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Download: Dan Deacon "The Crystal Cat"

Label: Carpark

Baltimore's Dan Deacon released seven albums between 2003 and 2006, but this latest full-length, Spiderman of the Rings, is the first time he marries his training as a classical composer with his skills as sweat-and-grime-soaked party master. The result is a series of dance anthems incorporating intricate melodies and humorous monologues, sophisticated as it is steeped in debauchery. 

Average: 6.5 (14 votes)

Download: Joe Beats "Fade"

Label: Bully

Joe Beats's latest release, Diverse Recourse, operates much like its predecessor–as an uninterrupted mix of his body-rocking hip-hop instrumentals, only this time with a harder, rawer, but no less sophisticated grittiness. Glitched-out guitar licks and spooked keys meet dubbed out vocals and guttural basslines, and thank god for it. 


Average: 7.6 (15 votes)

Download: Aja West and Friends "Penny in a Fountain"

Label: Mackrosoft

Aja West is best known as one-half of Seattle-based funksters The Mackrosoft. On Total Recall 2012, he's joined by Money Mark (Beastie Boys), Reggie Watts (Maktub/Soulive), and others, for an album packed with minimalist drums, roughneck falsetto vocals, and lyrical content that encompasses everything from pimping to girls' soccer. 

Average: 7.5 (14 votes)

Download: Battles "Atlas"

Label: Warp

Post-everything instrumentalist outfit Battles drops its debut longplayer, Mirrored, this spring on Warp, following 2006's compilation EP C/B EP. On the new album, the London-based four-piece continues to defy all logic–and most genres–to create puzzling, yet captivating music. 

Average: 7.7 (35 votes)

Download: Subatomic Sound System "N.AA.D.A. (featuring Naada)"

New York-based collective Subatomic Sound System follows

Average: 7 (34 votes)

Download: ZAMAN 8 and Hafez Modir "Sani"

San Francisco-based world/electronic duo ZAMAN 8 draws on Persian and Indian classical traditions, jazz improvisation, African rhythms, and modern dance grooves to create music that’s eclectic, likable, and built to last. The duo finds an apt home for its music on Six Degrees' Emerging Artists compilation series. 

Average: 6.6 (13 votes)

Download: Mad EP "Team Awesome VIP"

Label: Ad Noiseam

He might be best known as one-half of hip-hop duo Mad/EQ, but Matthew Peters (a.k.a. Mad EP), isn't looking to be pigeonholed into one genre. Part sound designer, part storyteller, he runs the gamut of breakbeat, classical, jazz, noise, hip-hop, and funk in his many projects, setting himself apart from the crowd. 

Average: 7.3 (17 votes)

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