Caught in the Net: Fruitful grooves for summertime

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The Independent Culture

Dev Hynes is best known for his indie-folk-leaning one-man band, Lightspeed Champion.

A few years back, the Londoner upped sticks and moved to New York, and lo, a new music project was born: Blood Orange. The first album from his latest incarnation is released on 1 August. "Sutphin Boulevard", the first track from the record, is online and it sees him pick up a sleek electro sound mixed with a touch of a 1980s pop crooner and a dollop of the hazy/sun-drenched lo-fi stylings so prevalent in indie music of late and indeed some of the record was made in LA. As befits a song featured on an album titled Coastal Grooves, it's also a perfect soundtrack to lazy late summer evenings. The song is a free MP3 at

Joint winners in the name games

The Irish man Richie Egan is better known as Jape, and like Dev Hynes (see above) his new single "Hands of Fire" sees him grab electro sounds and mesh them with a lo-fi, hazy mood – though Jape's efforts throw more of an indie-rock feel in there too. The song is a double A-side single, alongside the acoustic folk-leaning "Lying on a Deathbed", and can be heard at Both can be downloaded free at ritchjape. The latter track was recorded with his fellow Dubliner Conor O'Brien, better known as the Mercury Prize-nominated, Ivor Novello-winning Villagers (it's getting hard to keep up with all these pseudonyms).

Mall practise from sonic cartographers

If you go on holiday to Washington DC, perhaps pick up the new album by the local duo Bluebrain. The LP is called The National Mall and claims to be the "first ever location-aware album". Available as a free app for the iPhone (, see also, it utilises GPS to trigger preprogrammed music that correspond to locations in the city's National Mall area. The band have created almost three hours of electro sounds and ambient noises to go with 264 mapped-out zones as you navigate through the Mall. There's a short video demonstration at 24250620. Sounds like the sort of thing Brian Eno would kick himself for not thinking of first.

Palaces of endless song titles

After self-releasing two well-received EPs in 2009, Seattle rap collective Shabazz Palaces signed to Sub Pop, and in late June release their debut album, Black Up. Two songs from it are streaming at and the signs are that they might just deliver on the promise of the EPs. In keeping with the long song titles that are a hallmark of the group, the tracks are called, "An echo from the hosts that profess infinitum" and "Swerve... the reaping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)".