The quality of music available (legally) for free in the world right now never ceases to amaze us here at XLR8R headquarters. Add to the growing list a new endeavor from NYC label UNO, which has just launched a bi-monthly series of free digital releases. To kick off the series, UNO has tapped Venezuelan producer Arca, who delivers four tracks of twisted, gritty electronics that traverse the territory between futuristic bass, abstract house, and instrumental hip-hop with an expert ease. "Spira" is the EP's final offering, and, clocking in at over seven minutes, it really feels like two tracks. First, Arca takes us along with a laid-back beat and gorgeously soulful sample collage, luring us into a purple-minded state until he eventually feels like flipping it all around for something entirely more dark and brooding. You can grab the free Baron Libre EP (artwork above) here, and be on the lookout for Arca's proper UNO debut, which is set to drop in March.
For some, the work of Norwegian producer Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is irrevocably important and possibly one of the biggest catalysts for the prominent rise of the "space-disco" sound throughout the aughts. Dancefloor gems like "I Feel Space" and "There's A Drink in My Bedroom and I Need a Hot Lady" have certainly become classics in their own right, but the sprawling psychedelia of Lindstrøm's proper debut LP, Where You Go I Go Too, and his collaborative work with Oslo-based vocalist Christabelle on the brilliant pop album Real Life Is No Cool firmly testify to the artist's wide-ranging versatility. As he continues to showcase his abilities and expand his notable discography (the latest addition to which will be the daringly maximalist Six Cups of Rebel LP for Smalltown Supersound), Lindstrøm's influential shadow also grows; it wouldn't be a stretch to say that it's already touched up-and-coming Brooklyn duo Blondes. Read more »
Kompakt's annual collection of pop-tinged soundscapes enters its twelfth year with label mainstays Wolfgang Voigt, Superpitcher, and The Field's Axel Willner (operating here as Loops of Your Heart) joined by a cast of names old and new. The resulting ten tracks are aligned in their gradual approaches to ambient composition with a handful of highlights and a few low points found along the way. Read more »
Communikey, the annual forward-thinking music and arts festival that takes place in Boulder, Colorado, is set to celebrate its five-year anniversary with the event's most ambitious and comprehensive line-up to date. Read more »
Bubbling Chilean producer Daniel Klauser has been tapped by Top Billin' for an EP he's titled Souling (artwork above), and here, we have the effort's final original production, "I Wanna Talk To You." Led by a vocal line reminiscent of '80s R&B, the track finds Klauser building a sleek slice of tropical house with perfectly executed drops and a rolling rhythm that is just about impossible to resist. With the tuned kicks, island elements, and array of catchy melodies, we can't help but be reminded of the productions of Hackman, or some similarly smooth crafter of futuristic house. That said, Klauser brings his own flair to the table, which we suggest you introduce yourself to further to by streaming the full Souling EP over on Top Billin's Bandcamp.
Earlier this week, soul crooner D' Angelo returned to the stage after essentially disappearing from music for the past decade. Not surprisingly, people around the globe have been summarily freaking out, likely fueled by memories of listening to Voodoo and watching that infamous video for "Untitled (How Does It Feel)." Count Night Slugs co-founder L-Vis 1990 (pictured above) amongst the throngs of excited fans, as he commented, "As soon as I heard D'Angelo was coming back, I put on Voodoo, booked tickets to see him in Paris, then made this edit of one of my very favourite D tracks." The original "Untitled" was already a stripped-down R&B classic, and L-Vis has kept that minimal vibe intact while layering pieces of D'Angelo's dulcet tones over a pulsing house rhythm. Think of it as an easy way to slide something smooth and sexy into your DJ sets.
Ben Sims, London's long-time champion of heavy techno, has announced a new EP, Slow Motion, which will see a release through his own Theory imprint and come complete with an impressive set of remixes. Read more »
If you paid close enough attention to the events that transpired over the course of Red Bull Music Academy's 2011 edition in Madrid, you'll most likely recognize the names of all three producers who have contributed to "You Said You Loved Me." That's right, Krystal Klear, Broke One (pictured above), and Ghosts On Tape were all in attendance for a session of last year's RBMA and that is where they crafted this slice of '90s-inspired, peak-hour house. Furthermore, the good people at RBMA have announced a forthcoming double-disc compilation, Various Assets, which will come loaded with more tasty collaborative tracks such as this. And for all the budding producers out there hoping to get their chance to similarly learn and work with like-minded collaborators, take note that RBMA is now accepting applications for its 2012 sessions in New York. You can head here for all the details and watch a video which explains exactly what a session at RBMA entails, after the jump. Read more »
Barcelona's DJ Raff is one of the newest names to be added to the roster over at Nacional—an imprint that has been pushing the envelope of contemporary Latin music for years now. In a stroke of musical generosity, the label has passed along this video for Raff's "Digital Rain," along with a free download of the bliss-tinged beat. Read more »
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