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Real Talk: Locked Groove on Electronic Music in the Mainstream and Why It's Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

'Real Talk' is a series of artist-penned essays that appears on XLR8R from time to time, and our latest installment features Locked Groove (a.k.a. Tim Van de Meutter), who recently released the 'Thesseus' EP, his debut outing for Permanent Vacation. Like many of us, the Belgian-born, Berlin-based artist has noticed the rising tide of electronic music in mainstream culture—and the subsequent backlash from fans who predate the EDM era—and wanted to take the opportunity to talk about how pop crossover and increased exposure doesn't have to be a bad thing.

To start off, I'd like to say that everything in this little piece is just my own opinion. I realize there's no real right or wrong on this topic. Everyone has a different take on this and that's how it should be. Music has or should have the power to stimulate discussion and force people to interact with each other, be it in a constructive or destructive way. Again, this is how I see it. Read more » 

20 Questions: Flying Lotus Talks Collaboration, Close Calls at the Border, and the Best Advice He's Ever Received

Writing about Flying Lotus for XLR8R's readership is like introducing the Pope to a Catholic church—everyone already knows just about anything that could be said on the guy's behalf, and they would much rather see what he has to say, anyway. The Californian producer born Steven Ellison has appeared in our pages since his debut album, 1983, dropped in 2006, and even graced our cover two years later, when the seminal Los Angeles arrived via Warp. Then came the proliferation of the "beat scene," followed by the game-changing Cosmogramma, the jazzy Until the Quiet Comes, and now the latest Flying Lotus opus, You're Dead!, is imminent. Suffice it to say that we've all gotten to know Ellison very well over the years, but what's another 20 questions among friends? We took some time to meet up and chat with the busy artist in Warp's sunny Brooklyn office, and managed to uncover even more Flying Lotus facts and anecdotes. In our conversation, he told us about why he likes to make fun of people, the one time he got busted for weed while touring, what Herbie Hancock's house is like, five movies he wants us all to see, and a whole lot more. Read more » 

XLR8R's Top 20 Downloads of September

The month of September saw a slew of new tracks hit XLR8R's Downloads section, with remixes from the likes of Lee Bannon (pictured above) and Chicago house veteran Larry Heard joining a host of original productions from seasoned artists and relative newcomers alike. As we do every month, we have studied the stats and can now present our Top 20 Downloads of September. Read more » 

Rewind: Caribou

Dan Snaith has a history with making music that reaches back to his mid-teens, but he didn't actually get his start as an artist until the age of 22, when he wrote a track called "Anna and Nina" for the Leaf label's third Invisible Soundtracks compilation. "The music I was making before that point was terrible," the Canadian musician, singer, and mathematician remembers with a chuckle, quickly adding that he's happy no one ever released his earlier songs. "I knew there had been a change from what I'd made before. I thought, "This is something that I don't feel embarrassed about playing for people, and someone might want to put this out." Humble as he is, Snaith was unwittingly at the precipice of a 14-year career as an artist when he finished "Anna and Nina" in 2000, and would eventually come to establish himself among the most beloved names in indie and electronic music alike. Read more » 

Steps in the Right Direction: A Review of Decibel Festival 2014

Every September, the Decibel Festival brings a wealth of electronic music talent to Seattle, and every year, its organizers invite XLR8R to come and check out the proceedings. This year's edition featured more than 150 artists over the course of five days and nights, and also found the festival, which incredibly continues to be almost entirely staffed by volunteers, moving its headquarters to Seattle's EMP museum. As always, there was a lot to take in, but we did our best to check out as many things as possible and, more importantly, to take stock of exactly where Decibel is at. The 2014 edition was the festival's 11th go-round, and despite our fondness for the event—at this point, there is little question that it's one of the best electronic music festivals in the United States—we've also observed its various ups and downs over the years. This year, however, there was a lot more of the former than the latter, and we've jotted down a few of the artists, parties, and general trends that made the festival's 2014 edition particularly potent. Read more » 

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