Caught in the Net: All eyes on a band with the x-factor


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The period between Christmas and New Year tends to be rather barren when it comes to people producing new music but every so often something emerges.

On Christmas Day, the xx turned out a new demo, while working on the follow up to their Mercury Prize-winning 2009 debut album. "We just wanted to share it with you," the young London trio wrote, while posting the track, "Open Eyes", on their website It can be downloaded at It's very much still in the demo stage, with hushed vocals from Romy Madley Croft floating over some spare instrumentation and atmospherics.

An expression of joy from the electro man

In early December, producer Diplo left a message on his Facebook page ( promising to give away a new EP on Christmas Eve. It seems he got a little side-tracked but on 26 December, he returned with another message modifying the offer: "OOPS! i didnt get masters of this EP for you guys... but here is the Sampler of the tunes from the EXPRESS YOURSELF EP.. ft Datsik, Sabi, Elephant Man, GTA, Excision, Nicky Da B, LAzer Disk, Billy the gent. enjoy. will have the EP for free download for you guys ASAP... if this post gets 10k likes ! haha it wont happen but ill give away all the tunes if it does." The short sampler of blaring electro can be downloaded at fin, and as he says, if 10,000 people hit the like button on Facebook he'll promptly give away the rest.

One from the vaults that's the wheel deal

It's nearly four years since Gruff Rhys and producer Boom Bip unveiled their sleek electro project Neon Neon. Last week, a track left over from their brilliant 2008 John DeLorean-themed concept album, Stainless Style, emerged. The song is called "Wheels" and is a dark synths and bleeps affair with lyrics that apparently relate to chat-show host Johnny Carson's part in the complex DeLorean story. It's streaming at and features on an upcoming vinyl and MP3 compilation release from Lex Records. Hopefully, pulling this track out of the vaults will encourage the duo to revisit their Neon Neon partnership in 2012.

A sound deal for a jazz great

Kevin Ellington Mingus, the grandson of Charlie Mingus, has been working on a documentary film about the jazz great. In recent months, he turned to crowdfunding website to raise money to complete the project – in which various scaled rewards relating to the project are offered by the makers in exchange for a donation. He set a deadline of Sunday 18 December to raise $45,000 – and just in time 429 backers pledged $45,200 for the film. More details and an introductory film are at