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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)

Download: Ku Bo feat. Daniecell "Su Manita (Daniel Haaksman Remix)"

Label: Man

Ku Bo's Latin-flavored "Su Manita" gets punched up a few notches by Daniel Haaksman, who not only speeds the track's BPM to 145, but also adds enough intense electro melodies, elided vocal snips, and percussive flourishes to make any club go absolutely insane. Taken from the Ku Bo Remixes EP, which comes out today. 

Average: 5.3 (29 votes)

Download: Salvador Santana feat. GZA "Keyboard City (Dan Deacon Remix)"

Only a total genius nutcase like Dan Deacon could remix a remix and get away with it. Baltimore's most infamous party-starter makes GZA's take on Salvador Santana into a synth-drenched, vocoder-laced piece of hypnotism that almost begs the listener to smoke some heady weed and put it on repeat. With high-frequency whirs and GZA's voice panning throughout the track, it is difficult to even conjure the idea of the original, which was elegantly produced by The Hood Internet

Average: 6.8 (38 votes)

Download: Telepathe "In Your Line (DJ /rupture and Matt Shadetek Remix)"


From one of XLR8R's favorite new albums, DJ /rupture & Matt Shadetek's Solar Life Raft, comes this remix of Telepathe's "In Your Line." This version trades in the original's drumline percussion for slow-moving beats and atmosphere, making for one of Life Raft's more serene moments. Here, we're given an exclusive opportunity to check out the reworked song unmixed from the album's other bass-heavy components. You can hear more stand-alone tracks from Rupture & Shadetek on the digital-only compilation Solar Life Raft: The Ingredients when it's made available this February. 

Average: 7.3 (52 votes)

Download: Cazals "Life is Boring (Runaway Remix)"

Label: The Hours

Here, Brooklyn's Runaway tries their hand at "Life is Boring," the posthumous single from indie-dance outfit Cazals. The now-defunct UK band's song is re-envisioned by the NY duo as a tropical-influenced disco number fitting for beach parties and intergalactic journeys alike. More remixes from Jali, Viking, and Josh Pillbox can be found on the Life is Boring single when it sees release December 8. Order it now from

Average: 5.3 (36 votes)

Download: Freeway & Jake One "Know What I Mean"

From The Stimulus Package, Freeway's forthcoming follow up to his '07 sophomore release, Free At Last, comes "Know What I Mean," the Philadelphia MC's tribute to hood euphemisms. Assembled by Seattle's Jake One, the veteran producer behind the boards on the entire album, the track's beat centers around a constant organ melody, plucked guitar riff, and soulful vocal sample. It may not be the freshest idea, but the music works perfectly, as it allows Freeway's non-stop verbiage to take center stage amongst the song's varied instrumental elements. 

Average: 7.3 (37 votes)

Download: Tycho "Coastal Brake"

Label: Ghostly

Setting aside all comparisons to a certain haze-hidden Scottish duo, the latest single from San Francisco's Tycho is probably one of the most melodic and subtly upbeat Balearic tracks in recent memory. Acoustic guitars, delayed synths, and atmospheric ocean sounds all meet atop a subdued house beat on producer Scott Hansen's ballad to the beach, "Coastal Brake." If the warm, inviting tones of Tycho's third single, taken from an as-yet-untitled debut album coming in 2010 on Ghostly, aren't reason enough to get your hands on the 12" release, maybe the detailed and beautiful packaging (done by Hansen himself, who also does design work under the name ISO50) will get you digging in those pockets. Coastal Brake is out on digital and vinyl formats December 8. 

Average: 7.8 (93 votes)

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