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Hi-Five - Snoop Dogg Selects His Five Favorite Dam-Funk Tunes and Dam-Funk Selects His Five Favorite Snoop Tracks

Although the coming together of G-funk mastermind Dam-Funk and legendary West Coast MC Snoop Dogg is the sort of collaboration that makes perfect sense, we never actually thought it would happen. Thankfully, Snoop and Dam felt otherwise, and next week, their joint 7 Days of Funk project will release its self-titled debut album via Stones Throw. Apparently, the pair's partnership was initially based on the artists' mutual admiration for each other's work, which prompted us to do a little bit of digging for some additional details. Specifically, we asked Dam-Funk to pick his five favorite Snoop Dogg tracks of all time, and incredibly found that Snoop was willing to return the favor. Their selections have been catalogued in this latest edition of our Hi-Five series, and as one might expect, the resulting feature just might be the most G-funk'd thing we've ever published on XLR8R. Read more » 

XLR8R's Best of 2013: Top Downloads (80 - 61)

XLR8R's annual Best of the Year coverage got off to a solid start yesterday with the first batch of tunes lifted from the 100 most popular downloads we posted throughout 2013. We've already offered music from the likes of Holy Other, Hackman, Slugabed, Bibio, and Bodhi, among plenty of others, and our latest chunk of this year's Top Downloads list highlights productions from Clams Casino, xxxy, Nils Frahm, Jacques Renault, Bondax, Zebra Katz, and more. All of tunes that landed between numbers 80 and 61 can be streamed and freely downloaded after the jump. Read more » 

XLR8R's Best of 2013: Top Downloads (100 - 81)

Every year, XLR8R posts something in the vicinity of 1,000 tracks for free download. It's a practice that, though once common, seems to be nearing extinction among music blogs and websites as a whole, which makes it almost a point of pride for us to strive to continually bring new, exciting, and, most of all, free music to our readership on a daily basis. Some of the tunes in our Downloads section are ridiculously obscure, some of them are surprisingly mainstream, and others actually come from some of our favorite artists. But regardless of their origins, each free download has an equal opportunity to climb the popularity chart, and every once in a while, we like to give some extra shine to the most exceptional of the bunch. Now that December has arrived and the end of 2013 is just around the corner, it's once again time for us to kick off our annual Best of the Year coverage, and we're starting things off this week with our list of the top 100 downloads to hit XLR8R during the past year. Read more » 

Beyond Jack: Breach Is More Than Just One Massive Hit

It's safe to say that no one could have predicted exactly how huge "Jack"—Breach's sharp-edged house bouncer and a track originally released on a one-off EP for Claude VonStroke's Dirtybird label—was going to be, especially not the creator himself, Ben Westbeech. By the end of the summer though, the sleek, sex-charged tune had become one of 2013's most ubiquitous cuts, finding its way into an increasing amount of DJ crates and festival sets as it was picked up by a major label, given a proper video treatment (the clip currently boasts well over five million views), and broke into the top 10 of the UK singles chart. Even considering its massive success, "Jack" still represents only one small part of Breach's music, which in turn is only one of the latest chapters in the career of Ben Westbeech, a decade-long veteran of UK dance music with a long list of projects to his name. Now, in the post-"Jack" era, Westbeech appears to be left with the tall task of reconciling his newfound commercial success with the underground credibility he previously spent years accruing, or at least figuring out if he should really be concerned with maintaining either one. Read more » 

Locals Only - Zed Bias Lists His Five Favorite Spots in Manchester

Manchester has long been one of the UK's most dependable musical hotbeds, with a decades-long lineage of pioneering outfits calling the historically industrial city home. Dave Jones fits snugly into that narrative, and whether he's operating as Maddslinky or Zed Bias—the alias under which he just last week delivered his Boss LP for Loefah's Swamp81 imprint—he's unquestionably an integral member of Manchester's electronic scene, serving the city as one of its foremost 2-step/UKG DJs and producers. As such, we've tapped Jones for the latest edition of Locals Only, asking the man from Manny to share some of his favorite spots from around the city and to highlight exactly where we might find the UK stalwart when he's not busy assembling new tunes in the studio. Read more » 

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