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Download: Chelsea Wolfe "The Wasteland"

In the recent press for her forthcoming long-player Ἀποκάλυψις (said like "apokalypsis"), LA-based artist Chelsea Wolfe's sound is often referred to as "doom folk" or worse, but we find that to be a bit of a misnomer. As the bellowing dirge called "The Wasteland" indicates, she is simply a gifted singer and musician as interested in dark electronic soundscapes as she is in memorable songcraft. This cut from the as-yet-unreleased LP is all distorted organ drones, smashing drum-machine beats, and unsettling, discordant noise, but in the midst of that miasma of sound is Wolfe's low-register croon, simultaneously calling us into the murk and warning us just how dismal it is down there. We can't venture to call it soul, but damn if it doesn't have that in spades. Hear the rest of Wolfe's Ἀποκάλυψις when it's available via Pendu Sound on August 23. (via Altered Zones

Average: 7.2 (34 votes)

Download: Motorboater "Lessons"

We'll just come right out and say it: The number one reason this track is making its way into XLR8R's download section is that it reminds a hell of a lot of our favorite album from last year, Delorean's gorgeous Subiza. The summery "Lessons," by Kansas City-based artist Motorboater, boasts nearly all of the Balearic-inspired trademarks that made the aforementioned record so lovable. Pattering percussion loops and thumping dance rhythms kick the whole thing into gear, sun-bleached synth chords and treated guitar riffs immediately tug at your heartstrings, and tweaked vocal samples float in and out of earshot over the top of Daniel Eaton's quietly plaintive vocal hooks. It's all quite nostalgic, yes, but not without its own subtle charms. We'll see how rest of Motorboater's new album compares when Sport drops later this month. 

Average: 7.9 (56 votes)

Download: Aera "Monte Sacro"

By all accounts, Peru-based German house producer Aera (a.k.a. Ralf Schmidt) has been pretty busy in the past year. From creating his own tunes to dropping floor-rocking remixes, the Aleph Music label boss is an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with. Now, he's just released The Third Wave, his brand-new EP, and to get you excited about it, he's put on offer "Monte Sacro," a choice house cut of the finest order. Featuring an almost narrative-like flow, the track gradually builds from the faint murmurings of a distant and muted Soft Cell-like bass into an explosion of synthesized color. 

Average: 8.1 (67 votes)

Download: Blithe Field "Illuminating Moments"

Label: Waaga

Here's another track from the debut LP by 19-year-old tunesmith Blithe Field, a soft and summery production called "Illuminating Moments." Like the previously heard "Crushing" track, this cut employs both live instrumentation and washed-out electronic sounds to create its lighthearted, homespun mood. A few different guitar licks and a simple bassline more or less carry "Illuminating Moments," allowing Blithe Field to slip his tweaked vocal hooks and other samples into and out of the mix at will, without ever disrupting the flow. You can hear how the rest of the artist's Two Hearted album shapes up when it drops on June 28. 

Average: 8.2 (55 votes)

Download: Hyetal "Phoenix (Fantastic Mr Fox Remix)"

"Phoenix" has proven a rather useful template for Bristol-based producer Hyetal. With its nostalgic, gated-snare shuffle and warm analog stabs, there was a lot to like about it, and elements of the 2010 single have popped up in a lot of his recent work, not the least of which was "Beach Scene," one of the other stand-out tracks from Broadcast, his recent album on Black Acre. Now, Mancunian producer and fellow Black Acre labelmate Fantastic Mr. Fox goes back to the source for a remix, and playing freely with the song's genetics, he creates a snappy and cheerful track that hardly references the throwback appeal of the original. Instead, the "Fantastic Mr. Fox Remix" throws in cheeky cut-up synth tones and a cutesy chime melody for a fun take on a contemporary favorite. (via Pitchfork

Average: 8.1 (81 votes)

Download: Ghost Feet "Bog"

Hailing from Olympia, Washington, Ghost Feet is a pair of musicmakers who have come together under the banner of handmade electronics and cinematic soundscapes. The duo's debut EP, Wires and Chords, was just unveiled via Portland's Dropping Gems imprint, and is currently available as a free download or limited-edition cassette tape. Here, we have one of the four original tracks available on that release, possibly its most understated. Ghost Feet coalesces spacious field recordings, lilting synth tones, reverb-soaked guitar plucks, and crunchy rhythms into the tarnished shimmer that is "Bog"—always looking toward the stars, though never quite reaching them. If the wide scope of Mogwai's melodies and the intimate sounds of Morr Music's alumni appeal to your ears, we'd suggest you snag the Wires and Chords EP. 

Average: 8.2 (68 votes)

Download: Munchi "Mamajuana"

It looks like Dutch party-starter Munchi is well on his way to a full recovery from his recent brush with illness, as he just yesterday dropped a free EP via Mad Decent's blog. The hot-footed "Mamajuana" is one of the six jams offered on the young DJ/producer's Rotterdam Juke EP, and finds him infusing the breakneck beats of footwork with some jittery bachata guitar riffs and other more explosive sound effects. As Munchi himself puts it, "The whole track feels drunk to be honest, but not in a bad way though." You can grab the rest of Munchi's free musical offering here

Average: 6 (44 votes)

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