If you're anything like us, you might believe that one of life's most rewarding simple pleasures is downloading free, high-quality music. (We'd put it somewhere between finding money in your pocket and scoring a sweet parking space.) Based on the slew of free EPs they've been dropping throughout the year, it would seem that the folks at net label Cut seem to agree. The latest release is from Manchester-based Sigmafly (a.k.a. Tom Holmes), who offers up five ambient-leaning tracks with a similar style to that of fellow Cut artists Great Skies and Essáy. On "Radio Sleep," Holmes creates a dreamy soundscape of disembodied vocals, tinkling piano, and echoing percussion that stands strong on its own, but works even better in the context of his first-rate (not to mention free) Tetrachrome EP.
Over the past few months, XLR8R has been curating a special set of charts for Beatport. Los Angeles-based Kingdom is an artist who frequently appears on our radar, as the Night Slugs crew member and Fade to Mind boss continues to combine futuristic dancefloor insticts with his feverish passion for hip-hop and R&B. Read more »
Although Tiga's Turbo imprint is often affiliated with electro-leaning, big-room dancefloor cuts, the label does maintain an unabashed love of proper techno sounds. It's latest single, "The Fall," is a quality piece of acid techno from Milano. While there isn't much in the way of biographical information available for Milano, the single does include a hard-hitting remix from UK bass stalwart Untold, along with a beatless "synthapella" version. Read more »
Sample-loving dance-pop duo Javelin continues its idiosyncratic approach to production and performance with this off-kilter track, a song composed entirely of sounds recorded while roaming about the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. "By Hook or by Crook" sees the multifarious pair banging chains against fences, smashing logs on rocks, and standing dangerously close to reversing trucks, all in the name of creating an unconventional percussive jam. You can watch the members of Javelin as they roam about their hood and craft beats in the back of their car here.
When it comes down to it, Zomby isn't really an artist concerned with albums, or—we should say—the kind of flow that helps make a strong album. But that's exactly part of what defines the anonymous producer's records: Even the consistent UK hardcore revivalism of Where Were U in '92 is marked by abrupt starts and stops, and Dedication, one of the strongest LPs of 2011, sounds more like the leaked beat tape of a frantic insomniac than a calculated artist statement. So, it's no surprise that the Nothing EP sounds like nothing more than a requisite follow-up release to help promote Zomby's new 4AD album, which it likely is. Thankfully, his leftovers deserve about as much attention as his main courses. Read more »
Download: Jazzanova "Look What You're Doin To Me feat. Phonte (Motor City Drum Ensemble Remix - Morid and Hifi3000 Dub Edit)"
It's been over eight years since German production collective Jazzanova (pictured above) released their first full-length compilation of remixes and, incidentally, it's been just about as long since XLR8R has actively covered the group. But with a new remix compilation, Upside Down, due out in January, we felt like it was a good time to revisit the crew, if not based on its own merits, then for the quality of remixes from the likes of Mr. Scruff and Motor City Drum Ensemble. As a teaser before the 16-track compilation is released, Jazzanova let slip a couple of 12"s featuring alternative remixes of some of the more promising cuts, including this edit of the MCDE remix by Morid and Hifi3000, which takes the rather mediocre original and transforms it into a jazzy slice of dancefloor-ready, disco-tinged house.
For the third installment of its Universus compilation series, Miami's Circuitree imprint is focusing on music that can vaguely be described as dubstep, or at least as music that draws inspiration from the European dubstep of the recent past. The compilation, Universus Vol. III - A Post Dubstep Affair (artwork pictured above), contains cuts from 13 different producers from five different countries, including this one from the Netherlands' Fedbymachines. "Reflections" draws from the more subdued elements of dubstep, veering away from the hyperactive wobble bass the genre is frequently associated with and instead focusing on laid-back, 2-stepping rhythms. The entire compilation can be downloaded for free here.
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