Friday, 30 January 2015

Austerity Audio 2015.1

Time caught up with me a bit towards the end of last year and I didn't always get round to posting the Austerity Audio mixtapes / podcasts / whatever you want to call them. But 2015 is here and we're BACK! I hereby promise to post at least one of these a month to keep you supplied with the best in new music.

Anyway, the rules haven't changed, but if you're new to this then here's what we do. I gather together the best in free (legal) downloads and put them all together in on handy mixtape for you. You download said mixtape (by right-clicking on the picture above) and listen to ten of the best new tracks. Then, if there's something you really like, you gather together a few pence / cents and buy a track or two from that artist, so they can afford to keep making lovely music for us. Everybody wins! There's no music snobbery and no specific genres here - if it's good it goes into the mix. Here's the tracklist for this one:

  1. Siskiyou - Deserter
  2. Crash Island - Time To Move On
  3. Sam Duckworth - 1989
  4. Closer - XYMBOL 01
  5. Red Pill - All Of Us (prob. by Apollo Brown)
  6. Joey Bada$$ - Born Day (AquariUS)
  7. Option Command - Burst
  8. Aphex Twin - Diskhat ALL Prepared1mixed [snr2mix]
  9. Matt Emery - Effervescent
  10. Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love - Stop Spinning The Birdcage

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Video of the Day: 'Lie, Cheat, Steal' by Run The Jewels

The official video has just been released for one of the stand-out tracks from the hip-hop album of 2014. Filmed in London during their trip to the capital just before Christmas it makes them look at home in a murky car park. Run The Jewels are definitely an act that get better if you see them perform, as their personalities really come across if you can see the whites of their eyes (or the dark of their sunglasses). Enjoy!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Remix of the Day: 'Nasty (Zinc Remix)' by The Prodigy

I must admit to being rather nonplussed when I first heard the new Prodigy single. Sure, everyone wants The Prodigy to sound like The Prodigy, but it was just a bit too formulaic and out-of-date for my liking. This new version by Zinc though knocks off some of the old-fashioned edges, but still retains a classic feel. I can definitely see this goind down well in the rowdy clubs. Have a listen below.

Recommended music: 'B4.DA.$$' by Joey Bada$$

B4.DA.$$ [Explicit] [+digital booklet]

I've been singing the praises of Joey Bada$$ since back in 2012 when the '1999' mixtape first appeared. That was followed by two more, first 'Rejex' and then 'Summer Knights', which both served notice of a major talent on the way. So here we are in 2015, and 'B4.DA.$$' doesn't disappoint at all. Sure to feature as one of the best hip-hop albums of the year, it mixes the music and style of old-skool hip-hip with the swagger and commercial sensibilities of the best of today's rap acts. He shows that he can switch from the likes of 'Paper Trail$' to the pop smash of 'Teach Me', which features Kiesza and shows that big-time collaborations can be done with style and panache without having to pander to the lowest common denominator r'n'b clichés. I particularly like 'On & On' which features UK singer-songwriter Maverick Sabre, but really you'd be hard-pressed to find a track you couldn't like on this album.

As a bonus you can download a free track below called 'Born Day (AquariUS)' that Joey gave away on the day the album came out.

I expect Joey to pretty much be on a worldwide tour for the rest of 2015, this album is so good it's going to smash open the doors for him. You can stream some of the album below, but really you should be spending some of your hard-earned bucks on this. It's the first essential purchase of the year.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Track of the Day: 'Diskhat ALL Prepared1mixed [snr2mix]' by Aphex Twin

Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 EP

This is an alternative mix of the first tracl on the new Aphex Twin 'Computer Controlled Instruments pt 2' EP. Whilst I take pretty much everything Richard D James says with a pinch of salt, if you believe the blurb around the new release then he's apparently constructed a series of mechanical instruments which he controls via his computer. Whether this is true or not, I think I prefer this track to most of what was on last year's 'Syro' album, so I guess I'd better get hold of the EP and see what the rest of it's like.

Anyway, this mix of the track is available as a free download so grab it below and see what you make of it.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

EP of the Day: 'Learning To Punch' (EP)' by Red Pill

Learning To Punch (EP) cover art

Mello Music Group's latest signing hits us with this 3-track EP to celebrate his multi-album deal. The EP starts with 'Smile' produced by Oddisee, which is pretty much a stone-cold guarantee of quality (or, as Red Pill puts it "If it's Oddisee on the beat then you know it's a fuckin' classic"). So Oddisee does his stuff while Red Pill does one of those 'story of my life' raps.

Next up is 'All Of Us', produced by Apollo Brown. It's a pretty solid response to the recent spate of (police-led) violence in the US, calling for unity amongst communities to wrk through the problems. Finally 'One Day', produced by Duke Westlake, is a tale of believing in yourself in the hope that one day you can break through and make it.

It's all good quality hip-hop that bodes well for his future solo career. Stream the EP & download it for free below.

Recommended music: 'CVE Live 2011' by Caribou Vibration Ensemble

CVE Live 2011

This stunning three track EP, recorded at live shows at the end of 2011, is a perfect document of the live beast that is the Caribou Vibration Ensemble. Expanded out from usual Caribou live four piece, the band also featured Kieran Hebden (Four Tet), James Holden, Ahmed Gallab (Sinkane) and a brass quartet . The throbbing monster that's created by putting all of these talents on one stage is a sight behold, but now you can experience it even if you weren't lucky enough to be there. The two tracks recorded in Belgium, 'Bowls' and 'Sun', take the blueprints from 'Swim' and then supersize the tracks to another dimension. Meanwhile 'Ahmed, Colin, James, Kieran, Kyle, Rob and Steve' (from the London show that I went to) features the Vibration Ensemble minus Caribou in an improvised piece which turns into a full-frontal saxophone wig-out.

The release is dedicated to the memory of Caribou's former sound engineer Julia Brightly, with all proceeds going to

You can buy the vinyl at the Bleep store here or stream and buy the downloads at Bandcamp below. Also you can watch my video of 'Sun' from the Scala show.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Recommended music: 'Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper' by Panda Bear

Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper

Probably the most written and talked about 'indie' album so far this year, Panda Bear's fifth solo album is not the sombre affair you might expect from the title. Despite taking on themes of middle-age and death it feels like a more joyous record than previous release 'Tomboy'. Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) has talked about making records in 'the soup' of samples, textures and production techniques, and while you can't deny there's a lot going on here it's still an open and inviting record. Intense listening reveals a multitude of layers and sounds, but not so much that it can't also reward a casual passing ear.

From the hypnotic and repetitive single 'Mr. Noah' through to The harp-led 'Tropic of Cancer', about the death of Lennox's father, is perhaps the most surprising thing here - from the trumpet sample of the Last Post to the simple harp that references Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker it's a gentle and touching tribute. As he sings "you can't come back, you won't come back" he softly conveys the feeling of loss.

Pete 'Sonic Boom' Kember's production is dense but not impenetrable, and overall there's a warmth to the album that's more in tune with a late Mediterranean spring than the current cold January. 

I got the deluxe vinyl backage (from Bleep here) which is beautifully put together and includes the 12" 'Mr Noah' EP which features three tracks not on the album which are all good enough to be part of it.

Here's the great animated video for 'Boys Latin'.

Recommended music: 'Ghost Culture' by Ghost Culture

Ghost Culture - Ghost Culture LP [PHLP 04]

This fantastic début from James Greenwood sees the former bedroom-based wunderkind break out into the world with bang. Covering the full gamut of electronica, from downbeat tripped out to high tempo house, his songs are skilfully constructed in a way that makes them instantly accessible despite their depths and layers. As a result the more you  listen to it the more the layers open up  and you get to see the skill that's gone into creating the tracks. The references and influences are widespread, from Kraftwerk (most notably on 'Glass') through 90s acts like The Beloved and Frazier Chorus and on to more recent stuff like East India Youth.

Throughout the record there are some great, almost poppy melodies and he manages to achieve a warmth and tone that stops the chill that some electronic records bring. I'm not sure how he intends to perform it live but I reckon it would sound great if he did it with a small band (like Caribou) - I can see the songs really interacting well with a live crowd.

Ghost Culture is out now on Phantasy and is already on the list of contenders for début album of 2015.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Recommended music: 'Roniia' by Roniia

Another outstandingly original band from Minneapolis brought to you by the always-reliable Totally Gross National Product. And as is often the case in what seems to be an ever shifting scene, Roniia is made up of musicians from other bands, in this case singer Nona Marie Invie (Dark Dark Dark, FUGITIVE) with Mark McGee (Marijuana Deathsquads, Father You See Queen) and Fletcher Barnhill (Joint Custody, FUGITIVE).Together the trio combine over these 7 tracks to create 42 minutes of dark and gothic electronic based. Totally absorbing, Invie's voice invites you into a world of brooding tracks, like torch songs re-imagined for the 21st century. Meanwhile the mesmerising bass drum hits you with such a force that you wonder how they've created such a sound as it drills through your brain.

My favourite couple of tracks on here are probably 'Bellz' and 'Mirror', but everything on here is so great that I love it more each time I play it (in fact I love it so much that I've just shelled out to ship the vinyl over to the UK from MPLS for muchos $$$).

First great album of 2015 without a doubt.

You can listen to the whole album below, and then make sure you go out and buy it.

Track of the Day: 'Wearing Leather, Wearing Fur' by Juan Wauters and Carmelle


I got this track as part of the Rough Trade 'Tracks of the Week' download that I subscribe to (you can subscribe here). I really didn't know what to expect when I started listening to it on the train home, but it's fair to say it gripped me pretty much from the start, and I had to find out more about it as soon as I could. Fresh out from Brooklyn label Captured Tracks, this 13 minute track is more a suite of songs than a single track. Carmelle starts proceedings with a part about not wearing make-up and letting your skin breathe, and from there it rolls on - spoken word from Juan, some stuff about James Brown, a few jointly sung verses, some instrumental passages and more. Sparse and bare, with just acoustic guitar and melodica, it somehow manages to keep your attention throughout. With general themes of identity and personal freedom it's quite unlike anything else you'll hear today. There's something about Carmelle's voice that reminds me of Nico, and it's fair to say this track would be equally at home in the 60s or 70s, but it probably makes more of an impact now as it stands out so much from the rest of the crowd.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Track of the Day: 'First Light' by Django Django

Django Django

The Return of the Djangos has been long awaited round these parts, and this track was definitely worth it. Sounding a bit like Hot Chip, with touches of Metronomy and something from the 80s I can't quite put my finger on, it bumps along nicely. A throbbing keyboard line and thrusting snare are paired with some great harmonies amid tales of marching through a brand new promised land. All in all it's a most excellent thing - bring on the album and some live dates! The band are already on the Field Day line-up but an album of stuff like this should see them as festival stalwarts throughout the summer.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Track of the Day: 'Stop Spinning The Birdcage' by Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love

Burrow - Single cover art

The last ever album from Low Low (as I think we're allowed to abbreviate them to) is called, appropriately, 'Last', and will be released in the middle of next month. Before that a single has just crept out, with 'Burrow' on one side and this on the other. I love its gentle harmonies and the Dear Prudence-esque feel at the start, but I love the squally guitars and feedback wig-out at the end just as much.

You can get the single for free or £1,000 (or somewhere in between) from the link below.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Track of the Day: 'Deserter' by Siskiyou


This is a bit of an epic track that goes three or four different movements in its 5 and a half minutes. Opening with a spooky, rather chilling children's choir it then moves on to the main body of the song. This part has more than a hint of Arcade Fire about it, as the singer pleads with someone not to leave. There's a surprising saxophone solo in the middle too. A minute and a half before the end there's an instrumental section, and then it rounds off with a little acoustic verse at the end.

There's an album coming out on 29th January if you like this (which I do rather a lot) but in the meantime you can get this lead track for free below.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Track of the Day: 'XYMBOL 01' by Closer


If you've ever sat in an idle moment and wondered what would happen if you crossed The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays and 'Pull Up To The Bumper' by Grace Jones, then wonder no more. The brilliant new track by Closer sounds like all of that and more, topping things off with a hint of Lo-Fidelity Allstars and one or two more acts from the Skint Label. It's full of energy, is bags of fun, and you can download it for free below. Grab it now!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Recommended music: 'Erased Tapes Collection VI'

Another great compilation from the Erased Tapes label summing up their brilliant 2014.

If you've already bought something from them then you might have been sent the link to download this for free. If not you can head to and enter the code MY-FREE-ERATP060 to get yourself a copy. It's well worth it and really shows off the quality of the releases that they've put out. Here's the tracklist:
  1. Lubomyr Melnyk - Pocket of Light (excerpt)
  2. Peter Broderick - A Snowflake
  3. Rival Consoles - Odyssey
  4. Douglas Dare - Swim
  5. Nils Frahm - You
  6. A Winged Victory For The Sullen - Atomos VI
  7. Kiasmos - Burnt
  8. Greg Gives Peter Space - That I Am
  9. Michael Price - A Bridge
  10. Nils Frahm - Hammers
  11. Nils Frahm - Peter (Clark Remix)

Friday, 2 January 2015

New music: 'WildN' 4 Respect' by Rowdy City

Some fresh new hip-hop for you out of Connecticut USA. Rowdy City are a 4-piece crew whose album drops next month. Having opened for artist like Snoop Dogg and 2 Chainz amongst others they're now ready to hit the big time themselves.Here's the video.