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Deep Inside: Throwing Snow Talks Fractals, Bass Tones, and the Thought Processes Behind His Debut LP, 'Mosaic'

Speaking from his flat in South London's Brixton district, Ross Tones sounds overworked but cheery. Over the past few years, the increasingly hard-to-define producer has developed a reputation for being highly prolific, not just with his own Throwing Snow moniker, but also his side projects (Snow Ghosts, Alight, and Vellico) and his Snowfall label, not to mention the two other imprints he's co-founded. In short, Tones is busy; prior to our conversation, he had just spent a week recording with Snow Ghosts in the Dorset countryside, jamming on new material in abandoned cathedrals and monasteries using binaural recording techniques, which harness two microphones to create a 3-D audio effect. The ambition of this endeavor—to say nothing of the fact that the release of his proper debut LP as Throwing Snow, Mosaic, was only a few days away at the time of our conversation—seems to be lost on him. "I've got so much work at the moment, it's a bit mad trying to get my head around it," Tones reflects. "The day before, I go, 'Okay I'm going,' and then I disappear off. I don't really tend to think about the future too much, if you know what I mean." Read more » 

XLR8R's Top 20 Downloads of May

The month of May brought a wide variety of sounds to XLR8R's Downloads section, with contributions from budding production outfits such as Gidge, Guerre, and Bobby Tank joining original tracks and remixes from more established talents like Submerse, Henry Saiz, Earl Jeffers (a.k.a. Chesus), and Legowelt (pictured above). With the month having officially come to a close over the weekend, we have once again rounded up the most popular free downloads over the last 30 days into one convenient place. XLR8R's top 20 downloads for the month of May can be perused and, of course, downloaded via the links below. Read more » 

Naps and Nicolas Jaar: The 15 Best Things About Montreal's EM15 Festival

For the past several years, XLR8R has repeatedly declared its affinity for the MUTEK family of festivals. Whether we're attending the flagship edition in Montreal or one of its spin-offs in another country, MUTEK has proven time and again that it's one of the finest festival organizations on the planet, at least for those with an interest in forward-thinking electronic and experimental sounds. (It's worth noting that digital art and technology buffs also attend in droves and have plenty to enjoy at the festival.) Given that, we were once again excited to return to Montreal last week, as MUTEK was celebrating its 15th anniversary with an extra-large affair. In fact, this time around, it wasn't even called MUTEK, as the festival had joined forces with another long-running Montreal event, the more experimentally inclined Elektra, to present something new—EM15. Headquarted in Montreal's Museé d'Art Contemporain (Contemporary Art Museum), this year's festivities were arguably bigger than ever; at the same time, most of the week's events still managed to maintain a decidedly intimate feel. After 15 years, it's pretty clear that MUTEK's organizers know what they're doing, and in honor of their efforts, we've catalogued the 15 best bits from the week gone by. Read more » 

Something About It All Felt Really Special: Eight Takeaways from Primavera Sound 2014

Over the past weekend, XLR8R made the trip to Barcelona in order to attend the annual Primavera Sound festival. Now in its 14th year, Primavera has grown to become a world-recognized gathering, one whose curation leans heavily towards the more respectable ends of indie rock and pop, while dedicating a portion of its line-up to a select range of electronic talents. Navigating the 12-stage event for the principal three days of the festival, XLR8R had the opportunity to take in a bevy of live acts and DJ sets while continuously trotting around Barcelona's seaside Parc Del Forum; in the aftermath, we've compiled the eight key takeaways which, for better or worse, left a lasting impression following our weekend at Primavera Sound. Read more » 

Bubblin' Up: Matt Karmil

Wonderful moments of serendipity have rained down on English deep house producer Matt Karmil recently, but his early development as a musician came about as a result of far less lucky circumstances. Born in 1979 and growing up near Stonehenge in a "very nurturing but not particularly music-focused" household, Karmil had to contend with many years of serious ill health as a youngster, but credits this with setting him on a path that has so far led to releases on Beats in Space, PNN, and International Records Recordings, and promises to deliver plenty more in the months and years ahead. Read more » 

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