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XXL's Playlist For The Government Shutdown, Sam Valenti's nostalgic #PrivateJam, Darkside's "Paper Trails" and more
by CH Editors
on 07 October 2013
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Darkside: Paper Trails

When Darkside remixed the entirety of Daft Punk's Random Access Memories this summer, it was clear they were warming up to something much bigger. Producer Nicolas Jaar and multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington have been concocting a musical experiment since their 2011 EP, and new singles "Golden Arrow" and "Paper Trails" are evidence their work will continue to blur genres and break new ground in electronic music. "Paper Trails" pairs Harrington's subdued guitar harmonies with low vocals and Jaar's characteristic minimal rhythms to create a hypnotic space-age spiritual sound. The duo recently played a Boiler Room set in Brooklyn, and Monday they'll play a sold-out show at Fabric in London. Their debut LP Psychic drops 8 October, through Jaar's new hybrid label and subscription service Other People, in collaboration with Matador Records.

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XXL's Playlist For The Government Shutdown

On 1 October 2013, almost everyone in America could empathize with rapper El-P, who in his authority-challenging track "The Jig Is Up" says, "You must be out of your goddamn mind." The US government shutdown began Tuesday after Congress couldn't reach an agreement on the Affordable Care Act, an asinine dispute that's furloughed 800,000 people. Hip-hop magazine XXL takes listeners on journey of protest songs with Playlist For The Government Shutdown, which features the El-P track and other lyrical bangers like Public Enemy's "Shut 'em Down," "Reagan" by Killer Mike, Eminem's "White America" and more.

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Wayne Wonder: No Letting Go

This week's #PrivateJam epitomizes its premise. Ghostly co-founder Sam Valenti delivered guilty pleasure gold with Wayne Wonder's "No Letting Go." Claiming it "was the fire" back in the day, Valenti further reminisces, explaining the Jamaican reggae artist's song is "NYC 2000s radio pop with enough island and club feel to set it apart." He adds he's "also a sucker for Nina Sky for the same buoyant reasons." Music aside, the video is a classic; with Wonder singing in front of the sparkling sea and beautiful ladies dancing in bikinis.

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William Carl Jr: Over

A soulful, synth-driven debut R&B single, "Over," by Londoner William Carl Jr, thoughtfully reflects on the slow, lingering end to a transatlantic, long-distance relationship. The track bounces forward with a calm beauty in the face of regret and loss. After three years as the touring bassist for singer Holly Miranda, Carl Jr embarked on a solo project as a producer and performer. If this song is any indicator, we've got a lot more to look forward to.

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Cory Jreamz: Alive

Hailing from Houston, TX, unsigned artist Cory Jreamz dropped a haunting new track called "Alive" this week. The dark video—which Jreamz made himself—avoids big budget antics in favor of a staring contest-style rap along, while still managing to be theatrical enough to retain audience attention. With a James Brown sample in the intro of the Treyshawn-produced track, and nods to various chopped and screwed stylings synonymous with southern rap, it's clear the 19-year-old has done his music homework but is set out to do something different.

Published every Sunday, ListenUp takes a deeper look at the music we tweeted about that week. Often we'll include a musician or notable fan's surprising personal interests—#PrivateJam exposes their musical guilty pleasure.

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