Jimmy Behan – In the Sudden Distance

Jimmy Behan is one of those artists I kind of discovered accidentally. I had a couple of his releases on my hard drive, but they were mixed in with a lot of other things I'd downloaded at approximately the same time, so I didn't really notice they were there. Then occasionally a track would pop up on shuffle, and I'd think, this is great, who is this? I'd look at the name, and nine times out of ten it would be Jimmy Behan. So I dug his releases out and gave them a proper listen.

Bangguru – Bang the Guru! EP

For those born in the '70s, or even youngsters who just foster an invented nostalgia for what it was like to be a kid in the '80s, there's a certain timeline of sounds that inevitably weave their way through the collective memory. Portuguese electropop band Bangguru have a sound that embodies all these elements within a single package, and not only is this the kind of music I like to listen to, these seem to be exactly the sort of people I'd like to hang out with.

netBloc 13

"Color in a world of monochrome" is the tagline for the thirteenth netBloc compilation release from blocSonic, and there couldn't be a more appropriate way to describe this collection of photos, artwork, and of course fantastic free music. A feast of visual and audio delights, there's more than enough here to keep you interested for the long haul, and to make you want more.

Erdbeerschnitzel helps clean out your ears with Pathetik Party

A lot has happened in recent years that is making me give electropop another chance. You might think there's only so much that can be done with dancey club-type music, but the advent of IDM as a distinct "listening" genre (i.e. stuff you might actually play at home) has really opened doors for musicians like Tim Keiling, also known as Erdbeerschnitzel, to spread their wings and explore a bit.

Markovich/A.M.P.’s Emotive Force – project-based alternapop

It's nice to see Creative Commons licenses being used for undertakings that push the limits of collaboration and remote recording technologies, and Markovich/A Music Project (A.M.P.) are doing their best to test those limits. As the name suggests, they are a music project more than a band, and although they aim to make pretty straight-up downtempo and trip-hop, there's still enough variation in there to make for some very interesting listening.

Ispahan – channeling the sounds of the old Orient

I live in Asia Minor, and when I first heard the melancholy and mysterious strains of Christian "Kiane" Fromentin's Ispahan, my first thought was that this guy must be making music in my local area. I was surprised to find out that he's actually in France - he just has a very innate sense of what the region of the Near and Middle East sounds like, and a talent for evoking nostalgia... even for listeners who have never been to this part of the world.

…anabase* “Le bonheur flou Le bonheur flou” – so good, you won’t notice the language barrier

People often ask me how many languages I speak, simply because my music collection holds so many international artists who don't sing in English. But to tell the truth, I don't require a song to be sung in a language I understand, in order for me to be able to connect with it. If you never thought you could get into music in any language other than English, I urge you to give Anabase's Le Bonheur Flou a try.

Ten and Tracer’s Tsotsitaal – hurry and jump on the very slow bandwagon

Ambient music is one of those things that people either hate or really hate, and I used to be in both those groups until an ambient-loving friend of mine sat me down to set me straight. "You don't have to have songs shoved down your throat," he said. "Just close your eyes and float, and you'll find that music is all around you." At the time I rolled my eyes at the tree-hugginess of it all, but really I do take his point.

Jan Felipe “Abril” – indietronica with a truly international flavour

One of the things I really love about Creative Commons music is the potential to connect directly with artists. It helps increase my enjoyment of the music, knowing a little about what these musicians are like and understanding their drive to create. Often they contact me via after seeing their albums in my library, and the conversation develops from there. Sometimes, as in the case of Brazilian songwriter Jan Felipe, it can lead to some very interesting things.