As if it wasn't a productive year already for Charlotte Gainsbourg, what with all that genital mutilation in Lars Von Trier's Antichrist, she's also gone back into a recording studio to follow up her excellent 2006 album 5.55. The first song to emerge from it is "IRM", and it's available for free from charlottegainsbourg.com.
While the last album, made with the help of Air, Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon, was very quiet and delicate, this one, co-written and produced by Beck, sounds like it might be a somewhat more eclectic affair. "IRM", which is also the name of the album, is mildly rambunctious (if it's possible to put those to terms together) and I like it a lot. The track sounds somewhat like the sort of music Beck has been making recently and the album also features a number of his usual collaborators, including drummer Joey Waronker (lately of Thom Yorke and Flea). The album isn't released until 25 January, but alongside the new song, they've made a preview video, vimeo.com/6960718.
You pay, we'll play
Veteran rappers Public Enemy are giving power to the people to pay for the beats. Partnering with the Dutch website sellaband.com, they hope to get fans (or "believers" as the site calls them) to raise $250,000 (£156,400) to finance their next album. The band/site have a number of incentives laid out for investors; the minimum donation of $25 gets you limited edition copy of the album. Thus far they've raised over $30,000. You might think this smacks of desperation from a group past their prime, but in 1999 they were one of the first major bands to release an album in web-first MP3 downloads. So perhaps this is the shape of things to come.
Tom's reapers and weepers
Last year Tom Waits set off on a small-scale world tour of acclaimed live shows. Now everyone can relive Waits' grim reapers and grand weepers in a two-CD record Glitter and Doom Live. The second CD is comprised solely of Waits' strangely charismatic stage banter – the spoken word album is due a come back. It comes out 24 November but in the meantime the first eight songs from it are free to download at tomwaits.com.
Skream belts one out for Bat for Lashes
At just 21 years-old, the Croydon producer Skream already seems like an elder statesman of dubstep. He's been extending his palette this year and following his brilliant remix of La Roux's "In for the Kill", he's now performed a similar trick on Bat for Lashes' "Pearl's Dream" (tinyurl.com/ybr64t2), while at myspace.com/skreamuk is an unrecognisable take on the Dead Weather's "I Cut Like A Buffalo" (it's an improvement on Jack White and co's bluesy sludge).
His next disc-guise
"Memory Tapes is Weird Tapes is Memory Cassette" is how the site weirdtapes.blogspot.com announces itself. All are monikers of Dayve Hawke, a one-man band hailing from New Jersey (or Philadelphia, depending on who you read); in each guise he has been putting out a steady stream of acclaimed music on variations of hazy and wistful lo-fi electro-pop. His debut full-length record Seek Magic was released in August to more rapturous reviews. Hawke also constantly gives away music through his website, the latest of which is "Treeship" – a 20-minute instrumental that came as a bonus disc on the CD version of 'Seek Magic'. Calling to mind 'Selected Ambient Works' era Aphex Twin, it's rather beautiful