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Download: Elzhi "Motown 25 feat. Royce Da 5'9""

Label: Fat Beats

Ah Detroit. Land of abandoned buildings, shitty weather, and a highly esteemed hip-hop scene full of colorful characters and compelling music. eLZhi's a longtime member of this pack, having risen to success in the late '90s with Slum Village and his work with the late Dilla, but The Preface, due out next month, marks his first solo full-length. A skilled MC who likes his rhymes perfect, he enlisted fellow Motor City veteran Black Milk to steer the production helm, then invited Royce Da 5'9", Guilty Simpson, T3 of Slum Village, Phat Kat, and more to guest on the album. "Motown 25," as its title suggests, features Motown flavors laid over heavy beats, and is warmer than a piping hot plate of soul food. Photo by Jeremy Deputat. 

Average: 7.6 (40 votes)

Download: Her Space Holiday "Just Another Day"

Label: Mush

Just another day, just another release for indietronic maestro Marc Bianchi (a.k.a. Her Space Holiday). The California-born producer has, over the last several years, unleashed a hefty number of full-lengths, EPs, and singles, and he just dropped another one, Sleepy Tigers, this past week over at Mush. The four-track EP's title track is the lead single off Bianchi's forthcoming new full-length, and is accompanied by three brand-new compositions, including this upbeat number full of bells, claps, and accordions. 


Average: 7.7 (17 votes)

Download: Bronx River Parkway "La Valla"

Latin soul's back, and it's courtesy of New York-based collective Bronx River Parkway. The multi-member group that boasts no less than four vocalists is set to release San Sebastian 152 through Truth & Soul, and the album marks the band's first release since a lone single in 2005. "La Valla" opens with a bubbling bassline that's joined by pianos, horns, raps, and more, all of which slink and groove through three-plus minutes and beckon the listener to get up and dance. 


Average: 7.5 (24 votes)

Download: Tokyo Police Club "The Baskervilles (AmpLive Remix feat. Aesop Rock and Yak Ballz)"

Saddle Creek bands


Average: 8.2 (54 votes)

Download: Future Rapper et al. "C2 H5 Oh Baby, I Love Your Wayst"

Warhol Buck$ just took over the Asthmatic Kitty office again (the first time was last year), and the label staff is none too pleased about the fact that he's introducing the pay-what-Warhol-Buck$-wants model for his upcoming Land of a Thousand Rappers Vol. 2. In a recent press release, Buck$ explained, "I was intrigued by recent attempts in the industry to provide the illusion of choice with regards to the cost of a record. I decided to improve the model by removing the illusion. And the choice." Read what you will between the lines up there. The important thing to note is that Buck$ is actually a fictional character created for the Land of a Thousand Rappers series, supposedly in order to satirize hip-hop culture. He's joined by his equally fictional possé on this track, and if you think all of this is a bit bizarre, hit download now and listen to the track. 


Average: 7.5 (34 votes)

Download: Frank Omura "Juggernaut Audition"

Label: Moodgadget

IDM's sonic palette has expanded since the genre was born in the early '90s, so that it's no longer reserved for dark, faceless albums on labels like Warp and Rephlex, but also encompasses gauzy guitars, hip-hop beats, and releases with names like The Unshaven Face EP (well we think it's kind of a funny name). Producer Zach Saginaw made the latter under his Frank Omura guise, and there's a lot in this particular track–from the sweeping string arrangements to the unpredictable tempo–that harkens to the emotional side of dance music. This one was up for grabs courtesy of Moodgadget, a label that appears to be further broadening the scope of IDM with tracks like this. 

Average: 7.8 (135 votes)

Download: Tobacco "Truck Sweat"

Label: anticon.

Black Moth Super Rainbow doesn't always make music you'd necessarily call uplifting, but Tobacco, the leader of this Pittsburgh-based five-piece, has delved into even darker territory on his debut solo album. The sinister quality of Fucked Up Friends isn't achieved lyrically though, seeing as vocals are sparse, and when they do appear, they're tweaked and twisted to levels beyond actual understanding. Rather, Tobacco relies on persistent analog noise that needles and synth hooks that hypnotize, so that the overall effect is akin to walking through some bizarre enchanted world where you never know who or what you might meet at the next corner. Spooky! 

Average: 7.7 (138 votes)

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