Out: 13th December
We take a visit to Hungary in Central Europe via Glasgow where Bricolage operate their international label of profound obscurity. Yasda is here with a snappy EP which utilises his techniques to the fullest. Known for being a dab-hand with found sound and an electronic recording device, this record puts the collage of human creation together as one brave new EP. Fiddling with dials and flicking switches while merging loops and random snippets of the world requires talent beyond the normal in order to make something worthwhile. This aptly meets the mark.
The first track is called Clap Trap. It starts with a riff of plucked notes and odd sounds that form a tense yet disjointed rhythm. A wash of new phonics operate from within a curdling mass of sonic intention. Strangeness is on the menu, yet with delicate positioning and a beautiful ear for timing, the cacophony becomes melancholy and moving. Ambient sounds and strikes made on various instruments combine in a flurry of moderation and exploration.
Next, a thrust of sound sweeps in with vocal and tapping motifs completing the edges. Again., plucks and distorted versions of plain sight reality adapt and swirl in a mixing pot of divine mirrors of our condition. Jittering elements swing on the buttresses of clarity while ambiguous noises make themselves conspicuous with random insertions of dynamic. The title track ends abruptly, making way for something equally as fascinating.
Donkey Carnival is a fascinating image and it truly suits the art it's named after. Blubbing sounds and odd plastic trumpets play out a child's-play like parade along a small corridor, possibly by the stairs. Footsteps and automatic toys add their frolics in a mix of strange and piercing off-key craziness and clearly expertly designed sonic environments. This track is a little more insane than the first two. Yet, somehow it also has more structure and predictability.
Finally, a new style of delivery with spacious resonance builds a basic mix of plucks and various found sounds. A mean tendency to forget the aesthetic of music actually brings about a unique and exciting take on mixing sonically related outbursts. Whether it's in time or in key, something about the strange additions to the bar flow makes this a garment of wavelengths that folds up and hangs from the body in all the right ways. It just happens to be like nothing else seen before. Uncertain Commands ends this fresh and well-worth hearing EP.
You can visit Yasda on Soundcloud
Spektrum EP by Yasda is available from Bandcamp
Finally - A Very Happy New Year to all our readers from The Electro Review. Thanks for being with us through 2019, we all look forward to 2020!
TBR: 17th January 2020
Four dance classics find their way to the forefront as Tunisian sound experimentalist Deena Abdelwahed returns with a brand new EP. With leftfield foundations and a keen ear for the unusual and unique, Deena Abdelwahed recovers natural elements of her homeland and puts them on a global stage. Dhakar itself is a word that means masculine in Arabic, and according to Abdelwahed, this work takes this notion and puts it into a varied sonic address. Producing tracks which fit snugly into the repertoire of many genres of DJ yet all carry traditional elements of Tunisian sound makes this release an interesting and compelling edition.
It begins with an almost tribal drum rhythm. Percussion sounds with bass and high end qualities surge forward with a bouncy tempo. Steel pans and shaking bells rumble alongside forest sounds of wildlife and brushing branches. The instruments layer in, merging their timings with the consistent pulse. New angles of intention are inserted as various tones and sounds make the progressive composition. Then, a vocal breaks in which momentarily pushes back the music. A rhythm, a tone, and a voice to give Lila fi Tounes a human direction. Gradually the rhythm section builds up confidence and begins to take control of the music again.
Next, sampled vocals bring us the inside of a vibrant room. We feel like we're sitting among individuals with a great social atmosphere. Strange sounds then penetrate the rapport which soon incorporate a slow beating drum. This quickens alongside various electronic pulses and clatters which eventually form a consistent amalgam of tempo. Odd projections of sonic direction fill awkward spaces in the temporal flow. Human voices distil and bubble on luminous surfaces, charged with electronic intent waves. Ah'na Hakkeka takes us deep into a rhythmic world of intellectual cannons of rhythm and samples of distinctive sound.
Insaniyti begins with a distinctive drone instrument. It hums along with a static tone which vibrates and resonates along its straight line. Then female vocals begin a chant with handclaps and additional drums. A male line follows before the women chant again and the drums move into the next gear. Deep and resonant pans strike toneful beats in a slow and snaking rhythm. An air or eastern allure decorates the passing bars. The music builds and flows, and as the dynamic shifts, the static rhythm spends a few moments alone with its thoughts. Insertion of melody seeps in a flow of progressive charm that brings the music into another dimension of sound.
Finally, Zardet Sidi Bagra opens with a quicker and invigorating rhythm. A quick tapping tubular drum plunges a bass-line through sloshy cymbals and abstractions of percussion. This begins to shift in pitch, bringing an element of rhythmic melody to the piece. Kinetic beats revolve around humming sounds which decorate and enliven the ever-growing selection of beats. Gradually, the track builds and becomes an insistent drill of percussion and tone which focusses in on a small point. The space opens out again like an expanding universe. If light has to travel at its given speed no matter what space-time is doing, it has to have somewhere to go. Maybe this is why when we look at the entire universe, its most distant point is expanding at that speed. Just a thought.
You can find Deena Abdelwahed on Bandcamp
Plus 8 Records
Out: 6th December
Plus 8 make their move for the end of the musical year with this Various Artist recording. +8138 reminds me of a great VA release from Glasgow's Bricolage, which in turn reminded me of a book of haiku (written by myself) called 575365. Interestingly enough, someone else released a book of the same title a few months after I did. I detect a trend. Never-the-less, this music-o-numerical concept perhaps is best suited for electronic productions. The digital realm, reliant on amounts and data-sets, plays host to numbers with meanings beyond their value. There is a numerological mystique involved here that is translated into the material world via unique sounds.
The first artist on offer is ANNA with High Contrast. Since being featured as a Mixmag best DJ of 2018, then heading up an Essential Mix earlier this year followed by a handful of successful releases, it's probably only right she brings it on for this album. ANNA makes an imprint for Plus 8 after a long and fruitful friendship with Richie Hawtin. ANNA is on Twitter, Facebook, and Soundcloud.
With a throbbing bass matched with piercing eerie whistles, the music enters a shadowy centre. A thudding bass breaks free, sucking up the ambience in a rhythmic material. Shuddering cymbals with echoing taps then are added, which are ultimately followed by a hard-hitting snare. The rhythm is furious, electronic and abstract. Unusual percussion instruments feed the bass-line with various elements of beat. The music builds and progresses as a fat synthesiser roars across the top with a vibrant and shifting array of scale.
Next is Amsterdam resident and Japanese musician YUADA. Established as the resident DJ of Melkweg in the Dutch capital, YUADA gives us Circle of Acid. After meeting up with Plus 8 label captain Richie Hawtin at the recent Awakenings festival, he gave her the thumbs up to work on a demo of this track to be put on the new VA album. The master is here and leaves us in no doubt as to Hawtin's ability to see talent through the rough copy. Listen to YUADA on Spotify.
With a fast paced rhythm full of bass, cymbals, and snare, a rummage through the dancemoves finds us magnetically drawn to this track. Distant synths create metallic surges behind the flow of percussion. As the progression continues, extra elements are injected in which creates a distorting wobble of rhythm that pounds from left to right. It breaks down again to reveal surging bass synths which reverberate across the timings. The continual pressure of tempo rages beyond the skin which froths and curdles with various notches of synth and sound.
ENTER resident Fabio Florido is on the three spot with a track called The Bliss. Plus 8's Richie Hawtin has been utilising Fabio's arsenal for many years in his own DJ slots. This Italian DJ attends global events as well as his regular appearances at home, under the umbrella of ENTER and Space Ibiza. You can follow Fabio Florido on Twitter and Facebook. Plus you can listen on Soundcloud and Mixcloud.
It begins with a gradual influx of sound. Before we know it, a thumping bass that's synthetic and novel brings on the force. That subtle sound from the very beginning begins to grow. The swelling forms a distinctive sweeping melody that fizzes and distorts with electronic goodness. Fast housey drums play alongside a definitive techno beat which is encapsulated in cybernetic motifs of the synth. Then, a layer of cymbal finds its feet. This brings with it other sounds of percussive intent which all merge in a flowing river of danceable rhythmics. Through various break-downs and shifting melodics, the rhythm continues via several guises and incarnations of sound.
After this, we are treated to That Days from DJ wizard Toni Alvarez. With a famous technique of mixing four simultaneous decks in his techno shows and a whopping list of over fifty unique tracks with his name on, it's clear he's earned a slot on this stunning VA release. The Spanish DJ was so eager to be involved that when invited to contribute, he sent in everything he'd made. Toni Alvarez is on Twitter, Facebook and Soundcloud.
It opens straight away with a fiery minimalist beat. Simple drums tap and tamper with a distinctive bass-line that rumbles away at the atmosphere. A pressurised whistle grows and become siren-like as the volume amplifies into a lead instrument. A warbling oscillation in the tone brings on a super-quick tempo that fits snugly in the consistent drums. A vocal sample breaks in a human angle before more jittery synths add another layer of rhythmic quality. High energy and tense drums bash out a frantic beat while the under-score of melody works up and down in motions of progression.
Full Clipp from dance-floor composer Matrixxman is the fifth track. This multi-talented musician has worked in several genres including pop and hip-hop. Matrixxman knows where his bread is buttered though and has enjoyed repeated accolades in his electronic music productions. By utilising the benefits of the Detroit, Chicago, and UK dance music scenes, a unique blend of head-spinning beat infusion ensues. Matrixxman can be discovered on Twitter, Facebook, and Soundcloud.
With disparate melodics, a tune opens out with rhythms like a multi-faceted flower. Skyward pointing notes reach up while digging beats increase the sense of grounding. A subtle cymbal strikes through for a brief moment, perhaps as a sign of what's to come. The beats and melody continue as hypnotic waves of sound begin to merge. Then, a fast paced and high energy cymbals bashes out a section of rhythm which briefly builds the track into a spire. These break down to push the synthesiser into a tube of sound that compresses the ability to jump along the scale. Then deep and resonant bass thunders through to bring out yet more aspects of this flavoursome mix.
We head over to the techno clubs of Frankfurt for the next number. For over a decade, Dave Simon has been laying down the beats and tunes for revellers from this part of the world. Those who remember the legendary U60311 may well recall Dave Simon from their roster of regular faces. The Proper Techno Tunes founder and regular visitor to several big name Berlin clubs brings us Methagem. Is it as addictive as it sounds? Dave Simon is on Facebook and Soundcloud.
A fast beat, full of bass and snare, opens out. It's quickly joined by tappety hats which continue the theme of quick rhythm. A sludgy undercurrent of bass grows from the corners and the floorboards before a wave of sound washes in the assist in the progression. This is followed by an unveiling of distant melody which grows over the bars to be accompanied by ever more dynamic drumming. The simple yet infectious synthesiser breaks open a section of the music to grow and blossom in its own right. The drums catch on and with a frantic push of fury, they reassert themselves.
MISBHV comes next as we're given a dose of ONYVAA. Taking the plunge and releasing outside of her regular label for the first time, Paris based ONYVAA issues a new original. With a wealth of material established on her Passeport Records label which sits alongside artists such as Marcel Dettman and Charlotte De Witte, music fans from across the board are paying attention to this dynamic musician. You can follow ONYVAA on Facebook and Soundcloud.
With a snappy bass with a twangy underlying note, a low-end rhythm breaks forward and runs the show. A higher side of percussion builds gracefully and is soon joined by some slightly muted cymbals and snare. A flux of motivation follows the beat as various energies seem to boil and coalesce within the minimal and hypnotic production. More rhythm is added and a distinguishable melody gives rise to more kinesis. Then, a sweeping rubbery sound adds a new dynamic and it's soon propped up by yet another layer of percussion. This track faces in one direction and pushes all of our energy into the middle.
Perhaps a wild card or maybe just a well-earned slot on an album of fellow superstars, Agdam by Orbe completes the record. Known for adapting atmospheric IDM and ambient to fit dance-floor ready bangers, Orbe has achieved recognition not only with his solo work but also with his regular duo Lost Epcot. Orbe is on Soundcloud and Facebook.
The music opens with a subaqua rhythm like a sonar. Delicate melodies are played out across metallic sounding pipes and surfaces. A static rhythm maintains a forward pace while the atmosphere expands with drips and clatterings of mechanical pressure. New drums are added, they fill yet more space in the dynamic of the track, thrusting an array of metalwork and strange industrial sounds into a penetrating rhythm. Repetitive yet complex and full of character, the music sways and branches out in polyphonic directions rich with pitch distortion, echo, and reverb.
Plus 8 Records can be found on Bandcamp
You can follow Plus 8 Records on Facebook
Got a demo? Send it in to Plus 8 Submissions
Listen in to Plus 8 on Soundcloud
TBR: Early January 2020
With a mission to reinvent rave culture for the twenty-first century music fan, Swarm Intelligence brings us an astounding EP. Born in Dublin and now working from Berlin, this artist is perfectly placed to make the most impact with his sounds. With recent headway made after the acclaimed Against The Dying Light which saw him played on more dance-floors than they could count, this next epoch unravels four brand new and futuristic sounding works of dance. Lick your lips as you get treated to an infusion of jungle, electro, techno, and good old fashioned big-beat with this new influx of sonic material.
The EP begins with a track called Rise Of The Machines. The tempo is strict, a quick bass pounds in an abstract timing while shakers and rattles fill the spaces. After a few bars of funky tribal minimalism a huge bass wafts in. A regular beat penetrates the colourful array of percussives which instigates a vigorous energy. If that's not enough, a second layer of extra sound is white-washed across the top. Wailing 'artmosphere' with heavy static courses through the underside, and overflows at the top. When this has expelled its initial energies, a new and seductive rhythm captures another ribbon in the flow. Chatty drums with plenty of interesting effects clatter and bash away at the whole composition. A massive bass-beat kicks in which shakes everything at the sides. An addition of discordant waves penetrate the flow with an abstract energy which inspires creative dance moves. The rhythm unleashes a burst of extra beats, in turn the music jumps into another state of being. Heavy, resonant bass seeps from the gooey centre while crunchy and tense beats evaporate from the undulating surface. The rhythms saunter along with distinctive variations along the same theme of up-beat tempo. New and interesting sounds are continually added to the mix which gives the dynamic of the track an extra layer of quality.
Next, a static infused bass begins a looping journey which crosses over the layers in quick echoes. A wavery sonic wisps up through the pipework to reveal a sudden bring-on of dashing rhythms. Strange noises and organic clamberings combine with an awkward yet addictive tempo. Behind, a whole foray of sounds and abstractions rage like a glowing light-source. The trumpets begin, a huge blast of dancing frenzy ensues as the horn riff thunders out with a jazz like emphasis. This is Holographic, a massive dance number with intellectual beats which contains something for everyone in the club.
Cybernetic enjoys a calm and melodious intro as synth pads lay sheets of sound across our notion of audible space. A slight bleeping melody cuts the fabric which after a few snips gives rise to an injection of steady electro beats. A thudding bass-drum carries subtle shakes and rolling cymbals, each with adjustments of tone so they complete a sonic jigsaw. Then, a bouncy lead synth strikes in with shifting melody, simple yet dynamic, notes swerve from one side to another as shattering rhythms continue to splice the track. The main synth melody changes bit by bit with a progression into ever more twisted and space-age imagery.
The final track starts with distorted kick-drum and fast-tapping metal-work. The tempo seems to quicken and falter again and robotic warbles chitter across the sonic amalgam. As the track progresses, distant chanting electronics bounce into view from across synthesised horizons. Disparate synths sweep across jumpy rhythms that sting and rip with continual adjustments. Eerie sounds waft across in clouds of mechanical awe while quick pulses from the rhythmic undercarriage continue to twist and distort under their own pressure and pace. Our Wounds Are Opposite gradually evolves into a multi-tonal composition of avenues and roads that jostle along a familiar rhythm.
Catch up with Swarm Intelligence on Bandcamp
Veins Full Of Static
Out 6th December
Disintegration State, the Manchester based masters of mashed waveforms and seductively sampled synths, return with a new release from Veins Full Of Static. With a strong theme of travel without moving, perhaps like the navigators of Frank Herbert's Dune universe, we are treated to a spacial and temporal journey through the medium of sound. Merging minimalism with the sonic avant-garde, Yorkshire resident Veins Full Of Static continues to amaze and astonish with this flux of musical originality.
It begins with May As Well Be Alone. A disparate synth warbles forward with ever-building chord pressure. The airy pad draws in with multiple notes that merge as deep resonance and breathy whispers. A picture unfolds with elements of scenery building with each bar. A wave breaks and new sounds spill out of the eggshell that bring a glowing radiance to the progression. Slow and subtle shifts in tone and amplitude continue to bring more colours and sensations to the conscious surface.
It turns over a page as the next track breaks free. Drawn out sonic apparitions begin to shine from dusty corridors of granular sound. As the winds spiral in the distance a puncturing note spreads out with harmonious outflow. A rhythm can be heard, building gracefully behind a curtain of incandescence. Percussion continues in bursts of timing, the drumming becomes audible and individual shakes and kick drums can be heard. As this appears and fades with the passing moments, the pressure of the synthesiser still grows and branches out with subtle radiance. Gathering Darkness Holding Company opens like a flower.
Last Exist alternates and begins with a rhythm. A train like tempo creeps forward which gives way to a layer of bass which chatters through the centre. Repeating drums with heavy distortion follow the line of the bass which swoops and drifts at catchy intervals. A break sets more rhythm free and a dancing element is given the spot-light. Tribal like loops of drumming create a hypnotic allure while the digital effects bring out a more experimental and modern edge. The music grows further as bubbling synths mingle with singing voices which decorate the underside of the tempo heavy offering.
Next is Qualia. That sensation of connectivity and knowing, self-generated and illusory, however poignant and full of subtle wisdom. It sounds like distant voices having a jovial conversation among heavenly notes which whistle in chiming melody. This short number breaks the tension and gives headroom for the rest of the album.
An ambient drone opens out for the next track. Then shaking bass notes wobble and craft through the abstract ambience. Your House Is Burning has a sinister title and so the music translates with eerie shadows and careful jostles of sound. Like floorboards creaking underfoot or under-flame, the pressure grips and tightens the fabric of sound with twisting motions. Energy fizzes beneath abstract buckles as glowing synths create a wall of emotionally relevant pitches and sensations. With gradual layering, the track starts to build and tower over us in a leaning inferno that jetties across the chaotic netherworld below.
With a shout and a hoot the next track begins. A punchy drum-beat penetrates the atmosphere and staples the billowing soundscape to a hard surface. Rubbery warbles and rotating synthesiser combine as a two-step drum bashes out a persistent rhythm. Speckled bass glistens within pockets while airy head-waves wash across the mental boundaries of sound. Ordinary Monsters builds with repetition and progressive melody, building and reinforcing in turns taken by an abstract notion of change.
Synecdoche, Barnsley completes the album. Ethnic waverings dismantle atmospheric pads as they splash out over cupped hands. A deep sound pushes through, building harmony through effervescent chords across a multitude of digital voices. A build-up that breaks like a dawning sky insists that with each passing second yet more illumination scatters the darkness into the distant corners. A sleepy yet invigorating combination of melodics span sonic horizons and paint the scenery with vibrant daytime colours.
Catch up with Veins Full Of Static on Soundcloud
I Saw It On The Radio EP
Recorded in the lush studios tucked away in Goldsmith's University, where she also studies music, Margot White's I Saw It On The Radio showcases everything cool about this artist. Originally from Texas and now living in London, Margot White has discovered a huge talent for poetry, jazz, and electronic music composition. These three avenues swoop in together on this remarkable EP which culminates many years of practice, study, and passion. With a recent single featured on our sister site, Alternative Fruit, it's with great pleasure that The Electro Review can showcase Margot White's full project.
Electric Wolf starts with a smooth guitar phrase which loops across a bouncy sky. Margot begins with her delightful vocals, with a sincerely pretty voice her words dash and lap at the sides of the composition. Bass and drums find their way in, it continues with a soft rock feel which is filled with subtle synthesiser and digital effect. Organic instruments merge with tingling digital atmospheres while epic imagery is described in verse after verse.
Next is a deep and dishy bass line. Digital fuzz breaks the boundary of the note as it digs deep in the rhythmic texture. Margot's voice enters and with a ghostly edge, her words slink over angles with satin like flow. Face to Face carries an r'n'b sense of delivery while vocals and electronica lift the grooves into new areas of exploration.
So Sweet takes the guitar loop back to the stage while a pounding drum throws in a heart-beat style tempo. A great walking pace to avenue around the mind, the track builds with each line as new notes and drums add their energetic intentions. Melody breaks free and the chorus makes a start for the ceiling. Chords and keyboards merge in a riffage of melodic dream. The tune shifts again, with a reggae sounding groove momentarily carrying the track forward. Melancholy and sunshine take it in turns to grip the mic and show us their heart.
Distant music is filled like a balloon by dreamy and thoughtful vocals which wander wistfully through strumming chords and digital effects. Static warms the sound like gentle embers fading and glowing like breathing stones. Heavenly melody catches us on the way down as we drift with the kite like song, dancing and flowing in the natural eddies of the sky. The Letter takes us into an inner world, where conflicting feelings and misty images keep us on our toes.
Time Of Your Life takes a turn into beats and soundscape as vocals mingle and tingle along lines of echoing drum and synths which wash like waves in the deep ocean. Where horizons stretch for miles and the gravity of our journey falls gently on our shoulders, it seems like we can walk on water. Perhaps it is all a metaphor for something else entirely.
You can follow Margot White on Facebook
Listen to Margot White on Spotify
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TBR: 9th December
This is the first in the catalogue for Abrax Records, with the steersman taking the helm and casting off into unknown territories. This Berlin based music producer creates techno that forces listeners out of their mental boxes and pushes them into self-awareness through vigorous dancing. Not just bland beats with dabblings of melody, music from Abrax is made to snap us out of the hive mind mentality. The hypnotic state of mind in which we repeat the same tired snippets of dogma handed down from admirable and charismatic individuals who may or may not know what they are talking about. Now we get to enjoy four fresh dance tracks which want us to stop thinking like everyone else and start being who we were meant to be. Anamnesis is the condition of recalling a previous life, one that we lived before we were plugged into the often malfunctioning society that surrounds us today.
The first and title track takes its time to unfurl. It starts with digital chimes that call out across a polyphonic scale. High-end tinkles bounce across hollow bell sounds before abstract crunching with tonnes of reverb spans out before us. A drum rolls in with quick snare hits as the synthesiser section releases a spray of atmospheric pads. The music progresses gradually with several sonic elements suggesting upward motion and space-age ambience. Atmospheric churning of melody coils around the armature of rhythm which continues to lift the track into the audial sky. A new section enters to shift the track into a new phase. Extra drums and bashing bass driven rolls slam into the piece to press down on the extra garnish, elevating the rhythmic quality to full consciousness. Slowly the subtle space and sculptures of waveform creep back in.
The second track strikes straight away with huge bass and a twisting grind that fills the spaces. The synth sounds build and swell with digital and crumbling currents of wavelength as the tempo is elevated in continual additions of rhythmic percussives. Melody chimes behind the rampant heaviness as dancing energy is thrust forward in bars of dramatic sound exploration. Digital noises swirl and bassy drops curl over the cliff-face as new found motivations and throbbing rhythms inject into the track. Intervention is that number that leaves us feeling doubt free that Abrax is truly here to ring out the alarm call.
Storm Is Coming follows on the second side of the vinyl. Light touches with heady bass begin to peel away the silence to reveal a shimmering array of rhythms. Synths gradually build beneath the upper layers with melodic sliding on small sixpences of harmony. Cymbals crash with repetitive bursts of shiny metal-work while the abstract and slightly industrial underside continues to swell and creep beside. Siren like outbursts of synth mark a break-down where the rhythm quietens and allows a subtle element of sound to break the surface. It all falls back into place with springy phonics and bashing drums which leave no area unmarked with the rhythmic progression.
The final number opens with a distant bell. Up-front breathing mechanicals rumble forward until a crackling electronic surge begins a distinctive rhythm. Cymbals clatter against the flow and various metallic conks add to the flourish. Fast-paced snare rolls in from each corner then a swooping bass drops in in a side to side motion of squashy yet wholesome rhythm. A continual motif plays through the sound in the form of a catchy beat which wants to get everyone on their feet. Huge bass end synths splash their expressive quality across as the tempo is persistently built up like a raging fire. This is Breakism and it's the final track on this smart and highly accessible EP.
You can visit Abrax online
Plus follow Abrax on Facebook
Listen to Abrax on Soundcloud
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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