London's West Norwood Cassette Library (a.k.a. Bob Bhamra) isn't a producer that we shined a big light on in 2010, but we couldn't help but notice that his tracks kept popping up in the sets of many of our favorite DJs, most notably the stellar XLR8R podcast from Ben UFO. Read more »
Labels We Love: Honest Jon's—A Portobello Road hipster haven's in-house label has its best year yet.
Whenever brick-and-mortar record shops resemble endangered, tusk-less elephants displayed in zoo cages for hipsters and mourners to feed handfuls of peanuts to every National Record Store Day, and whenever indie labels seem to be nothing more than cute names attached to stolen downloads, Honest Jon's is there to smack one upside the head. Read more »
A few weeks back, we previewed "Days," the long-awaited first single from spooky Brooklyn duo CREEP, which happens to feature vocals from Romy Madley-Croft of The xx. The single came out earlier this week and was backed by remixes from Deadboy and Azari & III, but now Lauren Dillard and Lauren Flax have made another remix available, this one courtesy of Boston duo Soul Clap. As one would expect, Soul Clap pick up the pace and throw in some mellow house beats while keeping the original's dark and dour vibes largely intact. No word yet on when CREEP's album is going to drop, but in the meantime, we're going to do our best to have a black Christmas by putting this one on repeat and indulging in the gothy splendor of the band's fancy new website.
Let's just get this out of the way. This song, technically, could be called a mash-up. And yes, we know mash-ups are sooooooo over, but maybe you can cut us a a bit of slack. It is the holiday season, after all. And this isn't just any mash-up, as London's Smutlee—who has done some fine work in the funky bashment arena—has paired the vocals of Jamaican dancehall diva Natalie Storm (pictured above) with M.A.N.D.Y. vs. Booka Shade's classic "Body Language," which has been screwed down to moombahton tempo. Maybe it's not the most original thing in the world, but damn if those synth notes on "Body Language" don't still sound good, more than five years after its initial release. Plus, at this point, XLR8R's ongoing crush on Natalie Storm is pretty well documented. If you had a website, would you pass on a chance to put up another sexy photo of Natalie Storm? Yeah, that's what we thought.
OK, this whole "holiday spirit" thing is starting to get out of hand. Party-loving Finnish label Top Billin has been doling out a steady stream of free tunes all year, but now they've really outdone themselves. From now until the end of the year, they're giving out the recently released World Gone Club Vol. 1 for free. Read more »
Apparently, even new-school masters of funk can get a little sentimental during the holidays. Earlier today, Dam-Funk posted a brand-new holiday ditty on the Stones Throw website, making sure to note that the track was created and recorded yesterday in LA with only a Korg Rhythm 55B drum machine, a Roland Juno 1 synthesizer, a Casio CT-640 keyboard, and a Radio Shack $19.99 microphone. Read more »
Chancha Via Circuito: Train-riding Pedro Canale criss-crosses borders to take cumbia beyond Buenos Aires.
Just as the respiratory sound and motion of the railroad had symbolic importance for early American blues, so too does train travel inform the music of Chancha Vía Circuito (a.k.a. Pedro Canale), the young Argentinian producer and musician who, backed by his ZZK crew, is quickly becoming the conductor of cumbia's ongoing expansion beyond traditional Latin audiences. Read more »
Subculture Club: Grant Willing ponders nationality, strength, and loyalty amongst secessionists and Burzum fans.
Were you to survey the Tumblrs, Flickrs, and other blogs of the average 20-something photographer today, the subject matter might boil down to something like this: bored kids doing bong rips at basement shows; hipsters in parks or at the beach, the edges of the pics dappled with leaked light or sun flare; harshly lit nighttime street scenes of homeless people in disarray; other random displays of public drunkenness; maybe the odd skinny girlfriend, tattooed and topless, sporting Ray-Bans with a can of Budweiser in hand. This is not the world in which photographer Grant Willing operates. Read more »
Rihanna on XLR8R? Yeah, we know it looks a little bit odd, but 1) our inboxes aren't exactly bursting with free MP3s during the holiday season and 2) this isn't any old Rihanna track. This remix has been infused with a jolt of all-star dancehall energy courtesy of NYC producers Max Glazer and Ricky Blaze and also features a guest turn from badman MC Vybz Kartel (pictured above). (Side note: We're super-excited for the new Dre Skull-produced Vybz Kartel album slated for release next spring on Mixpak. Check this new video of Vybz announcing the new record.) Anyways, this version has been making waves in dancehall circles for a few weeks, and now Glazer has thrown it up for free on his Federation Sound blog. Ri-Ri's "na-na" never sounded so good.
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