music alliance pact

Another month, another Music Alliance Pact, and another act that I’m extremely proud to put forward to represent Ireland. MuRli is a member of the fast-rising Limerick hip-hop collective the Rusangano Family, and an extremely solid representation of the way Irish music is changing. ‘Both Sides’ ropes in fell Rusangano Family members God Knows and mynameisjOhn as featured artist/ producer. MuRli’s Togolese origins give him a cracking lilt to the vocal, with this track dealing with some tough social issues along the way. I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised to see this lot become huge in the coming months. Fifteen other nice freebie downloads from around the world to go with it, too…

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 16-track compilation through Dropbox here.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
MuRliBoth Sides (feat. God Knows)
Taken from his Surface Tension EP, Both Sides represents another burst of creative hip-hop from the Limerick-based Rusangano Family collective, of which MuRli is a key member. The vocalist’s Togolese origins shine through in a track that deals with diversity with a cutting and memorable honesty. It’s a glance at fast-modernizing Ireland delivered through a captivating voice.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Los Grillos Del MonteJaqueline
This supergroup formed by Facundo Flores (Onda Vaga, Nacho & Los Caracoles), Tomi Lebrero (El Puchero Misterioso), Martín Reznik (La Filarmónica Cósmica) and Jano Seitún (Campos Magnéticos, Alvy Singer Big Band) has just released their first record. According to the guys, the album sounds like “a bolero who fathered a cumbia, a chorus which is the cousin of the best zamba, and rock music that won’t leave us even if we try”. MAP exclusive download Jaqueline is our favorite track from the album.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Surf DadHoney
Surf Dad is the production duo of George and Declan Sands, brothers from Barwon Heads, a small coastal town near Melbourne. More than a year after releasing the excellent Unholy EP, the siblings have dropped Honey, a pristine, sensual track featuring horns, bells, woodblock, field recordings from their dad’s backyard and their mum, Natisha, on vocals. George had salvaged the vocal recordings from old four-track cassettes that Natisha, an artist herself, compiled in the 1980s. As you might expect from an intimate family collaboration, the boys’ woozy, organic production complements her heady performance perfectly. And Mum’s reaction upon hearing the track? She cried.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Dilly DallyGender Role
Buzz Records is taking Toronto by storm with their incredible roster of artists that include Odonis Odonis, Weaves, Greys, HSY, Anamai and more. Now I bring to you the incredible Dilly Dally, whose “I don’t give a fuck” attitude both on and off stage will have you loving them more and more.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
BalancerRemain Waves
Balancer is a trio formed by Colombians and Puerto Ricans, but based in Brooklyn. Gabriela, Felipe and Francisco have released two EPs and an album called Tipsoo. Their music is striking – it’s a world influenced by indie-rock, psychedelia and electronics. Remain Waves is the first single released from Tipsoo, which takes us through the waves to the shore with a warm, downtempo sound.

“I don’t own our first two records on vinyl, and I probably never will.”

Eight years of waiting, departing band members, cancelled tours and discarded collaborations with Big Boi and ex-Nirvana star Krist Novoselic have given Modest Mouse’s latest release something of a ‘Chinese Democracy’ bent to it. With the Washington State indie act often touted as something of a genre founder, ‘Strangers to Ourselves’ also faced a complex challenge: how were Modest Mouse to remain themselves, but also shrug off the threat of becoming derivative of the many ‘indie’ rock acts that followed?

The answer, it seems, eluded vocalist Isaac Brock and his fluid group for some time: they’ve been busy, but focused on heavy touring schedules, re-releasing old albums and trialling enough songs to fill their sixth studio album four times over. The result, now its arrived, flits through swooning beats, the most offbeat and evocative of lyrics and even a touch of unlikely hip-hop. It’s all that we could have hoped for, avoiding that ‘overthought’ feel, and even comes with a promise from Brock that the next album will follow “as soon as legally possible.”

Brock is quite open about the difficulties with ‘Strangers to Ourselves’, but also points to a period in which Modest Mouse have been far from quiet. “This is a culmination of eight years of work in a way”, he agrees, “but then again there’s probably a good three to four years there where we were either touring or recuperating from touring. It’s eclectic, because eclectic is kind of what we do. It might not be perfect but it’s there, you know, it allows us to keep the band moving along. It’s pretty different from ‘We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank’.”

A lot happens in eight years, from fresh influences to changes in the music scene, but it seems to be internal pressure that drives the changes found on this latest release. “There’s a bit of pressure to be something different to what you were a few years ago. It definitely pops into our heads every so often, to ‘steer clear of that thing’,” Brock explains. “I’m not positive it’s possible to stop sounding like yourself, but it’s definitely at the back of your mind, the need to evolve. When I started playing some of the stuff it wasn’t for me, it wasn’t that good. So I just had to find a way of getting there. I try not to ever sound like any old stuff, but it’s going to happen sometimes.”

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Love-able music blogger BarryGruff, has released a five year anniversary compilation entitled ‘Barrywuff’ for a ‘name your price’ download over on Bandcamp. Having been writing out of Ireland for years (he’s now in Canada), the highly-readable scribbler deals a few top Irish acts, with tracks from SertOne and Oh Boland that are well worth a listen. The […]


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