Category Archives: map

Music Alliance Pact – Martie 2014

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise

Less than a year since the band’s debut, Moebius have succeeded in surprising music fans with a different take on alternative rock. With a special style that perfectly binds post-rock and neo-folk influences with the classic indie and psychedelic sounds, Moebius are without doubt the most relevant Romanian alternative band of 2014. Proof of this is their debut single G.

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 27-track compilation through here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
PleinMadera & Fuego

Plein started almost seven years ago as an excuse for a group of friends to gather and play their favorite songs. After several years of playing live and participating in different compilation albums, this indie-rock band from Buenos Aires released their first record in 2012, with songs recorded using a method of pre-established rules inspired by Lars von Trier’s film The Five Obstructions. Madera & Fuego is taken from their 2014 EP Número Uno.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Yon YonsonCulver City

Childhood friends Andrew Kuo and Nathan Saad are Yon Yonson, an experimental pop duo from Sydney. Their sound is ambitious and unpredictable – listen no further than their latest release Hypomantra to understand. As the band designed the record to be played as a continuous set, each track on the record is incredibly malleable, both in sound and score. Culver City, with its origami beat samples, is a glimpse of Yon Yonson’s standout oddities which show that this talented duo’s output is just as diverse as their intention.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
The This Many Boyfriends ClubOnly Trying

“We are a mercurial bunch,” says Casimir Frederic Coquette Kaplan, guitarist and vocalist for The This Many Boyfriends Club, since by the time you hear Only Trying, vocalist Veronica Danger Winslow-Danger will have sung her last lo-fi “dandy punk” show with the band. A new single will also be up for the offering, signalling yet another shift for this ever-evolving Montreal band. I’ll follow this club wherever they want to lead me. You will too.

CHILE: Super 45
Cóndor JetIgual Que Ayer

Antonio Favero, Nicole L’Huillier and Tomás Vidal are Cóndor Jet, a trio that has refreshed the indie-rock scene in this country. They play psychedelic dream-pop, so they were a perfect fit to open for Tame Impala last October in Chile. Igual Que Ayer is taken from their debut album Anillos.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
GoliTú y Yo

Goli is the project of Sara Rodas, born in Medellín, who is remembered for being the singer of synth-pop group Mr. Bleat. Now Sara shows us her other side, in which we perceive something more intimate and romantic. Tú y Yo is taken from her debut album released this month. Don’t miss the limited edition handwoven version.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Shiny DarklyDead Stars

This edition of MAP marks my fifth anniversary as Denmark’s representative in this great music blog alliance. It’s a special occasion so I’m happy to be able to mark it with a track from some of my all time favorites, Shiny Darkly, who will release their long-awaited (and excellent, I might add) full-length debut, Little Earth, in Denmark on March 31 and internationally on May 5. A MAP exclusive download, Dead Stars is the nine-plus minutes of awesome post-punk album closer.

Sin Fin, Realidad & Lugo SantiagoLa Expropiación Legal

Several hip-hop artists united to record a tribute album for Juan Antonio Alix (available as a free download on the link above), one of the most influential poets of the Dominican Republic and a master of “décimas”, ten-line poems that usually satirize social, political and religious themes. One of the poems, La Expropiación Legal (written in 1876), attacks communism directly, accusing the government of seizing private properties for their own benefit. Rappers Sin Fin, Realidad and Lugo Santiago add their rhyming skills to turn this song into one of the most memorable moments in the album.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
CuervosJuan Cuatrero

Juan Cuatrero is a story told within the old west of Quito and the first track on Cuervos’ self-titled album, released in 2013. Wild, poetic and adult-oriented rockabilly, it’s a mature record full of great textures and an air of contemporary folk.

ENGLAND: Drowned In Sound

The Beyoncification of modern popular music is a wonderful thing. A smidgeon of melancholy shimmering on a groove that you can grind you hips to is never not loved at DiS HQ, and south Londoner FEMME seems to have a few of these darkthems lurking beneath her sparklier, crunchier, poppier numbers. Daydreamer has lyrics about rain in her heart but thankfully the inner sadness never totally eclipses the charm of the head-twirling beat. A bright future awaits.

Allinn2 Maailma

Allinn released their debut album in November 2013 and 2 Maailma showcases everything they’re capable of. Bravely experimenting with sounds, mixing haunting vocals, tribal drums and a sense of 90s breaks scene, they take you on a journey that you wish would never end.

ExoticRed Lights / Rainy Nights

Exotic is an electronic pop duo from Finland even though they were first conceived and founded in Barcelona. Red Lights / Rainy Nights is taken from the upcoming EP Milkshakes which Exotic describe as a piece of minimalist techno-influenced lo-fi pop.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Sugar FactoryChamber Music

Sugar Factory’s Chamber Music is intensely atmospheric, beautifully tense, emotive and melodic with subtle sonic shifts, stuttering percussions, guitars very much the centre of attention and ample majestic moments that take prisoner of your head and your heart. Their limited edition double A-side single is available for free download on Bandcamp.

Dualist InquiryLumina

Indian independent music’s summer anthem for 2014 may have well and truly arrived in the form of Dualist Inquiry’s latest single Lumina. His first solo release in almost a year following the formidable Doppelganger LP is a catchy guitar and synth-driven indie-dance tune that features the 27-year-old producer on vocals for seemingly the first time in his own work. A variety of palatable styles of dance music get the Dualist Inquiry treatment here, ensuring Lumina sounds just as great driving home after a long night at the club as it does driving towards the city lights hours earlier.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Marco SteffianoI’ll Be Fine feat. Monita Tahalea

If life gives you lemons then you make lemonade. When life gave Marco Steffiano he wrote a beautiful song about letting go and invited some of his closest friends to help.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
The Rusty FixturesWhen Ya Left Me

Strung together on beer-money budgets in the finest of Irish folk traditions, The Rusty Fixtures nevertheless throw a glance or two in the direction of reggae and blues in When Ya Left Me. The break-up track – an unreleased MAP exclusive set for their second EP – sees the progression of a bittersweet tinge that’s been ever-present since the rural rising stars saw their kit stolen, burnt and then replaced by the local community back in 2011. Now edging towards Dublin and starting to make an impact, the five-piece are paying it forward, offset harmonies, mellow buzz, cajons and all.

ITALY: Polaroid
Winter Dies In JuneBig Sale Saturday

If I didn’t tell you that this band comes from Parma, you might think they hail from some remote place in the United States. I am truly amazed how Winter Dies In June are able to speak the same language you can find in The National, The Walkmen or Band Of Horses records. It’s emotional, resonant, epic indie-rock with huge reverb, piano and guitars that will make you shiver, and so much passion. You can download their debut album, The Soft Century, for free at Bandcamp.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Pop-OfficeOnly Love Can Break Your Heart

Nagoya outfit Pop-Office have built a reputation in Japan on being loud, fuzzy and at times chaotic. So it was a bit of a surprise to see them cover the Neil Young song Only Love Can Break Your Heart for a recent EP. Makes sense after listening. The group put their personal stamp on the song, turning it into a lurching number prone to stretches of noisiness. The sentimental core remains, though.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta

With a combined weight of 407lb and a combined age of only 54, Clandestines have managed to build a strong following locally with their DIY ethic and catchy hooks. They have just released their first full-length album, Saturday As Usual. With a mix of upbeat, distortion-driven songs and slower tracks with a slacker vibe, the record offers themes of love, hate and boredom as well as a sufficient dose of anger.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Chicano BatmanCycles Of Existential Rhyme

Chicano Batman is a Latin rock band, based in Los Angeles, with a unique and awesome sound that drinks from a core of 60s Mexican psychedelic balladry. Masters of nostalgia, their music is as genuine and authentic as the vast array of influences shown in every track. They always record live and use analog instruments. Chicano Batman just released their second album, Cycles Of Existential Rhyme, also the name of this month’s MAP track.

InvernalViridialand 1

It all began in the summer of 2010 when Marco Malpartida wanted to start an experimental project. Later he teamed up with Christian Vargas and Jesica Arakaki and together they formed Invernal. The band just released their first album which features seven tracks largely influenced by shoegaze and dream-pop, a style softened even more by Jesica’s vocals.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?

Yesterday is the project of Pedro Augusto, who this month released sixth album, The Waiting. Destruction is its first single and comes with this video. As well as playing almost all the instruments on the record, Pedro is the composer, writer, producer, mixer and artwork designer. Yesterday creates sophisticated pop which falls somewhere between Saint Etienne and Eels.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Campo-FormioBarón Barón

After four appetite-whetting EPs, Campo-Formio has polished their sound to perfection for their highly-anticipated debut album, Here Comes… Campo-Formio!, out this month through the band’s own label, Dead Mofongo Records. Throughout the record the group demonstrates an encyclopedic knowledge of rock, assimilating numerous influences with great intelligence and style, from Puerto Rican gutter punk to surf, prog and post-punk – all within the same song. Barón Barón is the second single from the album.


Lists is a young man by the name of Ali Milesi from the island of Arran, but now based in Edinburgh. Autumn is the first song has ever shared and, trust me, that magnetic pull you experience when you first hear it will only get stronger after repeated listens. An exquisite lullaby, its hushed, quivering vocals and finger-picked acoustic guitar has already sparked an impressive amount of online buzz and gushing praise.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Hollow JanDay 2: The Day Before

For as long as they’ve been around, Hollow Jan has been offering the very best screamo to be found in Korea and abroad. Following the critically acclaimed album of 2006, this month the band finally released its long overdue second full-length album, Day Off, based around the concept of death, just in time for their SXSW debut. With Hollow Jan’s stunningly beautiful post-rock arrangements supporting the highly emotional vocals, Day 2: The Day Before is a dramatic song of epic proportions.

SPAIN: Musikorner

It seems like Hanselett has brought her music from the past, where there were knights, princesses and maybe dragons, who knows? What we do know is that Hanselett is one of several music projects by Monik D’arc, a multi-instrumental singer-songwriter from Barcelona with an indie background but highly influenced by electronic music and medievalism. A true delight.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Vertical ScratchersThese Plains

Merge Records earn their legendary reputation for having a near-perfect ear. They continue to display such a talent with their newest find, Vertical Scratchers. One would not be wrong to sense a Kinks/Buzzcocks crossover feel with a contemporary edge and energy. This is a quick taste that will leave you craving more.

Music Alliance Pact – Februarie 2014

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Violent MonkeyFunk Strikes Back

Violent Monkey are a band from Bucharest who are influenced by funk and Motown, as well as electronic music.

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 26-track compilation through here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Jimena Lopez ChaplinHombre Estrella

Jimena Lopez Chaplin is one of the finest emerging voices from the local scene in Buenos Aires. She has been a part of different musical projects, including the Varias Artistas collective formed by Lucas Marti. However, in order to fully appreciate her songwriting and musical talents, you should listen to her two solo albums, Ojos De Plástico (2009) and El Espíritu De La Golosina (2013). Hombre Estrella is a magnificent rendition of David Bowie’s Starman, with Spanish lyrics and arrangements by Jimena.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Promise LandRecall

Promise Land is the new project of visual artist Johann Rashid (also a member of Melbourne post-punks Eastlink) and producer Paul Harmon. Their first single Recall has just been released on Hole In The Sky, the imprint run by Modular band Canyons. The track aims to inject a bit of the occult into contemporary urban life, with deep noir production from Harmon featuring eerie vocal samples and an agitated no-wave tick. Meanwhile, Rashid delivers a slick, strained flow that’s almost closer to chanting than song.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Look VibrantSweater In The Lake

The battlefield is set: an infantry of soldiers carrying swords made of static, a volley of cotton candy-covered cannonballs and the melodic noise of instruments imploding. This is the sound of Montreal’s Look Vibrant in their element. Surrender now and face aural annihilation.

CHILE: Super 45
Jumper JoyCalma Que No

Jumper Joy is the moniker for musician and composer Diego Palma who, since 2013 and after being a member of El Último Dinosaurio, decided to go solo on this playful power-pop project, splattered with references to psychedelia and shoegaze. Calma Que No is taken from his second EP released in January.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
MoonetzLuces En Tu Cielo

It’s always good to hear Bogotá trio Moonetz making dreamy electro-pop. Formed by Luna Baxter, Juan Pablo Uribe and Sebastián González, they released their debut album A New Direction at the end of 2013. Check out the very cool video for Luces En Tu Cielo.

X AlfonsoReverse

If we want to make room for protest and reflective songs at the expense of the banal and meaningless then we need more like this one. The track Reverse also gives its name to an album which X Alfonso released in 2011 as “antibiotic art”. The song deals with social issues, while its rock style, with shades of Cuban tones, injects excitement and motivates us to listen carefully. The Reverse album was spawned from the Cuban Art Factory, a cultural project which opened a new institution in Havana this month.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Negash AliWhat You Got

He’s been a force on the Danish hip hop scene since he was 16 and with three albums under his belt at the age of 23, Negash Ali releases what he describes as his best work yet with the African Dream EP on February 17. Here’s the awesome What You Got as a MAP exclusive free download (with video to match) and also check out the video for new single Fire In The Sky.

TornaduSoft Battery

Imagine a video game from the very first Nintendo console where the main goal is to attend post-punk concerts. As odd as it sounds, that’s what Tornadu’s music reminds us of. Strangely futuristic yet so rooted in that analog 8-bit sound that filled our childhood with so many fun and thrilling moments, producer Gennaro De Santis opens the portal into his musical world with Soft Battery, taken from his debut Diodes EP. Tornadu plans to make a full-length album in the near future, but for now you can get the rest of his songs and some remarkable remixes on Beatport and iTunes.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Mariela CondoFlor De Quebrada

Mariela Condo is one of the most stunning, deep and authentic voices of Ecuador. She represents a new face of contemporary Andean music. Her second album Vengo A Ver also shows Mariela has everything it takes to become one of the new icons of world music.

ENGLAND: Drowned In Sound
Johnny ForeignerLe Sigh

Johnny Foreigner (or JoFo as they’re more affectionately known) make the kind of yelping indie-pop that’s brash and infectious. On the surface their fast-paced skittering squall has so much joy, but beneath the ornate bush of guitars and rimshots there’s always this hint of frustration with the world, with romance or in Le Sigh’s case, they can be found wrestling with both: debunking the myth of late-night love in the clubs and kebab shops of Solihull (or any other small town).

BypassersHeaven Knows I Was Gonna Choose It Heaven Knows I Was Gonna Loose It

Bypassers are from the city of Tampere, which is called the Manchester of Finland. Coincidentally or not, these four guys find inspiration in classic Manchester bands Oasis and The Stones Roses to create some powerful guitar-based Britpop. Bypassers have recently relocated to London, from where they have released a very solid debut EP which includes this easy-to-remember song title Heaven Knows I Was Gonna Choose It Heaven Knows I Was Gonna Loose It.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Ruined FamiliesOnly Need Is Real

Ruined Families’ album Blank Language radiates a desperate, ramshackle charm that runs counter to the ferocity and frigid gloom of the music. Their blistering, rowdy post-hardcore and punk has a powerful, raw intensity; there are sharply dissonant, throat-wrenching and angular groans, stutters and roars; the thundering drums and braying guitars pummel relentlessly over the breathless hurtle of nine exhilarating songs. Listen to the explosive, emotionally overwhelming Only Need Is Real and watch the brilliant video for Pedestal with compiled footage from their recent European tour.


Arjun Iyer and Satish Sridhar make up Gumbal, a brand new electro-pop project based in Mumbai. Their first public offering is A For, an EP spawned from a couple of days of songwriting and recording, all of it constructed in the key of A. Iyer and Sridhar’s influences from their previous melodic alt-rock project Eatshootleave have definitely crept into Gumbal, giving it plenty of catchy melodies, quietly confident vocals and an urgency that’s much welcome in this style of music. Fans of A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, Incubus and Radiohead will like this. Albatross is our much-fought-over pick off A For, though the EP is quite the trip when listened to from start to finish.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar

Danilla is a young woman who sings about attraction in the style of 1950s Indonesian romanticism. You won’t be able to resist the swing of her graceful alto vocals. Her debut album Telisik is available to purchase via iTunes.

ITALY: Polaroid

Lush electro-pop with a soul, and a lot of autotune and harmonizer too. This is the sound of a young man struggling with his feelings. Darkness and light fight each other, and in the middle stands the voice of Maolo Torreggiani (My Awesome Mixtape/Quakers And Mormons), the main instrument in the first Sin/Cos album Parallelograms.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Hideo NakasakoGroove Me

Despite the title, Groove Me is not totally devoted to the dancefloor. Osaka beatmaker Hideo Nakasako definitely adds in plenty of feet-moving elements, it just takes a little bit to really kick in. The first minute of this washes over the listener, leaning towards being contemplative. Then the drums zip in and it goes off in a new direction, further pushed onward by sliced-up yelps.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta

Skimmed bring together an affinity for producing brooding, intense tracks infused with 60s pop sensibilities to create what are essentially pop songs with a deeper, darker and more intimate element. Isobel is one of the more haunting tracks on their 2013 debut album Summer Lovers.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Los BlendersSurf De Amor

The band’s Facebook profile announces: “The Blenders stole your dad’s hairdo, your mom’s panties and your sister’s heart.” Surf De Amor is a great surf/lo-fi song adorned with 70s aesthetic, which inevitably suggests long cars, large tufts and many fans surrounding this band from Mexico City. Its video will give you a bigger picture.

Los Mostos VerdesCalima

The music of Los Mostos Verdes is predominantly reggae mixed with rhythms such as dub, funk and rock to achieve a more universal sound. In 2013 they released their first album with 10 innovative tracks that convey positivism and happiness. Calima is its first single.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Thomas AnahoryHey Hey

Thomas Anahory is a true beach boy. When he is not writing and playing his songs, he spends his days on the coast bodyboarding. Thomas says he is inspired mostly by American rock classics such as Bob Dylan, The Doors and Bruce Springsteen, but his music is also reminiscent of 80s bands The Long Ryders, Miracle Legion and The Alarm. Hey Hey is taken from his newest album Thank Your Lucky Stars.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Juventud CrasaDespúes Del Tiroteo

Puerto Rico’s decade-plus punk veterans Juventud Crasa are one of the island’s most beloved bands. Their “California via Spain” style has resulted in a polished yet abrasive sound that is instantly recognizable and catchy as hell. The band recently released a split 7″ EP with local up-and-comers Tus Idolos, which opens with the explosive track Despues Del Tiroteo.

The Second Hand Marching BandThis Is The Story

For an exuberant folk-pop collective whose membership has been as high as 23, each with an assortment of extravagant instruments in tow, one of the most remarkable things about The Second Hand Marching Band is the fearlessness they show in confining a song to a single vocal and acoustic guitar if that’s what they think works best. In 2010, they gathered some homespun EPs and rarities into a charming release titled Compendium. Since then they’ve been recording in ad hoc spaces to weave their debut album proper, A Hurricane, A Thunderstorm. Out on March 2, it’s a triumph of diversity, veering from bellowing, unpretentious pop to sparse, poignant laments.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Big PhonyBedford Stop

Singer-songwriter Big Phony released his first album in 2005 and has since put out several more, most recently the twin offerings of acoustic album Bobby and the more electronic pop-oriented Long Live The Lie earlier this month. The sweet and addictive Bedford Stop appears on both, but this is the comforting, home-recorded version that opens Bobby. Big Phony is headed for SXSW next month.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Being BerberAnthem

Being Berber describe their music as a “pile of re-used beat up cassettes for road trips”. The grandiloquence of M83 is easily noticeable as their main influence. Not afraid of delivering a song that’s easy to sing along to, what we have is a real Anthem.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Tender MercyIn Us

Louisville’s Mark Kramer (aka Tender Mercy) crafts softly dramatic experimental folk ballads that analyze the hypnotic ability of sound. This type of music is challenging, even in its simplicity, so give it a few spins, let go and sink in.


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