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Download: Lil Jabba "Sun Thru a Cloud"

First Listen

Brooklyn producer Lil Jabba—an affiliate of the Teklife crew whose proper debut full-length, Scales, appeared via the Local Action label last year—has a number of releases in the works, but before any of his upcoming efforts officially drop, the budding beatmaker has generously passed along a new effort entitled "Sun Thru a Cloud." Landing on the mellower end of Lil Jabba's production scope, "Sun Thru a Cloud" is a brief but inviting instrumental which laces jittery hip-hop rhythms with slippery synths, delicate melodies, and a series of water-logged textures.  

Average: 5.8 (36 votes)
 
 

Download: EV4NS "Cassandra"

First Listen
Label: Tracy

A regular contributor to Barcelona label Tracy's fast-growing catalog, Parisian producer EV4NS (though we've seen him operate simply as "Evans" too) will return to the imprint with the three-track Cassandra EP on August 5. Leading off the forthcoming effort is its title track—a moody, garage-indebted production, "Cassandra" makes excellent use of wide-sweeping pads and popcorn synth lines, which combine with smartly chopped vocal melodies to help land this one along the more R&B-indebted ends of the bass music spectrum. 

Average: 7.6 (52 votes)
 
 

Download: Brian Ellis "All I Know, All I See"

First Listen
Label: Voltaire

Hailing from the Southern California city of Escondido, funk specialist Brian Ellis will issue his Reflection EP via San Francisco's Voltaire label next week. Billed as a record that pushes Ellis' brand of "drum machine-synthesizer funk to the livest, rawest level" (and complete with a feature from The Egyptian Lover), Reflection is an expectedly keyboard-laden affair, for which "All I Know, All I See" serves as our first taste. Beginning with the snap of a lightly processed drum machine rhythm, the track initially finds Ellis whispering lyrics about the power of "the funk" over the laid-back procession, before showing off his skills across a number of synth-soaked chord structures and flowing solos. Ellis' six-track Reflection EP will be available in 12" vinyl form beginning July 29. 

Average: 6.9 (38 votes)
 
 

Download: Slam Skillet "Keratin"

First Listen
Label: Ounce.

NYC producer Slam Skillet first appeared on our radar late last month, when the budding talent offered up his club-minded "Impala" production for free download. Now, Slam Skillet returns to XLR8R with "Keratin," a sci-fi cut from his upcoming Linear Motif EP (artwork above), which drops on July 28 via the Ounce. digital label. Bolstered by space-age percussion, "Keratin" offers a bevy of futuristic synth tones, which come lined with just a touch of funk, helping the tune find an intriguing balance between dancefloor readiness and adventurous sonic exploration. 

Average: 8 (33 votes)
 
 

Download: Aashton "I've Had Enough"

First Listen

Aashton is a burgeoning artist who has placed a number of quality tunes in our Downloads section in recent months. Now, the UK producer has elected to give away two tracks via a new digital EP, one of which is "I've Had Enough." Steeped in soulful chords, "I've Had Enough" is a sharp piece of low-swung club music which utilizes a good deal of playful percussion, tasteful vocal chops, juicy piano stabs, and a precise bassline during the course of its run. While this selection from Aashton's free EP can be download below, the tune's virtual flipside counterpart, "Status Ain't Crooked," can be heard after the jump.  Read more » 

Average: 7.5 (32 votes)
 
 

Download: Juan Ramos "The Mariner"

First Listen

Berlin-based American Juan Ramos is set to debut on San Francisco's Friends with Benefits label (who recently dropped a 12" from Hard Ton backed with a Matrixxman remix) next week with his The Mariner (For G.G.) EP. Here we have the record's title cut, a swimming piece of house which offers an alluring assemblage of water-logged melodies amidst its breezy swing. Fortified by a thick kick and evolving layers of percussion, "The Mariner" patiently builds a dense atmosphere across its six-minute run, resulting in a track that is unassuming in its presence, but with a groove that is nearly impossible to escape. Ramos' full The Mariner (For G.G.) EP will see its official release on July 29, and can be previewed via the player found after the jump.  Read more » 

Average: 8.1 (50 votes)
 
 

Download: Animals as Leaders "The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing (Crushfield Remix)"

First Listen

Somewhere amongst the bushes and rocks pictured above is Crushfield, a Canadian producer who here offers his take on Animals as Leaders' "The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing." On his rework, Crushfield loosely drapes the original track's math-rock-style guitar atop heavy-handed rhythmic elements: straightforward kicks and snares trade off hits as crisp hats fill the space in between. Eventually, the procession is met by subtle layers of sneaky arpeggios and a thick, restless bassline, which helps guide the track to the end of its five-minute run. Having appeared on a split 12" for the New Kanada label earlier this year, Crushfield will release another record through the imprint early next year, but not before delivering his debut live performance at the New Kanada label night in Toronto this weekend; more info here

Average: 8.2 (39 votes)
 
 

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