Kids & Explosions

Kids & Explosions
Shit Computer
Self-Released

First of all, and before you hear the inevitable comparisons from journalists that are somehow lazier than I am, Kids & Explosions does not sound like Girl Talk. The art of making music using the pastiche method of combining elements from existing pieces of music with other elements of existing pieces of music has become such common practice that people tend to confuse regular producers with mash-up artists, or worse, all of the above with Girl Talk. Rather than utilising nostalgic references and ADHD post-ironic pop culture twisters for the benefit of a party (like the Gregg Gillis’ frequently mentioned fraternity project, or 2manydjs), Josh Raskin has sat and watched that Four Loko-fuelled bandwagon roll away while piecing together ADD jams that favour melancholic glitches with expertly placed vocal samples that manage to evoke shoegaze textures and even post-rock build-ups every so often. The end result is a collection of songs that are at once listenable, memorable, bittersweet, quietly arousing and head-nodding.

Whether it’s when the layers of ‘Babies Of The Future‘ collide as RZA ‘brings the motherfucking…’ crescendo that refuses to conclude in a ruckus, or when ‘Swear Words‘ works as a comprehensive guide to exactly what the song title suggests over twee guitars we’re continuously presented with an oxymoron so obvious it would sound terrible if anyone else was making it. But it’s anything but terrible, and when album highlight ‘Use Your Words‘ builds from gentle piano and soft female vocal sampling to Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s ‘oh baby I like it raw’ line, recontextualised into one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching things you could ever hear, you’ll be hitting the replay button more frequently than Josh has hit ctrl+v making the damn thing.

The album can be downloaded at whatever price you decree at Josh’s website. You can – and should – stream the album in its entirety there too, alongside suitably looped gifs.

Free Downloads: 26/11/10

It must be the holiday spirit or something, but artists, bands and producers have been even more generous than usual and our inboxes have been overflowing with all sorts of tuneage in a variety of tempos and styles. Here are our ten picks from yet another two weeks of quality music.

The undisputed king of mash-ups and party mixtapes, Girl Talk released his latest collection of nostalgia meets college party meets weird meets brilliant beats online for free and if you haven’t already picked it up then you’ll find it all below. Daft Punk’s Tron OST is currently doing the rounds on the leaky pipes of the web to a mixed reception but if you didn’t catch their collaboration with N.E.R.D. then check out Nero’s remix if beats float your boat more than synths and strings. Shy FX get taken apart from one of the year’s biggest beatmakers Breakage as this weekend turns into a guaranteed party.

Pow 2011 is causing another forward riddim stir in London and Wiley’s meme-spawning ‘bududududada’ bars over the beat makes one of the most addictive dubplates of the year, get it! Crossfader subject Submerse keeps on going from strength to strength and his remix of Wolf Gang’sLion In Cages‘ sees blogs on a hype for his forthcoming releases. X-Ray Spex’s frontwoman Poly-Styrene makes a welcome return to our speakers with ‘Black Christmas‘. Crystal Castles made one of the most press-worthy collaborations of the year, dragging in Robert Smith for ‘Not In Love‘.

If you thought Jay-Z’s 99 Problems couldn’t be remixed any more then you were very wrong; Liam Howlet takes a simple but effective rework route for this banging Prodigy remix. New York three piece fun. live up to their name again with an acoustic version of their buzzing ‘Walking The Dog’. And last but not least, the hottest female to come out of Wales since… we can remember, Marina and the Diamonds gets a hypegenre workout courtesy of the ungoogleable but absolutely listenable oOoOO.

Go and get them.

N.E.R.D. & Daft Punk – Hypnotize U (Nero Remix) by Crossfire Music

Wiley – Mz Bratt Pow 2011 Dubplate by Crossfire Music

Wolf Gang – Lions In Cages (Submerse Remix) by Crossfire Music

Poly Styrene – Black Christmas by Crossfire Music

Shy FX – Raver (Breakage Remix) by Crossfire Music

Crystal Castles “Not In Love” (ftrg. Robert Smith) by moderntonic.com

fun. ‘Walking The Dog (Acoustic)’ by Hassle Records

Jay-Z – 99 Problems (The Prodigy Remix) by Hypetrak

Marina and the Diamonds – Obsessions (oOoOO Remix) by Hypetrak

Girl Talk – All Day by Hypetrak