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 Ge.tt 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.

CUBA: suenacubano.com
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.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
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).

FINLAND: Glue
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.

INDIA: NH7
GumbalAlbatross

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
DanillaBuaian

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
Sin/CosAway

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
SkimmedIsobel

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.

PERU: SoTB
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.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
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.


Music Alliance Pact – Ianuarie 2014


ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
VelosonicsBebop

Velosonics is a pop-rock band formed in Bucharest in 2013. Their music is primarily influenced by the 60s British Invasion movement and post-punk revival of the new millennium. Their energy and joyfulness bring a breath of fresh air to the country’s indie music scene. Velosonics are preparing their debut album for release in 2014.

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 Ge.tt here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
QueridasDrama Bomb

Andrés Yeah is the lead guitarist of Mi Nave, an up-and-coming band from Rosario’s independent music scene. Queridas is his solo project, full of songs with melancholy, reverb and shoegaze guitars. Drama Bombo is one of our favorites.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Head CloudsMirror’s Image

Head Clouds are a Gold Coast band who have been busy working on their debut LP for more than a year. Mirror’s Image may be the first track we’ve heard from them but it’s definitely no wallflower. Jaykke Maddison is a less erratic version of Wild Beast’s Hayden Thorpe; there’s hardly room for shirking away with that falsetto. A glorious trumpet crescendo and thoughtful lyricism lights up this track. A band to watch.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
BoogarinsLucifernandis

Os Mutantes, the psychedelic tropical band from the 60s, is one of the main influences of Boogarins, besides affinities with contemporary artists such as Tame Impala and Of Montreal. Lucifernandis is the opening song of their debut album, As Plantas Que Curam, released in 2013.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
TeledromeBoyfriend

Calgary, Alberta, best known as the home of an annual Stampede and being firmly rooted in cowboy culture, may be the last place you’d expect a synth-based power-pop-punk outfit to emerge from. But Teledrome is the latest cultural contradiction to come from Cowtown, and perhaps one of its finest. Boyfriend is a sample of the synth-laced solemnity offered up on their soon-to-be-released album.

CHILE: Super 45
Kinetica & MotivadoHoy Quiero

Kinetica & Motivado brings together Chilean producers Emiliana Araya and Mario Martinez. Although we have previously highlighted both projects separately, their joint work deserves its own limelight. Mixing Kinetica’s mysterious, nocturnal vocals with Motivado’s tropical beats, their collaboration gives rise to sensual, intelligent electronic music. Their first single, Hoy Quiero, was released on Chilean label Discos Pegaos.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
El Otro GrupoBalada Pop

From Santa Marta, near the Atlantic coast, and Sierra Nevada come this trio of very young members who are ready to unleash their music to the world. They use the name El Otro Grupo (“The Other Group”) and they make something called ‘pop noise’, a mix of catchy melodies and experimental sounds. You can also enjoy the video for MAP track Balada Pop.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
J. ArlinSince November

J. Arlin, an Australia-based Dane, released his third EP in December, Heartbeats Of Polaroids, with five folk-rock tracks. The least folk-ish and most rock-ish is Since November, which is one of those songs that reminds you of so many others yet still carries its own weight in all its pleasing pop-rock-ness, and comes to you here as a MAP exclusive download.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
NUXCriogenización

Dominican hard-rock act NUX comes back into the scene with a new single. Their blasting energy is still intact after a couple years of silence, accurately singing about cryogenics, complete with mind-blowing guitar solos, war cries and haunting pauses.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Estéreo HumanzeeGanimedes (live)

Estéreo Humanzee is one of the most active bands in Quito’s indie scene. Their experimental music combines different elements of house, pop and electroclash. With three albums under their belts, Estéreo Humanzee’s next release is a new live record of their European tour.

ENGLAND: Drowned In Sound
Her Name Is CallaThe Roots Run Deep

For several years, Leicester’s Her Name Is Calla have been an evolving beast of a band. They’ve always had a darkness and grandness to their post-rock walls of wailing guitars painted with serpent-slaying strings, but this first taste of their forthcoming album Navigator hints that even with pixellated digital landscapes they can still cast a shadow over your soul.

FINLAND: Glue
June’s GardenSong Of A Drinking Man

Five-piece band June’s Garden find inspiration in traditional Americana to deliver smooth acoustic rock with Finnish sensitivity. New single Song Of A Drinking Man is also available via Bandcamp with a B-side.

FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
BloumFaith

Bloum is a young electro-pop band from Paris who are quite new to the French scene. After releasing several singles in 2013, they are ready to drop an album in the forthcoming months. Influenced by artists such as Four Tet, Burial, XXYYXX and Nicolas Jaar, they’ve inherited from them cold, heavy basslines. On Faith, the band sounds like a crossover between Kavinsky and Miss Kittin, and that’s enough for us to keep an eye on them.

INDIA: NH7
As We Keep SearchingThe Tattva

Not much independent music comes out of the state of Gujarat, so when As We Keep Searching sprouted out of nowhere a month ago with The Tattva, we just had to bite. The post-rock/ambient three-piece are in the process of releasing a slew of singles that will culminate in their debut album. The Tattva, with easily relatable lyrics in Hindi, talks of a search for love. As We Keep Searching have promised songs full of emotion, and they’ve delivered.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Protocol AfroElectrified

Protocol Afro consist of six young guys who love Two Door Cinema Club, Phoenix and other good music to dance to. They have opened for several international acts and are one of the most hard-working indie-rock bands in Jakarta.

ITALY: Polaroid
Fitness ForeverHotel Flamingo

Naples act Fitness Forever have just released their second album Cosmos, once again on the legendary Spanish label Elefant Records. Between Burt Bacharach and the 70s soundtracks of Piero Umiliani, a disco touch and the poetry of Lucio Battisti, I wanted to start the new year with music that makes you feel optimistic.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
MetomeBishop’s Rising Sun

The Kansai region of Japan has been a hotbed for excellent electronic music over the past few years, and it appears 2014 will see the trend continue. Metome, from Osaka, just released a wonderful new album called Objet, and the highlight is the stuttering, bouncy Bishop’s Rising Sun, featuring a sliced-just-right vocal sample at its center.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
XiolaNoble Wolf

Formed in 2009, Xiola is a two-piece band comprising Adolf Formosa (formerly of the bands Hunters Palace and One Dead Poet) and Samantha Gatt, who replaced her twin sister Roxanne when she left the island. With a drone guitar sound and dual vocals, they released home-recorded album Bay Of Pigs in 2012.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Haciendo El MalComplicado

Haciendo El Mal is a Mexico City-based chamber-pop quartet led by the slightly dark but mellow voices of Paulina Lasa and Karen Ruiz. Along with an accordion and cello, their melodies are bittersweet vignettes that draw a reflective mood on love and loss. Complicado (perhaps a wink to the Facebook relationship status) is just one piece of the 10 beautiful portraits that comprise their eponymous debut album.

PERU: SoTB
Campo De AlmasGris

Campo De Almas is a rock band formed in Trujillo in 1994. They were once one of the most prolific bands in Peru, with four albums to their name. They returned in 2013 with Adicción, a ‘best of’ album that reminds us of the passion and dedication of their music.

POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
BOKKAK&B (edit)

BOKKA have been a little sensation in recent weeks. As musicians they hide their true identity, so listeners know only a few things about them – they’re a trio, the vocalist is a woman and their music is influenced by Scandinavian electro-pop. You can check it out by listening to their self-titled debut LP or to stunning K&B, one of the greatest moments on the album.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
You Can’t Win, Charlie BrownBe My World

After a superb and surprising EP release in 2009 revealed themselves as a must-watch band, the quartet You Can’t Win, Charlie Brown are back with new album Diffraction/Refraction, which will be released on January 20. Be My World is the first single to be revealed from it.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
PiegrandePerez, Oso

Gifted guitarist Kristian Prieto – a MAP alumnus twice over for his work as Harry Rag and as part of Alegría Rampante – brings his characteristic playfulness and adventurous spirit to new three-piece Piegrande. The debut EP of the band, augmented by Eden Cruz (drums) and Christian Robledo (bass), consists of six fun, easy-to-digest tracks, of which Perez, Oso is the breeziest. A great sign of things to come in 2014.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
BeerjacketAntlers

Peter Kelly calls his music Beerjacket and clues of its heartbreaking beauty are plentiful: one of his earliest and best songs is called Joy For The Sad, while some bright spark even set his melancholy masterpiece Jack Chasing Jill to the devastating montage at the start of Pixar movie Up. Yet his wonderful second studio album Darling Darkness, out on January 27 via Bandcamp, is remarkably upbeat. Immaculate production allows the luminous acoustic folk-pop sounds to blossom, while enchanting opening track Antlers, here as a MAP exclusive download, ranks as a career highlight.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
LudiSTELOWater Roof

Electro-rock band LudiSTELO released their first single in November 2013, having formed two years ago in a Brunei hotel room. The members of the guitar-synthesizer-drums trio all have experience from other groups and are now working to show a different side of their joint sound with each release. Water Roof comes from the new single of the same title and through its many loops invokes a sense of floating in the air, just as the lyrics express.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Polar BeatsKeep Moving (feat. Iván Anés)

Polar Beats are a four-piece from Madrid whose music is clearly influenced by British post-punk and power-pop, as you can tell by the guitar riff in Keep Moving. They have released one song so far, but they are planning to bring out some more since they are here to stay.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Diane CluckSara

Diane Cluck delivers chilly folk tunes just in time for the harshest winter months. Her voice trembles against a confidently plucked acoustic guitar and explodes with shattering emotion at all the right moments.


Music Alliance Pact – Decembrie 2013

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
After WhatWho

After What is the side-project of the frontmen of two Romanian indie bands, The Amsterdams and The MOOod, both of whose influences are apparent – the music inherits the creativity of the former and the energy of the latter.

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 Ge.tt here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Cam BeszkinCucharita De Manual

We came across Cam Beszkin’s music when she was a member of Las Bailarinas Anarquistas, Mariana Bianchini’s solo band. This song is from Cam’s sophomore album Este Amor Ya No Es Para Tanto, in which her potent vocals adds up to a solid guitar and drum rock duet.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
House Of LaurenceJust Don’t Move Me

Let’s be real – if the industry was a caste system, psychedelic/prog music would sit on the lower rung. Thankfully, we don’t fear throwback in this country. We embrace it with open arms and wild, flailing John the Baptist hair. Just Don’t Move Me is the brand new track from Melbourne band House Of Laurence. If the image of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker in a white pressed suit, struttin’ (barefoot) down the Fremantle boardwalk makes your insides feel like goo then this is dedicated to you.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
Hella CometTinker Boat

The post-punk sound of four-piece Hella Comet calls for Sonic Youth comparisons, although their freshly-released second album Wild Honey, from which Tinker Boat is taken, is not afraid of pop either. Hella Comet were selected as one of 18 bands to represent this year’s focus country Austria at Europe’s most important music festival/conference Eurosonic.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Castello BrancoNecessidade

Necessidade is taken from Castello Branco’s first album Serviço. It’s typical of the easygoing feeling he generates to make songs that speak directly to our souls.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Rebekah HiggsLoneliness

Rebekah Higgs’ new release Sha La La is shot through with the spirit of 60s girl groups minus the innocence and politeness of those times. Higgs gets down and dirty climbing Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. She throws classic doo-wop pop down an echo chamber and what comes out the other end is a gauzy, hazy doo-wop/drone-rock hybrid that’s utterly compelling. Loneliness has never sounded better.

CHILE: Super 45
Ali B & The Mayan WarriorWorld Class Bouncing

Ali B is the latest winner of Nuevos Sonidos, a demo contest Super 45 has hosted since 1997. She is a rapper who sings in three languages and mixes rhythms from all over the world. Her songs are homemade, built around an MPC and samples taken directly from vinyl. The jury of Super 45 was mesmerized by her infectious flow. Past winners of the Nuevos Sonidos contest include Gepe, Protistas and Fernando Milagros.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Laura y La Máquina De EscribirLaberinto

La Máquina De Escribir (“The Typewriter”) is the project of Laura Torres, who has been involved in the world of music for more than two decades (since she was a little girl, obviously). From her piano, she recreates a world that reflects her feelings, which are evident in Laberinto, the track that gives its name to her 2013 album.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Sylvester LarsenThe End Of Dancing

In October, Sylvester Larsen released his fifth album (his second in English) The End Of Dancing, and here’s a MAP exclusive download of its great title track, which is reminiscent of soul and funk giants Stevie Wonder and Sly Stone. Also, check out the video for first single and album opener Stand Up.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Whitest Taino AlivePiel De Leather

We’ve chosen the newest sensation of Santo Domingo, just to see how the rest of the world reacts to its message. That is, if you can handle it. Full of non sequiturs only true Dominicans understand (or so we think), Whitest Taino Alive emerges as a futuristic hip-hop act that combines trap, trill, minimal electronic and naughtiness. Their debut EP Chopería Fina is out now and available for free.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Ricardo PitaCanción Para El Resto De Los Días

Modern, hopeful and nostalgic bohemianism – that sums up the single Canción Para El Resto De Los Días by Ricardo Pita, a songwriter born in the heart of Guayaquil’s independent music scene. A musician with a great album and a promising career, Ricardo Pita is a must-listen if you want a vision of contemporary Latin folk music.

ENGLAND: Drowned In Sound
Lanterns On The LakeGreen And Gold (Generator Session)

From Sting and Prefab Sprout to Maxïmo Park and The Futureheads, the north-east of England has built a reputation for excellence, but it’s rare to uncover an act there, or anywhere, that’s as precious and heart-kickingly gorgeous as Lanterns On The Lake. They have elements of post-rock which make their tear-duct bothering sadness soar – not unlike the way Low construct epic melancholy. Their second album was recently released by Bella Union and it’s gorgeous. Watch the video of this live session track here.

FINLAND: Glue
Robin PahlmanGhosts

After relocating to Vienna via Seattle, Finnish songwriter Robin Pahlman has been working on a series of heartfelt acoustic folk home recordings that form his debut self-titled EP, recently released via Berlin-based label Monkey Records. Here is the inspiring single Ghosts.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
The CallasEast Beat

Noisepop minimalism, raw garage melodies and kraut psychedelic elements meet to create the kaleidoscopic universe of The Callas’ album Am I Vertical? The group mix their experimental art and film background with an addiction to pop tunes to present a witty, truly impressive record that balances darkness and light, innocence and sin, joy and lust.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Andrew NaratamaPutar Haluanmu

Putar Haluanmu is a retrospective song about memories and all the beautiful moments the singer had during his childhood with friends. Andrew Naratama is also a member of KarnaTra, a rock band from Jakarta.

ITALY: Polaroid
TempelhofChange

There’s no easy way to describe electronic music, especially when the sound explores multiple paths and you are constantly finding yourself in new territory. Tempelhof is an electronic duo from the town of Mantova and I think they are true explorers more than simple musicians. IDM, shoegaze, house, ambient – everything comes to build the striking sound that you will find in their new album Frozen Dancers, out now on Hell Yeah Recordings.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Coffee And TVGuess What? Summer’s Arrived

It is one of the most factually incorrect song titles of the month, but Tokyo producer Coffee And TV conjures up the warm vibes of the summer on this track. He does so simply. With little manipulation, he finds a snippet of Hey Manhattan! by Prefab Sprout, loops it and milks it for all it’s worth. From this basic sonic material he manages to make an easy breezy song that’s good for any time of the year.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Chico SonidoNiñas Fresas feat. Camila Sodi

Los Angeles-based Mexican producer Chico Sonido has just released his debut album Nalga Bass, which is quite a gamechanger for electropical music. In a market overcrowded with underdeveloped SoundCloud tracks, Chico delivers a coherently mixed record that transmutes and pushes forward genres such as nu-cumbia, trap, tribal and reggaeton, with a twist of humour and naughtiness. They’re good for headphones (and twerking too!).

PERU: SoTB
Daniel & The Dead End My Valentine

Daniel & The Dead End is the new project of Daniel Ruiz, the former Space Bee drummer. Having been abandoned by his band before recording, disillusioned and ready to rock, Daniel decided to do all the work himself, giving life to the first EP.

POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
Armando SuzetteAdvent Mists

Armando Suzette is a Kraków-based band led by Mateusz Tondera. Their music, which combines a variety of genres and influences, is something unique in Poland and it’s impossible to describe it in one word. If you feel lost, Advent Mists is for you. As they sing: “Hope you have a real Christmas this time.”

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
The Weatherman feat. Emmy CurlIt Took Me So Long

Alexandre Monteiro’s The Weatherman project has a new version of the single It Took Me So Long, taken from the latest album which will be released in Holland and Belgium in January. Emmy Curl, who was featured in the November 2010 edition of MAP, was invited to sing with Alexandre in the newer version of this track. Once again Alexandre confirms his high credentials as a composer, singer and creator of great pop songs. Mariana Lopes directed this great video.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
BuscabullaTu Loco Loco Y Yo Tranquilo

Buscabulla is one of Puerto Rico’s most promising emerging acts, a breath of fresh air in a musical climate that often struggles to bridge pop smarts with heartfelt and engaging music. Singer Raquel Berríos and her band conjure an intoxicating mix of classic cool with more forward-thinking flourishes on the group’s first single Tu Loco Loco Y Yo Tranquilo, a cover of master composer Tite Curet Alonso’s song made popular in 1969 by salsa legends Roberto Roena y Su Apollo Sound. Buscabulla’s debut EP is due in 2014 – it’s going to be a good year.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
MedalsDisguises

JP Reid is a familiar name in rock circles through his band Sucioperro as well as Marmaduke Duke, the side-project he shares with Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil. JP Reid’s new venture Medals, however, is arguably his most appealing. Debut album Disguises is an honest, pop-focused body of work and its title track stands out as a refreshingly unapologetic crowd-pleaser that you’ll likely play again and again.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Glen CheckPacific

Glen Check have been around since 2011 and already made quite a name for themselves at home. With a fanbase growing abroad, the duo is taking their rock and electronica sound to SXSW in 2014. The infectious electro-pop tune Pacific is the lead track off the band’s recently-released second album Youth!

SPAIN: Musikorner
Tiger Menja ZebraCom Començar Una Guerra

Tiger Menja Zebra was born from the ashes of Camping, a Catalan post-rock band that achieved great success in the past decade. With this new project, while sticking to the post-rock genre, they haven’t given up on pushing their boundaries.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Está VivoHow Strange feat. Steffaloo

Está Vivo perfectly titled his newest offering, How Strange. It certainly is strange, yet extremely alluring due to a fascinating mixture of robot-esque male vocals and whimsical female vocals that take turns floating above churning electronics. Let the track simmer and it will certainly take hold as one of the more hypnotic listens of the year.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
AspenAhora Ya

Aspen developed from the creative union between members of different bands. Influenced by the classic sound of British artists such as Badfinger and Oasis, their debut single boasts a slight psychedelic tinge. Aspen are one of the first bands on the roster of Macca Records, who also represent Los Paranoias.


Music Alliance Pact – Noiembrie 2013

Daca vi se pare cunoscuta vocea, asta e pentru ca ati auzit-o altundeva inainte. Tony Baboon este Adrian Carciova, vocea cu care au aparut Blue Nipple Boy, si care acum a pornit pe drumul propriu. Imagepoza de Vlad Eftenie

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Tony BaboonPinecones River

Tony Baboon is a tropical one man pop band, with jazz and trip hop influences. The music is made up of a diverse spectrum of carefully thought-out sounds and word combinations that deal with themes such as nature, animals, plants, philosophy, surrealism and utopia.

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 Ge.tt here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Onda VagaTataralí

Since their inception in 2008, Onda Vaga have avoided the steps that independent artists usually take in order to be a part of the music industry. It was a wise call. Thanks to word of mouth from a public that follows them whenever they perform, this folk-rock band have become a huge success, both locally and internationally (they made quite an impression at last year’s Fuji Rock Festival in Japan). Tataralí is the first single from their recently released third album, Magma Elemental.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
La Mancha NegraBelango Twist

It’s easy to imagine that Belango Twist might have been found inside a dusty shoebox containing a mix of rhythm and blues cassettes somewhere in the Deep South. Surprisingly that’s far from the case. Sydney swamp-rockers La Mancha Negra (which loosely translates from Spanish to “The Black Stain”) recently delivered their second album. Packed with blues ooze and reverberated hollers, Belango Twist is a tune that’s ideal for cruising… and smashing out a few letterboxes on the way.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
RobotraMorninglight 2

Don’t let the noisy, distorted lo-fi shell of Robotra songs trick you. This three-piece band from Graz and their pop melodies will catch your attention and make you want to sing along immediately. Morninglight 2 is taken from their full-length debut Tinker, which was mixed and mastered by Wolfgang Möstl (Mile Me Deaf, Sex Jams, Killed By 9V Batteries).

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Marcelo JeneciDe Graça

In Marcelo Jeneci’s new psychedelic/pop-influenced album, the single De Graça is one of the weirdest and greatest songs. Strong influences of the earliest works of Caetano Veloso and Arnaldo Antunes (with whom Jeneci still plays keyboard) can be easily heard, as well as Jeneci’s talent for making catchy melodies that create the kind of feeling when everything is just fine and you don’t worry about anything.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
The Dirty NilNicotine

The Dirty Nil want to be your dealer, and Nicotine is their gateway drug of choice. Their brand of rock and roll knows no fear, takes no prisoners and shows no mercy. They’re brash, they’re crass and they’re gonna make you love them or die trying.

CHILE: Super 45
FármacosDespegarte De Mí

Among the new breed of bands helping to renew the Chilean music scene, Fármacos stand out just as much for the many nuances of their sound – in which nods to electronica and pop are present – as their innate ability to create dramatic melodies that are hard to get out of your head. Despegarte De Mí is taken from their 2013 debut album Los Días Más Largos, released through Beast Discos.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The LiquidHang On, To You. Stop!

A lauded and prize-winning poet, Nicolaj Stochholm chose poetry over punk back in the 1980s. In 2002 he again acquired a guitar, in 2010 he formed The Liquid, and on November 27 the trio debuts with the great post-punk album Atlas Interplan. It opens with Hang On, To You. Stop!, coming to you here as a MAP exclusive download.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Charles LavaigneThe Endless Traveller Song

What happens when a folk singer makes a merengue song? The answer can be heard on The Endless Traveller Song, extracted from Charles Lavaigne’s latest album The Birdfish. Amidst all the psychedelia and freak folk, this fun, melodious tune stands because it reaffirms Charles’ Dominican roots, often lost in translation and his own peculiar identity. Dance off, then hear the rest of the album if you’re into crazy musical rides.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
MundosGorriones

The joining of two leading voices of two important local bands (Mamá Vudú and Can Can) gives life to this project that combines music and illustration. Mundos is the epicenter of talented musicians who bring their creativity and imagination into an album of 12 songs. Núcleos Activos Imaginarios is a good example of the evolution of Ecuadorian independent music, with Gorriones closing the album in a sublime way.

ESTONIA: Rada7.ee
Kali BriisWolfman

Kali Briis released new album Say Whaat? this month via the Eesti Pops label. From soul, funk and hip hop to blues, electro and pop, this 24-year-old producer feels comfortable in a wide range of genres and masters his instruments, all recorded in his own home. His 2012 album The Moon Ghost can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp.

FINLAND: Glue
Ritual SmokerWars (single edit)

Guided by blasting bass lines and rock-solid drumming, Helsinki-based band Ritual Smoker experiment with abrasive soundscapes of hypnotic effect. Wars is included in the band’s debut album Not To Dominate, But To Serve, out this month.

FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Belle Arché LouLumières Du Littoral

Belle Arché Lou is one of those bands that surprises you while digging through vinyl crates in a record store. An unknown but pretty name, an almost poetic feel running through your body while staring at the artwork, and the assurance that this record can be nothing but great. A three-man band hailing from Paris and Geneva, Belle Arché Lou write almost orchestral pieces with unusual instruments: a vibraphone, chimes and a glockenspiel, paired most of the time with an acoustic guitar. Their songs are gorgeous, delicate, happiness-inducing instrumentals.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Michalis MoschoutisActI

Primarily concerned with contrast, Michalis Moschoutis creates works that lie on the fringes of several genres: heavy processing and live electronics; restrained, unadorned improvisation that brings out the inherent primitivism and ritualism of music; cathartic dark metal; the plainness and intimacy of 16th-17th century lute works; and the subtle fluctuations of minimal drone music. His latest single was recorded inside old churches. Listen to the repetitive yet haunting acoustic melody of ActI and sink away into a dreamy cloud of harmonic beauty.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
TamankotaCerita Pagi Hari Ini

Tamankota (which means “City Park”) is a band from Bandung influenced by the British indie-pop scenes of the 80s and 90s. Cerita Pagi Hari Ini (“Story From This Morning”) is filled with raw sunshine power.

IRELAND: Harmless Noise
CrayonsmithChrysalis

Chrysalis was released with a video ahead of Crayonsmith’s new album Milk Teeth and the title was a hint at the changes in sound. Previously a solo artist working with synths, samples and guitar, Crayonsmith are now a three-piece band. Simple in construction, it’s pinned to a driving, purposeful rhythm, as Ciaran Smith’s vocal beseeches the listener with endearing fragility. The pattern of melody that colours the wings as this track pulls itself free and beats away is mesmerising; light yet pensive, its transformative powers hint at the unfolding darkness still to come.

ITALY: Polaroid
Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger!Golden Age

A gigantic electric shock: this is the music of Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger! on their second album Forever Young. Fast songs, loud noises, dramatic melodies. You could easily point out names like Sonic Youth or Wavves or Male Bonding or No Age. It doesn’t matter. It’s the sound of electricity that becomes art and poetry. Read the titles in the playlist: Forever Young, Golden Age, Whirlwind Weekend, Fearless Youth, Rage… this is all we need right now.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Boe OaknerCherenkov

In a very short amount of time, Nagano-based Boe Oakner has been making great strides in her musical development. The 17-year-old started this year making lovely instrumentals and now she is working her voice into her songs as well. Cherenkov is an ennui-tinged waltz, featuring kitchen-sink percussion, pretty bell chimes and natural sounds like a rainstorm.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Aarón BautistaIguana

Aarón Bautista has enjoyed a long career as a musician in some important bands from Mexico City’s underground scene. Now he’s going his own way with a solo project. His album doesn’t sound very similar to stuff we are used to hearing from Mexico City nowadays. Or maybe it does, but in a very twisted and personal way. The record has a precious, yet punk, attitude, filled with psychedelia, gloomy folk and beautiful production. It almost sounds like something to sing along to while feeling drunk and declining in the middle of whatever scene you might find sophisticated.

PERU: SoTB
PiettroConfesiones

Arequipa is a small town in southern Peru, a place where fate strove to unite Gabriel Alvarez, Saul Piettro and Juan Arce, friends who then became Piettro. Their style is a coalescence of trova and crossover rock, and with each of their songs they want to convey a message of love, peace and respect. Piettro is preparing its first album to be released as soon as possible.

POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
XXANAXXGot U Under

XXANAXX is a good example of how to bring together ambitious tunes and not-so-far-away-from-mainstream recognition. Although the band only formed in 2012, this year they have supported Austra and Hurts and played the Selector Festival, amassing a large number of fans in the process. No matter how you describe their music – nu beats or future chillout – one thing is certain, Got U Under is one of the greatest Polish tracks of 2013.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
The GlockenwiseLeeches

One of the coolest new Portuguese rock bands, The Glockenwise released their second album in May, which has the same name as this month’s track (check out this fun video for it). They won’t disappoint those looking for energy and lots of jumping around, and you can tell they have listened to the fathers of this sound, from The Stooges to the Ramones.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
AJ Dávila y Terror AmorOhhh (No Te Encantes)

Puerto Rico’s best-known garage-rock export Dávila 666 called it quits last year after touring the world in support of their second full-length. Founding member AJ Dávila spent little time mourning the band, instead focusing on his solo debut. The project’s guest list quickly ballooned to Supernatural-era Santana levels, and Terror Amor became a who’s who of Latin American indie-pop. The album, out in January on Nacional Records, will include collaborations with Mexico’s Juan Cirerol and Chile’s Alex Anwandter among many others. Ohhh (No Te Encantes) features one of Puerto Rico’s most beloved singers and fellow MAP alumni Fofé Abreu on backing vocals, as well as Mexico’s Jinmy Vitte (of Los Negretes fame) on acoustic guitar.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Tony BaboonPinecones River

Tony Baboon is a tropical one man pop band, with jazz and trip hop influences. The music is made up of a diverse spectrum of carefully thought-out sounds and word combinations that deal with themes such as nature, animals, plants, philosophy, surrealism and utopia.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Call To MindA Family Sketch

Call To Mind are based in Glasgow but originally from Ardersier, a former fishing village near Inverness with a population of barely 1,000. The influence of the group’s upbringing is keenly felt in their music – song titles are sprinkled with Highland reference points, while their lush, smartly-crafted ambient pop paints truly idyllic imagery. At their majestic best, such as A Family Sketch, they give French darlings M83 a run for their money when it comes to atmospheric euphoria. Debut album The Winter Is White is due out in early 2014 through Olive Grove Records.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
VasslineOverture To Recomposition

Vassline has been one of the finest acts in Korea’s hardcore scene since it started. Six years after their third full-length, the band finally returned with Black Silence. It was well worth the wait, showing everyone that Vassline is still at the very top. The instrumental piece Overture To Recomposition features MAP alumni Jambinai with their unique use of traditional Korean instruments in part 1, before Vassline bring out the heavy guns in part 2.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Astro One DeepSinapsis

Astro One Deep is a young Galician, now resident in Barcelona. Taking in influences from hip hop and electronic music, he has spent a long time shut away in his bedroom preparing new offerings. Like the emotions he portrays, his style is dynamic and varied; it draws on multiple genres such as funk, jazz, urban and electronica.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
KOGolden Gal

KO is the brainchild of Indianapolis singer/guitarist Kristin Newborn. She made a splash in early 2011 as frontwoman on the lone, underappreciated LP from indie-pop outfit Slothpop. Golden Gal finds her working within KO’s minimalist, two-piece framework, adding depth through layers of vocal loops. Newborn’s vocal prowess has earned her opportunities alongside professional symphonies, but the singular intimacy of KO proves equally intoxicating.


Music Alliance Pact – Octombrie 2013

Luna astea ne-am dus direct in Iasi, si i-am adus de-acolo pe Fine It’s Pink. Stati cu urechea pe ei.

Image

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Fine It’s PinkSky Is No Limit (Intro)

Fine It’s Pink are new to the music scene but they are growing up fast. Although you can’t put a finger on one genre, you can clearly hear post-rock, indie, electronic and strong psychedelic influences. Sky Is No Limit is their statement song, the one that takes you into their world of dreams. You can hear more of this world on SoundCloud.

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 29-track compilation through Ge.tt here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
JuaniDéjame Entrar

Juani’s involvement with music began during his teenage years and it hasn’t stopped since. Songwriter, singer, musician, producer, cultural manager… you name it. In between his multiple projects (one of them being involved with Rosario’s biggest independent label Planeta X), Juani managed to pull out a new solo album called La Paz Ciencia (a pun between the words “peace” and “science”), with songs that range from Argentine folk to pop and acoustic rock. Déjame Entrar is our favorite track but you can download the whole thing from the website.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
White CavesI’ve Lost

White Caves is the new venture from Melbourne songwriter Darren Cordeux. The former Kisschasy frontman has completely left behind the acoustic teen psyche of 2006 for a much looser sound. I’ve Lost carves a completely uplifting vibe out of sombre song content. Thanks to some clear-cut production, soaring vocals and a vibe that sounds like MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden fronting a slacker-pop band, White Caves is lending a new dimension of fun to typical ‘pop-jams’ right here.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
Amere MeanderSomething I Am Not

Three kindergarten friends form a band and make pop music. Viennese Amere Meander appeared out of nowhere with songs that are sometimes dreamy and sweet, sometimes mysterious and noisy, drawing inspiration from anything from shoegaze to Fleetwood Mac. Always catchy but never unpredictable, Something I Am Not is taken from their debut album To Lead Astray.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Karol ConkaBoa Noite

Karol Conka, an artist on the rise in the Brazilian hip hop scene, caught the media’s attention with her first singles and this year she released her debut album. Boa Noite is one of its best tracks, with a strong beat and African vocal melodies. This song is also included in the FIFA 2014 game, alongside the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Portugal. The Man and Disclosure.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Twin LibraryThere’s Always An End

Edmonton, Alberta’s Twin Library are chemists, experimenting and tweaking the formula that results in their incredibly sophisticated and sonically rich songs. They are prolific recorders and their latest release, They Were Marked As Targets, is their finest collection of unconventional pop yet.

CHILE: Super 45
Bronko YotteBruma

After a three-year break, MC and producer Bronko Yotte (Felipe Berríos) gets back on track with a new album, Con Eso Te Digo Todo, released through Dilema Industria. On its 22 tracks, Bronko Yotte offers profound considerations about the system’s incongruities, social relations and working life, without losing his sharpness and sense of humor. Bruma features Jamez Manuel (Zonora Point).

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
La Chiva GantivaPara Arriba

The story of La Chiva Gantiva began in Brussels with a group of young Colombians who started playing percussion together. Driven by a desire to assert their roots, they started to blend Colombian rhythms with other styles of music such as rock, Afrobeat and funk. Today they are preparing their second album Vivo and we can enjoy, in advance, Para Arriba, a song about inspiration.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Charlie CampariBass Vampires

Music is good for much, but in the case of Charlie Campari it’s a lifesaver. It’s what keeps him off the needle and his first solo release, Moon Cricket EP, tackles his demons and past life on the streets of Copenhagen and several overdoses – three of them fatal – on a backdrop of acidic blues reminiscing Lou Reed, early Beck and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Check out MAP exclusive download Bass Vampires and the cool video for single Monkey King.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Carolina CamachoNinfa De Las Aguas

Carolina Camacho’s voice is truly one of a kind, but she leaves nothing to chance. After many years of intense lyrical training, she’s been a part of various local musical acts such as SonAbril and Camacho. Recently she’s gone solo, dedicating herself to exploring the worlds of vocal jazz, roots music and feminine empowerment on her newest single Ninfa De Las Aguas. Her first album Atabey is out on October 16.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Mamá Soy DementeSalsa De Marte

Mamá Soy Demente, a Guayaquilean duo formed by Dennis Darquea and Carlos Bohórquez, present their new single Salsa De Marte. The track, which plays with the idea of making a rock song with salsa influence, is part of their live album Mamá Soy Demente (En Vivo).

ENGLAND: Drowned In Sound
Annie EveElvis (Live at Sofar Birmingham)

Sometimes the ache drips down the side of a song. Annie Eve is from north London and has quietly begun building a fanbase. DiS recently saw this impressive young lady headline a sold-out church venue for those pulse-fingering folksters Communion Records. She takes a dab of influence from Bon Iver but casts her own shadow over these gentle sad-songs whilst her voice wows. If you fell under Daughter’s spell in 2012/13 then you’ll likely be obsessed with Annie Eve in 2014.

ESTONIA: Rada7.ee
Imandra LakeMetsatants

Imandra Lake is the new project of Rein Fuks and Eve Komp of Tallinn band Pia Fraus, and follows a similar indie-shoegaze line but it’s all fresh and they sing in Estonian. Imandra Lake’s sound is noisy and reverberant but less pop and quite tranquil and deep, reaching even the boundaries of the darker side of folk. Metsatants is a new track from their forthcoming second album which continues the same warm sound.

FINLAND: Glue
Gim KordonEi Ole Helppoo (early demo version)

If J Mascis knew Finnish he would probably sound like the guys in Gim Kordon. This punk-rock trio, the first Finnish-language signing to hip label Soliti, is readying a debut album for next spring. As a first taste here’s a raw and noisy early demo of Ei Ole Helppoo. The chorus is very catchy, so don’t fear the language and sing along.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
DalotAncestors

Dalot is the creative alias of Maria Papadomanolaki. Ancestors EP, which was inspired by her grandfather’s old photographs, is a reconstruction of fragments, not concerned with the accuracy of images and moments but with opening up the flood of memory mechanics to imagination and transformation. The songs of the EP reveal a cascade of emotions and offer an exploration of texture and atmosphere, as physical instruments merge with subtle electro-acoustic ambience and ethereal turbulences. The haunting title track features Izumi Suzuki’s angelic vocals.

INDIA: NH7
HoirongBajrang Bali

Guitarist Kamal Singh of erstwhile Bangalore post-rock act Lounge Piranha has struck gold with his newest side-project Hoirong. His debut album, The Resurrection Of The Princess Of Woe And Her Vampire Hound Posse, is not only a mouthful of a title but a grungy, raw record recorded wholly on a laptop mic, spanning from disco-punk to noise-rock, with lo-fi production and a dark sense of humor. The album is Singh’s ode to the 90s alternative music scene and definitely wins over fans of dirtier, lo-fi music.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Puti ChitaraSarsaparilla Dream

Jakarta singer-songwriter Puti Chitara makes beautiful pop songs with sweet arrangements. She recently won a contest at A Exchange to support the recording of her debut album.

ITALY: Polaroid
Green Like JulyMoving To The City

Produced by A.J. Mogis (Saddle Creek Records) and recorded in the Arc Studios in Omaha, Nebraska, Build A Fire is the third album by Green Like July. Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes and Jake Bellows of Neva Dinova, among others, collaborated on various songs. Green Like July have their roots in American tradition but they can evoke the magic of classic Beatles melodies.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Hisamokuden-Kow.Our Song

Hisamokuden-Kow. calls the relatively relaxed prefecture of Tochigi, a few hours north of Tokyo, home. It is not a place one expects a busy track like Our Song to emerge from, all skittery beats and manipulated vocals tumbling over one another in an almost cartoon fashion. Yet despite how crowded it can get, it retains a catchiness throughout. Not bad, Tochigi.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
FellowFishThe Outlaw

Hailing from Valletta, Lyon and New York, FellowFish find themselves on the tiny Mediterranean island of Gozo (Malta’s sister island). FellowFish is made up of lead singer and writer Keith Anthony, Christophe Ladret on percussion/drums and Kristian Vella on guitars. Their self-titled debut album, released earlier this year, has a mix of influences, ranging from Al Jarreau’s smooth groove to Jeff Buckley’s melancholic melodies.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
CalonchoPalmar

Pop-folk flavoured with coconut milk, composed using flip-flops and lying on a hammock by the palm trees. Caloncho comes from the sun-drenched city of Guadalajara and is known for wearing flowery Hawaiian shirts on stage and throwing bananas to the front rows. His debut Fruta EP has some juicy, fruity tunes that combine a vintage Tex-Mex rock ‘n’ roll from the likes of Ritchie Valens but also squeezes a hint of reggae on the mix. Palmar, first single and video, is an invitation to lay by a topless brunette on a Mexican beach and sway oblivious from the real world.

PERU: SoTB
Víctor HugoLima Es Nuestra

After the separation of promising band Mi Jardín Secreto, singer Víctor Hugo Vargas began to release his own singles, preparing the way for the arrival of debut album El Primer Disco De Víctor Hugo, available for free from his website. Lima Es Nuestra is about a farewell and other reflections, narrated under the same nostalgic sky of the city where he lives, Lima.

POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
We Draw ATears From The Sun

So here’s autumn again and it’s hard to imagine a better anthem for those days than Tears From The Sun. Although the electro-pop duo only appeared on the Polish scene this year, We Draw A founder Pete Levy is known from Indigo Tree, a guitar-oriented band who recorded two LPs and gathered some underground fame from 2009-2011. We Draw A are recording for the Brennnessel label.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Tape JunkNo Romance Without Finance

João Correia, an accomplished singer-songwriter, musician and also a drummer for friends’ bands, had his first entry in MAP in December 2011, but as Julie & The Carjackers. This time he visits us with another project, Tape Junk, who recently released debut album The Good & The Mean, where No Romance Without Finance comes from. The song is backed with this vídeo.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
BandoSerembé

Bando is a new collaborative effort between veteran musicians of Puerto Rico’s rock scene, including Agustín Criollo (Astrid Pröll) and Gaby Vidal (ONGO, Similar), focussed on exploring the music of the African diaspora through the classic and revolutionary Afrobeat sound. The group follows Fela Kuti into fertile territories for musical exploration such as bomba and Afro-American funk, inviting us to lose ourselves in dance without shying away from political lyrics that reflect the island’s struggles. Bando are currently recording their debut, and have graciously offered us eight-minute scorcher Serembé as a MAP exclusive download.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
There Will Be FireworksRoots

If anyone could be held up as a glowing example of the ‘less is more’ approach it’s There Will Be Fireworks. Four long years after the release of their acclaimed self-titled debut album, Scotland’s reclusive princes of guitar-rock reverie have finally announced details of its successor, The Dark, Dark Bright, out on November 25 through Comets & Cartwheels. The album finds the group in a masterful embrace of the grandiose and the graceful – MAP exclusive download Roots falls into the latter category as the tenderest of tender acoustic compositions.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
TearlinerStrange Intimacy

The mid-00s offered Korean indie-pop at its very finest with Tearliner as one of the key artists. Eight years after his first full-length, Tearliner returned with the Grey Garden album last month showcasing a more polished sound than the lo-fi productions he would previously offer. Strange Intimacy is a pretty, slow-paced, dreamy piece perfectly combining the best of both the old and new Tearliner.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Jared BartmanGarden Gate

Jared Bartman crafts majestic songs that twist pop elements around a sensitive core stabilized by occasional adventurous flourishes. Bartman’s music can act as a backdrop for a smooth listen or something to be studied with the headphones fastened tight. Either way, Bartman is a must-listen for everyone.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Laura GuevaraEl Constructor (live)

Laura Guevara is a young woman who has everything – she is a singer, songwriter, artist, actress and audiovisual director, besides having a melodious voice that impressed attendees of last year’s Virgen Fest. She currently has a live EP out while she puts the finishing touches to her debut album.


Music Alliance Pact – Septembrie 2013

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
PoetripAşa Ceva

Described as a mixture of krautrock and Japanese psychedelia, Poetrip is a band who became popular by promoting their music as a dadaist manifesto. They make use of pop clichés to convey attention to absurd and often psychedelic musical contexts.

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 29-track compilation through Ge.tt here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
TravestiBeduino

Fernando Floxon and Alejandro Torres are the cosmic rockers behind Travesti, a band whose music is often associated with transgression and misunderstanding, with songs that are dense, powerful and provocative. Their lyrics, always clever, rough, usually offer a certain social criticism. Beduino is our favorite from Suicidio Latino, their fourth studio album.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
ManorArchitecture

The general assumption that tormented bed friends make better musicians most of the time is true – right? In respectable ‘dream-pop duo’ tradition, we hope these two are. Architecture is timeless pop right from the first off-beat. The track is set with slingback hooks, dreamy vocals and a fledging groove that sounds too much like Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek doing a cover of Men At Work’s Land Down Under for anyone to ignore.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
Beach Girls And The MonsterI Go Surfing

This band draws their inspiration from American surf rock of the 1960s. Accordingly, their rendition of The Beach Boys’ Kokomo suits them so very well, not only because of the obvious band name correlation, but also because it blends perfectly into their own sounds. The aptly titled I Go Surfing is the first song of their four-track 7″ EP of the same name that was released earlier this year.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
A Fase RosaCasa

Música Popular Brasileira meets alternative rock at its best. This four-piece band is one to keep our eyes and ears on.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
The Provincial ArchiveCommon Cards

Back in 2011, Edmonton, Alberta’s The Provincial Archives made Canadian music touring history by being the first band to actually play live in each Canadian province’s actual archive; 10 shows billed as The Provincial Archive LIVE at the Provincial Archive. Common Cards marks their recorded music return, and is the first taste of music from their forthcoming third LP.

CHILE: Super 45
OtoñoScheider

After eight years of silence, Otoño are back with their psychedelic guitar-rock. Their atmospheric, drowsy sound grows every second until it explodes in a whirlwind of white noise, a perfect landscape for their gloomy, self-reflective lyrics. Scheider is taken from the quartet’s Páramos EP, released via LeRockPsicophonique.

CHINA: Wooozy
Worldwide Collaboration CompanyCrying Launer Remix (feat Chairman Ba & MC Stone)

Nobody knows who the people behind World Collaboration Company are, but anyone in China who listens to them will find something familiar. WCC mash up cross-talk recordings, TV series samples, Chinese propaganda songs as well as rock and hip hop, and put an overwhelmingly sarcastic touch to it. While some criticize WCC’s sound collage approach as being too lighthearted, others can argue WCC are simply one of China’s best and most clever sample players. Love them or hate them, one thing you can’t deny is WCC reflect the true pop landscape of modern China.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
MULAA. Grisales

With much pride we present MULA, a kind of supergroup formed by Santiago Botero and Mange Valencia. Armed with saxophones, bass, drums and guitars, they effortlessly incorporate anything from punk to jazz to champeta – they don’t recognize genres, but sounds. It’s a very particular and special view that takes form in the track A. Grisales, inspired by Colombian TV’s first diva, Amparo Grisales.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
SPEkTRThe Infirm

Three years on from their second album Personetics, SPEkTR release The Door Is Paint On A Rock EP on September 23. Frontman Manoj Ramdas (also The Raveonettes, The Good The Bad) calls it Soundtrack’n’Roll and there’s no good reason to argue with that description. Here’s the awesome EP’s first single, The Infirm, which also comes with this video.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
MediopickyLa Ola (feat Cristabel Acevedo)

Urban-alternative sensation Mediopicky pairs up with Cristabel, one of the twins from the folk duo Las Acevedo, to make a sweet, summery track. La Ola, from Mediopicky’s upcoming EP Cantinas, features moombahton beats specially made for Cristabel’s tender voice, conveying that feeling of saying goodbye to the last days of summer.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Rima Roja En VenusBendición De Ser Mujer

The impressive female rap of Rima Roja En Venus shows the strength of the fight against discrimination and violence. These two women use music and poetry to express social criticism with a positive message. Bendición De Ser Mujer is taken from their 2012 album Libre Albedrio. You can see the video here.

ENGLAND: Drowned In Sound
65daysofstaticPrisms

From movie soundtracks to Japanese arena shows to a US tour with The Cure, this electronic outfit from Sheffield have had one hell of a career since forming back in 2001. The cult heroes’ fifth album Wild Light is out this month, and finds the band continuing on their mission to retro-fit the future. Mixing together a myriad of glitches and orchestral sounds they’ve created yet more of their signature brew of complex but hearty digital delights.

ESTONIA: Rada7.ee
Thou Shell Of DeathThe Night-Wind

This strongly ambient-influenced black metal band is majestically atmospheric, with mesmerizing live shows. Thou Shell Of Death has played all over the Europe, sharing stages with well-known and underground acts (Strid, Negura Bunget, Vesania, Altar Of Plagues, etc). The Night-Wind is from their new album Sepulchral Silence, released this month by Austrian label Talheim Records.

FINLAND: Glue
MaglevsVan Rijn

Indie band Maglevs play organic dream pop with strong dynamics that might draw comparisons with Okkervil River. They have just released a debut EP that you can hear and download on SoundCloud.

INDIA: NH7
BlentCafe Coffee Tale_Bummer

Blent is the music project of Bangalore-based Aniket, a game designer by profession and an experimental electronic music producer seemingly by way of hobby. Blent has just released his first formal set of tracks that became the Dusk EP, available for free download from Bandcamp. Blent’s music lends itself to the experimental genre but can be best described as The Postal Service meets Four Tet, coming together with the staccato pace of the garden city of Bangalore.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
BikiniesDance Floor Mafia

All girls, all fun, all wild on stage. Influenced by the 90s alternative scene with distortion and yelling, Bikinies offer one of the rawest sounds in Jakarta.

ITALY: Polaroid
His ClancynessZenith Diamond

His Clancyness, once a solo project for A Classic Education’s Jonathan Clancy, now a full band, deliver an intense and psychedelic, sometimes dreamy, sometimes fuzzy sound inspired by the likes of Deerhunter, Kurt Vile and Lower Dens. Amazing new single Zenith Diamond is taken from Vicious, one of the most important Italian rock albums of the year, which gets a UK/US release on October 7/8 through FatCat Records.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
CosmosmanUnique Fun Fiction

It has gotten to the point in the Kansai region of Japan – made up of cities such as Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe – where new electronic artists pop up nearly daily. It takes a lot to jump out from that crowded scene, but Kobe outfit Cosmosman do just that with Unique Fun Fiction. It is a playful number with an Enchanted Tiki Room vibe, but made even better by the unsettling nature of the vocals. It comes from the stellar Ananga Ranga album, available via the link above.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Alex AldenJust Like You

Alex Alden takes every opportunity to play live and share her lyrics and poetry through song. Having performed extensively in various venues around the islands, she is now relocating to Holland for the next few years. Alden’s music is heavily influenced by blues, pop and classic rock, and draws inspiration from jazz whilst exploring the trials and tribulations of young adulthood, often using the themes of nature, mythology and childhood to communicate her message. Earlier this year she released her debut EP The Curious Child.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Mood-FuPerros De Fu

Mood-Fu, formed by two brothers from southern Mexico City, have released their first album after a very successful introductory EP. Filled with bass, soul and R’n’B flavors set to angular lyrics and enjoyable rhymes, Perros De Fu is a powerful portrait of the city’s nightlife with a little bit of social critique and urban apocalypse. The release features various friends and stars from the Mexican indie music scene.

PERU: SoTB
Iván FajardoMe Voy Dejando

Iván Fajardo is a musical icon in Peru, his musical independence reflected in bands such as Indigo and Era. It is displayed once again in his first solo album, Vímana, the highest point of his career. This new beginning has 10 songs full of mythology, nostalgia and melancholy. In Hindu mythology Vímana is a flying machine and the album promises to be a space trip.

POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
Furia FutrzakówNoc Wystarczyć Ma Na Dłużej

Four years after releasing their self-titled debut LP, Warsaw electro-pop duo Furia Futrzaków are back. They have moments when they sound like Junior Boys, as you can hear in Noc Wystarczyć Ma Na Dłużej, a single from Kalejdoskop EP, but things are a little bit different here. Soulful vocals, lyrics about mainly happy (but difficult) love and a warm coating are Kinga Miśkiewicz and Andrzej Pieszak’s own contribution.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Nome ComumCuco

Nome Comum (“Common Name”) are a quartet led by two siblings, Bernardo and Madalena Palmeirim. Both are writers, players and singers in the band. Cuco, which is also the name of their debut album released this month, is their first single. It has a video directed by Gonçalo Soares.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Un.RealPiloto

Gardy Pérez began experimenting with an analog tape recorder back in 1995, a direct response to the cancellation of MTV’s seminal Alternative Nation. Trying to channel all the energy of the shoegaze movement he had been exposed to through television, Pérez founded Un.Real, becoming one of the great emerging bands from Puerto Rico’s west coast underground scene. An extended hiatus and various line-up changes later, Un.Real is back and revitalized in their new EP, Épico. The song Piloto showcases the dreamy soundscapes Un.Real is so adept at while adding guest vocals by Xavier Rodríguez of local band Indigo.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Blood RelativesFowl Mouth

Formerly known as Kitty The Lion (featured in the Music Alliance Pact’s October 2012 edition), Blood Relatives create upbeat folk-pop songs of a peerless quality, wrapping irresistible hooks around the unique talents of Anna Meldrum, whose lyrics are peppered with wordplay, double entrendres and puns, with particular fondness for animal-related content. Case in point is MAP exclusive download Fowl Mouth, the opening track of debut album Deerheart, whose release on October 28 through
Comets & Cartwheels can’t come soon enough. While you wait, check out the videos for album tracks Dead Hip and Deerheart.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Square The CircleBitchquito

Rock band Square The Circle has a fondness for uptempo tunes that give them a chance to show their colors. They’ve been around for a couple of years and released their 1003 EP in August. Bitchquito is a song with great energy, telling the story of a girl that sucks blood like a mosquito.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
WharferArchitect

Brooklyn’s Wharfer is the musical project of Kyle Wall. Wall complements his gentle and emotional backing music with commanding vocals that cut through the speakers with one intention: to make the listener feel every word. With every subtle artistic choice, Wall is simply defining himself as a songwriter with the intelligence to back up his raw talent.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Da ViandaNómada

In late 2012, and after nearly a year as a band, Da Vianda recorded their first EP, which contains six songs written by these four young boys from Puerto La Cruz. “Our goal is to have fun and create honest music,” they say. Their self-titled EP can be downloaded from Bandcamp.


Music Alliance Pact – August 2013

http://testpressing.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/STEAUA-DE-MARE-COVER.jpg

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Steaua de MareDoamne Ce Greșeală Am

Steaua de Mare is a Bucharest-based band whose sound is a hybrid of prog, dub, psychedelic rock and contemporary gypsy music (manele). The instrumental group released their self-titled debut album in May through Future Nuggets/Ambassador’s Reception.

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 30-track compilation through Ge.tt here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Pablo MalauriePasto En La Espalda

After psychedelic pop act Mataplantas broke up in 2009, their guitarist and singer Pablo Malaurie started a solo career by releasing a minimalist folk album called El Festival Del Beso. In 2011, he was chosen by Devendra Banhart as the opening act for his Buenos Aires concerts. Pasto En La Espalda is our favorite track from El Beat De La Cuestión, his second effort, where he shows the consolidation of a growing career, which includes extensive touring and collaborations.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
EscAtomic Shadow

Esc are a Melbourne four-piece making music in the great Australian tradition of depraved pub-rock spliced with post-punk. The band’s latest single, Atomic Shadow, is both menacing and danceable, with a tight rhythm section and harmonies that lighten Max Sheldrake’s terse vocal.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
Maur Due & LichterFaces

Much like Klangkarussell’s über-hit Sonnentanz, hugely successful in German-speaking countries and the Netherlands, fellow Austrians Maur Due & Lichter produce light, loungy and summery electronic music that works equally well in clubs, hotel pools and urban beach bars. This Night Was Meant To Stay, from which Faces is taken, is a concept album portraying a night out in Vienna.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
EONSBrothers & Sisters

Arctic Radio, the debut album from Toronto-based musician Matt Cully aka EONS, is aptly named; the melodies are crisp like bitter north winds and his lyrics penetrate past even the warmest of winter gear. There is a warmth, though, a deep passion in the music that holds back the cold, as evidenced in Brothers & Sisters. Cully is joined on vocals by Misha Bower, and both are members of Bruce Peninsula, another Canadian treasure worth exploring.

CHILE: Super 45
MeliéPartir

Melié, who take their name from the French filmmaker Georges Méliès, released their first EP, Compartir, this year. Here, they deliver atmospheric, calm post-rock, highlighting their vocal harmonies and dreamlike melodies, giving birth to a complex but focused sound. Neighbouring Grizzly Bear and Local Natives’ imagery, Melié is one of the most interesting new acts in Chile’s indie-rock scene.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Schutmaat TrioYou Died In My Future

Despite their name, Schutmaat Trio is actually a quartet, led by Alvin Schutmaat, who experiment with post-rock and refresh the local scene with well-produced and elaborate sounds. You Died In My Future is taken from their album 6:15, released this year as a pay-what-you-want download.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
PRE-Be-UNX-ray Pop

PRE-Be-UN aka Nicolai Kleinerman Koch (also of Oh No Ono, Choir Of Young Believers and Boom Clap Bachelors) releases his debut solo album Clean Spasms this month. I call it ‘bit-pop Beatles’, with first single Mysteriously In Love already grabbing online attention with its wonderful fusion of the 1960s and 1980s – not least visually. Here’s X-ray Pop, a MAP exclusive download.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Chino SingMe Voy

Dashed hopes, tropical imagery and fresh reggae beats combine on Chino Sing’s latest song, Me Voy. Chino has made music with a host of local musicians, friends and artists, but now he’s working on his first solo album which will feature a blend of reggae, roots and various Caribbean themes and sounds.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
JodamassaCanto Popular

From Cuenca comes Jodamassa, a trio that has made experimental rock with a strong Latin American identity during its seven-year existence. The single Canto Popular is taken from second album El Centro En El Sur, released in February 2012.

ENGLAND: Drowned In Sound
Pale SeasEvil Is Always One Step Behind

Southampton is quite an unexceptional small British city, with a big port and a musical heritage which peaked with the birth of one-of-the-ones-that-isn’t-Chris-Martin from Coldplay. This could soon change with the hypnotic swash of Dandy Warholian psychedelia, Glasvegas-ish 60s-gaze and the brooding Verve-esque dark-rock of Southampton’s Pale Seas. Fans of Low, shimmering tambourines and shadowy English misery should paddle over this way.

ESTONIA: Rada7.ee
Blood PavilionPurrveyor

Blood Pavilion is the electronic outfit of Jarmo Nuutre, one half of doom metal duo Talbot (a band you should already know – they have toured the world and just played at Roskilde, and they’re awesome). Purrveyor is taken from Blood Pavilion’s new album released on August 1. As you maybe already guessed from the name of the track, Jarmo does have a cat at home and it really happened to be useful to produce that sound sample used in Purrveyor.

FINLAND: Glue
Anna & MikiUniversal Mind

Anna and Miki sing beautiful acoustic songs with a little Eastern influence. The couple found much inspiration for their debut album while traveling in Nepal, soon after they start playing together. The record was released in May and Universal Mind is part of it.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Cut OffPrisons Burned

Cut Off is a fastcore/powerviolence act from Athens. Their debut album Sick Of This Life is a relentless burst of outrage with speedy, sharp guitar riffs, schizophrenic drumming and scorching, throaty, rebellious screams and vocals.

INDIA: NH7
Far Travel MusicNot About You

Far Travel Music are a Mumbai-based, four-piece alternative rock and experimental band fronted by producer Arjun Kanungo. Their first release Not About You draws from progressive rock with a lot of meaty middle-end and then segues into a dubstep-style breakdown that takes the song into completely new sonic territory. The fusion of electronica and rock usually makes most wary, but Far Travel Music do the style justice.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Sajama CutThese Are Wounded Things

Sajama Cut have been praised by music critics as well as Time magazine, and were handpicked by MGMT to open their concert in Jakarta. These Are Wounded Things is a downloadable bonus track from the vinyl re-release of the group’s second album, The Osaka Journals. It has a lo-fi sensibility with a simple, beautifully-arranged melody.

IRELAND: Harmless Noise
Idiot SongsJung Trickster

Idiot Songs, the collaboration between Pearse McGloughlin and Justin Grounds, is a contemporary interpretation of Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot and hears the duo craft a musical concept around the Russian novel, with its tale of moral and social dilemma. Created for the most part while Grounds and McGloughlin were living in Ireland and Canada respectively, electronic beats are used to give pace and tension, while the use of classical arrangements of piano and violin give a timelessness that harks back to the chamber music of the novel’s setting. If you like Jung Trickster check out the exceptional video for Villages Of Ether.

ITALY: Polaroid
M+AWhen

Young duo M+A define their music as “playful, sophisticated dance pop” and I could not imagine a better description. Maybe I would just point out that “sophisticated” does not prevent the sweat when you see them live. Phoenix glam meets Hot Chip beats. The first taster of their second album These Days (out in September on Monotreme Records) is When and it’s the perfect soundtrack for the heart of summer.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Yoshino YoshikawaI Feel You, I Love You

Yoshino Yoshikawa deals in high-definition pop music, the sort of stuff that does not try to engage in any subtleties. He does it very well, as evidenced on I Feel You, I Love You. The song is a bouncy electric number featuring a big, joyful chorus. Yoshikawa sings with just the slightest touch of vocal manipulation, which never distracts but rather adds to the sparking vibe this track goes for. It is joy delivered without any hint of irony.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Tino El PingüinoLo Juro, Mi Ex Novia Era Un X-Men

Mexico City’s Tino El Pingüino has been labeled one of the most promising new voices in the country’s hip hop scene. His 2013 debut album Tu Antihéroe Favorito shows him as a master wordsmith, always witty in his rhymes, a vast palette of flows and a unique approach to universal subjects with cruel irony, never exaggerated. Lo Juro, Mi Ex Novia Era Un X-Men (“I swear it, my ex-girlfriend was an X-Men”) has a straightforward funky beat with Tino floating on top effortlessly, just oozing style.

NETHERLANDS: Subbacultcha!
Earth Mk. IITogether

Earth Mk. II mastermind Hugo van der Poel spent years playing in bands with childhood pal and local neopsych beacon Jacco Gardner. Now at the helms of his own project, van der Poel has enlisted Gardner to produce his Excelsior Recordings debut, Music For Mammals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, classic 1960s influences such as The Zombies and Syd Barrett form the basis of Earth Mk. II’s sound. Yet, as album cut Together reveals, van der Poel also incorporates enough non-60s influences (e.g. Nirvana, White Fence) to carve out his own niche within the world of melodic neopsychedelia.

PERU: SoTB
Space BeeYeah Yeah

Formed in 2001, the music of Space Bee is eclectic – from Arabic scales and psychedelia to a classic rock sound that uses violins. Yeah Yeah is a powerful part of It’s Alive! Vol. 1, the rock band’s most recent album, available for free on Bandcamp.

POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
Łagodna PiankaLody Huśtawkowe

What is your childhood memory? For Łagodna Pianka, it’s first love, swinging on a seesaw and eating ice creams, as you can hear in Lody Huśtawkowe. The pop-rock band from Rzeszów spent two years practising in a garage before they felt ready to play their tunes in front of an audience.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Peixe : AviãoAvesso

Peixe : Avião, first featured in August 2010’s Music Alliance Pact, have had three years of intense touring followed by the recording of their new album, due out in September. A turning point in the band’s sound is indicated by Avesso (meaning “inside out”), the first single from it which is backed with a beautiful video. Peixe : Avião is one of the most sucessful indie bands in Portugal and their intense, intricate sound has earned them a large following.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Las AbejasGuys & Gals

Almost two years after dropping their debut EP, the members of Las Abejas have become some of Puerto Rico’s most vital musicians within the local independent scene, participating in numerous projects including ones featured in past editions of MAP. All that experience is evident in their second release, the impressive Lazy Views. Guys & Gals is an exquisite surprise of a song that gives in to the band’s most bizarre and experimental impulses. Few other tracks this year will come close to its maniacal energy.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Mast.Romance

Mast. is Liam Rutherford, a young man who describes his music as “1-piece pop from Glasgow”. So hot out of the box is debut song Romance that this recording was completed five days before MAP’s publication date. The opening minute is a feat of mesmerism as the hypnotic, repetitive lyrics of “We’ve healed all of this, all of this, almost all of it” are delivered over a dreamy math-rock texture. While that genre often produces technical, abstract results, Romance instead makes an extraordinary shift in gear. An exhilarating chorus bursts into play, Liam’s singing – about the theme of change – becomes even more spirited, and the song’s emotional conclusion is strikingly tender.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Theatre8Yanghwa Bridge

Theatre8 offer light, charming indie rock with a remarkable ability to entertain, whether through music videos or in front of an audience. They just released their second album, featuring Yanghwa Bridge as the title track. Named after a bridge across Seoul’s Han River, the catchy song lends itself to sing-alongs and is bound to stay with you long after you’ve stopped listening.

SPAIN: Musikorner
La PresaTodo El Amor

Formed by three friends, all originally from Madrid but now living all over Spain, La Presa are inspired by OBK, Yurena, Putilatex and Dioni (of Camela). The result is exceptionally danceable music which is both direct and simple.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Shark?AOK

Brooklyn’s Shark? is a pure rock and roll band that brings intensity and a sharpness of craft to each of their songs. On AOK, the band displays a knack for writing catchy hooks and grooves that can push the song forward second after second. A gutsy breakdown in the middle section adds an artful element to the already interesting track and makes Shark? a band to watch closely.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Lavu DubanZapatero Siciliano

Lavu Duban formed in San Cristóbal, Táchira, in 2008 but it wasn’t until January 2013 that the rock and roll group managed to make their debut album, which they are promoting with shows around the country.


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