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Download: CYNE "Escape (Michael Johnson Remix)"

Gainsesville, Florida-based hip-hop collective CYNE dropped its third album via Hometapes last month, proving their lyrics are still as sharp as they were when the band emerged some years ago. And since it took seven years to complete Pretty Dark Things, we can expect much fanfare and promotion of the album to happen over the next couple of months, along with some remixes, the first of which comes courtesy of Holopaw member Michael Johnson. This is one for dubstep fans and deep basslines. 

Average: 7.1 (26 votes)

Download: Drop the Lime "Hear Me"

Now hear this! New York buzz DJ Drop the Lime (Luca Venezia) has created an energetic 4/4 Chicago-house number in his latest single “Hear Me,” off the namesake EP. Almost-cheesy male vocals break into a pop moment that briefly trips into stripped dubstep before swinging back into full gear. The song finishes with whomping bass synths fluctuating on top of tinny, polyrhythmic hits of percussion and fake rock guitar. The EP also features remixes by ghetto-breakbeast Buraka Som Sistema and fellow New Yorker AC Slater. Lulu McAllister 


Average: 7.6 (54 votes)

Download: Nightmares on Wax "195 lbs."

Label: Warp

“195 lbs.” is off of Nightmares of Wax’s sixth album, Thought So…, released earlier this year. The album is rooted in lead man George Evelyn’s experiences during a road trip from his birthplace of Leeds to his new home in the middle of Ibiza. This single’s jazzier reggae beat matches the song’s muffled vocals, which take a back seat to the peaceful melody and loping hip-hop rhythm. In the N.O.W. tradition, this is a low-key groove to kick back to among friends. Lulu McAllister 


Average: 7.8 (50 votes)

Download: Dntel "Blinded by the Lights (Cover)"

Jimmy Tamborello and Mike Skinner aren't two people you'd automatically associate with one another, but the former has gone and covered Skinner's "Blinded by the Lights," which appeared on 2004's A Grand Don't Come for Free. No, Tamborello isn't rapping on this version. Rather, he's turned the number into a synth-heavy instrumental that mimics the melody of the original. The track is one of a few he's recently recorded and made available via the Dntel site. Photo by Robin Laananen 

Average: 7.7 (37 votes)

Download: The Sight Below "Life's Fading Light"

This track unfolds a bit like a day smack in the middle of January would–slowly, softly, and with melancholy undertones. Off The Sight Below's soon-to-be-released album, Glider, "Life's Fading Light" is a dreamy blend of barely touched acoustic guitars and echoing loops laid over a beat that mimics a human heartbeat. Sunny music this is not, but it's easy to picture the reclusive, unnamed producer behind the album hard at work in drizzly Seattle. Glider will arrive in full on November 11, just in time for winter. Glider 01 At First Touch 02 Dour 03 Without Motion 04 Life's Fading Light 05 Further Away 06 The Sunset Passage 07 Already There 08 A Fractured Smile 09 Nowhere 

Average: 7.8 (51 votes)

Download: School of Seven Bells "Connjur"

Label: Ghostly

Brooklyn band School of Seven Bells proves that shoegaze is alive and well in 2008. Taken from their debut album. Alpinisms, "Connjur" is a dreamy pop tune anchored in swirling guitar melodies and highlighted by the soaring vocals of twin frontwomen Alejandra and Claudia Dehaza. While the song recalls classic acts like Cocteau Twins and Slowdive, the band's subtle use of glitchy electronics and low-end fuzz puts a refreshing modern spin on the oft-imitated genre. Shawn Reynaldo 


iTunes | eMusic
Average: 7.6 (36 votes)

Download: White Fang "Tall Shadow"

Label: Marriage

The oh-so-stylish members of White Fang are starting to make some noise beyond the borders of their hometown of Portland, OR. The band just completed its first major tour, playing alongside Rob Walmart and White Rainbow, headlined Portland's PDX Pop Now! festival, and, two weeks ago, unleashed its debut album, Pure Evil. Like its cover, the 11-track release is a palate of organized chaos. Guitar chords meet crashing drums without any seeming rhyme or reason, but all the parts seem to fit together in the end. Our favorite part of this track is the chorus. Just listen to the band shouting "Waaaaa!!!" in unison and see if it doesn't put a smile on your face. 


iTunes | eMusic
Average: 6.8 (11 votes)

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