It’s a modern day Christmas tradition: artists and labels giving away a little something as a way of signing out of the year, saying thanks to everyone who’s supported them and, certainly in the case of newer and rising artists, hopefully pick up a few new ears along the way.
Whether it’s a cheeky bootleg or an unreleased dub or, in some cases, entire albums, the spirit of giving was in full effect throughout December as artists were shelling out treats from all directions. Some you had to be quick for – Calibre’s remix of London Grammar and Alix Perez’s remix of 4422 are long gone – but many of them are still up for grabs at time of writing. Many like these.
Here are 50 of the best free downloads given away over December and the first week of January that are still active. Most are festive, some are to say thanks for reaching a certain amount of followers, others are free download labels who are just operating like it’s business as usual but need your attention. They come from across the spectrum, too…
We got involved in the action and dished out a heavy 140 shaker from Black Sun Empire while other big guns serving up sonic gifts included Teddy Killerz, T>I, Monty, Saxxon, Dutta, Bredren, Gyrda and Krakota. Elsewhere the rising likes of Trex, Skylark, Krusty, OaT, Rizzle and Stompz all smashed out gratis grooves. Meanwhile labels like New Phase Records, Deep Dark & Dangerous, Boey Audio, Brøken Syndicate all offered substantial bundles of badness. And then there’s Special Request who dropped an incredible jungle/hardcore album for any price you choose to pay.
And here they all are. Albums, EPs, single tracks; just over 300 tracks combined including many fresh acts who may not be on your radar. Even those who stayed up to date with the festive freebie free-for-all may have missed some of these. There are some absolute beasts in the mix here. Enjoy…
Ben Soundscape & Collette Warren – Face The Fear
Ease yourself into the new year with this spacious one. Collette is full dreamy dulcet mode, Soundscape on some next level cosmic magic. Beautiful. Have no fear, grab it here.
Bicep – Glue (Changer Bootleg)
A very tasteful bootleg of Bicep’s modern day rave classic courtesy of Context Audio and their homeboy Changer. Get sticky.
Black Sun Empire – Obsolete
Remember when Black Sun Empire dabbled in the dark art of 140? Black Sun Empire remember. And we gave it away as a cheeky Christmas gift. Deep, heavy, just the right amount of cosmic and yours for nothing mate.
Boey Audio – Emergence LP
Fresh out this week! Irish roustabouts Boey Audio get busy on a new-gen flex with this monstrous 29 track album dedicated to brand new talent. No better way to start the year than stocking up on a load of new names for the radar and the styles go right across the board. Immense… And free!
Bredren – John Bacon
Some like their bacon smoked, others like it streaky. We like it when it’s called John and it’s cooked by Bredren. Sizzling tech with splash of jazz in those keys and a political message behind its existence, too. Get cooking.
BRØKEN & Left/Right Giveaway
150 tracks from Dallas bass dons Brøken Syndicate and 50 tracks from the label bossman Left/Right, this is an incredible trove of tracks. Mostly flexing around the 120 / 140 area of bass, expect absolute jams from the likes of Bushbaby, Barely Royal, Hypho, Kesis, Toronto Is Broken and stacks more. Grab the Brøken collection here, grab Left/Right’s package here. Hurry though, this download has days left to go…
CFUNK Xmas 2019
Welcome to Christmas at Xtrah’s with Avanti, Genic, Koax, Simple Technique and the bossman himself where they don’t eat turkey, they eat raw beef. They don’t pull crackers, they chuck around sticks of dynamite. They don’t give presents to each other, they make nasty gritty techy bash-abouts like these and give them to unsuspecting strangers like us. You sons of bitches, we’re in.
Deadline – Out Of Your Mind
Rising Leeds/Brighton duo Deadline say goodbye an old decade and hello to a new one with this stunning take on Alicia Keys’ Time Machine. You’re out of your mind not to cop this one.
Deep Dark & Dangerous Remixes – Xmas 2019
Truth are on a mission right now. Dropped just days ahead of their own Risky videogame, this collection of remixes of DDD classics from the likes of Ternion Sound, Pushloop, Wraz, Rez and many more is the Christchurch/LA duo’s way of saying thanks to fans. As they explain in our recent interview, dubstep is in a really exciting creative place right now, these 11 versions are proof. Don’t sleep on these.
Division – Distate
Delta 9 doing what Delta 9 do best… Presenting exciting new talent to the world. This time, we head to Austria for some proper purring stripped back stuff from Division. 9 thumbs up.
DJ Hybrid – Run Tune Now VIP
The first of two freebies from Audio Addict / Deep In The Jungle bossman DJ Hybrid, here we find him dressing his 2018 banger Run Tune Now a new suit of VIP armour. Grab tune now.
DJ Hybrid – Vibez VIP
For his second free download over the Christmas period DJ Hybrid flipped the already deep Vibez into an all-out moody halftime stepper with epic subby rumbles a plenty. Vibez for miles.
DJ Kre – Beettle Juice
Newcastle badman DJ Kre barged into Yuletide with a stretchy bassline that’s as smelly as your dad’s favourite cheese and groans like your nan after Christmas dinner. Sprinkled with a cheeky bit of Keaton and some really nice cymbals, this absolutely bangs. It’s showtime.
Dreadnaught N’ Stillz – Pull It
Dreadnaught N’ Stillz came to the rescue this Christmas: Pull It wasn’t just a heavyweight junglized smelly-as-hell roll-out, it was also a nice instructional reminder for anyone who’d forgotten what to do with their crackers. Pull the other one mate.
Dropset – Resistance Is Futile
A nasty little number from rising Pittsburgh badman Dropset as a biggup for reaching the big 1K on his Soundcloud. What a thank you. Vive la resistance!
Dutta – Mimosa
Dutta is on some turbo mince pies this season. Fresh from launching his label Informal with a whole slew of toxic roughhouse funk from the likes of Stompz, Jayline, Scudd, Nuvaman and many more kindred savage spirits, he dropped this ravey treat that’s as bubbly as its namesake. Bottoms up.
Emalkay – Fabrication (Toronto Is Broken Bootleg)
This one is slightly out of the download timeframe as it landed in November, but f**k it; it’s an absolute beast of a bootleg of one of Emalkay’s most powerful era-defining tunes, it’s from Toronto Is Broken and he gave it away when his house was flooded! Grab it here if you haven’t already.
Epicentre – About You
Hello is that the police? We’ve just dropped this absolute gut-wobbling Epicentre freebie on the office system and a massive sinkhole has opened up on the street outside and people are falling in it and stuff. You’ll be round right away? Great stuff, we’ll read last year’s interview with him while we wait. Cause some sinkholes near you.
Etch – Nigella (Big Six Oh VIP)
Recent celebrations didn’t just stop at Jesus’s birthday, Purple City Souffle and Etch also celebrated TV chef Nigella Lawson’s 60th trip around the sun lately with this scrumptious VIP of their agenda-setting 2016 release. Woozy, weird, cold and all that oily softness.
Excision & Space Laces – Rumble (Teddy Killerz Bootleg)
A savage D&B act take on a massive dubstep anthem from two of the North America scene’s biggest titans. It’s every bit as heavyweight as it sounds. Ready to rumble?
Gang Starr – Above The Clouds VIP (Saxxon Bootleg)
The word Christmas didn’t exist during the Saxon period in England but it’s a good job it does exist during Saxxon’s time or else he might not have treated us to this souped VIP of last year’s Guru salute. Just as rough and scuzzy and Bristol-flavoured as the original bootleg but with a little melodic twist on the bass. Get your head in the clouds.
Guzi – Pulse 90
Pulse 90 once just meant the sign of a fit and healthy heart rate. Since Christmas it now also means the sign of a very healthy, gully D&B artist who’s very much on the rise and making steppy, spacious, lean, wobbly bash-outs like this. Shouts to Sub-Liminal soldier Guzi. Check your pulse today.
Gydra – Rats
Russian dons Gydra saw in the new decade with a good old-fashioned pest control session. Pure extermination vibes. Smell a rat?
Jayline & Warden – Times Are Changing
Headmaster Warden thanks everyone who’s supported his label Bagged & Tagged with this vital collab with Jayline. Heavyweight jump-up just like momma used to cook and some ridiculous spoken samples in the mix. Don’t fear change!
Kanye West & Chris Martin – Homecoming (Giganti Bootleg)
Blimey. Rawhide bootleg madness from Viper’s mysterious Giganti right here. This has been a key hair-raiser in Andy C’s sets recently. Maybe we can start again? (PS: this download was meant to close weeks ago so grab it while you can)
Kin:etic – Essence
Nothing festive here, just London’s Sine continuing their outstanding series of downloads from exciting new talent. December saw them drop Essence, a crisp star-gazing beauty from Brighton-based newcomer Kin:etic. Catch it here. Then catch this month’s release from another newcomer Being here. Show us a sine!
Kiril – Hello
Bonjour, namaste, konnichiwa, ahoj, guten tag. Or, as Kiril says, Hello! Another pristine bumper from the rising Italian talent, there’s a strong whiff of funk to this festive freebie. Buongiorno!
Krakota – Intersection
Feeling like you’re at a bit of a crossroads at the start of 2020? Don’t worry, Krakota’s on hand with a cool life hack; call it an Intersection instead and vibe the hell out. Powerful dark/light feels from the Hozzy three-deck demon and a cool story about how it came to be, too. Kraking. Intersect this.
Krusty – Unforgiving (SLiPZ Remix)
No clowning around here from Krusty or SLiPZ with these thundering jump-up wallops. Merry Krustmas ya filthy animals.
Kumo – Black Horizon
Foghorns, deep space, sirens: nicely dark vibes from new-gen Manny murker Kumo. Horizon Zero Dun kno.
Monty – Blood Stream
A smelly cherry on top of a delicious cake of a year he’s had; Monty signed off 2019 with this gritty troublemaker Blood Stream. Ice cold atmospherics, pneumatic beats and a bassline grumpier than a bouncer at a gabber rave, this absolutely bashes. You what blood?
Neuromancer – Pennywise (Unkut 2020 VIP)
Back to 92! Full Cycle affiliate Unkut updates this seminal rave classic with full respect. Maintaining the euphoric message of the original while beefing up the tempo and weight, drop this and watch white gloves appear from nowhere. Whistle crew, horn crew.
OaT – Morosis
Morosis: previously an archaic medical term for stupidity, now also a name of a moody rumbler from German new-gen talent OaT. Tense, minimal, paranoid; there’s nothing stupid about this whatsoever. If OaT isn’t on your radar yet, he should be in 2020. Scared about the new decade? Don’t worry, it’s Only a Transition.
Octagon EP (Next Phase Records)
Dutch breakbeat enthusiasts Next Phase Records curate another exceptional V/A right here with the likes of Sonar’s Ghost, Law, Kola Nut, Infest, K3Bee, Mac V, Rainforest, Fjell and Booca. Expect everything from industrial strength jungle to acid breakcore via deep iceberg steppers. See you on the other eight sides.
Razlom – Jitterbug
Folk were dancing the jitterbug in the 1920s so it seems fitting to bring it back 100 years later. And what a stampy stinky slap-about banger to do it to, too. Last spotted on the monstrous Program 100 album, Razlom are clearly ones to keep tabs on this year. Do the jitterbug.
Rizzle – Hypnotise
Look into Rizzle’s eyes. Not between the eyes. Not behind the eyes. Look into his eyes. Now listen to those stunning, ebb and flowing chords, dreamy pads and the classic Raw Silk vocal sample: You are now hypnotised.
Robert Glasper Ft King – Move Love (Paul SG Remix)
Putting the jazz into Jazzsticks even on a free download, Vienna maestro Paul SG revisits Move Love, a smouldering late night jam from Blue Note musician Robert Glasper and flips it into a gorgeous D&B version. The blues of the 2011 original are still just as tangible, as are King’s sultry vocals, but there’s added bass slinkiness and much more of a drive to the groove. Get moving.
Rowney – Bam Bam Riddim
Bam Bam for the fam: G13 co-founder Rowney adds a brazen twist to the Sister Nancy classic. Chaos guaranteed. Standard download procedure.
Sam Harris – Guinness Dub
Seasonal slammage from Sam Harris via Rebel Music right here as Leftfield’s Phat Planet gets the rolling vibe it’s always hinted at. Complete with a nod to the epic TV ad it was used in, this will help you burn a few excess Christmas calories off. Go get it phatty.
Screamarts – Evergreen
Pining for Christmas again? Then grab yourself this evergreen. A tune for life, not just the festive period, Salzburg soundboy Screamarts is growing some deep roots right now. Green means go.
Skylark – Shinku
Icy designs from Skylark to celebrate the release of his impeccable Intervals EP on Overview. Watch out of the breakdown where things get nicely weird and trippy. Watch out for his forthcoming EP on MethLab, too. 2020 is going to be a strong year for this young Frenchman. Reach for the Skylarks.
Solsan – Dreams (Feat Bazil MC)
Swiss collective Drum Army proffer a dark salute to the new decade with UK emerging artists Solsan and Bazil MC. Expect purring bass and honest observations. Sweet Dreams.
Special Request – Zero Fucks
Not just an entire album from breaks professor Special Request, but his fourth this year! Just as the title suggests, no holds are barred here; just raw, savage gully truths that reinforce the foundations with revitalised futurism. Complete with provocative cameos from David Lynch and Francis Bacon, this is an immense and essential Christmas gift from the man like Paul Woolford. Zero Fucks given.
Steve Spacek – If U Wan 2 Find Me (Perspective Remix)
dBridge’s big brother Steve Spacek undergoes a cheeky update from rising London artist Perspective as the smouldering, introspective soul of 2016’s I U Wan 2 Find Me gets a dark rolling twist. U want it.
Stompz – Vaporize
Sounds of the rudeboy! Tyneside tearaway Stompz lives up to his name once again with this absolutely foul shredder. Do you even Vaporize bro?
Trex – Witness
Wooi and indeed oooi. Wrapping up another solid year with releases on the likes of AudioPorn, Mac II and his own fast-growing Trust Audio, Trex laid down some gully gold earlier in December with this thank you to everyone who supported him. Witness the fitness.
T>I – Taste
Outrageous bootleg badness courtesy of man like T>I ahead of his album which is expected to drop very soon. Taste the difference!
Waeys – Amnesia
Certified ruffness! Overview’s Waeys wished everyone a jolly festive period and warned us of the perils of memory loss with something for the “horn lovers”. He didn’t disappoint. You won’t forget this in a hurry.
Wiley, Sean Paul, Stefflon Don – Boasty Ft Idris Elba (Murder He Wrote Remix)
Given away to mark his Boiler Room debut at the start of December, Murder He Wrote adds a murky, swaggering 140 twist on the massive 2018 mega-collab Boasty. Much more wholesome than the current Wiley / Stormzy soap opera. Sweet murderation.
Zombie Cats – Split
A puuurrrfect way to conclude this epic download round-up, Zombie Cats coughed up one more heavyweight hairball to bid their pivotal year adieu and it’s a total neuro wig-melter. That’s how you shut down a decade. Claws for thought.