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 »
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.
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 »
Lately it seems there's nothing the music world (read: Brooklyn) loves more than a little minimalistic chill-pop. The past year has seen the distinct rise of the faddish chillwave, and nipping at the heels of the movement is New York outfit Small Black, whose New Chain is a alluring minimalist pop record. Filled with fuzzy sonics and M83-esque Casio beats, New Chain simultaneously channels the Human League's catchy new wave, Gary Numan's electric strangeness, and Brian Eno's atmospheric quirk. Read more »
If you live across the pond, in London to be exact, you might want to include Vice's New Year's Eve Party at Old Blue Last among your night's string of decadent revelries. Why do we suggest this, you wonder? Well, aside from the fact that the epic shindig goes from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., the snarky brand has wrangled together a pretty stellar lineup, which includes the likes of year-end-list-favored UK DJ/producers Girl Unit and Pariah. To get folks excited for the party—or, as Vice puts it, feeling "more morally obligated to come"—Pariah put together an excellent mix for your streaming/downloading pleasure. Read more »
French DJ/producer Victor Watel (a.k.a. Panteros666) was once a member of the mid-'00, blog-friendly outfit The Teenagers, but now counts himself amongst the members of the Club Cheval crew along with Canblaster, Myd, and Sam Tiba. He's also keeping company these days with the folks at the well-respected Sound Pellegrino label, who just released his Kegstand EP. From that release comes this remix of Watel's "X Lova" tune by NY freak-house outfit Cubic Zirconia. The tricky trio worked the track into a creepy, clattering club number that grows more disconcerting as it progresses. Singer Tiombe Lockhart's voice turns from an airy croon with a tinge of confusion into a something like a dark incantation meant to wake the dead, and the music becomes increasingly distorted, ominous, and downright strange—right up until it shuts down. Save this one for the next time you DJ under a full moon. (via Discobelle)
Considering he's been busy dropping a healthy amount of excellent releases on his Hyperdub label, contributing to k7!'s DJ-Kicks series, and touring all over the world, Kode9 has had a solid 2010 and is poised to continue to expand on that in 2011 with the announcement of a new album to be released in early April. The second collaboration between Kode9 and The Spaceape, Black Sun, will be Hyperdub's first album of 2011 and, according to the label, we should "prepare for something very different from their last album and everything else around." Well, yeah. Read more »
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