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Download: Mahjongg "Miami Knights"

First Listen
Label: K

Chicago's leftfield, weirdo dance-pop outfit (and self-proclaimed "Chicagotronics" originator) Mahjongg has a new record coming out, called The Long Shadow of the Paper Tiger. The album takes the band's fractured party jams and pairs them with some collaborative vocal efforts from friends the likes of Suddenly Susan and Jeneane O'Toole, both of whom are featured on the album's first single, "Miami Knights." Honestly, there's no way to pin this track down. It's just about as experimental as a group of dudes with a handful of synths and drum machines can get while writing "accessible" music, but manages to still flex a sort of hook here and there. We're not sure where that puts them in the genre spectrum, but we are sure it's weird. And we like weird. 

Average: 7.2 (21 votes)

Download: DJ Elmoe "Whea Yo Ghost At, Whea Yo Dead Man"

Chicago's juke and footwork scenes have been bubbling for years, but now that Planet Mu has officially signed young producer DJ Nate, the hyperactive sound is blowing up on a whole new level. Whether it's "witch house" bands in Brooklyn name-checking juke as an influence, or UK funky producers slipping juke tracks into their sets, lots of ears are locked in to the Chicago underground. This tune comes from another young producer, DJ Elmoe, who pairs juke's traditional breakneck bass tones and snapping hi-hats with a surprisingly pretty pitch-shifted vocal sample. More songs like this please. (via 20 Jazz Funk Greats

Average: 7.9 (50 votes)

Download: Dâm-Funk "HowUGonFuckAroundAndChooseABusta"

Los Angeles boogie maestro Dâm-Funk simply does not stop working. After releasing his 5-LP Toeachizown and touring non-stop, one would expect Dâm to take and break at some point and recharge his batteries. Maybe the man doesn't need sleep, because the music just keeps on coming. Here's "HowUGonFuckAroundAndChooseABusta," another unreleased gem that Dâm is giving away for free, even though its funkified grooves and drum-machine claps sound just a fresh as the tunes on his myriad releases. Dude is a straight-up hustler. 

Average: 7.2 (24 votes)

Download: Koobra "Thrills"

Label: Top Billin

Finnish disco-house producer Koobra's music aims straight for the dancefloor, not unlike his work with Helsinki 78-82. But while that project aims towards the DIY raves populated by todays' youth, his solo moniker is slanted more towards a futuristic 1980s night club. On "Thrills," filtered pad synths, spacey arpeggiated melodies, and bouncing bass lines all work in tandem over a simple dance beat to effectively harken to a realm where Blade Runner and The Running Man are more fact than fiction. 

Average: 7.9 (42 votes)

Download: It's a Fine Line "Hen's Bells"

Label: MKG

No joke, it takes seven minutes for this track to really take off. That's twice the length of most songs coming out these days, so we understand if your patience wears thin, but if you give "Hen's Bells" by It's a Fine Line a chance, it will reward you with its warped Italo sensibilities. The project is a collaboration between ex-Black Strobe member Ivan Smagghe and buddy Tim Paris, who will be digitally releasing a self-titled EP on June 4. Though not on the EP, "Hen's Bells" is a fair representation of the duo's style: motorik bass lines, wobbly synth melodies, and pounding dance beats all working to transport you to another time and, possibly, another place. 

Average: 7.7 (14 votes)

Download: Cold Cave "Life Magazine (Delorean Remix)"

Label: Matador

Well, here's another name to add to the already long and totally rad list of artists to remix Cold Cave's "Life Magazine" single. The boys in Delorean pooled their collective efforts to devise this take on the shadowy pop track. The results could be described with any number of indie music's favorite buzz words of the moment (summery, dreamy, poppy, hazy... take your pick), but we'd prefer to just say that we're not surprised Delorean have delivered, yet again, another brilliant, atmosphere-heavy Balearic dance tune that would surely lift our spirits if ever given the chance. 

Average: 7.7 (23 votes)

Download: The Acorn "Restoration (Four Tet Remix)"

It's no secret that Four Tet is one of electronic music's more 'indie'-minded producers, or, at the very least, one of the electronic music producers most beloved by the 'indie' crowd, so remixing a song for Canadian quintet The Acorn should prove ideal for Mr. Kieran Hebden and his fans. Here we have Four Tet's version of "Restoration" from The Acorn's forthcoming third album, No Ghost. Hebden's rework twinkles with the same warm analog glow of his past productions and, at times, seems as if it could've been ripped straight from his last album, the wonderful There Is Love in You—it has the same slow-bubbling melodies, subtly tweaked vocal samples, and shuffling acoustic drum beat heard in many of Four Tet's greatest songs. 

Average: 8.2 (23 votes)

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