's a lot of electro-acoustic ambient, avant-garde composers, not-too-much '90s dancetronic trips, some out-jazz, and a little bit of rock. "Aikoja sitten" by Jussi Lehtisalo (from Circle and Pharaoh Overlord) is a super-epic psych expedition into the cosmic winds and fuzz guitar.

Grab Bog Planet from the Mac Mavis website. Since I don't speak Finnish, I cannot figure out how to present the .mp3's from the Avaruusromua. I think most of the links are expired and deleted now, but it's grandfathered under the Dead Mellotron rule. Probably try to get something from here on the next blog comp!


"Outward Calm, Hidden Truth" from VØID (2010)

Dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom!! Droning doom, to be exact. This is pretty great stuff from Italy - the songs are really long but keep moving deeper. Heavy, pummelling, sludgy riffs. Some less-metal passages. Surprisingly good songwriting, arrangements, and production. At first, I wasn't sure about the €10,00 for the deluxe physical edition, but now I'm wondering if it's too late.

Dooooownload and all 3 tracks streaming at band's Myspace page: Megaupload / other options

#6. They Don't Know Unless You Tell Them - various artists

"Mansfield, Louisiana" by Interbellum, from Over All of Spain the Sky is Clear (2008)
"Swedish Child" by Cristal (7", 2010)
"Wolves Bite and Disappear" [live] by No Anchor, from They Don't Know Unless You Tell Them (2010)

Quite the diverse roster on this Flingco Sound System label compilation! And most of it's well worth your time. A jumbo track in the newer style of Leyland Kirby (#3, Drone/Ambient 2009 - also f.k.a. The Caretaker), the piano/cello meditations of Interbellum, USBM from WRNLRD, "Bleak Metal" maelstrom from Grief No Absolution, bass-n-drum noise-rock from Brisbane's No Anchor, pysch-drones from Hells Hills, and a bunch of other interesting experiments. Also, be sure to check out WRNLRD's unusual website.

There's other Flingco stuff streaming on SoundCloud, and go here for the download. (I think you want to start with "FSS Comp.")

#7. Metal Swim - various artists

Metal Swim 2010
"The Pliable Foe" by Isis, from Metal Swim (2010)
"Luna" by Boris, from Metal Swim (2010)
"Dethroned" by Jesu, from Metal Swim (2010)

Click the title above for the very recent post, with links to all songs on YouTube. Of the new-to-me stuff, I most dig the songs by Ludicra (although I don't hear "crustcore-influenced black metal with neoclassical tendencies"), Kylesa (from the same GA scene as Baroness), Black Tusk (Georgia!), Zoroaster (more Georgia!) - then probably Red Fang, Saviours, and/or Witch Mountain. But seriously, free and rare Boris (#6, 2007)! Torche (#6, 2006)! and Isis (#3, 2009 and #3, 2004)!!

Get it here, while supplies last.

#8. Install Sound-Brochure, 2010 Edition - various artists
The Unicorn Rainbow Quartett Plays Stringed Bones - Bored Man Ganesh

The Unicorn Rainbow Quartett
"Temple Dust.IN THE LIGHT" (after "Towhee") by Wood-Land, from Stone Circle (2009)
"Pentecost 2" by David Tagg, from Pentecost (2010)
"Sismógrafo 1" by Hakobune, from some radio show (2010)
"Sequoian" by Brian Grainger, from Porous Variations (2008)

Good experimental label, good ambient/drone comp. I basically only knew Wood-land (#5, Drone/Ambient 2009) and Aidan Baker of Nadja (#16, Next 10 Metal of 2009). Both their tracks are good, with Baker straying from Nadja overload into looped and manipulated solo guitar. Some of the other names are apparently pretty big on the experimental ambient or drone scenes: Brian Grainger (a.k.a. Milieu), David Tagg... and other cool stuff from Hakobune, VCV, and Bored Man Ganesh. I can do without a couple of the more staticky, grating, pure-noise tracks - but they're not painful, and that's just the deal with compilations.

Bored Man Ganesh has the nice 20-minute single-track release "The Unicorn Rainbow Quartett Plays Stringed Bones" available at Install Sound's BandCamp page, along with Brochure, Wood-Land's unattainable first album fully remixed by others, et cetera... And here's more free Ambient Tapes from Brian Granger.

#9. The Act You've Known For All These Years - We're Late for Class

The Act You've Known For All These Years
George: "Part One" from Electronic Sound (1969)
John: "Radio Play" (1/2) from Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions (1969)
Paul: "I Love This House" from Oobu Joobu 1 (1984)
Ringo: "Stop and Take the Time to Smell The Roses" from Stop and Smell the Roses (1981)
(Ever notice that the Beatles' first and last names both go in the same alphabetical order? Conveniently enough, the same order that they are my favorites!)

I submitted the following as my official get-linked-from-their-blog entry: "Clever stunt yields intriguing results!!" But they liked the post title better: "Best Free Beatles Mash-up of Jan 2010!" I stand by both. It's an experimental album, made entirely by cutting up (usually obscure) solo Beatles audio sources. And truly better than you might imagine!

Stream or download right this way.

#10. Let Me Shine for You - various artists
King Felix EP - Laurel Canyon

King Felix
"Embassy" from King Felix EP (2010)
"I Live for the Day" by oOoOO, from Let Me Shine for You (2010)
"Shaved" by Babe Rainbow, from Shaved EP (2010)

Oops, kind of running low on ideas... But if this is your kind of thing, might be worth looking for - or buying, as King Felix is now released officially. Opener "Coriolis" is almost Christmas-y with kinda sleigh bells in the percussion. But generally, it's sing-songy female vocals over some kind of low-key neo-retro synth-pop. You can hear a couple of other EP tracks, and her contribution to the Let Me Shine For You compilation here on SoundCloud. I'd probably suggest getting the Tri-Angle Records comp first, since it gives you an overview of some electro scene going down right now. Just from reading the internet, I'd at least heard of most artists: Witch House up-and-comer oOoOO, new-jack R&B glitchoid Autre Ne Veut, Oneohtrix Point Never (who I've discussed and now works with Laurel), Halo (whose song here is probably the best of hers) - plus Babe Rainbow and Stalker (in the same veins).

Uh, apparently the compilation has something to do with Lindsey Lohan. Yeah, I didn't recognize the LL song titles, but there is some match-up. Not going to bother figuring out if they're in any way covers. Download here.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Skunk Ape is within all of us, burrowing deep within the marshy swamplands of our souls, filling us with his essence.