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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 » 

20 Questions - Ben Klock Talks Berlin, Marathon DJ Sets, and His Desire to Ride Horses and Become a Zen Monk

Berlin, Berghain, and Ben Klock. Though not quite a biblical trinity, the three are inextricably connected. After all, Klock is a native Berliner who's been involved in the city's techno scene since its inception. Today, he's one of the most visible residents at Berghain, the infamous German nightclub at the center of the contemporary techno universe. His marathon sets—often lasting eight hours or longer—have helped to define the sound of the club, offering a musical outlook that goes far beyond purist techno and instead champions a kind of long-form narrative that dissolves genres into a mass of textures and surfaces. That aesthetic carries over into the music Klock produces as well; his work has appeared on Ostgut Ton, BPitch Control, and Klockworks, his own label. All of that said, Klock is not completely tied to his hometown; he continues to maintain a constant touring schedule, and this Saturday, he'll be playing Room One at Fabric in London. The night's full details can be found here, but ahead of the party, Klock recently took some time out to answer 20 questions for XLR8R, touching on his pre-DJing ritual, his occupational history, and his thoughts on the future of Berlin's club scene. Read more » 

Bubblin' Up: Napolian

For an artist preoccupied with the dangers of technology and the covert operations of the military, Ian Evans (a.k.a. Napolian) appears relatively calm when speaking about the video for his latest single, the glitchy "DARPA." Featuring human-like robots, launching missiles, and frantic hands slamming out code, the clip has a distinctly paranoid vibe that permeates much of Incursio, his forthcoming debut full-length. Read more » 

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