Tag Archives: Balance and the Traveling Sounds

All The Best Free Music (BTS, Angel Haze, She Makes War, Entrepreneurs, Childish Gambino)

The crazy way the music industry works means that a lot of bands are desperate to get their music out there at any cost. As a result, there’s a huge amount of great free music released every week. This post is a collection of the proper releases that you only need to click a download link, be it a mixtape, and EP or an album. All of these are worth your time and space on your mp3, and all are 100%, no strings, free.

Balance and the Traveling Sounds – Lost Luggage EP

You may remember BTS from the very first review I did on this site, and they’re back with another free EP for you. In the time since ‘Departure EP’, BTS have been honing their skills and they tear out of the block with the raucous ‘Jump To It’, a perfect blend of funk, soul, jazz and hip-hop (SoulHipJaFunk) trumping anything they’ve done on Departure. They keep up the pressure with ‘CREAM/No Diggity’ and ‘Shakedown’, both returning to the smoother sounds that were a highlight of Departure. Next comes ‘You Just Ain’t Right’ which is downright epic, a SoulHipJaFunk-mini-opera, that rises and falls with a crazy plot. ‘Make Your move’ turns in a more hip-hop direction, reminiscent of early OutKast, before ‘California Love (BTS Mix)’ closes things up bringing the EP back to the fusion that makes ‘Jump To It’ so great.Balance and the Travelling Sounds - Lost Luggage EP

The EP is classic BTS, showing a group of insanely talented musicians playing at the top of the game, but more importantly, bringing all these talents together to create focused funky hits that cross genres as easily as any of the greats. Click on the album art above to go to the bandcamp page where the EP can be downloaded. For free. There’s no excuse not to get this.

BONUS – BTS Beatsman EBO has put out a free album of his beats, sick, old-school sounding instrumentals. The perfect backing music, or ideal for chilling, you can get it again, FOR FREE, by clicking here.

Angel Haze – RESERVATION (mixtape)

I don’t normally put much up about rappers’ mixtapes, but this needs spreading. This is N.Y. rapper Angel Haze’s debut mixtape and it puts her straight into the best I’ve heard this year. This is a whole other league to the big female rappers like Nicki Minaj or even Azealia Banks, mainly cos this mixtape just oozes pure class. Haze offers a bleak look at her influences: “I didn’t really have many. I’ve only been inspired by destruction, sadness, & experiencing what it is to suffer. Honestly the strongest influences in my life & my work have always been whomever it is that I love.” If she isn’t absolutely massive this time next year, then the world is just wrong. Many of the songs on RESERVATION are highlights, particularly the poetic second track ‘Wicked Moon’, but ‘New York’ is likely to be the most succesful. Not only because it’s a killer flow over one of Gil-Scott Heron’s coolest songs (‘N.Y. Is Killing Me’), but also hearing her reference Nas and Lil’ Kim hints at the league she could enter if she keeps up work of this quality.

The mixtape is free from Haze’s website here. Any fan of any hip-hop at all has to get this.

She Makes War – Little Battles

She Makes War made waves in 2010 when she released Disarm, her debut album. Now she’s back with its follow up, Little Battles, and it’s no less impressive. SMW, real name Laura Kidd, has even been kind enough to offer fans the chance to pay anything they want for the digital release, which means you can get a whole album’s worth of grungey doom-pop for absolutely nothing. Kidd’s sound is a merger of heavy guitar rock with lilting melodies, layered vocals and drifting ukelele, securing a very unique style of her own. The only downside is that with the free download there is a live recording of track ‘Minefields’ which is so awesomely done, that it’s a shame the recorded song can’t match its power. It might just be me relishing the use of real drums over electronic ones though.

Little Battles can be bought for nothing from the She Makes War bandcamp page, where you can also reward Laura for her work by buying a physical copy or a kaboodle of extra bonus items. Also you can follow the links on their to get the cracking debut Disarm for free as well, and it’s an equally good record as this latest one.

Entrepreneurs – The Florida Root Canal

Entrepreneurs is the solo project of Adam M. Crisp, and if you’re likely to have heard of him it’s as producer of FOE’s fantastic debut album Bad Dream Hotline. While the moniker Entrepreneurs has put out some cracking edgey music, with guest spots of artists from Ghostpoet to the aforementioned FOE. However what features here is a beat tape called, bizzarely, The Florida Root Canal. What it is, is an Avalanches-esque race through tonnes of samples.

It can be downloaded directly from this word.

Childish Gambino – ROYALTY (mixtape)

Childish Gambino is another artists that I reviewed when I first started blogging, and it’ll bring delight to many to know that before this season of community started filming he was able to make a mixtape. Gambino is as sick and hilarious as always and there are some cracking guest appearances, the pinnacle of which is none other than Tina Fey on the final track.

It can be downloaded from any site, but here’s a link

Tina Fey raps from 4:99. This is not a joke. (also this song features my new favourite line: ‘we in this bitch like we fucking a dog or some shit’)

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Balance and the Traveling Sounds – Review

The Rainmaker reviews the band Balance and the Traveling Sounds
Balance and the Traveling Sounds

This funky hip-hop group are definitely one to watch

I should probably start this review by giving credit to Jasper, he’s the guy that told me about this group and made me review them. He is also responsible for getting me into Cage The Elephant, who are just the best modern rock band. Plus he’s the guy who shares my love of The Avalanches, Cee-Lo (when he was a rapper), and OutKast.

So anyway, Balance and the Travelling Sounds are a 7 piece band,  from the west coast of the US, made up of a producer, a singer, an MC, a saxophonist, a guitarist, a bassist and a drummer. This gives them the perefect fusion of hip-hop produced sound, while at the same time, keeping the live soul/jazz vibe that is so essential for bands like The Roots.

The first thing I was alerted to was their cover of a Daft Punk song and it is just absolutely perfect. One of the most chilled yet funky songs I’ve heard for a long time, each instrument working perfectly in sync with the band and the vocals and MC are beautifully understated, complementing the song expertly. Here it is below.

Before we go any further I should say that you can buy a 6-track EP featuring a studio version of that song, for any price INCLUDING FREE. So you should all head to http://whensoundstravel.bandcamp.com/ to pick that up right now.

Their full length album, Travel Guide Vol. 1, shows are much more DJ focused sound, that is reminiscent of The Avalanches. Nevertheless, the samples are interwoven with their own rhythm and melodies as well as a tight singing/rapping fusion. The core style of the album is laid back, relaxed, like OutKast’s most underrated album ATLiens.

If there could be criticisms of this group then I’d have to say they can be a little too laid back, perfect for lying in bed or revising with, but not great if you’re walking around in the middle of the day or running to catch a train. As well as that they lack a clear standout song or single that really shows off their prowess, excluding the Daft Punk cover, as they didn’t write it.

But don’t let these comments colour the judgement of the band, because what they do, they do superbly. Any attempt to make an upbeat mainstream single would probably backfire and sound cheap and manufactured. Instead, relish in the smooth, laid-back vibes and kick back.It must be said that these two records are begging to be heard on vinyl, as the only factor that could possibly improve them is the crackle of needle on black plastic.

I have no doubt that this is a group to watch as if they continue what they do, they will undoubtedly not only get even better, but have the success that they deserve. I urge you all to give them a listen and download their free music.

You can check them out via their website, bandcamp, YouTube, twitter or soundcloud.

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