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Download: Dark Sky "Standoff"

As a sort of late Christmas present to its fans, UK production trio Dark Sky posted this tune on the web as a free download. "Standoff" is another strong example of the kind of moody and enticing music the outfit crafts, which is a large part of why we named Dark Sky one of 2011's best new artists, but the track also sports a quasi-dubstep slant that's a fresh vibe for the group. We're glad to see that the boys are keeping busy. (via Box Musique

Average: 8.2 (66 votes)

Review: Para One Mother EP

Label: Marble

The three-track Mother EP by Marble co-owner Para One arrives ahead of the artist's first album for his new imprint and his first proper LP since 2006's Epiphanie. Though he has certainly kept busy releasing a number of solo and collaborative EPs and singles in between, the Parisian producer's music hasn't really changed much during that time. He still favors hyper-compressed soundscapes, straightforward rhythms, and loading each production with uniquely handcrafted sounds, not to mention that he arranges it all like a pro. It's just too bad that his formula has grown a bit stale over the years. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 01/02/2012

Download: Wintercoats "Forest of Lovers (Southern Shores Remix)"

Label: Cascine

While the concept of melding pop music with electronic sounds is nothing new, it's hard to think of many imprints operating these days that do it quite as well as Cascine. In celebration of the young label's busy 2011, not to mention what's looking to be a promising 2012, Cascine has offered up this new remix of Wintercoats' "Forest of Lovers" by Canadian outfit Southern Shores. The original appeared on Wintercoats' (pictured above) Sketches EP, but here, the guys from Southern Shores have bathed the song in warm, swirling synth melodies and employed some simple Balearic beats. Look for new music from both Wintercoats and Southern Shores to drop on Cascine later in the year, along with new efforts from Jensen Sportag, Chad Valley, The Whendays, and more. 

Average: 8.3 (46 votes)

See You in 2012... Check Out Our Best of 2011

This time of year, the music world pretty much slows to a crawl, so we here at XLR8R are going to jump on the opportunity to take a little breather. We know it's hard to go without the daily dose of free MP3s, news, videos, podcasts, reviews, and all the other bits of information that get posted around here, but don't worry—things will be up and running again on Monday, January 2. In the meantime, feel free to look around the site, particularly at the litany of Best of 2011 lists we posted over the past two weeks. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/22/2011

Check Out a Mix by Stingray313 for Unknown to the Unknown

The guy responsible for our #34 release of 2011, Stingray313 (a.k.a. DJ Stingray), has just unleashed a brand-new mix for UK label Unknown to the Unknown. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/22/2011

Para One to Drop New EP via Marble

Arriving on January 2, Mother is the brand-new EP from French producer Para One, which he will release via his collaborative imprint with Surkin and Bobmo, Marble. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/22/2011

Keysound Recordings Announces New Release by Dusk and Kowton

UK imprint Keysound, pegged as one of XLR8R's top labels of 2011, will kick off 2012 by releasing a three-song collaborative effort from London-based producer Dusk and Bristol resident Kowton (pictured above). Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/22/2011

XLR8R's Best of 2011: Releases, Part Two

This is the end, the final installment of XLR8R's Best of 2011 coverage. Read more » 

Download: Nocow "Sever Ties"

Pacific Northwest-based collective Dropping Gems has announced a follow-up compilation to last March's Gem Drops that features tracks from a number of forward-thinking beatmakers, including Daedelus, Asura, Mndsgn, S.Maharba, and Strangeloop. The compilation features a variety of cutting-edge music, ranging from experimental soundscapes to bass-laden dance jams. "Sever Ties," from Russian producer Nocow, is on the more subdued end of the spectrum, and offers up a dreamy slice of garage with chopped up vocals and an erhu sample throughout that gives it a distinctly Asian feel. The 20-song collection, simply titled Gem Drops Two (artwork above, tracklist after the jump), will be available on January 12 through Dropping Gems' Bandcamp page as a "name your price" download. Consider putting something besides a "0" in the blank, however, as 100% of the money raised will go the American Cancer Society to support cancer research. (Plus, a limited supply of cassette tapes will be available for those who donate $15 or more).  Read more » 

Average: 8.3 (176 votes)

Review: Nic Fanciulli & Rolando "The Test"

Label: Saved

Anytime a new record appears from Detroit veteran and Underground Resistance alum Rolando, people are going to take notice. In recent years, his production output has slowed considerably, even as the appreciation for his body of work continues to swell. "The Test" is a collaboration with another veteran artist, Saved label boss Nic Fanciulli, who brings a celebrated track record of his own to the proceedings. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/22/2011

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