Published on October 24 2008

He's one of jamendo's main hip hop treasures. As New York producer Cartel unveils his new album, we're mighty proud to be associated to its release.


Between Cartel and jamendo, it's all about love. He says it best himself: “Jamendo opened doors for my music in the international community and will forever be a part of my music strategy.” For one thing, through jamendo, Cartel discovered that his vision of hip hop was more commonly found among music fans outside his own country. “My music nowadays caters to a niche market within the US: those that still care about beats and rhymes. I'm from the golden age of hip hop, with Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane, De LaSoul, Queen Latifah... In today's market, every artists is a copy of the last one and the lyrics have been so dumbed down half of the music is simply bullshit. Overall I think Europe and Japan have a better respect for traditional hip hop than the US where it simply boils down to the money.”

You see, Cartel knows his hip hop. He learned to produce with big names like Large Professor and Chyskillz (who worked on the first Onyx album), collaborated with Randy Allen and Jam Master Jay. In 1997, he came this close to striking it big: “I put out a vinyl EP by East Side Hustlaz that had tremendous potential. But the single we were pushing featured a sample of Patrice Rushen's 'Forget Me Nots', and one month after we released our song, the Beatnuts came out with a song using the same sample. The killer was when Will Smith released 'Men In Black' in that same period with the same sample. Our song came off looking like we copied them. A real case of bad timing.” Check it out on the mixtape Cartel released exclusively on jamendo.

Tha Throwback, Cartel's second album, is another homage to the roots of “true hip hop”, featuring collaborations by some of the most promising, upcoming MC’s in the game”. It will be available in two versions: as a free download on jamendo, and for $5 from Cartel's label's website, Universal Indie Records. A remix contest of one of the tracks is also being launched, whose “winner will be able to contribute a track to the next Universal Indie project”. How's that for a cool prize?

Tha Throwback

Published on October 23 2008

Two bands, one name (or close). Now let's see what distinguishes these two Italian artists on jamendo...





From: Rome

Line-up: Anto & Miss Tico (music and production)

Musical style: Pretty broad. Trippy electro-rock with nods to dEUS, Morcheeba and soul music.

Past: Signed to an Italian indie label and released an album. Then started giving out their music for free, producing a new track every full moon: the “7 Fool Moons” project.

Latest news: Just released “7 Fool Moons Superbonusback” on October 14th (a full moon of course), containing 7 previously released songs plus remixes. Only available on Jamendo and on the band's website.

Why free music? "Witnessing the changes in the music biz, we started thinking there wasn't much sense in doing another CD.” Since they decided to give out free music, their audience has “increased enormously, and on a global scale!”

Why the name? Made up by producers with whom they worked. “There have been times we hated it and thought of changing it. But the name is not the most important thing in a band.”





From: Milan

Line-up: Dani (vocals), Morgana (guitar), Franz (guitar)

Musical style: Self-proclaimed “music to make love”, i.e. acoustic ballads taking after Simon & Garfunkel, Kings Of Convenience, David Gray...

Past: Played plenty of concerts around Italy, including to accompany a theater play about Charles Bukowksi.

Latest news: Currently recording their debut album, with a single coming out in December.

Why free music? “To reach a large number of people sharing the same musical tastes as us.”

Why the name? “In medieval Italy, they called 'fluido' a substance that gave warmth by passing from one body to another. We think music should do the same.”






Written by amelie

Published on #Features

Published on October 17 2008

They have the arena-ready pop anthems, the meticulously crafted image and even the celebrity keyboard player: these are downright Dutch rock stars that have landed on jamendo.

Silence Is Sexy © Heidi de Grier
© Heidi de Grier

This Ain't Hollywood is the second album by Utrecht-based five-piece band Silence Is Sexy. The previous one was released “the 'normal' way, with sales that were ok for a Dutch indie band”, explains Pim, guitar player and band manager. This time they decided to go about promoting their music differently, by putting the album up for free download. First on their website and torrent servers, and then, naturally, on jamendo, where the response has been quite positive. I was impressed by the number of people that use jamendo to discover new music.”

Frank Boeijen, the band's keyboardist, also plays in The Gathering, probably Holland's biggest rock export. Silence Is Sexy was born in 2003, has played about 140 festivals and toured with The Automatic, The Dears and, of course, The Gathering. But still, “it's hard to get our music to the average music listener”. Hence the free album download policy, with their record label's support. “It's been downloaded 8000 times already!” enthuses Pim. “We really wanted to reach a bigger audience with our second album.”

With musical nods to Coldplay, Radiohead, U2 and Editors, This Ain't Hollywood has all the ingredients to make it big. And the band doesn't lack the necessary energy either. “We hope many people will discover our music on jamendo. Then we would like to tour a lot. After that, make another killer-album. And then start all over again.”

Silence Is Sexy


In the meantime, check out the video to This Ain't Hollywood here



Published on October 16 2008

If you like your electronica versatile and introspective, you're bound to enjoy Professor Kliq's new album, published on jamendo a couple of days ago.

From his bedroom in the suburbs of Chicago, Mike Else, a mere 22 years old, has been producing fine electronic music albums for five years now. His newest release, The Scientific Method, Volume II: Experiments in Sound & Perspective picks things up from where Mike's very first album, The Scientific Method, composed while still in high school, left off. “It's different from the others in that it pushes my boundaries a little further and gets a little more experimental, but still focuses on both sides of my spectrum: slow and ambient, heavy and funky.”

A fan of the Ninja Tune and Warp rosters (Coldcut, Amon Tobin, Bonobo, Aphex Twin...), Mike also has musical roots that span from jazz (he is the son and grandson of jazz musicians) to the 80's techno-pop his mother would play him as a baby!  He's studying Audio production and design, and hopes to go into making music for video games one day. But his real dream, apart from “pushing the boundaries of electronic music and how it's perceived”, would be to land a deal with Ninja Tune, of course. “I want to be just like my heroes. If I got signed to Ninja Tune, I'd feel like I've lived pretty close to a full life.”

In the meantime, his jamendo-acquired fame is a good start he's already more than happy with. “Jamendo opened an entirely new world to me that I never knew could exist, and it keeps getting bigger for me every day.”

Professor Kliq