Radiohead isn't the only band to be giving away full-length albums. Self-motivated DIY man and hip-hop artist Earmint created an album of 10 tracks he is distributing for free through his website, with many alternate versions of the release's CD artwork available at his FLICKR account. In the vein of Sixtoo, Madlib, and others who clearly know their samplers inside and out, the man born Robert Krums delivers track after track of crisp, soulful beats with much versatility. Did we mention the entire album is free?
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Michigan-based band KILN may refuse to perform in a live setting, but don't let that distract from the trio's ability to compose profoundly complex and textured post-IDM. Rooted in a sea of effected live and electronic instrumentation, "Fyrepond" is just a taste of KILN's experimental mastery. Taken from the band's recently released long-player Dusker, this single may make even the most sober ambient enthusiast go comatose.
One of Norway's favorite sons, Kim Hiorthøy, takes a step away from his usual folktronica territory to dabble in the world of electro. My Last Day (Smalltown Supersound), is Hiorthøy's first full-length in seven years, and the jumpy synths and riffs, as well as the newly-incorporated disco flavors, are a pleasant change of pace for this artist.
Somewhere between glitchy, hyperactive club bangers and Berlin minimalism sits the two-man brother act Spitzer. Though somewhat mysterious (they don't show their face in their artwork and are, at present, more known due to their own efforts than those of any record label or PR company), their punchy, energetic dance music and unfaltering love of Guns N' Roses should be enough to keep listeners intrigued.
"The Beautiful Ones," from L.A.-based duo The Battle of Land and Sea, is the kind of mournful, acoustic lullaby that hip emo kids enjoy crying over. The layered vocal harmonies and subtle stringed instruments add a sinister, at at times religious feel to the composition, which comes from the band's self-titled debut.
Medicine member Brad Laner, whose solo debut was released this passed Tuesday on Hometapes, has been commissioned to score the soundtrack for Eric Green's upcoming shoegaze documentary, Beautiful Noise. Here is a taste of Laner's own production work, which includes his own flavor of the shoegaze sound.
Funk is one of the most grossly overused words in music journalism, but one can't help thinking of the term when listening to The Emergency's "Spending Time." The basslines groove, the the harmonies slink, and if the vocals didn't remind us of pasty white Englishmen from the mid-'80s, we might be convinced this track is straight from the 1960s. Love those handclaps too.
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