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LA Story: An In-Depth Look at the Rising Tide of House and Techno in the City of Angels

The Los Angeles dance scene is at once effortlessly cosmopolitan, and confoundingly insular. Home to superstars like Daft Punk, certifiable legends like Todd Edwards, underground icons like Flying Lotus, and scores of anonymous ghost producers crafting EDM hits, Southern California hosts a rather diverse swath of the electronic landscape. Granted, this isn't exactly surprising, as LA's hills and quality of life (read: weather) regularly attract outsiders. LA's enormous size, not to mention the fact that it's literally home to the bulk of the entertainment industry, often means that local producers can garner international acclaim while remaining relatively unknown within city limits, and the abundance of cheap tacos, (effectively) legal weed, and pool and park parties provides ample respite from the hustle. On a more practical level, LA's sprawling warehouse districts—which lie mostly south and east of downtown—are a draw to rave promoters of all stripes. These venues—of varying legal status—regularly feature quality DJs from around the globe, yet they open and shut their doors in alarmingly short increments. (Recent months have seen the LAPD shutting down a number of underground events, and some of the city's more offbeat venues have also fallen victim to official rules and regulations.) With so many things happening and a status quo that's constantly in flux, taking the pulse of LA's dance scene can occasionally be as frustrating as driving from Santa Monica to downtown during rush hour. Read more » 

Drums, DJ Dez, and The D: 10 Things You Need to Know About Andrés

In a field often known as much for ambiguous identities as it is for music, Detroit's Andrés—or is it Dez Andrés, DJ Dez, or something else?—stands out as a master of both. Regardless of what moniker is being used, there's little question that Andrés' star has been ascending over the past few years, which piqued our curiosity about exactly how this Motor City artist found his way into the spotlight. In an effort to find out more, we went digging for information and put together a list of 10 things everyone should know about this versatile DJ/producer. Read more » 

Bubblin' Up: Hound Scales

When asked about his biggest influences, Nico Jacobsen (a.k.a. Hound Scales) is just as likely to reply with the names of artists and filmmakers than those of his fellow techno producers. "I've always tried to look to film and art more than just music for inspiration, so you have less chance of sounding like other people," he explains. One half of the duo behind the burgeoning Fifth Wall label, the Brooklyn-based Jacobsen debuted the Hound Scales moniker in February of last year with the Case (Nabis) EP, and the music he's been offering up since then has a noticeably cinematic feel. "I went through a period for like two years where I literally did nothing but just watch every depressing, fucked up movie I could get my hands on," he says. "It was when I came out of that hole that I started making music." Read more » 

20 Questions: Simian Mobile Disco Talks Robert Johnson, US Customs, Pioneertown, and the Meaning of "Whorl"

Somehow, Simian Mobile Disco has only gotten better with age. Initially emerging alongside—and somewhat unfairly lumped in with—the electro-house movement of the mid 2000s, the pair (consisting of synth-obsessed Londoners James Ford and Jas Shaw) has evolved at its own pace, forging a path which eventually landed on Unpatterns, the duo's spellbinding 2012 LP and most accomplished release to date. In the two years that have followed, the group has only continued to gain momentum, as Simian Mobile Disco has refined its heralded live show while steadily releasing intriguing one-offs and collaborations via its own Delicacies imprint. Now, the pair is set to return to the full-length format, with its upcoming Whorl LP dropping in September via Anti–. The result of a live performance recorded earlier this year in Pioneertown (just outside of Joshua Tree National Park in the desert of Southern California), then mulled over and mixed back at SMD's headquarters, the next chapter of the outfit's saga is just around the corner. In the meantime, we've tapped Ford and Shaw for a quick session of 20 Questions, in which the pair talks about the sound at Robert Johnson, the headache of going through US customs, and the completely illogical location where Whorl was recorded. Read more » 

XLR8R's Top 20 Downloads of June

During the month of June, XLR8R's Downloads section was again home to an eclectic mix of electronic productions, with original tracks and remixes coming from an array of international artists. Now, as the calendar turns to July and summer begins to get into full swing, we've compiled the top 20 downloads from the past month—a list populated by a handful of more familiar names in Mark E (pictured above), Steve Huerta, Avalon Emerson, Marley Carroll, and TÂCHES, alongside a number of relative newcomers to the XLR8R pages. Read more » 

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