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For years, Martin Clark aka Blackdown Soundboy’s blogspot address has functioned as both a central point for some of the most current, self-defining journalism in dance music and a treasure trove of garage, grime, dubstep (and beyond) history, including mixes, interviews and retrospectives on the scene’s seminal nights, conflicts and successes. For me, the site has offered a pin prick camera view into the demise of late 1990s garage, the rise of dubstep and the proliferation of grime. It offered a gateway into the spread, mutation and peculiarities of the music I now hold close to my heart and which, at the time, I was unable to connect with due to age, geography and a shit modem connection. Recurring characters like Skream, Kode9 and DJ Target have become familiar, despite the fact that the majority of the articles were written five-plus years ago. Today marks the 10th anniversary of the site, which will hopefully continue to function as an unofficial register of 2000s ‘nuum culture for years to come, and Clark has uploaded an absolute classic of a mix from FWD>> (@ Plastic People) featuring Mala b2b Loefah and the inimitable SFT Pokes on mic duties.

Having never been to Plastic People, attended a FWD>> night, or step foot in East London, it’s difficult to gage exactly what Clark means when he refers to this set as the “best live dubstep set I’ve ever heard recorded,” but despite the inherent cognitive dissonance of listening to a set so firmly set in a specific temporal realm, its eminence is as easily recognizable as any other “scene defining” mix, song, album or live performance. Clark included his own version of live blogging to round out the 10th anniversary celebration, offering up memories, commentary and context to Mala & Loefah’s selections. If you’re not familiar with Clark, Blackdown Soundboy or the label, Keysound Recordings, he runs in tandem with Dusk, cut a few hours from your day and browse back through the annals of the Blackdown Soundboy blogspot.

Download: Mala b2b Loefah ft SGT Pokes live at FWD>> 01.06.06

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The holidays are the one time of year when I appreciate the fact that my Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with promotional posts. That’s because the holidays are the time for giving, specifically the time when producers dump all of their bootlegs/edits/unfinished tracks on the unsuspecting masses. The quality is generally a mixed bag, but we’ve received a deluge of heat in the past few days that deserves its fair due. On the raps front, Lil B, King Louie, Fredo SantanaLil Silk and Fabolous have let loose new tapes over the past week or so. All deserve your attention, although save Lil B’s 05 Fuck Em and maybe spend a little more time with Silk and Louie.

The good folks at Mixpak were also kind enough to hand out a bundle of free tracks from their roster and beyond. The Holiday Bundle evokes the grime, dancehall and soca-based riddim culture that Dre Skull has so carefully curated over the past few years. Sudanim, Murlo and Koyote all bring their best to the table.

You’ve likely seen these already as well, but big hitters Flying Lotus, Zed Bias, Ryan Hemsworth Clams Casino all gave bundles of tracks away in the past few days. Casino’s third Instrumental Mixtape is probably the most cohesive attempt of the bunch, but FlyLo’s assorted beats, remixes and bootlegs offer some intriguing insight into the producer and his cohort’s recording processes. The Hemsworth collection is largely edits he’s designed for live play and the “Post-Rock Tears” version of Future’s “Honest” is a real beauty. Two step legend Zed Bias handed over 200 MB of live recording, remixes and production work under both his ZB sobriquet and his Maddslinky nom de plume.

Hit the jump for a jambalaya of free tracks…

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