Austra promote beats, pulses, hair-scarves

Free Downloads And Streams, Up-And-Coming Acts

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If you’re missing the doomtronic flourishes of The Knife or Ladytron, this Austra lot may appeal. They’re new signings to Domino, and “Beat And The Pulse” combines foreboding synths and a pop sensibility to pleasing effect.

It’s the kind of goth pop that always seems to go down very well in the States, so you might expect to hear it in a club scene on CSI: Delaware or something similar before too long.

Nice hair-scarf, too. The good thing about a hair-scarf is that it’s very difficult to lose one in a pub, unless you happen to be drinking with the kind of maniacs who bring clippers with them on a night out. And if you are, you kind of only have yourself to blame. Get some new friends, I would.

Austra – Beat & The Pulse (Radio Edit) by DominoRecordCo

Buy Beat And The Pulse on 12 inches of round plastic

[via Nialler9]

Best of 2010 Spotify playlist

Free Downloads And Streams, Pop Heaven / Pop Hell

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Yurr we are then, the obligatory end-of-year thingywing. As anyone who’s ever asked me for my all-time favourite song/album will know, I’m not very good at ranking things. It blows my mind that anyone can definitively say what their favourite song is.

So rather than do a Top 100 and whatnot, I’ve compiled a Spotify playlist of the best music of 2010.

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Aeroplane’s “Superstar”: available with or without added Chromeo

Free Downloads And Streams, Pop Heaven / Pop Hell

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I am rather excite about Aeroplane‘s forthcoming album, which is probably the first time I’ve felt that way about a Belgian act.

Aeroplane are the people who did this amazing remix of Grace Jones, this amazing remix of Friendly Fires, this amazing remix of The Shortwave Set, this amazing remix of  Coyote, this amazing mash-up of Friendly Fires and some Frenchie… You get the idea. You’re not stupid.

They’ve also done some tray bong full-length mixes which will appeal to anyone who likes a splash of disco on their dance music. I’ve been listening to this Essential Mix for the last two months or so now!!!!!!!!?

Aeroplane – 500th Essential Mix (Live from Circus Liverpool) by Aeroplane (Official)

At the end of September their debut album “takes off”, and expectations are that it will be “plane” brilliant.

*pauses for audience laughter*

As if that weren’t good enough, they’ve roped my favourite electrofunk overdue-an-albumers Chromeo to remix their new single “Superstar”. Here it is:

Don’t you dig that “This is a preview” line? Here’s the original version, sans Chromeo:

Aeroplane – Superstar by Hypetrak

Aeroplane’s album will be called – uh-oh!!!!!!? – We Can’t Fly, and is out on 27th September. “Superstar” is out on 13th September.

Buy Aeroplane music by winging it over to 7digital

Aeroplane on MySpace

Listen to how Mega Mega Mega The Count & Sinden are

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The Count & Sinden – Mega Mega Mega by DominoRecordCo

I shan’t lie, I haven’t listened to The Count & Sinden’s new album Mega Mega Mega yet.

But let’s face it, these are the people who did this, and Hervé (who is, confusingly, either The Count or Sinden – I always forget which) never fails to create a glorious racket. So here it is for your listening wonderment. I’d be very surprised if it’s a load of old bollocks.

Update: I’ve now listened to the first two tracks, and they are both very good.

Nurse! Hand me my Pulitzer!

Buy The Count & Sinden barnstormers at 7Digital

Get Ur Freak On: Spotify playlist from R&B’s golden age

Free Downloads And Streams, Pop Heaven / Pop Hell


I’d never had the stomach for R&B until the mid-90s. I couldn’t be doing with all that “ooh baby” nonsense, see. But as my taste matured (that is, extended beyond Oasis), American R&B suddenly became something very different to the syrupy nonsense churned out since the heyday of New Jack (and Jill) Swing.

While it seems ridiculous to be getting all nostalgic about an era that only really ended four or five years ago, it’s worth revisiting what any right-thinking fan genuinely believes was a golden age for pop music.

Timbaland, Missy Elliott, The Neptunes, Dr Dre and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, among other producers, suddenly seemed to be in monthly battles to see who could create the snappiest, poppingest, hookiest snatch of “urban” music to hit daytime radio. Who won? Well, can you guess, readers? ‘TWAS US, DA LISNUZ.

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The Apples In Stereo will steal your girlfriend in a most tuneful manner

Free Downloads And Streams, Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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Fans of The Apples In Stereo’s earlier garage-jangle pop masterpieces (e.bloody.g., “Seems So”) might not have imagined there would ever be a sun-snogged patch of ELO’s picnic area where the band could be seen flinging a frisbee around and sipping cold ones with The Feeling.

But such is the vision their more recent stuff brings to mind, thanks to a 70s sensibility which, thankfully, does nothing to diminish the melodies which main chap Robert Schneider apparently produces more easily than you do saliva.

New album Travellers In Space And Time beams down several such tunelets. Get your listening tackle round “Told You Once”, f’rinstance:

The bonniest tune you’ve heard about nabbing someone’s girlfriend in a while, I’ll wager. While there will be lots of folk who have never hoid the thing, there will be many others who recognise it from a computer-based music simulation experience called Rock Band.


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32 World Cup Nations, 1 Spotify Playlist

Digital Love/Hate/Indifference, Free Downloads And Streams

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There are plenty of World Cup albums and playlists knocking about, all with the same old nonsense with which you get bombarded every four years. I like a bit of “Vindaloo” as much as the next psychopath, but there are other countries, cultures and musics out there worth sampling before that unavoidable moment when you start necking the fizzy violence juice and screaming at foreigns on TV.

So I made an unnecessarily lengthy playlist that would serve the hellishly noble purpose of supplying listeners with music they probably haven’t heard before, but which they might (hopefully) actually enjoy listening to. It has little if anything to do with football (one New Order track notwithstanding), and has music from every nation playing at the World Cup Finals in South Africa in 2010.

Er, the North Korean one’s right at the end. Never mind human rights, those guys are playing catch-up big time when it comes to choonz.

From South Africa’s version of electro – kwaito – to Swiss art-pop, to Greek hip-hop, to Ivorian soul, to Slovenian trance… Oh dear. I’m not doing a very good job of selling this, am I? But look, I’ve listened to all of these tracks, and think they each have something to recommend them beyond Eurovision-style LOLZ. So I hope you will too.

And if you don’t, you’re a RACIST.

Click here to open 32 World Cup Nations in Spotify

There’s a full tracklisting after the jump.

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Redlight rewards you with cheese, and you are advised to stuff yourself

Free Downloads And Streams, Up-And-Coming Acts

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redlightWhile listening to Redlight‘s “Your Reward Is Cheese” mix, I unwittingly came by a new method of rating music. With it blasting through my “cans” and the light in the room fading, I needed to turn on the lights.

Rather than pause the music for 10 seconds, I unplugged the laptop and carried it with me to the lamp I needed to switch on.

That says so much more than a thumbs-up, I think.

Now look, this mix is forty minutes long. Which may lead you to thinkings akin to “hmm, I’ll listen to the first minute and if there’s any monotonous prog-house nonsense I’m fucking right off”. Or, “I bet I’m looking at my watch by five minutes in”.

My friend, I can assure you this is not one of those mixes. This thing is so unabashedly, relentlessly BANGPOP (?) that it chucks in Dizzee Rascal, Kings Of Leon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Marvin Gaye, Eurythmics, Kanye West, Joan Jett… and that’s just in the first half.

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Who is this Bertie Blackman person, then?

Free Downloads And Streams, Video

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You can find anything out on the internet these days. Anything. And when one is investigating an act one is unfamilar with it’s good practice to check out Wikipedia, wait 11 minutes for the artist’s MySpace page to load, and so on.

For once, with Bertie Blackman, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to wait and see if the information comes to me. I’ll pretend this is a fun “experiment” rather than a symptom of my laziness. Do you know anything about Bertie Blackman? Leave information in the comments.

All I know, thanks to YouTube’s geographical info, is that she’s considerably more popular in one country than any other:


Her – yes HER, OMG WEIRD, RIGHT? – song “Thump” is an urgent, immediate, quiet-loud, um, thump in the synapses. I loves it, I do.

There are a couple of remixes here, too. Not as good as the original though, which seems a novel happening these days.

Bertie Blackman – Thump (Duosseudo Mix)

Bertie Blackman “Thump” (Wild Turkeys Remix)

Amerie & Lil Wayne collaboration almost certainly conducted over email

Free Downloads And Streams, Pop Heaven / Pop Hell

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Amerie‘s new one “Heard ‘Em All” is a frantic, tribal-beats-y kind of thing, with lots of great “uh-huh”s and “hey hey”s. I liked it after two listens, which makes it about an 8/10 on the immediacy scale. Clearly “One Thing” was an 11, but let’s give the poor girl a break because very few people ever produce a song that perfect and then have the misfortune to find themselves judged against it forever.

The video has a built-in guarantee of quality in that Amerie appears in it, but some people might deem it a bit of a “Disturbia” rip-off. Which isn’t that surprising since it’s by the same director, who clearly has Se7en, Fight Club and Mad Max on rotate on his DVD player.

Whatever, Universal Music don’t want too many people to see it – or any other visual representation of their artists’ work – because they are wrongheaded killjoy cunts who disable embedding on so many of the fucking videos they upload to YouTube.

So instead, here’s a version of the tune with a phoned-in Lil Wayne verse tacked onto the beginning so that men are allowed to listen to the song without feeling like a sissy.


Buy Amerie “Heard ‘Em All” MP3 at