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New 80Kidz: 80:05

80:05 reflects a simplification of sorts for the electro duo 80Kidz. They’ve never exactly been a particularly straightforward unit, having come up during the heyday of blown-out bloghouse. And their music has always been a very hit or miss undertaking (again, bloghouse), but the moments of brilliance always used to balance out the cringe-ier exercises in Cobrasnake-core. It also resulted in one flat-out killer album, 2010’s Weekend Warrior, a set featuring songs that sound as fucking affirming now as they did seven years ago jesus. But the albums and singles in its wake pushed too hard, the duo leaning too heavily on guest vocalists who gradually felt like fossils (you didn’t need the guy from Jamaica pretending to sound like Thomas Mars in 2011, and you sure as hell didn’t need him in 2016).

So here comes this new release, a continuation of an old thing 80Kidz did when they were getting too deep into this crossover shlock, where they made “dance tracks” aka what they are best at. And these three songs are so good! “Reversed Note” props slinky piano and violin swells up against pounding beats, creating an honest-to-goodness tension so much of their music has lacked in the past half-decade. “No Wave” moves harsher, but works because it just lets the acid-tinged synth rumble forward without having to deal with any unnecessary vocal additions. And “Butter” goes one better, a dizzy little bit of half-second sounds that genuinely makes me want to have a bloghouse revival go down. There’s no doubt 80Kidz have done some good stuff in recent years, but very little of it approached the simple and focused tunes found here. And they have one coming out every month. Get it here, or listen below.

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New Chocoholic: “Love Cuts”

We can always count on Chocoholic for some high-energy dance tunes and “Love Cuts” certainly delivers on that front. It’s a bouncy bit of pop anchored by a sample noting that “love cuts like a plastic knife,” before a rap verse shoots up and the beat starts getting a bit shiftier. It’s a solid bit of energy…but it really gets interesting when everything stops for a bit, and “Love Cuts” slows down as it approaches the end. It’s a hint of detail future songs could very well have, giving otherwise solid bangers a bit more depth. Listen above.

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New The Neon City: “Another World”

Inspired by a recent stay in New Zealand, Osaka’s The Neon City created the sparse and glowing “Another World.” It’s a song not in any particular hurry to get anywhere, for the first half content to just splay out in the sun, vocals barely audible and sparse keyboard notes up front. Drums eventually enter, and The Neon City’s voice grows stronger alongside a wash of synths, but it would be off to say the song bursts open. Rather, “Another World” lets the intensity of what’s around her overtake, making for a warm and peaceful song. Listen above.

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Persistence Makes It: ind_fris’ Remind Me Tomorrow

The latest from Sabacan Records comes courtesy of producer ind_fris, a Kyoto artist last seen on the netlabel sharing some “Gorillawave.” With “Remind Me Tomorrow,” he constructs a persistent house number full of space, which allows for the song to proceed at a breezy pace. Not quite tropical, but when everything stops and only the synths and skittery beat remain, it’s calming. Magvel offers a remix on the other side, which puts some blurry smudges around it. Get it here, or listen below.

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New Beef Fantasy: “Melody Eater”

Not many artists writing an “image song” for a stuffed animal could come up with something compelling, but then again Beef Fantasy is a special kind of creator. The artist — who, we should note, released a fantastic song last year called “Virtua Beach” that we still kind of overlooked for reasons we are blanking on now, and also this which I didn’t know about until now — created “Melody Eater” to serve as a theme of sorts for this line of handcrafted stuffed toys (all sold out now!). The song itself is a bouncy number, one where every sound clatters forward and guest vocalist Marina’s singing gets sliced and died into a fine bits. Taken alongside samples of birds squawking off, “Melody Eater” boasts a fantasy atmosphere, one where synth melodies and what sound like Yoshi’s tongue shooting out make perfect sense together. Listen above.

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