Frontier Psychiatrist

Free And Easy: February 2012

Posted on: March 2, 2012

(Each month, we at Frontier Psychiatrist bring you some of our favorite free music from the last 30 days in our column Free And Easy.  We hope you enjoy this month’s installment.  For previous entries, click here.)

James Blake – Live

We’ve made no secret of our love for James Blake; indeed, we named his debut LP the best album of 2011, and we released a live album of his material last May.  It turns out we are not alone in our admiration, as earlier this month a group of rabid fans put together this outstanding 15-track live album, with work that spans the entirety of Blake’s short but prolific career.  Many of these performances are drastically different than their studio counterparts, providing still more evidence of this young artist’s uncanny breadth of talent.

James Blake – “Enough Thunder” (Live)

James Blake – “Lindisfarne” (Live)

Evian Christ – Kings And Them

Tri Angle Records has put out a tremendous string of warped, haunting records over the last two years, from How To Dress Well’s stunning debut Love Remains to Balam Acab’s highly acclaimed Wander/Wonder.  There latest edition, young UK producer Joshua Leary (a.k.a. Evian Christ), makes music that defies the range of adjectives in my personal lexicon. His mix of hyper-stoned beats and highly manipulated rap samples is not what one might call “accessible,” but it does provide an endless source of fascination for the curious.  In honor of his singing to triangle, Leary released this free EP, one track from which found its way onto our February mixtape.

Evian Christ – “MYD”

Evian Christ – “Snapback Back”

BBU – bell hooks

I’ll be honest: I don’t know how to write intelligently about a mixtape that claims to use the word cracker “48.3 times.”  I am, after all, a cracker, and were this record a club, it is unlikely that I would be welcomed as a member.  That said, this record is as full or infectious hooks as it is of militant politics, and it’s invigorating to see a group of artists treating hip-hop as a potentially serious mode of expression.  Slowly creeping up my list of the best hip-hop releases of the year.

BBU feat. GLC – “The Hood”

BBU – “26th & Cali”

The Caretaker – Extra Patience (After Sebald)

Sample-based music is the norm rather than the exception in 2012, but no one manipulates his samples quite like James Kirby, a.k.a. The Caretaker.  That pseudonym is borrowed from Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining, and that should give you a sense of exactly how haunting his music can be.  Earlier this year he released Patience (After Sebald), a set of heavily-manipulated Schubert samples that give one the feeling that he’s trapped inside a spectral music box, or perhaps the masked ball in Eyes Wide Shut.  My point is it’s creepy.  Extra Patience is a free set of outtakes from this album, and it provides a welcome entryway into Kirby’s work.

The Caretaker – Isolated lights (again)

Curren$y – Here EP

Since the release of Curren$y’s Pilot Talk in 2010, the New Orleans rapper has been exceedingly prolific, dropping new albums and mixtapes at a dizzying pace.  There is something refreshing, then, about the restraint he shows on his new 5-track EP Here.  Deploying his typically labyrinthine vocals over a set of down-tempo, head nodding beats, this dope dopefiend  may have produced his best work since his aforementioned 2010 breakthrough.  It will leave you wanting more, which Curren$y will almost certainly supply in the very near future. (Editor’s Note: since writing this column, Curren$y has in fact put out another free mixtape, available here.)

Curren$y feat. Tradema – “Conference Call”


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Listening To:

Sons of Dionysus

A Transmedia Novel of Myth, Mirth, and the Magical Excess of Youth.