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We’ve been fairly absent from the blog this week, because of various nature excursions and other computer time limitations. Luckily, we’re back now and ready to continue bringing you the phonk. Amid a hectic SXSW filled week, a large amount of new music was actually released, much of it from the hip hop world. As a result, we bring you this special edition Sounds From The Astral Plane as a summary of the week’s happenings.

Stream: Nas – “The Don” (Prod. Salaam Remi, Da Internz and Heavy D)

Nas never ceases to amaze me with his tenacity on the mix. Dude has been in the game for over 20 years, and while there will never be another Illmatic, Nasir will go down as one of, if not the greatest, rappers of all time. Following last year’s “Nasty,” a sickening tear over minimalist percussion, Nas brings us “The Don,” produced by Salaam Remi with a helping hand from Da Internz and the late Heavy D. I can imagine Nas turning on the radio, hearing “Work Out” for the millionth time, calling up Salaam and hitting the studio. This shit is gully.

Stream/Download: Sene – “Backboards” feat. Blu

Sene is one of those MC’s who everyone has heard of, but no one really thinks twice about. He’s worked extensively with Blu, but none if it has made waves like the latter’s collaborations with Exile, Fashawn and Mainframe. It might be time to give Sene a little respect. “Backboards,” conveniently featuring Blu, is downright beautiful, eliciting comparisons to The Visionaries. Also, Blu on a mastered track? Pretty unheard of over the past couple years. “Backboards” is off of Sene’s upcoming Brooklyknight album, dropping April 24 on Plug Research.

Download: Danny Brown – “Baseline”

There isn’t much to say about Danny Brown that hasn’t been said. Read this Passion of the Weiss post for details. “Baseline” is as minimalist as Brown gets, allowing the MC to get ugly with the rhymes. If glorified drug usage, misogyny, and one of the most unique flows in contemporary hip hop interests you, then download “Baseline” above.

Stream/Download: Tokimonsta – “Fame Boozer’s Lullaby” feat. Rucyl

Squeaky production from Toki and majestic vocals from Rucyl = chilled out bliss. Hopefully this is a sign that the wait for a followup to 2010’s Midnight Menu will soon be over.

Stream: Kirko Bangz – “Drank In My Cup” (Brenmar Remix)

Chicago DJ/producer Brenmar has publicly stated that one of his main goals is to get “people to hook up at the club.” This track will certainly do that. Brenmar ramps up the sex appeal for his take on Texas crooner Kirko Bangz’s “Drank In My Cup,” turning the syruppy original into a dance floor anthem. This is club music at its best.

Stream/Download: Pale – “Worst Job Of Good Luck”

“Worst Job Of Good luck” is off of London label Bullet Train Records’ Bullet Train Allstars compilation. It’s the  best track off the comp and features incredibly clean production from Pale mixed with some pitched down vocals. Nice minimalist cut right hurr.

Stream/Download: Dam-Funk – “Serious”

There is never a shortage of new material on Dam Funk’s Soundcloud page. It fells like every week or two, he throws a superb new cut on their as a free download. Dam plays all the instruments on “Serious,” a jazzy track with that trademark Dam Funk sound. It’s no surprise that Dam can meld his sound into a jazz aesthetic, but it is still damn impressive.

Stream: Nocando – “Miyamoto Musashi” (Produced by DNAEBeats)

Low End Theory is in Japan right now. Nocando released a song about legendart samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Sounds about right.

Download: Action Bronson – Blue Chips (Mixtape)

Action Bronson supplies the raps. Party Supplies supplies the beats. It’s fantastic. Oddly enough, the first track, “Pouches of Tuna” uses the same beat as the Sene’s track above. Not sure if Party Supplies made it, or what, but I have to say that the Sene version is better. Beyond that confusion, “Thug Love Story 2012” sounds like classic Ghostface-ish. That comparison is getting a little old at this point, but it’s just too hard to ignore on tracks like this. Download Blue Chips from DJ Booth above.

Watch: Nacho Picasso and Blue Sky Black Death – “Rammin”

More visuals from Lord of the Fly, this time for the grimy “Rammin.” If you can get over the overdone effects, this is a pretty enjoyable vid. This is what The Weeknd sees when he hits the club. Some real XO shit.

In anticipation of the upcoming Low End Theory Japan tour, resident spitter Nocando threw down a quick bilingual acapella in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. I can’t imagine many MC’s that have the dexterity on the mic to pull this type of verse off. The LET Japan tour hits Sapporo, Himeji, Osaka and Tokyo. Along with all of the residents, Nosaj Thing and Samiyam will be in tow for the entirety of the tour. Find out more info about the tour here, and download Nocando’s freEP here.

Photo from facebook

We’re back with the second edition of Sounds From The Astral Plane. If you missed last weeks edition, check it out here. We will be highlighting some tunes from (mostly) unsigned/independent artists that we might have missed throughout the week. Enjoy.

Stream: R.Dot – “From The Ashes…Anew”

It’s always a treat to get new music from Huntsville, Alabama. Over the last several years, Huntsville has evolved from an afterthought of the hip hop media to its darling thanks in large part to groups like Paper Route Gangstaz and G-Side. Much of the success of PRGz and G-Side can be attributed to the production acumen of the Block Beattaz. One half of the Block Beattaz, R.Dot, is preparing for the release of instrumental project Euphoric and let a track that didn’t make the album go on Tuesday.

Stream: Jonwayne -“Electricity”

Jonwayne has been one of the hottest names in the LA hip hop/electronic landscape over the past several months. The producer/MC finished 2011 off with a month long Low End Theory residency, a spot on dozens of “Best Of” lists, and a spot on the Stones Throw roster. Now Mr. Wayne is starting 2012 off right with a beat tape titled Oodles Of Doodles set to be released on Stones Throw in February. “Electricity” is the first track off of the tape and features Wayne’s signature bleepy videogame sounds.

Stream/Download: Dam Funk – “Bionic Pussy”

There’s not much to say about Dam Funk that hasn’t already been said. The Pasadena native and keytar master just released an unreleased cut titled “Bionic Pussy” that didn’t make it onto 2009’s Toeachizown. Stay funky Dam.

SKI BEATZ FEAT. CURREN$Y – FLY BY from DD172 on Vimeo.

Stream/Download: Ski Beatz  – “Fly By (Feat. Curren$y)

Ski Beatz was one of the most accomplished producers of 90’s producing tracks for Camp Lo, Jay-Z and AZ. For the majority of the aughts though, Ski was quiet only occasionally releasing new music. That changed all changed in 2010 when Ski took over the game with Curren$y, Jay Electronica and Stalley in tow. 2010’s 24 Hour Karate School was a resounding success and while its follow up, 24 Hour Karate School 2, was a little disappointing, the two albums cemented Ski’s return as well as his place as one of the best producers in hip hop history. “Fly By” is the first track off of the third incantation of 24 Hour Karate School.

Steam/Download: Nocando – “Hollywood (Ras G Dub Mix)”

Low End Theory collaborations are almost always a smashing success. Here, Ras G takes Nocando’s ode to Tinseltown and flips it on its head. This is truly future music.

Stream/Download: Miike Snow – “Paddling Out”

In 2009, Swedish trio Miike Snow took the indie/dance worlds by storm in 2009 with their self-titled debut The album featured catchy dance anthems like “Black and Blue” and “Animal,” both of which stayed in rotation years after the album was released. Three years after the first album, we are lucky enough to get the first official single from the groups upcoming album, titled Happy To You. “Paddling Up” is a piano driven dance banger that definitely sets an upbeat vibe for the album.