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Download: Nocow "Sever Ties"

Pacific Northwest-based collective Dropping Gems has announced a follow-up compilation to last March's Gem Drops that features tracks from a number of forward-thinking beatmakers, including Daedelus, Asura, Mndsgn, S.Maharba, and Strangeloop. The compilation features a variety of cutting-edge music, ranging from experimental soundscapes to bass-laden dance jams. "Sever Ties," from Russian producer Nocow, is on the more subdued end of the spectrum, and offers up a dreamy slice of garage with chopped up vocals and an erhu sample throughout that gives it a distinctly Asian feel. The 20-song collection, simply titled Gem Drops Two (artwork above, tracklist after the jump), will be available on January 12 through Dropping Gems' Bandcamp page as a "name your price" download. Consider putting something besides a "0" in the blank, however, as 100% of the money raised will go the American Cancer Society to support cancer research. (Plus, a limited supply of cassette tapes will be available for those who donate $15 or more).  Read more » 

Average: 8.3 (176 votes)

Review: Nic Fanciulli & Rolando "The Test"

Label: Saved

Anytime a new record appears from Detroit veteran and Underground Resistance alum Rolando, people are going to take notice. In recent years, his production output has slowed considerably, even as the appreciation for his body of work continues to swell. "The Test" is a collaboration with another veteran artist, Saved label boss Nic Fanciulli, who brings a celebrated track record of his own to the proceedings. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/22/2011

Rwina Records Gives Away Free EP, Plans 2012 US Tour

Amsterdam-based record label Rwina is getting into the holiday spirit this week by giving away an EP by Krampfhaft, with remixes by Desto, Presk, and our most recent XLR8R podcast creator, Om Unit. Rwina has had a busy 2011, releasing material from the likes of Eprom, NastyNasty, Taz, and Doshy, and has a busy 2012 planned already, beginning with a label night in Amsterdam on January 21. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/22/2011

Hyperdub Shares Details of Upcoming Burial, DVA, and Hype Williams Releases

As 2011 comes to a close and we finish up our year-end list making, we also start looking forward to what the start of 2012 will bring. It seems like Hyperdub is doing the same, as it has already unleashed some of the details of its first three releases for next year. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/21/2011

Skream Readies New 12" for Boxing Day Release

The day after Christmas should be a busy one for Skream, who will not only be playing the FWD>> Boxing Day massive with the rest of the Rinse FM roster, but will also be releasing a new single on Mala's Deep Medi imprint. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/21/2011

XLR8R x Beatport: Deadboy

Over the past few months, XLR8R has been curating a special set of charts for Beatport. The final offering of 2010 comes from none other than Deadboy, the London-based Numbers stalwart. The producer actually kept things relatively quiet this year, releasing only the Here EP and a 12" of Julio Bashmore remixes of his now-classic "Heartbreaker" single. Even with his lower profile, we remain partial to Deadboy's uncanny ability to combine garage, bassline, house, and other sounds in fresh ways. His chart—which is not ranked in any particular order—is similarly varied, somehow finding room for Kate Bush, Basic Channel, DJ Rashad, Vybz Kartel, and other diverse selections. We're certainly not complaining. Read more » 

XLR8R's Best of 2011: Releases, Part One

Here, we have the first part of the final installment of our year-end coverage, XLR8R's picks for the top 30 releases of 2011. Read more » 

Download: Dev79 & Thrills "Between Your Legs"

Bi-coastal American collaborators Dev79 & Thrills, who have actively been remixing other artists since last year, have dropped their debut EP of originals, Loose Joints and Blunt Objects, which includes this uptempo, bass-loaded piece of garage. The broken beats, chopped vocals, and heavy sub-bass are solidly executed in the track, and, combined with the ascending and descending synth pads and bleeps, make for a solid dancefloor banger. The rest of the new EP (artwork above) draws more heavily from grime and dancehall than "Between Your Legs," and includes the previously released "Off In a Minute" featuring Welsh MC Skamma.  

Average: 6.5 (61 votes)

Review: VCMG Spock

Label: Mute

In case you haven't heard, Vince Clarke and Martin Gore, who last worked together 30 years ago during the early days of Depeche Mode, have unexpectedly reunited to create minimal techno under the name VCMG. We're just as surprised as you are, although the shock stems more from questions of "why now?" than any sort of bewilderment about the pair's stylistic shift. In reality, it's not that huge of a leap from the pair's various synth-heavy endeavors to the world of techno. Nevertheless, that's also no guarantee that the music cooked up by VCMG will actually be any good. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/21/2011

Video: Aleph "Omerta"

In advance of Siberian producer Aleph's new EP coming out in January on the King Deluxe imprint, here we have a video for the first track on the record, "Omerta." The video takes scenes from the 1985 French film Gwen, or the Book of Sand, by Jean-François Laguionie, in which a young girl journeys through a post-apocalyptic wasteland to relocate an abducted companion. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/21/2011

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