To commemorate a tremendous batch of new releases from ambient/drone label Stereoscenic Records, we’re not only letting them pretty much take over Album of the Week (as you may have already noticed), but you’ll also find a bunch of other music of theirs all over Earbits. Check our “New On” section for Wintergarden, an amazing 25:00 sound wash from Hilyard that’s makes a beautiful, sprawling complement to his Asleep in Amber release. Tomorrow, a Stereoscenic-only playlist in the Discovery section. Save it and have all of their latest releases in one list. And finally, if you find yourself having covered their catalog and want more, check our new “Serene” station in Mood & Activity, which music from Stereoscenic and a number of other great artists with a similar style and approach. 

Earbits is all about discovery. There are lots of ways for you to find your next favorite artist, that next club banger, or the perfect playlist to suit your mood. Each week our music team works to expand these horizons even more, and we wanted to with you some of our faves with you every week. Take a listen, as our editors bring you yet another way to discover great music.


Causers of This – Toro Y Moi

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Everyone at Earbits was crushed to hear that Sharon Jones passed over the weekend after a long, hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer.

Starting tomorrow, we’ll be sharing one record of hers each day for the next six days. She and her backing band, The Dap Kings, made some of the funkiest, most impeccably crafted Soul music since the genre even had a name. Her voice was deep and powerful, tinged with pain, joy and hope all at once; in other words, it was the embodiment of soul itself.

After losing so many musical giants this year, we can only hope that Sharon’s passing will be the last.

Over her almost 40 year musical career, Björk herself has tried (and done) almost everything. Her records range from the maximal to the minimal, from the grand, art-pop menagerie that was Post, to the stripped down, all-vocal Medulla, to the subtle, organic electronics on Biophilia. And what’s truly remarkable is not only that she’s done so much and done it with such precision, clarity, and raw emotion, but how exactly she’s made this happen over the years. The answer, to my mind, lies in the fact that her need to venture into new territory doesn’t stop at the music that comes out on her major releases.

This week, we’ll be featuring a playlist a day from Ropeadope, one of our favorite labels and a mainstay of the Earbits catalog. Lined up for you, we’ve hand-picked a few eclectic lists, a few focused specifically on Jazz, and one each devoted to Hip-Hop and Funk of exclusively Ropeadope artists. Their output is diverse and singular: string arrangements, glitchy electronics, boogie funk lines, extended instrumental solos, Minimalist classical structure, deep neo-soul changes. The array of ideas and musical breadth is dizzying, and this kind of cross-pollination and open experimentation is what, for me, makes Ropeadope such a fantastic imprint. The first of seven lists goes live tomorrow, so keep your ears peeled!

 

We’re excited to report on the recent addition of Zenapolae to our catalog, a project the music team and myself have been working to bring you for a while now.  Zenapolae (pronounced “zen-OP’-oh-LEE”) is a netlabel focusing on experimental and avant-garde music, with a catalog that dates back nearly 20 years. Their entire collection, 144 releases from all over the world, is now available to listen to on Earbits as one big Special Collection and in rotation with our Avant Garde and Electronic sections. You might have also caught a playlist or two of theirs popping up in the last month or so, and in the weeks to come, they’ll be heavily featured in our New On & Editor’s Eclectic lists, Albums of the Week, as well in a few more of their own dedicated label feature playlists.

 

If you’re a fan of Brazilian music, you’ll immediately recognize more than a few giants on Far Out Recordings’ incredible roster, and this week, we’re featuring one of them: Joyce Moreno. Her latest effort, Cool, is a much anticipated collection of standards from the classic American songbook, reimagined and reinvigorated with her singular style and voice. Cool is one of our Albums of the Week this week, and we’re is really stoked to welcome her and Far Out to Earbits.

 

Take a listen here. I’m really into her to her languid, beautifully restrained take on Monk’s classic “‘Round Midnight,” and her bubbly Samba rework of Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It.”

We have a serious treat for you. Earbits has the premier of a brand new track by Future Wave powerhouse, Night Drive. And, it’s amazing.

For everyone out there patiently awaiting the upcoming Night Drive album, here’s a dark electro-pop re-imagination of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” paired with LCD Soundsystem’s “Too Much Love”. This is what you might expect if Jimmy Page and James Murphy had a child in a dystopian NYC landscape, circa 2041.

It’s 1968. Psychedelic music is peaking, but the drugs themselves are starting to wear off. The Beatles visit India to study with the Maharishi, searching for a new source of enlightenment and, perhaps, escape. Fast forward to today and give the track, “Helter Skelter” a listen, and you might catch a bit of what they, and a lot of others in the counterculture, might have been feeling at the time: a tense mix of waning ecstasy and exhaustion.

We are lucky to be streaming Astronauts, etc. on Earbits, but if the man behind the music, Anthony Ferraro, was able to put his two decades of study to use, we’d be discussing a new classical arrangement. That’s right, Classical music was his chosen path at one time. An unfortunate situation forced him to re-evaluate his musical future, and here we are…

Astronauts, etc. was born.

A tight, laid-back, well-arranged groove always seems to find itself at the center of an Astronauts, etc. track. Intricate alternative R&B and Soul that you can dance to. Word of advice: get ready to click the ‘Favorite’ button when you listen on Earbits – you’re going to want to hear Astronauts, etc. again.