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Download: Lost Valentinos "The Bismarck (Canyons Remix)"

Label: Bang Gang

Despite apparent copyright issues over their name, Sydney's wacky foursome, The Lost Valentinos, have soldiered on and recently dropped a new 12", "The Bismark" on Bang Gang, thusly proving that a snafu over trademark agreements isn't going to keep them down. As singles go, they did this one up proper, with an original–and very danceable–cut, along with a few remixes. This one's from nu-disco dons Canyons, who slowed the tempo of the original down and darkened the mood up. Or perhaps the gist of the track is best told in the words of its press kit–"a slow, drugged-out version you could imagine Bez loosing his nut to at the Hacienda before he was on celebrity Big Brother. "The Bismarck" A1 Bismarck A2 Bismarck (Goldenbug Remix) A3 Bismarck (Canyons Remix) B1 Bismarck (Dexpistols Remix) B2 Bismarck (Knife Machine Remix) 

Average: 7 (17 votes)

Download: Maus Haus "Dead Keys Drop"

Label: Pretty Blue

Maus Haus is a relatively new band from the Bay Area who's been selling out shows and playing alongside the likes of Black Moth Super Rainbow and Dark Meat over the last year (and one random date with Four Tet). Call their music cut-and-paste pop, with a sprinkling of vintage electronics woven throughout the guitars, bass, and drums. The band first garnered attention with a five-track demo that turned many pairs of ears, and have since crafted a debut full-length, Lark Marvels, which you can cop now digitally or wait for the physical release on January 13 via Oakland-based imprint Pretty Blue. "Dead Keys Drop" is second to last track on the album, and we're feeling its off-kilter nature. Lark Mavels 01 Rigid Breakfast 02 Secret Deals 03 We Used Technology (But Technology Let Us Down) 04 Radio Dials Die 05 Reaction 06 Irregular Hearts 07 Cold In August 08 Tumbling 09 Conversational French 10 Stereo Ghosts 11 Dead Keys Drop 12 Million Volt Lights 

Average: 7.2 (25 votes)

Download: Home Video "Maybe What You Need"

Label: Self-Released

We are loving Home Video's It Will Be OK EP over here at the XLR8R office, not just for its melody-driven, lyrically solid electronic music, but also for the fact that David Gross and Collin Ruffino aren't being stingy when it comes to letting the populace hear the tracks. The duo gave us this one earlier in the year, and, despite the EP being only four songs long, now hand over another, "Maybe What You Need." This is the kind of music one listens to alone, in a dimly lit room, when the need to feel contemplative and melancholy takes control. Props to the boys for self-releasing the EP too. Pick it up December 16. It Will Be OK 01 I Can Make You Feel It 02 Maybe What You Need 03 Every Love that Ever Was 04 You Will Know What to Do 

Average: 5.9 (21 votes)

Download: Hudson Mohawke "Polkadot Blues"

Label: Warp

Hudson Mohawke will soon join the esteemed Warp family when his Polyfolk Dance EP is released in 2009. The label's given us a sneak peek of what's to come on the Glasgow, Scotland-based producer's forthcoming release with this track, which sits somewhere at the intersections of hip-hop, glitch, and avant-garde, contains plenty of electronic noise, and most definitely has a few shades of Dilla in the beat-making. HudMo, as we sometimes refer to him, was the youngest-ever U.K.DMC finalist, at the age of 15, and besides producing his own music, works alongside Mike Slot as Heralds of Change and is a member of the upstart Lucky Me crew. Fans of dirty beats, take note! 

Average: 7.7 (142 votes)

Download: Friendly Foes "My Body (Is A Strange Place To Live)"

Label: Gangplank

They've gotten their shit together, and here's another new one from Detroit's Friendly Foes. The self-proclaimed "power trio," who formed just a little over a year ago, seems to be one of the new breed of indie rock bands reviving the sound of the '90s (have you noticed the sudden increase in flannel shirts on the bus lately?), as evidenced with the simple-but-driving song structures where guitar plays front-and-center, no questions asked. The band's debut full-length, Born Radical, will drop January 13 via Gangplank, though you can pick it up now digitally if that's too long of a wait. Born Radical 01 Full Moon Morning 02 Get Yr Shit Together 03 Couch Surfing 04 My Body (Is A Strange Place To Live) 05 Breakfast Burritos 06 Get Ripped 07 Walk Home In The Dark 08 Epic Jamb 09 Wild (Once In Awhile) 10 Dying To Survive 11 Lil' Tiger 12 Criminal Justice 13 Rush The Land 

Average: 6.6 (18 votes)

Download: Reykjavik! "Aeji, Plis"

Made in Iceland, a compilation CD brought to you by the same people who curate the Iceland Airwaves Festival, features a diverse sample of some of Iceland’s finest musicians. Included in this mix are, among others, Steed Lord, Sign, Emiliana Torrini, Bang Gang, Sigur Rós (of course), and aggressive indie-rockers, Reykjavik!. Reykjavik!’s included track “Aeji, Plis” features a psychedelic surf-rock guitar riff roaring alongside subdued group moan-sing that sounds like it originated from a blend of Halloween ghouls and inebriated tavern-goers. The song’s rhythmic bass and kick drum percussion are straightforward enough and the vocals fluctuate between punkish chanting, deeply throaty growls and lofty falsetto. Iceland, are you ready to rock?! Lulu McAllister 


Average: 6.5 (25 votes)

Download: DJ Tecas "Bate No Peito (Com Respeito)"

Label: Flamin' Hotz

In recent months, the internet has been abuzz with the sounds of kuduro, the high-energy, lo-fi dance music coming out of Angola. Yet very few official kuduro releases exist, as even within Angola the genre flourishes via a network of pirated CDs and rave-like outdoor parties. Hot tunes usually aren't pressed up on vinyl–they're much more likely to be heard blaring from taxis darting through the streets of Luanda. Bucking the trend is Philadelphia label Flamin' Hotz, which has previously made a name for itself with a number of B-more and baile funk releases. Força Kuduro! is the label's newest release, and it features six kuduro tracks curated by Frédéric Galliano, one of the biggest foreign exporters of the sound. While "Bate No Peito (Com Respeito)" was crafted by Paris-based DJ Tecas, other songs on the EP utilize the vocal talent of Angolan MCs Pai Diesel, Zoca Zoca, and Puto Lilas. 

Average: 6 (22 votes)

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