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XLR8R's Best of 2014: Top Downloads (25 - 1)

The first week of our Best of 2014 coverage wraps up today with the final installment of the Top 100 Downloads countdown. Out of the hundreds of songs featured in our ever-changing Downloads section over the past 11-plus months, these last 25 have ultimately garnered the most attention from the XLR8R faithful. Including contributions from Radio Slave, Prefuse 73, Lee Bannon, Shlohmo, Mark E, Shigeto, and Lapalux (who is pictured above), the final batch of this year's top XLR8R downloads can be found after the jump. In addition, we've also included a link to download a ZIP file containing all 100 tracks, which can be found at the bottom of the post. Read more » 

XLR8R's Best of 2014: Top Downloads (50 - 26)

Today, we officially enter the second half of our Top Downloads countdown. Just about equally populated by remixes as it is original tracks, this next batch of 25 songs includes contributions from the likes of Submerse, Larry Heard, Gerd Janson, Canblaster, Clockwork, Com Truise, and DJ Earl, among others. Again, the collection of tunes showcases the diverse range of styles found in our Downloads section throughout the year, where tracks intended for lively dancefloors are just as welcome as those intended for solitary headphone sessions. The latest helping of the year's top downloads can be found after the jump, with the final 25 set to be presented tomorrow along with a ZIP file containing all 100 of XLR8R's most popular downloads of 2014. Read more » 

XLR8R's Best of 2014: Top Downloads (75 - 51)

After launching our Best of 2014 coverage yesterday with the first installment of our Top Downloads countdown, the next batch of 25 songs has now arrived. Including choice cuts from the likes of Lockah, Slugabed, Roland Tings, My Panda Shall Fly, Phon.o, and many more, this second collection of tunes further showcases the diverse array of styles heard in XLR8R's Downloads section throughout the year—glowing beatwork, burrowing techno, hardware-fueled house, low-slung bass, industrial club hybrids, and a number of points in between are all represented here. All 25 tracks from the second installment of our four-part Top Downloads countdown can be streamed and, well, downloaded freely after the jump. Read more » 

XLR8R's Best of 2014: Top Downloads (100 - 76)

Over the past 11 months, every single weekday (save for a few holidays, of course) has seen XLR8R post a new array of free MP3s in our Downloads section. While covering a wide range of electronic genres, we've shared a colossal volume of tracks from fresh-faced newcomers, burgeoning talents, and established producers alike, with each tune given an equal chance to capture the interest of our readers and land on their hard drives. Now, with December officially underway, and 2015 just around the corner, the time has come for us to once again kick off our annual ritual of looking back at the year gone by, and our Best of 2014 coverage begins with a list of the top 100 downloads that hit XLR8R this year. Read more » 

Real Talk: Dro Carey on His Struggles with Mental Illness, His 2012 Tour Cancellation, and Where He's at Now

'Real Talk' is a series of artist-penned essays that appears on XLR8R from time to time. Our latest installment comes from Australian producer Dro Carey (a.k.a. Eugene Ward), who also produces as Tuff Sherm. This week, Ward is releasing the 'Club Injury Handbook' EP, his first outing for the Greco-Roman label, which prompted us to want to hear a bit more from the young beatmaker. When presented with the opportunity of penning something for 'Real Talk,' he jumped at the opportunity, and elected to address a topic that most artists shy away from: mental illness. It's something Ward has dealt with (sometimes quite publicly) for a long time, but now, after two years in remission, he wanted to detail his experience of balancing treatment for his depressive and anxiety disorders with the intensive requirements of being an emerging artist in a musical landscape driven by social media presence.

When I cancelled my debut Australian tour back in early 2012, I released a public apology that attempted to detail what had transpired to cause the cancellation and, in an effort to be as transparent as possible, I indicated that I was still severely unwell when it came to my mental health, and that I had tried to set a goal and rise to the occasion for the sake of a passion—music—but had jumped the gun in terms of what I could accomplish and where I was in terms of therapy, medication, and techniques for the management of my conditions (major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder). Read more » 

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