This Week’s Top Downloads: Pete Rock, Karen O, Banks and More

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(Editor’s Note: DJ Travis Holcombe can now be heard weeknights from 10pm to midnight. He’ll offer up some of his favorite free downloads on the KCRW Music Blog every Friday for your weekend listening in this new series.)


For as much credit as Pete Rock gets as a producer, he’s still terribly underrated. Soul Brother #1 has been keeping busy since his split with CL Smooth and80 Blocks From Tiffany’s, Pt. II” is his latest offering.

The mixtape pairs Rock with Bronx duo Camp Lo (the group behind “Luchini aka This Is It“,  aka one of the greatest songs ever) and a slew of guests including M.O.P, Talib Kweli, Mac Miller, and Ab-Soul. “80 Blocks Pt. II” is no “Mecca and the Soul Brother” but there are some really great tracks.

I’d recommend starting with the Dam-Funk sampling “Ladies & Gentlemen“. DOWNLOAD HERE

after dark

Italians Do It Better have mastered the art of the label comp. The label has the unique advantage of having one man — Johnny Jewel — at the helm of the production for most of the label’s acts, which gives all the releases a consistent feel. There’s a distinct iciness/sexiness to all of the productions and hearing the instrumentals without the vocals gives you a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of Jewel’s work.

“After Dark 2” is one of my favorite releases of the year and last year’s Chromatics release – “Kill For Love, was my pick for album of the year.

IDIB has just released all of the instrumentals for “After Dark 2 as free download and you definitely need this.

LA-based Banks might not be a household name to KCRW listeners yet, but she already the darling of Soundcloud remixers.

She’s got a new EP, entitled “London set for release on September 10 and will go on tour with the Weeknd this fall.

It was the track “Before I Ever Me You” from the “Fall Over” EP that first caught my ear. Then came “Warm Water“, produced by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and I was all-in on Banks.

Here’s one of my favorite remixes of “Warm Water” that I’ve been playing a lot on my show, available as a free download:


From Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, here’s a lovely new track for Spike Jonze’ forthcoming film, “Her”. Get it quick, this limited download might not last through the weekend.