Last week M.I.A put out a new mixtape, just in time to be blasted out at some loud New Year's Eve parties.
It's called Vicki Leekx, referencing the recent WikiLeaks brouhaha, but beyond the similar sounding name, I'm not sure if there's much more to the symbolism. Though, like Mr Assange, M.I.A perhaps likes to see herself as truth-telling outlaw figure. Anyway, the mixtape is made up of previously unheard material, along with outtakes and reworkings from last year's Maya album. It can be found as a free download at www.vickileekx.com.
Will Wiesenfeld's Goetic tales
The Californian musician Will Wiesenfeld is best known under the moniker Baths. Last year, as Baths, he released the well- regarded Cerulean LP, which flitted happily between the various camps of dreamy chillwave and skittish Flying Lotus-like beats. Wiesenfeld also maintains a productive side project under the name Goetic, which has more of an ambient bent. Over four days at the end of December he recorded a 14- track album as Geotic. This week he put the record – called Mend – on his website as a free download at ind.pn/ffRqiK.
A DIY culture
A few years ago, a young Irish television presenter called Dylan Haskins made a short documentary film called Roll Up Your Sleeves: the DIY Counterculture.
As the name suggests, the film is about do-it-yourself culture, centring on the small music venue Haskins set up in his own home in suburban Dublin. It also looks at other independent music and arts spaces, set up in squats and various unusual settings in Ireland and Europe.
Haskins also interviews punk/alternative music progenitors Ian MacKaye (of Fugazi et al) and the Dutch experimental band The Ex. Perhaps befitting the subject matter, the film is a bit rough in patches, but also pretty interesting. Last week, Haskins put the film online – watch it at vimeo.com/18295775.
They move in mysterious ways
Staying with Ireland (see above), I recently noticed a Dublin group called The Great Lakes Mystery, who kicked off the new year by putting two songs on their Soundcloud page, ind.pn/ hw8DQE. One track is suitably titled, "1/1/11", the other is called "Organo Moderato"; both cross between electronica and post-rock to fine effect. The former is discordant with ghostly vocals buried in the mix, while the latter is an intricate instrumental. The band is something of a mystery; Soundcloud tells me it's the work of one man called Gareth Anton Averill; the MySpace page ind.pn/fWR9 Dy tells me he is unsigned. That's about all I could find out. Still, I'm suitably intrigued.