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 »
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 »
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.
Check it out, guys: Looks like the folks at Ableton are really getting into the Christmas spirit this year, as they are giving away two free Live Packs over on their website. Available both for owners of the program and even "trial users," Everett Bradley offers a funky version of "The Nutcracker: Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairies," a track taken from his Holidelic album, and Christopher Tignor of Wires.Under.Tension throws violin and hip-hop loops into the giveaway, too. Read more »
When it comes to the creating the gauzy, otherworldly guitar atmospheres of the shoegaze and proto-Brit-pop scenes, Robin Guthrie has probably had his hand in a greater number of iconic records than even Kevin Shields. Read more »
!K7's vaunted DJ-KiCKS mix series has been rolling for more than 15 years now, and although there's no denying the series' quality, one could take issue with the severe lack of American representation. Well, that's about to change, as the next edition of DJ-KiCKS finds no fewer than four US DJs at the helm. Read more »
You knew it was coming: XLR8R's picks for the best records of 2010. We've split our list into two parts, the first of which we present today, spanning 25 ranked LPs or EPs, with a bit of verbiage about why we love each record included. At the top of this entry, we've also tacked on a small selection of Honorable Mentions from our editorial staff's personal faves. Check in tomorrow for the final piece of year-end coverage, and our favorite 15 releases from 2010. Read more »
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