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Recap: Karl D’s Favorite Tracks/Mixes of 2014

Another year is over, and it’s time again to celebrate my favorite tunes of the year.  This is the 5th annual Recap, following the 4 years past:

I didn’t think I would do a Top 5 list this year, but I always like taking the time to think about the music that has excited me over the last year.

Like all of the previous posts, I’m using this space to highlight some of my own influences – which have come in the form of individual tracks as well as mixes from standout DJs on podcasts and promotional mixes around the web that I’ve listened to through the year.

Please enjoy this selection of mixes and tracks from these hardworking artists, and if possible, support them any way you can.  These lists are in no particular order.

Top 5 Tracks:

  1. Kiesza – Hideaway – I think the best house songs of the last 10 years or so are not the ones with the big breakdowns and the excessive flair of “EDM”, but those that break it down to the basics.  “Hideaway” works because of it’s laid back yet complex production value combined with Kiesza’s raw talent.   I was introduced to the tune with the fantastical video – recorded in one single camera shot.
  2. Sohn – Artifice – Sohn is an artist that popped up this year, seemingly out of nowhere, but left a strong impression on me.  He’s an artist who is gifted with both singing ability and technical production skills, which “Artifice” showcased well.  This song lacks classification only because it’s unlike anything I’ve heard in the last several years.
  3. Disclosure – LatchTechnically a “leftover” from 2012, this didn’t get major airplay (and subsequently chart) in the States until this year.  When I first heard about Disclosure I wasn’t sure if I understood the hype, until I heard this track.
  4. Triceracorn – Porcalain(Recue mix) – Another one that came out near the end of last year, I didn’t catch it until early 2014.  I learned about this from another introduction to Recue, but this track was most certainly his standout work.  I’m still waiting for the “formal” release on this one.
  5. Above and Beyond – A Thing Called Love (Acoustic, Live from Porchester Hall) – Above and Beyond’s acoustic shows and subsequent live release were such a surprise move, but a unique pleasure.  To have all of the fancy production stripped away and rely on the singers, the musicians, and the music, really shows how well A&B’s music stands on it’s own (as they discussed in the DVD).  I liked all of these acoustic renditions, but I liked “A Thing Called Love” the best.

Top 5 Mixes:

  1. ME003 – Richie Kaboogie X mynameisjOhn –  The “Mix Exchange” is a new series, but one I’m quickly becoming fond of.  2 DJs square off for each episode, and each one interviews the other in an article which accompanies the mix.  There’s a stark contrast between these two artists, with Richie Kaboogie sligning some dark techno and mynameisjOhn delivering a diverse hip hop mix with different styles.  I look forward to more Mix Exchanges from Rudimentary Records.
  2. Krafty Kuts – Golden Era of Hip Hop Part 1Although more known now for his breaks work, Krafty Kuts is an excellent hip-hop DJ and turntablist.  The track selection really did showcase the “Golden Era”, and Krafty Kuts’ skills give the listener a great deal to get excited about.
  3. Electronic Explorations 325 – MonoakRecorded live from two MPC‘s, and “there is no compression, external FX or mastering. ”  An impressive set, based on these constraints.  It’s nice to find an artist that still finds a way to be innovative.
  4. Lady Waks – In Da Mix 270 – Lady Waks is my new favorite DJ!  Since the first one of her mixes I heard, I could tell she’s giving the breaks world a big wakeup call.
  5. Technikal – History of Hard Trance – Some of my favorite tunes of all time are showcased in this mix.  Truly, a classic set of euphoric hardtrance.

 

Giveaway: Existential Funk: 5th Anniversary Special Edition

Missed your shot at the groupees bundle?  You’re in luck, because I’ve just re-(re)launched the album at Bandcamp.

The album is a great value at only $3.

With that in mind, I’ve got a few freebies for some early birds.  Enjoy the album, and please share this post with your friends.

Click on the image to grab a key below, and enter it for a free copy here:

edit: all gone!

Existential Funk: Special Edition and Groupees Community 2 Bundle

I’m pleased to announce the release of the 5th Anniversary Special Edition of Existential Funk.

This has been in the works for a while, but needed the right platform to jump off.  This feels right to do – I wanted to commemorate the anniversary of the album’s initial release in 2008 in a meaningful way.  The package includes the original album, along with both remix EPs that went with the project all those years ago.  Plus, you’ll receive a PDF booklet containing “the complete history” of the album, as well as individual commentary from me on each track on the release.

This release is being featured in the Groupees Community 2 Bundle, where you can name your price to get more than 12 other albums, books, and games, along with my own release.  It’s a tremendous bargain, and part of your purchase can go to The Enough Project, a group committed to ending crimes against humanity.

I’m proud to have my release featured in this way, and excited to release this album to you as a part of this bundle.  Right now, the only way to get the Existential Funk – 5th Anniversary Special Edition is in the Groupees Community 2 bundle, so head there to grab your copy.  This bundle is only active for the next 2 weeks, so act fast.

Groupees Community 2 Bundle

Community2

 

Now on Spotify!

You can now find both of my LP releases(Existential Funk and life.remixed) on Spotify!  Become a follower and add your favorite tunes to your playlists!

Existential Funk on Spotify

Life Remixed on Spotify

Creative Commons Licensing for All Audio Material!

“Can we solve this problem with MORE freedom instead of less?”

-Penn Jillette

Legal eagles who frequent the Legal page on this site(there may not be many of you) may have noticed a change recently:   The copyright which applied to all content has been changed to a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike license.

This change includes all current and future releases, as well as retroactively for all the previously released EPs, and the random beats series. 

Because of this, you are now free to share or modify the content, as long as you attribute the original work to Karl D, and share your content with the same or similar license.  You don’t even have to ask for consent – but I’d love to hear about it on the contact page!

In fact, I’d been planning this change for a while, but it seemed like an appropriate time given the discussion of copyright online.

I hope you continue to enjoy listening – and enjoy your freedom.

Support Free Speech

The future of the internet.

The future of the internet.

 

randombeats.com is not blacking out for the day, but stands in solidarity with those that do.

PIPA/SOPA is legislation intended to protect copyrights.  Instead, it keeps the rich and powerful…rich and powerful, while damaging the right of citizens to speak freely on the internet.  Besides that, many tech experts agree that the methods that would be used to enforce the legislation could damage the way the Internet works.  Simply put, the legislation is dangerous to an American’s right to free speech as well as our Internet infrastructure.

If passed, the idea of “Fair Use” would essentially be non-existent on the internet.

Most of the content on this site is original – but as designed, SOPA/PIPA would allow randombeats.com(and other sites like it) to be effectively taken down(or “go dark”) at the mere suggestion of copyright infringement.

 

Read more about the issue here:  http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/01/websites-dark-in-revolt/

Follow the money:  http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3261/money

Do not adjust your tv set!

You may notice things are a little different around here. I have changed the theme to one I hope will be a little easier on the eyes while not changing the overall “brand” of the site too much. Please pardon my dust while I continue to get things worked out on the new theme.

Please note the “pages”, including the Free Downloads section, are now accessible from the top of the page.

I (heart) PSP

Did you know you could access the feed from a PSP?  In addition to getting the feed via podcast in iTunes, This is one of the best ways to get randombeats.com free content on the go.  You can stream music on the fly, or download entire tracks to listen to later. 

Simply point your RSS reader in your PSP to http://randombeats.com/feed

Happy feeding!

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