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Dekmantel: How Some Fanboys from The Hague Found Themselves at the Helm of One of Electronic Music's Best Festivals

The second annual Dekmantel Festival is taking place this weekend in Amsterdam, which prompted us to take a closer look at the impressive crew making it happen.

In the wake of last year's inaugural festival, the name Dekmantel has quickly shot to prominence. And while this ascent may have seemed swift for the casual observer, the story of how the small team behind it—which also maintains party promoter, booking agency, and record label arms under the same name—got to this point is one of slow and steady development, lifelong friendships, and an unshakable passion for music. As Thomas Martojo—who runs the company alongside his childhood friend and co-founder Casper Tielrooij and newer addition Matthijs Theben Terville—explains, the group first began to take shape when its members were quite young. Read more » 

Trainwreck: DJ Slugo Recounts the Time He Found Himself in the Middle of a Hotel Room Brawl

DJ Slugo was one of the key players in Dance Mania's mid-1990s heyday. He's possibly best known for "Wouldn't You Like to Be a Hoe Too," but Slugo also authored countless other hits, including "Smoke-N-Ride," "A Blunt," and "Freaky Ride," all of which exemplify how well his inimitable, quintessentially ghetto house touch still stands up today. Considering the heavy interest in that period as of late, it makes sense that Slugo would turn up again to school the younger generation as he has on 'King Of Ghetto House,' his latest EP (although its appearance on Nicolas Jaar's Other People label is certainly a surprise). Beyond its compositions, much of ghetto house's appeal stems from its raw, slice-of-life sensibility, and it would follow that a forefather like Slugo has had his share of moments—positive and negative—to draw from. As such, he seemed like an obvious candidate for our 'Trainwreck' series, and once we got him talking, he shared this fairly ridiculous story of cowardice and bravery. Read more » 

20 Questions: FaltyDL Talks NYC Dance Crews, Tripping in Nature, and Motorcycle Gunslinging

Brooklyn-based producer FaltyDL (a.k.a. Drew Lustman) is an artist who happily eludes categorization. Over the years, he's issued a series of shapeshifting and hypnotic dance records, including last year's unabashedly warm (and XLR8R-picked) Hardcourage LP, and he's also started up an imprint of his own, Blueberry Records, which takes a similarly varied approach. Next month, he'll be returning to London's storied Ninja Tune label with In the Wild, his fourth full-length and quite possibly his least dance-oriented work yet. Brashly cinematic and constructed like an organic puzzle, the album weaves together 17 gorgeous vignettes, harnessing sound collage, airy ambience, and a few unsettled rhythms while setting a distinctly feral mood. In advance of its release on August 12, we made contact with Lustman while he was on tour in Japan and got him talking about poetry, Pornhub, formative acid trips, and shooting guns from a motorcycle. Read more » 

Record Store Week: Pearson Sound, Matias Aguayo, Leon Vynehall, and Gerd Share Their Favorite Shops

All week long, XLR8R will be taking a closer look at some of our favorite record shops from around the globe. Check out the entire 'Record Store Week' series here.

Following several days of our own selections, we figured that it was only right to close out this year's Record Store Week by letting a few other people weigh in with their favorite haunts. In that spirit, we've enlisted some artists that have appeared regularly on XLR8R in recent years—Pearson Sound, Matias Aguayo, Leon Vynehall, and Gerd—to tell us about their top spots to do some digging and fatten up their record collections. Read more » 

Record Store Week: Co-Op 87

All week long, XLR8R will be taking a closer look at some of our favorite record shops from around the globe. Check out the entire 'Record Store Week' series here.

On Co-Op 87's stereo, co-owner Mike Catalano is enjoying an LP by Latin composer and lounge cult-figure Juan García Esquivel. Catalano's business partner, Ben Steidel, voices his approval of the seemingly bargain-bin fare and says, "Yeah, people are really quick to dismiss records like this." Catalano agrees. "Yeah, there's pretty remarkable stuff out there that's not cared about anymore, for sure." This shared infatuation with the obscure and underappreciated sides of music history is something that drives Co-Op 87; though the shop features the usual sort of rock, soul, jazz, hip-hop, house, disco, and country offerings, sections of the store have also been dedicated to private press LPs, Bollywood, calypso, Irish folk, and even cheesecake album covers. Read more » 

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