Exclaim!'s Best of 2013: Top 10 Freeleases

Exclaim!'s Best of 2013: Top 10 Freeleases
Four Tet

Many who recently discovered Four Tet through his club-friendly releases will have missed out on his early 'folktronic' days. Full of unreleased material from the late '90s and released for free digitally via Text Records, 0181 manages to look back and still sound fresh simultaneously. It also acts as a reminder to revisit his superb sophomore LP, Pause. (Daryl Keating)


The debut release from Massachusetts band Hoax harkens back to a time when early '80s thrash metal and hardcore punk often shared sonic signifiers. The 21-minute barnburner grinds its way through a dozen tracks, creating a sound so abrasive, assaulting and unrelenting that each ultra-dense moment feels like it's relapsing into the album's own alluring black hole. (Daniel Sylvester)

Cut 4 Me

From the candy-coated synths to Kelela's rich vocals, CUT 4 ME is a treat for listeners looking for mix of R&B soul with a dash of house. With the help of her Fade to Mind brethren, she delivered sonically cohesive effort that deserves your attention. (Jabbari Weekes)

Ryan Hemsworth
Still Awake

Released via Hemsworth's website in May 2013 as a precursor to his debut album, Still Awake comprised six originals and one remix in which the young Canadian producer demonstrated his increased level of comfort in the electronic realm, exhibiting less of the hip hop/R&B aesthetic with which he made his name. (Vincent Pollard)

After Dark 2

The second compilation in Italians Do It Better's After Dark series reconfirmed producer and label boss Johnny Jewel's unique business model. Using his various projects like Glass Candy, Chromatics and Desire, he bettered the original by expanding his signature synthesized nocturnal transmissions with some of his finest work to date, satiating the high expectations of his devoted flock. (Cam Lindsay)

To see more of the best music of this year, head over to our Best of 2013 section.