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Download: Nathan Fake "Xmas Rush (Dub)"

It should probably be done at least once a year: share a little bit of seasonal spirit in our not-so-holiday-friendly download feed. It's not that we're Grinches or anything, but really, when was the last time you heard a Christmas song that was anything but barely tolerable? That's probably why we're totally okay with posting this jam from UK tunesmith Nathan Fake; it hardly sounds like a holiday song. The only thing somewhat related to Christamas—other than the title—on "Xmas Rush (Dub)" is the tweaked vocal loop that Fake plays with throughout most of his track. And while that age-old voice goes on about "greeting cards," the rest of the production fires off wonky noise experiments, blown-out bass frequencies, and flitting dance rhythms—sounding like some sort of traditional Christmas carol for footworkers. And if you're still in the mood for more "Xmas Rush," check out the original track on the split single that Fake shared with Pampa boss DJ Koze, which came out earlier this week on Pampa. (via Pitchfork

Average: 7.2 (40 votes)

Download: Signaldrift "Yesterday's Tomorrow (Strategy Remix)"


"Yesterday's Tomorrow" is a long-winded way of saying "today," and Strategy is a shorthand way of spelling out "amorphous ambient compositions hailing from the Pacific Northwest for the betterment of your mind, body, and soul," or something along those lines. Put those things together and you have this touching remix of Signaldrift's Krauty synth-pop tune, the original of which we posted earlier this year, rendered beatless and sublime by Portland producer Paul Dickow. As Strategy, Dickow explores the swirling synth moods, bubbling aural textures, and finger-plucked guitar sounds of the Signaldrift track, though he delivers those sounds with the freedom to waft about in his expansive soundscape. 

Average: 8.1 (32 votes)

Download: Brenmar "Taking it Down"

First Listen
Label: Discobelle

It's here: the first official release from Brooklyn-via-Chicago DJ/producer Brenmar, entitled At it Again. As longtime lovers of the talented artist's R&B- and hip-hop-infused house tunes, not to mention good music everywhere, XLR8R is pleased to bring you the first free taste from the six-track EP, the engaging dancefloor bubbler "Taking it Down." If Brenmar's tune is anything, it's evidence that he knows how to turn relatively dubious source material, like, say, Top 40 radio fodder heavy with potential guilty-pleasure vibes, into music with relevance, substance, and new ideas. The producer nabbed snippets from "Clubbin'", the 2003 debut solo single by Marques Houston (of Immature and Sister, Sister fame), for "Taking it Down," and applied the slick vocal melodies to his own fresh, club-ready instrumental—resulting in a stand-out tune that further validates his growing importance in the world of dance music. You can hear what other great tracks Brenmar has to offer by streaming all of At it Again, which also features collaborative remixes from Ikonika & Optimum and DJ Rashad & DJ Earl & DJ BMT, here, or buying the EP here

Average: 8.3 (61 votes)

Download: Cassie "Me & U (Brackles Remix)"

Last week, we told you about the latest remix EP presented by on-fire UK bass hub Local Action, which features a load of remixes for R&B starlet Cassie from a few of the biggest names in forward-thinking club music and is now available for free download. Along with DJ/producers Jacques Greene, Altered Natives, Svpreme Fiend, The Blessings, and an undercover Shortstuff (moonlighting as Mickey Pearce), the other Blunted Robots honcho, Brackles, served up this soulful house rendition of Cassie's classic "Me & U" single. The plinking melody of the original's lovable hook never makes an appearance throughout the five-and-a-half-minute version, but those notes are certainly alluded to in the quick stabs that pop up behind the bubbling bassline, skittering dance beat, thick synth pads, and the relatively untouched silken voice of the song's star. "Me & U (Brackles Remix)" easily remains the truest to its source material on the nine-song Skydiver EP while it simultaneously presents a fresh vibe almost as infectious as the hit single itself. 

Average: 8.1 (51 votes)

Download: Hissy Fit "Berry Dubby Dub"

First Listen

Montreal's Matthew Hiscock (a.k.a. Hissy Fit) is quickly becoming a producer of note on the post-dubstep side of things; first he released an EP for Scottish blog-turned-label Phuturelabs, and now he's about to drop a 12" from new Canadian label Swing & Skip. Here we have a dub of the a-side, "Berry," in which Hissy Fit pares down the hyper feel of the original track, leaving intact the slow, growling bass and steady beat. As the track lazily rolls along, the melodic elements fade in; some vocoder chirps here, some fuzzy chords there, climaxing around the three-minute mark before beginning to break the pieces back down to where they began. "Berry Dubby Dub" can not be found on the forthcoming 12", but the original and a remix from Submerse can be when it's released on December 13. 

Average: 8.3 (54 votes)

Download: El-P "Lab Rat Bravely Escapes on Hovercraft Only to Crash Directly Outside of Gates"

Label: Gold Dust

The world of underground hip-hop has been undergoing a serious reconstruction as of late, with many familiar faces receding to the fringe, or worse, complete absence. One such case is the inimitable New York-based label Definitive Jux, run by producer/rapper extraordinaire El-P. Definitive Jux is currently on indefinite hiatus, putting a halt to what has been a consistent and essential output of brutally honest, beat-contorted hip-hop. Though thankfully, El-P hasn't kept quiet, dropping the epicly titled Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 on Gold Dust earlier this year. An album made up of instrumentals, it tended towards a lighter, funk-based side of El-P. That said, don't go in expecting softness with this new, previously unreleased track titled "Lab Rat Bravely Escapes on Hovercraft Only to Crash Directly Outside of Gates." As much a mouthful as it is an earful, this El-P beat apparently didn't make the cut due to technical difficulties, and after listening, it's understandable why. Your lowly laptop speakers are no match for the decibels on this one, and good luck finding headphones that will do the trick either.  

Average: 8.2 (48 votes)

Download: CSLSX "Paula Abdul drinking a Pepsi, October 17th, 1987"

If we knew anything more about CSLSX than that it is a collective based in Philadelphia and has a handful of great tracks to its name, we'd be happy to tell you. But we don't, so the track will just have to speak for itself. The title seems rather appropriate, as a number of elements from the song could have originated in 1987; the initial drum loop and giant tom fills have '80s drum machine written all over them and the chopped, incomprehensible vocals could easily be a sample from an '80s freestyle group. It even could have been an instrumental for a Paula Abdul song, that is, if she had been really into psychedelics and was a little more concerned with boarding the mothership than dancing with giant cartoon cats. Decades-old pop-culture references aside, the track is an excellent mix of the cheesy and the majestic, pairing the '80s elements with swirling pads, sparkling percussion, bouncing arps, and globs of reverb and delay. Our curiosity has certainly been sparked for the mysterious group, whose identity appears to be safe now, but for how long? (via Altered Zones

Average: 8.3 (46 votes)

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