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Jónsi of Sigur Rós Preps Solo Record

Breaking away from his Sigur Rós and Jónsi & Alex projects, Icelandic frontman Jón Thor Birgisson has readied his debut solo album for XL, entitled Go. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/09/2009

XLR8R's Favorites of 2009: The Field

The Field's Axel Willner faced the pressures of following up a breakthrough album by making another great one.


Download: Numan "Skull Crusher"

Beginning with atmospheric, echo-chamber synths and machine-like secondary percussive flourishes, Numan's "Skull Crusher" explodes into glitched-out, distorted synth stabs, buzzing bass, and a crisp dubstep beat. At only 18, the Mancunian producer and DJ's work is anything but subtle, but the youngster has already received accolades from Mary Anne Hobbs, Oneman, and perhaps most importantly, Philly's Starkey and Dev 79, who are releasing the tune on their own Slit Jockey imprint. 

Average: 7.5 (56 votes)

Download: Liars "Scissor"

Label: Mute

The first track on Liars' forthcoming fifth album, Sisterworld, beguiles the listener—coaxing us into a soft bed of vocal melodies and quiet orchestral arrangements that, at the risk of sounding trite, sound not unlike something from a post-Kid A Radiohead. Then, ever so abruptly, a smash of drums and distorted guitars remind us this is indeed a Liars song. It's an interesting re-introduction to a band that continues to challenge themselves both musically and in concept. Sisterworld is out March 9 on Mute. 

Average: 6.4 (23 votes)

Review: Del the Funky Homosapien and Tame One Parallel Uni-Verses

Label: Gold Dust

In this Parallel Uni-Verse, that funk you like is back in style—if that funk is the laid-back, loop-heavy beat of '90s hip-hop overlaid with amiable wordplay harking back to Native Tongues and the Pharcyde. Read more » 

Dutty Artz Gives Out Free New Chief Boima EP

Brooklyn's go-to label for all beats international, Dutty Artz, posted a gracious offering for their fans on their website today. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/08/2009

Download: Muhsinah "Lose My Fuse"

Future-soul songstress Muhsinah gets the full Flying Lotus production treatment on "Lose My Fuse," a shuffling slice filled with wobbling beats, disembodied vocals, and some truly bizarre flourishes, like sexual pantings and little whistles. Just as the track gets going, it literally loses its fuse, morphing into an almost pastoral vocal landscape. Similarities to J*Davey aside, this is another bit of leftfield R&B sure to make its way into speakers all over. 

Average: 7.7 (21 votes)

XLR8R TV: Tune in an Afternoon: Dam-Funk and Nite Jewel

Two distinct LA flavors that taste great together!

A few weeks back when we were sitting around fantasizing who in Los Angeles we'd want to collaborate for our recurring series, Tune in an Afternoon, we pretty quickly came up with Dam-Funk and Nite Jewel. When we contacted them, it turned out they were fans of each other and had been looking for an excuse to collaborate. It was decided that Nite Jewel would produce and that their favorite store, LA's Future Music, would serve as the afternoon's launching pad. From there, things just got creepy.

Be sure to download their song, "Am I Gonna Make It," here. Read more » 

Download: Pantha Du Prince "The Splendour"

While minimal techno may have died in a storm of rote blips and clicks set against 4/4 kicks, some of the genre's better practitioners haven't given up the ghost, and Pantha Du Prince is a member of this small coterie. With a penchant for melancholic chord progressions, small rifts, and icy sonic landscapes, "The Splendour" is a slice of deep techno that keeps some minimalist aesthetic alive, but eschews the genre's microscopic tendencies in favor of a dichotomy between smaller aural gestures and grander, more lush synth sweeps. Like a more detail-obsessed Lawrence, Pantha Du Prince is sure to remain at the top of the minimal field with his next full-length, Black Noise, which arrives on February 9 of next year. 

Average: 7.7 (43 votes)

Download: Bisco Smith "Freshwater (Blockhead Remix)"

New York's Bisco Smith definitely knows how to spit, with an intelligent flow similar to Aesop Rock's early work. It is safe to say, though, that Blockhead's remix improves on the stuttering beats of the original, instead placing Smith's rhymes over a more traditional, yet more hype, late-'90s sound, replete with triumphant brass loops and low-slung, heavy bass. These are "freshwater flows," but Blockhead knows how to make them work in the most proper way. 

Average: 7 (23 votes)

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