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Download: Palac "Kind Things Sing"

Label: Palacmusic

Journalists and critics love to pontificate about "new media" and the phenomenon of "media convergence" and more often than not the discussions devolve in semantic arguments or grandiose visions of a future that never quite seems to be now. Well, beneath the chattering of people who love to hear themselves speak are the sounds of people who are pushing the limits of digital technology and making that grandiose future exist right now. Take digital-renaissance-man Peter Prautzsch as a shining example; the music he makes as Palac nary enters in the material world. From his field recording sources and electronic compositions to WAV/MP3 only releases, his Palac tracks float instantly from person to person without ever touching anyone's hands. Take a quick look around his website and you'll find his video and design work, as well a link to Frozen Elephants, the "Creative Commons Netlabel" he co-runs to release electronic music for free. Of course, it wouldn't matter that much if his oeuvre weren't so deeply in tune with a warm, material world that the work itself never exists in. Wyatt Williams 

Average: 7.7 (36 votes)
 
 

Download: The Grouch "Artsy"

The Living Legends crew counts eight west coast members among their ranks, spread mostly between Los Angeles and Oakland, California. Prolific crew member Corey Scoffern, known as the The Grouch, has been releasing solo and collaborative albums for well over a decade now, notably recording with fellow Living Legend Eligh as G&E and appearing on a ceaseless stream of singles. Scoffern gave XLR8R a peek into the touring life in Issue 118 and talked about eating healthy, driving his veggie oil/biodiesel powered Ford F-350, and hanging with RZA at The Roxy. "Artsy" comes from Show You The World, a solo album inspired in part by his latest collaboration-parenting. Wyatt Williams 

Average: 6.5 (36 votes)
 
 

Download: Funckarma "Senservice"

Don and Roel Funcken, brothers from the Netherlands, have made bass-heavy music as Funckarma for nearly ten years - mostly crafting dark, electronic hip-hop beats while also working in the science-fiction-tinged rap group Shadow Huntaz. The recent explosion of dubstep seems to make perfect sense with their style and the new Dubstoned EP1 isn't shy about it. "Senservice" makes some of the shadowy beats and bass we've been hearing so much about lately. Wyatt Williams 

Average: 7.2 (28 votes)
 
 

Download: Ellen Allien "Bim"

In the somewhat faceless world of techno music, Ellen Allien is a shining star. Over the years, her albums and collaborations have rightfully propelled her further into a spotlight that inches close to crossover-pop success, but, her fourth solo album, SooL, is a bit of a deviation from this, steeped as it is in the underground sounds of minimal techno. Her latest tracks capture the heavy and sparse atmosphere of dim gatherings in Germany's reunified capital. The whispered hook on "Bim" is as catchy as it is uncanny, reminding us that Allien can play anything she wants and still keep her subtle touch. Wyatt Williams 

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iTunes | eMusic
Average: 6.8 (63 votes)
 
 

Download: Sebastian Tellier "Sexual Sportswear (Donovan Remix)"

In a match made for a white-powder-coated heaven, Sebastian Tellier has teamed with Dov Charney to sell the Sexuality album exclusively in American Apparel retail stores. Perhaps this combination is a little hard to grasp, so allow me to elaborate: the playboy French artist Tellier has struck a deal with the uber-sleazy playboy CEO Charney to sell an album about sex and working out at a retail store of clothes for, uh, sex and working out. We're still trying to figure out how this pairing came about. Do they have the same dealer in Paris? Is there some sort magic phone made of solid gold that deals like this are made on? Either way, this Donovan remix is making us itchy to get in some florescent spandex and find a CEO to blow for money. Wyatt Williams 

Average: 7.6 (26 votes)
 
 

Download: Dusk & Blackdown "Focus (Excerpt)"

Label: Keysound

As both a music journalist and a musician, Martin Clark walks on both sides of a sometimes tenuous line. While the writer blogs and pens articles for the occasional magazine (including this feature for XLR8R), the musician assumes the name Blackdown and produces some dark and heavy dubstep with Dusk. Rather than sounding like the work of a musician who sometimes writes, Blackdown's tracks seem informed by the wealth of knowledge he has collected while documenting the shady ins and outs of London's grime and dubstep scenes. Case in point: Margins Music, the album from Dusk & Blackdown, conceptually visits the fractured, culturally isolated districts of London, making observations that could be attributed to journalists and musicians alike. "Focus" features some epic, moody synth and rhythm work from Dusk, making for a single worth writing about. Wyatt Williams 

Average: 7.7 (50 votes)
 
 

Download: Drop The Lime "I Love New York"

Luca Venezia is ready to rattle your skull. Working under the Drop The Lime alias and spinning at the Trouble and Bass monthly party in NYC, Venezia works the low end through a mish-mash of genres connected by bone-crushing bass lines. Lucky for bass heads outside of Gotham, he's taking his epic dubstep and breakcore mixes on a long road of tour dates across North America, along with a few stops on the other side of the Atlantic. "I Love New York" comes from his upcoming EP for Trouble & Bass, Like Thunder. Wyatt Williams 

Average: 6.8 (52 votes)
 
 

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