Moderat: Bad Kingdom
Moderat—the collaborative side project of Berlin-based artists Apparat (Sascha Ring) and Modeselektor (Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary)—takes listeners on an illustrated journey of the downfall of English aristocracy in "Bad Kingdom," the first single off their forthcoming album II. The entrancing Pfadfinderei-directed video emotionally matches Apparat's luring vocals, which are both juxtaposed with Modeselektor's intricate beats for a harmonious track that toes the line between pop and electronic music. The trio's second full-length album is out 6 August 2013.
Joey Bada$$: Summer Knights Mixtape
Just in time for the holiday weekend, Brooklyn's own up-and-comer released his Summer Knights Mixtape on the one-year anniversary of his breakthrough release 1999. At just 18, the young Flatbush-based rapper has an impressive list of collaborators on roster. Highlights include gleaming production on "Amethyst Rockstar" by the infamous MF DOOM, where Bada$$'s rhyming potential shines. With guest appearances from fellow Pro Era members as well as Bermudian reggae artist Collie Buddz, the mix is great to throw on for a late afternoon segue into a hot summer night.
Breakbot & Irfane: Bedtime Stories
Hot off the grill is "Bedtime Stories" from French DJ Breakbot and longtime collaborator Irfane. Together they've served up a soundtrack for summer, saying, "Our music seems to be the product of warmth and sunshine." This 45-minute mix has Breakbot's characteristic emphasis on funky bass guitar and synth chord stabs as Irfane and others sing against the disco rhythms. The mix opens with dialogue from the Eddie Murphy film Coming to America and takes you on a downtempo journey through hidden disco gems and very sexy, slow-grooving climaxes—try not to melt.
Grateful Dead: Standing on the Moon
To celebrate Independence Day we dug deep into the archives of one of our favorite American bands, the Grateful Dead. This rare clip from 1992 features frontman Jerry Garcia reflecting on America's place in the world at the now-defunct John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. Garcia sings of the view of Earth from the moon—lonely but beautiful—as he gazes upon the glory and anguish of our planet. Up on the moon—"where talk is cheap and vision true"—Garcia reflects on humanity's ability to roll on; through good times and bad.
The xx: Tides (Dixon Remix)
London-based label Young Turks commissioned artists from their favorite label du jour, Berlin's Innervisions, to remix three tracks from The xx's last full-length release, Coexist. Berlin-based DJ Dixon re-imagines "Tides" as an uptempo club track without losing any of the the original's dark beauty. A pulsating beat persists throughout, while The xx's signature guitar riffs carry it through the breaks. In addition to a mesmerizing beat, the video features strangely captivating imagery of what appears to be the inside of a helium ballon being inflated and deflated. For xx fans, this is a great dance-floor-ready version of one of the band's moodier tunes.