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Download: Brenmar "Back Beating"

This internet exclusive comes to us courtesy of Brooklyn's Brenmar and a snippet of what sounds like fellow New Yorker Beyonce. The diva's sampled voice provides the track with a repetitive—but not tiresome—hook that proclaims the song title over a buoyant house rhythm and bulbous bassline. The meat of "Back Beating" is eventually joined with an elastic lead synth and some melodic stabs, making for a tune that is quite solid in its altogether straightforwardness and not-so-flashy aesthetic. Take this one to the club with you while you wait for Brenmar's upcoming four-song EP—which includes remixes from Ikonika & Optimum and DJ Rashad—to be released in late October on Discobelle

Average: 7.3 (26 votes)
 
 

Download: Lazer Sword "Batman"

The first single to be heard from multinational duo Lazer Sword's debut, self-titled LP (out on November 2) is "Batman," a steadily grooving and intricately made production that seems to host about a hard drive's worth of percussive micro-samples, dissonant synth tones, and cosmic sound effects. And for one of the first times in Low Limit's and Lando Kal's collaborative career, the production duo uses vocal work that isn't rap. A soulful female vocalist croons some indecipherable passages, a ghostly "ooooh" wafts in the background, and a talkbox eventually makes its way onto the scene proclaiming "I can't help myself" something something. To be fair, it doesn't matter quite what it's saying, but instead how it's saying it. If "Batman" is evidence of the growth of Lazer Sword's sound, it's apparent that you can no longer group LL and LK in with the generic glitch-hop, lazer-bass, or related beat scenes that have grown slowly into ubiquity. The soulful tendencies of post-dubstep, UK funky, and wonky bass have infiltrated the duo's palette and helped transform its work into something else entirely. Catch more Lazer Sword tunes, including remixes from Nguzunguzu and Rustie, when the Batman 12" comes out soon on Innovative Leisure. (via FADER

Average: 8.3 (66 votes)
 
 

Download: Bob Holroyd "African Drug (T.Williams Keye Mix)"

First Listen
Label: Phonica

There has been plenty of chatter about '90s house recently, but most of it seems to center around classic Ibiza vibes and proto-trance tunes. Given music's current obsession with the beach and so-called tropical sounds, that makes sense. On the other hand, Bob Holroyd originally released "African Drug" back in 1994, and it's being reissued despite the fact doesn't exactly conjure images of palm trees and sandy shores. Holroyd's original is highlighted by some melodic chimes and what sounds like a native drum circle, but it's without question a bit of a spooky tune. That goes double for this re-work from T.Williams (pictured above) of Deep Teknologi. You may remember him as the artist behind the first Local Action release—you can still stream the EP on our site—but on this remix, which doesn't appear on the physical release, he's gone dark and psychedelic, cranking the drums and driving the listener into a scary new psychological realm, as if dosed by a powerful shaman's mysterious, consciousness-expanding brew. The "African Drug" 12" drops on September 27, and also includes an epic Four Tet remix along with another T.Williams effort that's a lot more straight-ahead and melodic. 

Average: 8 (30 votes)
 
 

Download: Holy Ghost! "Static on the Wire (RAC Remix)"

We were jamming this electro-flavored remix of NYC duo Holy Ghost! all weekend long. And when we say electro, we don't mean idiotic nu-rave, we mean delightful synths, vintage claps, and bright melodies, all courtesy of the mysterious RAC (a.k.a. Remix Artist Collective). Admittedly, we're a little creeped out by the RAC website, which reads like some kind of lifestyle marketing nightmare and seems to offer professional remixing services on demand. Sample quote: "We aim to maintain a style of remixing that strays from the 'club mix' archetype, creating new incarnations of songs that stem from the original structure, but expand on their genre and musical arrangement. RAC mixes typically feature a unique blend of hip-hop and electro drum samples, analog synthesizers, melodic hooks, and original performed instrumentation." Um, yikes? Can we just pretend that we never saw that? For all we know, this remix was made with the assistance of an "urban tastemaker" focus group. Sadly, it TOTALLY WORKED, cuz we're still loving this version. 

Average: 7.6 (40 votes)
 
 

Download: Christoph Andersson "Tuxedo"

Label: TKVR

Working with the same kind of funky basslines, punching dance beats, and filter washes of the French Touch greats, 18 year-old Christoph Andersson crafted the first single from his forthcoming self-titled EP for the New Orleans-based TKVR label. The track is called "Tuxedo," and it has a sole purpose: to make you dance. Thankfully, Andersson is thoughtful in the creation of his groove-demanding tune. Not only is a strong and ecstatic melody at the front and center of "Tuxedo," the many elements that create its catchy hooks are made of lovingly sampled, cleanly chopped, and painstakingly orchestrated sounds that all work simultaneously toward the collective goal. And especially for a kid who's barely out of high school, that's no small accomplishment. The Christoph Andersson EP will be available on November 13. 

Average: 8.3 (91 votes)
 
 

Download: Al Ripken Jr. "Game Time"

B-more bass lover and Top Billin associate Al Ripken Jr. just shared a short 5-song EP of beat vignettes for free download, called Blast Off. One of our favorites from the EP is "Game Time," a slightly less hip-hop-indebted production than the accompanying four. While it still has a bit of that lazer-bass/future-blap/whatchamacallit vibe, Ripken's tune sounds inspired by more straightforward dance-music genres. The kick still bounces tenaciously and is far less frequent than a standard four-on-the-floor beat, but it's the other sounds—synth pulses sounding off in the distance, hi-hats clicking on the upbeat, and claps cracking tidily and consistently throughout—that sets "Game Time" apart from Blast Off's other audacious numbers. 

Average: 7.9 (43 votes)
 
 

Download: Hostage "Roll (Samo Sound Boy Remix)"

Looks like the fall season is going to be a busy one for the Nightshifters label, beginning with the release of the free Roll EP from UK bass fiend Hostage. The title track—check the video—is a speaker-rattling monster that rises and falls like a rollercoaster, but we prefer this remix from LA's Samo Sound Boy, who dials back the wobble bass, steps up the snares, and tosses in a few snippets of dancehall vocals. It's still a serious club tune, albeit one that won't dangerously rumble your internal organs. (We realize that may or may not be a good thing, depending on who is reading this.) More Nightshifters offerings are on the way, as the imprint recently added a fresh-faced new crop of artists to its roster. Look for new music from Canblaster, Distal, Magnum, and Talk to drop soon. 

Average: 7.3 (28 votes)
 
 

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