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Getting Down, Biking Around, and Reveling in the Final Days of Trouw: Reflections on ADE 2014

Last week, XLR8R once again headed to The Netherlands to partake in the annual Amsterdam Dance Event, better known simply as ADE. This was our fourth year in attendance, and at this point, it's difficult to explain just how big ADE has become. Unlike many of the events and festivals that XLR8R covers, ADE is not some niche event targeting a specific fragment of the electronic sphere. The Amsterdam Dance Event is a behemoth, an industry conference with a huge focus on the business of electronic music, which is why its daytime schedule offers up an extensive array of panels, workshops, lectures, and product demonstrations. (Meetings are also an essential piece of the puzzle, particularly for those looking to make deals and/or network.) Luckily for those in attendance, ADE also can be relied upon to present a wide variety of parties (something to the tune of 20 to 40 per night), a handful of which feature some pretty incredible line-ups. Over the course of five days and (very long) nights, we did our best to hit as many of these parties as possible, and jotted down a few notes along the way. Now that the festivities have come to a close, we wanted to share a few of our reflections after what proved to be a very intense week in Amsterdam. Read more » 

Labels You Love: The Top 20 Labels, As Voted by XLR8R Readers

All week long, XLR8R is presenting its annual focus on Labels We Love. Click here to check out the rest of the series.

Over the past four days, XLR8R's editorial staff has been touting all of its favorite labels, and while we appreciate people's willingness to check out what we have to say, it only seems fair that we also let our audience weigh in with its thoughts. As such, we're once again wrapping up the Labels We Love series with Labels You Love, a list of the top 20 labels, as voted by XLR8R's readers. Since the polls opened last week, we received thousands of votes, and we've taken the time to count each one and compile the results. (For those who might be wondering, there has definitely been a significant amount of turnover since last year.) We'd like to thank everyone who took the time to participate, and without further adieu, we invite everyone to have a look at the labels you love the most. Read more » 

Labels We Love: 10 More of Our Favorite Labels, Plus Some Newcomers Worth Watching

All week long, XLR8R is presenting its annual focus on Labels We Love. Click here to check out the rest of the series.

Without question, Labels We Love is one of our favorite annual activities here at XLR8R, as the series gives us a chance to recognize some of the top imprints from around the globe. At the same time, putting together Labels We Love is always something of a stressful process, as we can only go deep with a few imprints. The fact is, there are so many quality labels out there that featuring them all, especially in any kind of comprehensive fashion, would be impossible. Still, we want to make sure that we at least shine a small light on those imprints we feel have been particularly interesting over the past year, which is why we've once again assembled this list. We've written a little bit about 10 of our favorite label outposts, and have also taken the time to highlight five newer labels whose impressive initial runs have assured us that they'll be worth watching in the year ahead. Admittedly, these blurbs don't tell the whole story, but we're hoping they'll at least compel readers to take a closer look at what we think are some of the best imprints in the game. Read more » 

Labels We Love: Night Slugs B2B PAN

All week long, XLR8R is presenting its annual focus on Labels We Love. Click here to check out the rest of the series.

There's little denying that Night Slugs and PAN have been two of the most innovative labels in electronic music during the past few years. Founded in London in 2010 and 2008 respectively, both imprints have since worked ceaselessly, carving out their own distinct paths at the increasingly flexible borders between dance music and electronic experimentation. Read more » 

Labels We Love: Hyperdub

All week long, XLR8R is presenting its annual focus on Labels We Love. Click here to check out the rest of the series.

Without question, 2014 has been a year of extreme ups and downs for Hyperdub, the London-based label headed up by Kode9 (a.k.a. Steve Goodman). On the one hand, the crew has tragically lost two of its most beloved members, footwork pioneer DJ Rashad and innovative MC The Spaceape. At the same time, Hyperdub has spent the bulk of the year celebrating its 10th anniversary, both with a lengthy run of label nights around the globe and an extensive four-part compilation series. Furthermore, the imprint's futuristic vision, which disregards traditional notions of genre while uniting seemingly disparate strains of bass-heavy soundsystem music from both sides of the Atlantic, has effectively become one of the most influential forces in the electronic sphere. As such, selecting Hyperdub for this year's Labels We Love was an easy choice to make. We asked Kode9 to help us look back on his label's legacy by selecting 10 tracks from the Hyperdub catalog—one from each year of its decade-long run—and explaining why they stick out in his memory. Read more » 

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