It came as a big surprise to the fans when 1605's big boss UMEK posted last week on his Facebook and Twitter profiles that most of the releases on the label are free to download in high quality on the brand new sixteenofive.com.
Why most? Fresh releases are still only available for sale in e-stores like Beatport and iTunes, because the main idea of giving away music for free is to make it available for listening: "We still want our DJs to make an extra buck with selling their music through our label. That's why we still charge for our music for around two months after the release date. DJs mostly play fresh music and if you want to make money with it, then it's fair to pay your dues. But if you only want to enjoy listening to it while jogging, well, then help yourself and take it for free.", 1605's label manager Ina Lejko explained the "music to the people" concept.
All label's free tracks are now protected under the Creative Commons licence, which doesn't allow commercial exploitation. The newly redesigned label's website at www.sixteenofive.com now provides registered visitors with an option for a high quality mp3 download and the idea behind it is that everyone can now save the tracks to their portable devices or to their car stereo system. Streaming services already allow for mostly free listening, but streaming isn't always available and it can cost you when abroad.
So go ahead and make your own 1605 archive. It's yours now.