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Download: Sam Prekop "The Silhouettes"

Sam Prekop—yeah, we're as surprised to see his name here as you might be. In the 16 or so years that he and his band, The Sea and Cake, have been writing music, they've been mentioned maybe once or twice in our pages. But it's not because we don't like the music (admittedly, most of us have been fans of Chicago post-rock at one time or another), it just isn't exactly within the scope of XLR8R's focus. So why is this song here? Frankly, because it doesn't sound anything like The Sea and Cake. Sam Prekop's forthcoming solo record for Thrill Jockey, entitled Old Punch Card, is an album of instrumental explorations into the world of modular synthesizers. As heard on "The Silhouettes," Prekop created warbling, analog soundscapes out of melodic arpeggiations, flitting white noise, and low-frequency drones to create the nine songs on his new full-length. The shift in style has effectively transfered his reputation as a veteran indie crooner into that of a new live-electronics composer writing pieces on par with our favorite sound experimentalists. So, yeah, that's why you're reading about Sam Prekop. 

Average: 7.9 (48 votes)

Outbox: Josh Wink

Techno icon Josh Wink has been making music for 21 years. As a kid, he was so hungry to break into the early rave scene in his hometown of Philadelphia, PA, he'd work the clubs as a bar-back in order to hand off his mixes to the managers. Apparently, that kind of tenacity is what has made Wink what he is today: a busy DJ/producer taking his style of tribal techno around the world, all while running his own record label, Ovum. Read more » 

Download: Games "Heartlands"

Seeing as how Daniel Lopatin completely immerses himself in the alternate realities (read: songs) he creates as Oneohtrix Point Never, it's hard to imagine him working on anything other than those otherworldly soundscapes—let alone anything as upbeat as his Games project. The Brooklyn-based duo, which also includes Joel Ford (of Tiger City), recently released its first 7", Everything is Working, and the lush "Heartlands" is the b-side to that record. The song starts as a shimmering, sample-heavy dance tune, but slowly turns into an exploration of filtered atmosphere and cascading synth melodies. It's certainly nothing like Lopatin's solo moniker, but if we try extra hard, we can picture music like this playing in the dance clubs of Oneohtrix's hand-made dimensions. 

Average: 8.1 (49 votes)

Video: Tropics "Soft Vision"

Back in June, we posted this song from UK producer Tropics, one of the more recent additions to the Planet Mu roster. Since then, the 22-year-old artist has announced the release date for his debut single—October 4—and shared this video for "Soft Vision" with the world. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 08/20/2010

Download: Small Black "Photojournalist"

Label: Jagjaguwar

As we reported just last week, Brooklyn's DIY dream-pop outfit Small Black just finished work on its debut album, New Chain, and is set to release it on October 26 via Jagjaguwar. This track is the first single to be heard from that record, and it's chock full of all the woozy synth tones, mildly thumping dance beats, and hushed vocal work fans of the quartet have come to know and love. While the sound of "Photojournalist" is thick and filled to the brim with punchy sonics, it's the subtleties of the poignant instrumentation and the heartwarming sentiment delivered by the lyrics that draw us to Small Black's song. Being emotional in music is easy, but being graceful and understated—while still driving your point home—is something else entirely. 

Average: 7.6 (33 votes)

Caribou to Tour North America With Russian Futurists, Emeralds

It's no secret we love Caribou's latest record, Swim, so we'll continue to sing its praises and get a bit giddy inside every time he makes it into our native land to rock the party. Kicking off next month, band leader Dan Snaith and his group of touring musicians will take electronic psych-pop of Caribou's discography across North America through half of September and all of October. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 08/19/2010

Download: Signal Deluxe "Imperial Aerosol Kid ([a]pendics.shuffle Remix)"

Label: Blaq

We had a nice little e-chat with musical multi-tasker Kenneth James Gibson (pictured above) earlier this month before he dropped his first release under his own name, Delusional Tales and Non-Silence. Apparently, he was already itching to get back to one his other monikers, as he's just delivered this remix for Mexican production duo Signal Deluxe under the [a]pendics.shuffle name. Gibson's work with "Imperial Aerosol Kid" is a long-stretching remix full of deep house grooves and ethereal textures that bolster the original track's already sultry vibe into realms of exotic erotica. And it's one of the warmest, most lush productions we've heard from a man with a reputably chilly musical disposition. 

Average: 8 (41 votes)

CFCF Gives Away Free Slow-Jam Mixtape

It's been nearly a year since we got into the first album by Montreal's R&B-loving Balearic tunesmith CFCF, and a couple months since his remix EP, Drifts, came out, so yeah, we're ready for more from the soulful producer. And here it is: Mr. Michael Silver has a brand-new mixtape called Slow R&B For Zellers Locations Canada-Wide, and he's giving it away for free. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 08/19/2010

Booze, Boobs, Bricks, and More In Our NSFW Wrap-Up of the 11th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos

“We need TOTAL coverage!”

I kept repeating that line from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and my photographer, Kelly O, was clearly getting sick of it. It was 5:30 a.m. at the final day of last week's Gathering of the Juggalos, and we’d already been privy to a stabbing, a bricking, some country-bumpkin cocaine, and a guy named “Kiltman," who forgot where his penis was. Read more » 

What Is It: Tribal Guarachero

With each passing day, it seems that the the global bass tent becomes just a bit more crowded. Baile funk. Cumbia. Champeta. Mambo de la Calle. Kuduro. Kwaito. Shangaan Electro. The genres keep coming, and one of the latest to perk up gringo ears is tribal guarachero, a sound native to Mexico, particularly Mexico City and Monterrey. Read more » 

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