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Just Another Weekend in Williamsburg: Eight Impressions from BEMF 2014

Now in its seventh year, the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (a.k.a. BEMF) could still be considered somewhat of an adolescent by festival standards. While this year's edition boasted the strongest line-up yet, it also seemed to suffer from an identity crisis. In a borough with so many entertainment options and subcultures, it can be difficult to create a festival that pleases every single electronic music fan. (We were hard pressed to imagine someone who would jump at the chance to take in both Galantis' arena-ready EDM and Alessandro Cortini's creepy ambient explorations, for example.) And yet, like last year, BEMF continued to want to be all things to all people. Despite its perhaps overly ambitious aims, we still had an enjoyable time at the 2014 edition of the festival; there were more than enough artists to get excited about, and a few unexpected highlights along the way, which we've compiled into a list of the eight lasting impressions from the eventful BEMF weekend. Read more » 

Club to Club 2014: Eight Observations from the Latest Edition of Italy's Best Festival

Although the Club to Club festival has been happening for the past 14 years, XLR8R's first official invitation to attend only came in 2012. Nevertheless, over the past three years, it's quickly become one of our favorites. In our glowing review of last year's edition, we said, "It's easy to say that Club to Club is the best festival in Italy, but it's actually better than that; a case could be made that it's already in the top tier of festivals in Europe." As such, we arrived in Turin last week with some pretty lofty expectations, especially since Club to Club's 2014 installment appeared to be the festival's biggest on record. After all, there were more nights of music (five in total, including two at the massive Lingotto Fiere) and more acts on the bill (about 60), plus a fancy new festival HQ at the AC Hotel Torino. More importantly though, the scope of Club to Club just felt bigger this year, and while things occasionally buckled beneath the increased strain, the festival still had plenty of highlights. We've listed a number of them here—along with a few of the festivities' weaker moments—and in the process, have attempted to create an accurate snapshot of the Club to Club 2014 experience. Read more » 

Hi-Five: Torn Hawk Lists His Favorite Dire Straits Songs

The music of Luke Wyatt (a.k.a. Torn Hawk) is many things, but perhaps the easiest way to describe it is complex. A press release for his forthcoming full-length offering, Let's Cry and Do Pushups at the Same Time, suggests the Berlin-via-Brooklyn producer and video artist is after a "reconciliation of aesthetic irony with compositional sincerity and emotional vulnerability," a description that could just as easily be applied to the catalog of '80s-era British rock group Dire Straits. Ahead of his album release next week via Mexican Summer, Wyatt has assembled a sort of primer that lists—in no particular order—five Dire Straits songs worth a serious listen. Read more » 

Bubblin' Up: Clockwork

Most musicians mellow with age, but Clockwork (a.k.a. Francesco Leali) seems intent on doing the opposite. Originally coming to prominence with his former DJ partner Federico Maccherone (who Leali now refers to simply as "that other guy"), the project has progressed from sleazy, sunny house for Hot Creations to pummeling DJ sets and 140-bpm collaborations with roommate and childhood friend Avatism (a.k.a. Tomas Feriero). Chatting with Leali, it quickly becomes clear that the Italian producer is someone who's increasingly unwilling to compromise; at the same time, he also speaks with a rare level of candor, casting an unflinching critical eye on his back catalog. Read more » 

XLR8R's Top 20 Downloads of October

Like every month here on XLR8R, October brought a new supply of free MP3s to our site, with both budding and established talents contributing tracks to our Downloads section. With Halloween now behind us and November officially signaling that 2015 is really just around the corner, we've once again crunched the numbers and present the top 20 downloads from the past month. Featuring the likes of Youandewan, Submerse (pictured above), Djedjotronic, Premiesku, and Roland Tings, October's most sought-after MP3s also included a number of brand-new names, with artists such as Loom, Will Lister, Daddy AOL, and Nunca Duerma all making strong showings in their first appearance on the site. Read more » 

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