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Review: General Elektriks Good City for Dreamers

Label: Quannum

The sophomore release from General Elektriks (a.k.a. Honeycut/Blackalicious keyboardist Herve Salters’ solo project) is, much like Honeycut, a quirky mix of retro funk and New Wave-y indie rock with some sublimely orchestrated musical moments. Salters is no Serge Gainsbourg, but the passable falsetto he displays on “Take Back the Instant,” “Little Lady,” “Engine Kickin’ In,” and “You Don’t Listen” suggests he may have picked up some vocal tips from Honeycut bandmate Bart Davenport. Read more » 

Download: The Phenomenal Handclap Band "You'll Disappear (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)"

Lifted from their self-titled debut, the R&B-inspired psych-disco of The Phenomenal Handclap Band's "You'll Disappear" gets an even larger dose of spacey effects and slow-burning grooves on Lindstrøm collaborator Prins Thomas' epic remix. The track, pulled from the forthcoming 15 to 20/You'll Disappear remix album, finds Thomas staying true to the Handclap Band's original antique sounds—making the composition seem more like a lengthy edit than an indulgent re-work. Still, the changes made by the Norwegian producer fit nicely alongside the album's other featured remixers The Glimmers, Horse Meat Disco, and Anthony Mansfield.  

Average: 7.6 (63 votes)

Last chance to enter XLR8R's CMJ Contest

Just in case you missed it, the deadline to enter XLR8R's CMJ 2009 Contest is today. Want to score yourself a pair of passes to this year's CMJ Music Marathon in New York? Then send us an email at cmj2009@xlr8r.com letting us know what artist you're most excited to see at CMJ and why. We'll be randomly drawing a winner at the end of the day, so don't slack on this one. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 10/09/2009

Robot Koch Readies Debut Solo Album for Release

The Berlin-based producer behind international club trio Jahcoozi and German post-rock outfit The Tape, Robot Koch has been hard at work crafting his debut full-length Death Star Droid, the follow up to his solo EP Aftershocks. Obviously, the man has a thing for robots, what with his moniker and record label Robots Don't Sleep, but this album sees the producer delving into the more human genres of jazz and hip-hop alongside dubstep and electro. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 10/09/2009

Download: Sabo & Cassady "Kuff Kumbia"

From Sol Selectas label head and NYC Latin-beat enthusiast Sabo, "Kuff Kumbia," created with the help of friend Cassady, finds the DJ/producer trading his usual house-friendly musical styles for more of a dancehall-meets-cumbia sound. The release from which this track is pulled, Bersa Discos #6, contains more remixes and re-edits of upbeat grooves from the worlds of cumbia, Colombian folk music, and merengue, and is Sabo's first release on the burgeoning West Coast label. (For more on Bersa Discos, check out our recent Labels We Love feature.) Thankfully, his switched-up style sounds as natural and well-worn as the indigenous music the producer culls his inspiration from. Release parties for Bersa Discos #6 are happening on both coasts—this Saturday in San Francisco and next Thursday in New York. Check out all the details here

Average: 7.8 (50 votes)

Download: Dam-Funk "Hood Pass Intact"

The fourth installment of Dam-Funk's 5-LP debut Toeachizown drops October 20, and the theme for the latest chapter is 'hood,' music of the street corners and boulevards of Southern California. "Hood Pass Intact" features a deep, one-note bass pulse, a dreamy bell-synth loop, and the gauzy boogie synths that Dam is known for. Add some gunshot sounds and the high frequency hip-hop squelch endemic to LA, and you have a perfect piece for cruising through the hood, whether you're in Philly, Detroit, or Turku.  

Average: 7.1 (47 votes)

Review: Cougar Patriot

Label: Counter

Instrumental rock is a hard sell, especially the brand made by Wisconsinites Cougar. The band's music is often chaotic, constantly changing and fiercely ambitious. On their second album, their experimental leanings are on full display, with music that can be considered "rock" only in the loosest sense of the word. Cougar's more interested in intensity than accessibility, so when songs work—see the crashing, layered “Florida Logic” or the tinkling loveliness of “Pelourinho”—they carry a visceral directness. Read more » 

˜scape Offers Free Download of Compilation CD

From the joining of Poland's Unsound Festival and Stefan Betke's (a.k.a. Pole) experimental electronic label ˜scape comes a new creation altogether, a compilation of collaborations entitled Connections. Written and recorded during a week-long session in Minsk after Belarusian producers and musicians were matched with partners from Germany, Poland, the UK, Switzerland, and Sweden, the internationally born music is said to range from "dark, heavy atmosphere" to more playful sounds across the 8-track compilation. In celebration of the upcoming release parties taking place throughout Poland, ˜scape has made the whole collaborative project available for free download on their website. Go there for more detailed information and check out the tracklist below. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 10/08/2009

Podcast 107: Douster

Youthful French producer and ZZK compatriot Douster has certainly made a splash in 2009 with his clubby European take on the various tropical rhythms (and riddims) emerging from around the globe. Whether it be dancehall or kuduro, cumbia or UK funky, Douster can be counted on to deliver an uptempo, chopped-and-sliced dancefloor filler. Read more » 

Jneiro Jarel: A nomadic hip-hop head keeps it fluid in viberia.

Producer/MC Jneiro Jarel prefers not to call any one city his own. Not wanting to fall into hip-hop’s territorial obsession, Jarel is more concerned with pushing his various leftfield projects forward than claiming certain area codes. “The thing about me, I always brought my vibe anywhere that I go,” he explains. “That’s why you can’t really put a finger on where I’m from. I call it a Viberian vibe—this is my own world.”

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