MP3 Gifts

The rise of, the online music retailer that doesn’t impose any DRM (so-called digital “rights” management) on its files, potentially signaled the decline, if not end, of free downloads from the growing list of labels associated with the enterprise (Warp, Ninja Tune, etc.). The website’s simple message for the new year: Fear not. Shortly after January 1, users registered with the site found a nice surprise in their checkout interface (not as romantic as “under their pillows,” but so be it), a various-artists set titled Bleeps-oh-six LP. Tracks include four blobs of funky old-school-ish electro/pop (Dexter‘s “D-Funked,” Jimmy Edgar‘s “My Beats,” National Trust‘s “It’s Just Cruel,” Skeletons & the Girl Faced Boys‘ “Git”), some rock’n’roll (Nectarine No9‘s “South of an Imaginary Line”) and folk (Mara Carlyle‘s “He Makes My Day”). But don’t be disheartened; there’s stuff here to remind you that Warp, the label that founded, is the house that Aphex Twin helped build: Kero‘s “untitled (On Acid Again),” with its skittling beat and denial of routine structure; Wisp‘s rubbery “Congratulations” (with chatty and incongruous voiceover); and the nine-cut compilation’s shortest and, by far, best entry, Battles‘ stop’n’start “IPT2,” which sounds like a rough-hewn remix of the great punk band Fugazi. Just head over to If you don’t have an account, it doesn’t matter. Just sign up. It’s free, just like this compilation.

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