Vowel free

Rcrd Lbl's free and legal downloads
By CAITLIN E. CURRAN  |  December 17, 2007
Dirty on Purpose

Last month, Peter Rojas, founder of the Engadget and Gizmodo tech blogs, and Josh Deutsch, of Downtown Records, launched a DRM- and vowel-free blog called Rcrd Lbl, with free, legal MP3 downloads. Rcrd Lbl pays both artists and labels like Warp and Modular in exchange for permission to post songs. “Their music is already out there for free, so what we're doing is making them more comfortable about putting it out there,” Rojas reasoned with Wired recently. Here are a few tracks that have been offered so far.

Purse Snatchers, “Christmas Lights”
This track by the married duo Doug Hartman and Annie Hart, of Dirty on Purpose and Au Revoir Simone, respectively, has standard holiday elements: twinkling bells, musings about seasonal decorations. But the song’s melancholic composition of outerspacy electronic looping will kibosh any comparisons with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Dirty on Purpose, “Leaving”
Speaking of DOP: that band owe a lot to Belle and Sebastian for their shoegazing brand of rock, and it shows on “Leaving,” their just-released Rcrd Lbl–exclusive track, which includes the dreamy lyric “I’m like a dead volcano, just passing time.”

Zoot Woman, “We Won't Break”
The first single by the British electro-pop duo Zoot Woman in four years smashes together new-wave synth and hard Daft Punkish beats.

Justice, Mos Def, and Spank Rock, “D.A.N.C.E.”
We can’t decide which were more abundant — covers of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” in 2006 or remixes of Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” in 2007. Not that this is a bad state of affairs — with remixes abounding, the original version of “D.A.N.C.E.” now feels a bit naked. Rcrd Lbl’s offering, with Mos Def and Spank Rock, is clad in hot kicks and gold chains.

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