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Download: The Saturday Knights "Foreign Affair"

One can't really call The Saturday Knights a rap group. Yes, there are lyrical stories delivered by group members Tilson and Barfly, and DJ Suspense has programmed some fairly sharp beats, but Mingle their latest album, is more classic rock than golden-era hip-hop, or perhaps just an amalgamation of the two. Where else would you find soulsters The Dap Kings on the same release as Kim Thayil, the guitarist for early '90s grunge outfit Soundgarden? Add Nirvana producer Jack Endino playing drums on a song and well, we're not really sure what to call this release, so peep this track and decide for yourself. Photo by Hilary Harris. 

Average: 7.8 (24 votes)

Download: A-Trak "Nike Plus (Nature Edit)"

Label: A-Trak

A-Trak's contribution to the Nike Run series is one of our current favorites here at the XLR8R office, so we thought we'd share the love with our readers by offering a little clip from the 45-minute track. The New York-based producer and turntable master showed off his electro-house chips for this project, but he didn't forget his hip-hop roots. Both styles, plus more, have been mashed together for this disc, and if you haven't grabbed your cross-trainers by the end of this, you're a hopeless cause. 

Average: 6.9 (40 votes)

Download: Curses! "What I Need (Sharkslayer Remix)"

Brooklyn's Trouble & Bass collective has a love of all things low-end, and the same goes for their latest release, this time from Finaland-based Top Billin' crew member Sharkslayer. Remixing this track from Curses! (who also happens to be T&B player Drop the Lime), Sharkslayer strips the musical elements down to their minimum, cranks up the bass, and let's this onslaught of electro-house and B-more breaks rip. Just add it to his already hugely popular remix catalog, which currently has the fancy of everyone from Diplo to BBC. 

Average: 7 (38 votes)

Download: Alias "Well Water Black feat. Yoni Wolf"

Label: anticon.

Alias is set to rise again with his first instrumental solo album in five years. During his hiatus, the man born Brendon Whitney has collaborated on a couple of projects and left his 8-year home in Oakland, California to move back to Portland, Maine. Oh yeah, and he's been hard at work crafting Resurgam, his most melodic album to date that's filled with electric guitars, strings, layered synth rhythms, and plenty of drum machines. Whitney also dabbles in ambient territory on this album with some one-minute interludes in between tracks. For "Well Water Black," he's joined by WHY? frontman and fellow anticon. artist Yoni Wolf. 

Average: 7.8 (51 votes)

Download: Craig Sopo "Shell Tone"

Producers and Midwest transplants Craig Sopo and lovehate bring some Detroit techno and Chicago house to the B-more music scene with Below the Line. Just released via their More or Less imprint, the digital EP from Sopo himself is packed with stabbing synth lines, chopped-up vocals, and a couple remixes by Josh Dahlberg and Beretta Music manager Brian Kage that are apparently great for both drives on the Interstate and raves in the middle of the day. “Shell Tone,” is the EP’s lead track, and is fit for the darkest hours on the dancefloor.  


Average: 7.8 (38 votes)

Download: Factor "Good Old Smokey (My Kanine) feat. Myka 9"

Label: Fake Four

Canadian producer Factor lives for making beats

Average: 7.7 (101 votes)

Download: Tanya Morgan "Be You feat. Czelena"

Tanya Morgan is not one but three people, and after unleashing their debut full-length, Moonlighting, in 2006 to much praise, Donwill, Ilyas, and Von Pea are set to join the Hieroglyphics crew on the road this summer for the Freshly Dipped Tour. Musically, the album's songs calls to mind '70s feel-good beats spun beneath sharp, conscious raps that have earned the group performances with Ghostface Killah and the respect of many a hip-hop heavyweight. The Bridge EP, just released this week, picks up where Moonlighting left off, and contains this track. 


Average: 7.3 (24 votes)

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