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Hi-Five: Mark Barrott Digs into His Archives and Shares Some of His Favorite Balearic Gems

Earlier this week, Mark Barrott released a new full-length, Sketches from an Island. Recorded in his adopted home of Ibiza—the British producer previously resided in Punta del Este, Uruguay, where he founded his International Feel label—the album compiles tracks from two previous Sketches from an Island EPs, both of which were limited-edition, vinyl-only offerings. Barrott's music channels the relaxed, sunny spirit of classic Balearic sounds, yet his tracks can't be boiled to a single genre tag. Simply put, Balearic is something that ultimately boils down to a vibe, and Barrott has proven himself to be something of an expert. As such, we figured that he would be an excellent candidate for our Hi-Five series, and coaxed him into sharing a few of his favorite cuts. Read more » 

Five Minutes at EM15: Richie Hawtin Talks MUTEK, ENTER., and Canadian Techno

Last week, XLR8R made its annual trek to Montreal for MUTEK, which this year teamed up with the organizers from Elektra to deliver a six-day festival called EM15. Our official review detailed the week's high points, but during our down time, we also took the opportunity to speak with a couple of the festival's artists. As it turned out, our first conversation was with Canadian techno veteran Richie Hawtin, who actually performed twice during his time at EM15. Our conversation was brief, but we still managed to touch upon Hawtin's history with MUTEK, the challenge of bringing his ENTER. club night to a festival environment, and why he thinks that Canada has proven to be such a fertile place for techno. Read more » 

Five Minutes at Primavera Sound: Fort Romeau Talks Barcelona, Robert Johnson, and His Plans for an LP

Over the weekend, XLR8R made the trip to Barcelona for Primavera Sound, an indie-leaning festival which had nonetheless compiled an impressive roster of electronic talents for the 2014 edition of the annual event—most of which who took to the decks attached to a custom sound system specially put together for Primavera by British speaker designers Bowers & Wilkins. (Our full review of the festival can be read here.) On the festival's opening night, budding London DJ/producer Fort Romeau laid down an exceptional set in the Bowers & Wilkins + Boiler Room tent, but before then, we convinced the Ghostly affiliate to sit down for a quick chat, during which he discussed why it pays to take risks as a DJ, his recent EP for the live at Robert Johnson label, and the complications he's currently facing in crafting his debut LP. Read more » 

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 » 

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