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Written by @ryanruppe

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - Produce Vol. 1

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - Produce Vol. 1

Like Small Black and POP ETC before them, synth pop/chillwave/Ariel Pink disciples Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. have done a hip-hop style mixtape featuring their nostalgic bubbling electronic pop. When I say “hip-hop style”, I mean a seamless album featuring a number of guests and including covers and blatant samples (including a mash up of Biggie and the Beach Boys called, imaginatively, Beach Boys Biggie). 

I love this kind of thing. I am only very superficially a rap fan, listening to mostly pop-rap and whatever El-P puts out (can you believe that I haven’t covered Run the Jewels here yet???). So something that’s mostly hazy, beat-heavy pop with the occasional fun party verse over the top is directly down my alley. And it’s obviously down the alley of a lot of internet music fans, as these things keep happening and we keep downloading them. I’m not sure entirely how I feel about being directly targeted like this, but I know I like the result.

This is the kind of convergence that that internet has always promised; it’s like Afrika Bambaataa sampling Kraftwerk in reverse and in real time. The only problem with this kind of convergence here in the twenty-first century is that it’s so constant as to be pedestrian and pandering to a certain, grandularized target demographic. I’d complain more of the music wasn’t so darn good.

In honor of next month’s 25th anniversary of their debut album 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul are making their entire catalog available for free download for 25 hours on the group’s website. The download bonanza will begin on Friday, February 14th at 11 a.m. EST until Saturday at noon.

Holy shit. (via graemem)

Happy Valentine’s Day to us all.

(via bigredrobot)

pastelghost:

DARK BEACH EP OUT NOW ♡ FREE DOWNLOAD ♡

I’ve forced my kids the listen to this album at least a dozen times now. My two-year-old son tells me “Look! I’m dancing!” when we listen, and his sister, a kindergartener asks “Is this scary music?” after I tell her that we’re listening to Pastel Ghost.
I think the intersection there is the perfect place for Pastel Ghost to reside: it’s a little spooky and a little pixelated but mostly just magic dance/dream pop for the Internet generation. One part sand anime soundtrack and one part overclocked remix, Dark Beach is like the low-res fansub version of what chillwave should have been. We love it.

pastelghost:

DARK BEACH EP OUT NOW  FREE DOWNLOAD 

I’ve forced my kids the listen to this album at least a dozen times now. My two-year-old son tells me “Look! I’m dancing!” when we listen, and his sister, a kindergartener asks “Is this scary music?” after I tell her that we’re listening to Pastel Ghost.

I think the intersection there is the perfect place for Pastel Ghost to reside: it’s a little spooky and a little pixelated but mostly just magic dance/dream pop for the Internet generation. One part sand anime soundtrack and one part overclocked remix, Dark Beach is like the low-res fansub version of what chillwave should have been. We love it.

Johan Agebjorn//Sally Shapiro - Sweetened
The two collaborators behind the sublime Sally Shapiro disco pop songs have released a collection of remixes spanning the last six years. It’s, like the Sally Shapiro songs, a group of quietly perfect space disco tracks. Remixed artists include Lindstrøm, Glass Candy and quite a few groups that I am not familiar with, but would like to get to know. If you were looking for a soundtrack to this very late summer weekend, well, here you go.

Johan Agebjorn//Sally Shapiro - Sweetened

The two collaborators behind the sublime Sally Shapiro disco pop songs have released a collection of remixes spanning the last six years. It’s, like the Sally Shapiro songs, a group of quietly perfect space disco tracks. Remixed artists include Lindstrøm, Glass Candy and quite a few groups that I am not familiar with, but would like to get to know. If you were looking for a soundtrack to this very late summer weekend, well, here you go.

Mr. Oizo - Amicalement
In the late 1990s, Mr. Oizo became somewhat of a sensation with a minimal track called Flat Beat which laid some of the foundations of electro house. Despite migrating from analog synthesizers to a Mac and moving away from puppet-based videos, Oizo has never lost that funk instinct, as the four tracks on this ep can testify. Featuring a tweaky, buzzy starter track, a dancefloor killer featuring cut-up spoken vocals by Marilyn Manson (I’m as baffled as you are), a weirdo digital waltz and a disco-sample beat that just won’t stop, this free release has far more funk than one would typically expect in 9.5 minutes.
[[to download this ep, go to www.oizo3000.com and click on the computer screen. Click again when it loads and the page should inform you that Mr. Oizo’s new EP is available for download]]

Mr. Oizo - Amicalement

In the late 1990s, Mr. Oizo became somewhat of a sensation with a minimal track called Flat Beat which laid some of the foundations of electro house. Despite migrating from analog synthesizers to a Mac and moving away from puppet-based videos, Oizo has never lost that funk instinct, as the four tracks on this ep can testify. Featuring a tweaky, buzzy starter track, a dancefloor killer featuring cut-up spoken vocals by Marilyn Manson (I’m as baffled as you are), a weirdo digital waltz and a disco-sample beat that just won’t stop, this free release has far more funk than one would typically expect in 9.5 minutes.

[[to download this ep, go to www.oizo3000.com and click on the computer screen. Click again when it loads and the page should inform you that Mr. Oizo’s new EP is available for download]]

Sweet Valley - SV
The Williams brothers (aka Wavves and Kynan) tossed out another of their ongoing beat tapes a few months ago. Like their other ones, it’s irreverent and a bit scattershot with unexpectedly solid beats. This one, however, is far darker than the previous entries in the series. Things get heartfelt in a JRPG remix way with Sweet Valley’s remix of Quicksand by Secret Colors, then things move off into a darker realm. SV becomes the music Burial would have made if he’d grown up on the beach in sunny Southern California with a Super Nintendo instead of a ZX Spectrum: dark, distorted but still candy-colored with some lingering palm trees. 
<a href=”http://sweetvalley.bandcamp.com/album/sv” data-mce-href=”http://sweetvalley.bandcamp.com/album/sv”>SV by Sweet Valley</a>

Sweet Valley - SV

The Williams brothers (aka Wavves and Kynan) tossed out another of their ongoing beat tapes a few months ago. Like their other ones, it’s irreverent and a bit scattershot with unexpectedly solid beats. This one, however, is far darker than the previous entries in the series. Things get heartfelt in a JRPG remix way with Sweet Valley’s remix of Quicksand by Secret Colors, then things move off into a darker realm. SV becomes the music Burial would have made if he’d grown up on the beach in sunny Southern California with a Super Nintendo instead of a ZX Spectrum: dark, distorted but still candy-colored with some lingering palm trees. 

Friendzone - Poly/8AM
Combining equal measures of noise, warm emotional ambience, pitched-up samples, massive bass and over-the-top snap beats, Friendzone has discovered the exact formula into my heart with this freely-available single for their upcoming album. It’s easy to be cynical about yet another group of white guys on the internet making beats, but Friendzone keeps pummeling my soul with their tracks and it keeps demanding more. I haven’t had such an emotional connection to something that makes my C-RV rattle this much in a very long time, and I can’t wait for more.

Friendzone - Poly/8AM

Combining equal measures of noise, warm emotional ambience, pitched-up samples, massive bass and over-the-top snap beats, Friendzone has discovered the exact formula into my heart with this freely-available single for their upcoming album. It’s easy to be cynical about yet another group of white guys on the internet making beats, but Friendzone keeps pummeling my soul with their tracks and it keeps demanding more. I haven’t had such an emotional connection to something that makes my C-RV rattle this much in a very long time, and I can’t wait for more.

Chalkboards - Chalkboards
I like music that makes me smile. Music that’s just joyous and sincere without a hint of irony is sometimes hard to come by in these post-modern days. Taking a page from Balún's electro-wistfulness and applying it to the rambunctious but effective combination of Game Boy + guitar + drums like Anamanaguchi and Slime Girls, Chalkboards bring full-force hearts and sparkles on their self-titled debut. Woven with love and drenched in ones and zeroes, Chalkboards lives in the continuum between sentimental and kick-ass. The germination of this music (nanoloop tracks shared by a boy and girl via a LinkCable) is legendarily nerdorable but the sounds that grew are neither treacly nor socially awkward. What I’m trying to say here is that Chalkboards hits me in just the right place and it makes me very, very happy.

Chalkboards - Chalkboards

I like music that makes me smile. Music that’s just joyous and sincere without a hint of irony is sometimes hard to come by in these post-modern days. Taking a page from Balún's electro-wistfulness and applying it to the rambunctious but effective combination of Game Boy + guitar + drums like Anamanaguchi and Slime Girls, Chalkboards bring full-force hearts and sparkles on their self-titled debut. Woven with love and drenched in ones and zeroes, Chalkboards lives in the continuum between sentimental and kick-ass. The germination of this music (nanoloop tracks shared by a boy and girl via a LinkCable) is legendarily nerdorable but the sounds that grew are neither treacly nor socially awkward. What I’m trying to say here is that Chalkboards hits me in just the right place and it makes me very, very happy.

Blind Slime - Dark Vibrations (In The Sky)
In the past few years, I’ve been slowly getting into music with a certain atmosphere. It’s basically psychedelic ghost music, but, you know, not totally all gloom and doom. Sort of like an Edward Gorey book colored by schoolchildren with crayons. Blind Slime pulls off the same attitude in this EP—it’s scary and spooky but in a mystic forest way rather than a pit of hell way. This is the kind of music my brain queues up when I read Tolkien or especially Chris Roberson and Mike Allred’s hipster-zombie book, I Zombie. It’s not halloween yet, but deep summer nights are tailor made for this stuff; get it now.
<a href=”http://wil-ru.bandcamp.com/album/dark-vibrations-in-the-sky” data-mce-href=”http://wil-ru.bandcamp.com/album/dark-vibrations-in-the-sky”>Dark Vibrations (In the Sky) by Blind Slime</a>

Blind Slime - Dark Vibrations (In The Sky)

In the past few years, I’ve been slowly getting into music with a certain atmosphere. It’s basically psychedelic ghost music, but, you know, not totally all gloom and doom. Sort of like an Edward Gorey book colored by schoolchildren with crayons. Blind Slime pulls off the same attitude in this EP—it’s scary and spooky but in a mystic forest way rather than a pit of hell way. This is the kind of music my brain queues up when I read Tolkien or especially Chris Roberson and Mike Allred’s hipster-zombie book, I Zombie. It’s not halloween yet, but deep summer nights are tailor made for this stuff; get it now.

ARM WTCHS FNGRS - ☯ Essential Tremor ☯
 It’s easy to judge a free internet release by its cover/name/title these days. But let’s ignore the weirdly retro-90s-CD-ROM-art cover and the all-caps, partially disemvoweled name and the title with unicode symbols in it. Just for a second. Putting aside from those genre signifiers, it’s a pretty interesting selection of tunes. Not overtly glitchy or slavishly retro, the music still evokes the birth of all-digital music and the collapse of the perfection associated with that. ☯ Essential Tremor ☯ (can’t ignore that title now) doesn’t quite get past sketches and announcements into 100% hot jams, but it’s a hell of a debut ep and I’ll keep playing this until there’s more to hear.
<a href=”http://armwatchesfingers.bandcamp.com/album/essential-tremor” data-mce-href=”http://armwatchesfingers.bandcamp.com/album/essential-tremor”>☯ Essential Tremor ☯ by ARM WTCHS FNGRS</a>

ARM WTCHS FNGRS - ☯ Essential Tremor ☯

 It’s easy to judge a free internet release by its cover/name/title these days. But let’s ignore the weirdly retro-90s-CD-ROM-art cover and the all-caps, partially disemvoweled name and the title with unicode symbols in it. Just for a second. Putting aside from those genre signifiers, it’s a pretty interesting selection of tunes. Not overtly glitchy or slavishly retro, the music still evokes the birth of all-digital music and the collapse of the perfection associated with that. ☯ Essential Tremor ☯ (can’t ignore that title now) doesn’t quite get past sketches and announcements into 100% hot jams, but it’s a hell of a debut ep and I’ll keep playing this until there’s more to hear.