Favorite Albums, 2014

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These aren’t necessarily the “best” albums that came out last year, but they’re definitely the ones I’ve listened to the most. Alphabetically:

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Freeload Your Summer

It’s been a nice summer so far, but everyone seems broke. Prices are starting to drop, but disposable income is still at a low for most people. Musicians, it seems, understand what it’s like to have to choose between burgers and cds. Lots of people have put out free albums, eps and mixes for your downloading and listening please, completely free of charge. Here’s a roundup of some of the latest and greatest! (follow the links for the downloads)

Albums & EPs

Deastro, one of my new favorite artists this year, released his electro-shoegaze full length Moondaggers this year, but also put out two great electro eps: Grower and Orange Swimmer Red Summer.

Max Justus is another artist very much in a similar vein as Deastro, though his stuff is overall less dreamy and more 8-bit glitchy. His myspace (ugh, I know) has several free albums, from the instrumental Talk to Strangers to the great Kanye West remix set, 8 from 808s.

Remixer Phaseone has put his hip hop sheen on Animal Collective, Panda Bear, and Burial, but this summer he tweeted his debut album, Thanks but No Thanks. It’s dark, sparkling instrumental hip hop with plenty of ambience. Recommended if you like El-P’s production (high praise)!

New music mastermind Weird Tapes (aka Memory Cassette aka Memory Tapes) has put out quite a bit of great music on his blog. My favorite so far has been his ep More Tapes, but get it all.

Mixes

Fred‘s Mix, called “Dear Summer,” is 48 minutes of wall-to-wall summer jams. Recommended if you like pop but can handle some electronic beats.

Michael Mayer, one of the head guys at Cologne’s Kompakt label, was recently interviewed at Pitchfork. In honor of his label’s 10th anniversary, he also dropped a great mix of 98-04 techno (mp3 is after the inteview).

Kevin Robinson of Viva Voce recently stepped out of his home studio to release a gem of a summer mixtape. Combining ancient, out-of-print psych songs with so-ridiculous-they-must-be-real radio promos for some crazy movies, there’s no way you can not enjoy Kevin’s Summer Mix.

Asthmatic Kitty’s newest star, Helado Negro (real name: Roberto C. Lange) just put out an unbelievably great album of “latin experimental” music that you can hear here. But he also dropped a nifty “Work-Week Mix” with Yeasayer’s Jaytram.

I’ll leave it at that. I could go on (if you still haven’t heard The Very Best’s mixtape, you really need to do yourself a favor–and Swedish perfect-pop labels Service and Labrador each have great comps up, plus I have several mixtapes available to download), but you get the idea. There is plenty of free, legal music to make you summer perfect. So, time to give that modem a workout and get downloading!