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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)
 
 

Download: Themselves "You Ain't It (Lazer Sword Remix)"

First Listen
Label: Anticon

Nearly a year after reuniting to drop its latest full-length album, CrownsDown, Oakland's Themselves has gathered some of its friends and labelmates for a release of remixes, called CrownsDown & Company. Before that 10-song record hits shelves, we've got the exclusive premiere of one of Company's remixes, by Lazer Sword (pictured above). Low Limit and Lando Kal (who have their own debut full-length coming out in the not-so-distant future) have traded in their usual robo-swagger for a more surly, punch-drunk soundscape wrapped around stomping beats. You can be sure that little to none of Jel's original production work from "You Ain't It" made it into Lazer Sword's piece, but once Dose One's vocal delivery gains headway into the mix, the tune switches gears into a slick-but-noisy hip-hop jam that Themselves' own beatsmith wouldn't shy away from. More remix work from the likes of Baths, 13 & God, Buck 65, Odd Nosdam, and others will be featured alongside this track when Company is released on September 21. 

Average: 8.3 (126 votes)
 
 

Download: Gant-Man "J.U.K.E.I.O.U."

What you think about Chicago's juke and footwork scenes is more or less inconsequential (but feel free to add your part of the debate over in our growing comment section for the DJ Rashad & DJ Spinn podcast), insomuch that the genre and its producers have been building a vibrant culture and style around the music for more than a decade, and that's not likely to change anytime soon. DJ/producer Gant Garrard (a.k.a. Gant-Man) is just one of the scene's leader. He's been honing his style of club-friendly dance tunes since his teenage years in the mid-'90s, runs the Bang tha Box label, and produces both house and juke tracks under two separate guises. Using his Gant-Man moniker, Garrard crafted "J.U.K.E.I.O.U." for Chicago publication 5 Magazine's fifth anniversary. The hyperactive number is made from a handful of vocal samples exclaiming "juke!," a bouncing bassline, a booming four-on-the-floor beat, and all sorts of flitting percussive elements and synth sounds played at breakneck speed; as such, the whole thing is over in under three minutes. And if for some reason this style isn't your bag, you can instead grab Garrard's exclusive house tune, "Poquito Spanish, Poquito House," here. (via Fool's Gold

Average: 7.4 (28 votes)
 
 

Download: Psychic Ills "Mantis (Juan Atkins Remix)"

Label: RVNG

Well, this is wonderfully massive—in more ways than one. As we previously reported, the Brooklyn-based RVNG label nabbed that guy who, you know, made up that whole techno thing (a.k.a. Juan Atkins) to do a remix of a song by NY noise makers Psychic Ills (pictured above) for its fourth installment of the FRKWYS series. That's a pretty big deal, sure, but what's really huge is the track Atkins produced for his contribution. His remix of the heavily psychedelic and meandering "Mantis" eschews just about everything from the original save for its guitar plucks, moody vibe, and length. Instead of live percussion and wafting synth tones, the remix focuses on a thick, hypnotic bassline, an incessant drum-machine beat, and a few samples from Psychic Ills' number warped into unrecognizable sound effects. And if you've got it on repeat like we do, the 10-minute track seems to carry on indefinitely without ever wearing its welcome thin. (via Altered Zones

Average: 8.2 (34 votes)
 
 

Download: Sutekh "The Glorious Day Has Dawned"

Label: Creaked

San Francisco's Sutekh hasn't released a proper full-length album since 2002. Eight years later, the solo artist is set to drop a new LP into his discography, the nine-track On Bach. And yes, the album is precisely what the title implies: a Bach-inspired set of intricate electronic orchestrations composed by producer Seth Horvitz. "The Glorious Day Has Dawned" is one such song, and features flitting synth pulses taking the place of what might normally be an enormous string section; warbling sound effects and miniscule clicks work out a beat with a booming 808 kick underneath it all. You can check out all of the details for Sutekh's On Bach album, as well as stream it in full before it's released on September 13, here

Average: 7.6 (41 votes)
 
 

Download: Radio People "Now Where"

Label: Digitalis

Sam Goldberg keeps himself busy. He runs a label, Pizza Night, that releases cassettes exclusively, he collaborates on projects with a couple of fellas from Cleveland ambient noise outfit Emeralds, and he writes similarly formless songs under the name Radio People. From his recently released eponymous full-length (which you can stream in full here and purchase on vinyl here), "Now Where" finds Goldberg halfway through his opus, traversing analog arpeggiations, thick synth pads, and repetitive micro-melodies with grace. The composition sounds similar to some of his peers on the Editions Mego label, like Oneohtrix Point Never and, of course, Emeralds, but also reminds us a bit of the beatless, billowy parts from one of last year's best analog odysseys, Etienne Jaumet's Night Music. (via Raven Sings the Blues

Average: 6.5 (17 votes)
 
 

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