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Bubblin' Up Week 2014: Honey Soundsystem

"People throw around the term 'collective' like its a fucking 99-cent fan at a vogue ball. But those that truly stick to the principles of making something successful together know you can't crap out after the first group meeting goes sour," says Jacob Sperber (a.k.a. P-Play) of Honey Soundsystem, calling from the San Francisco airport. "There is a tireless amount of energy we all put into making sure everyone is comfortable with where this rather insane project is going. But most of all, we put a lot of work into calming our individual styles and needs to make sure that Honey stays Honey." Read more » 

Bubblin' Up Week 2014: Lee Bannon

"I'm not really into much hip-hop right now," says Lee Bannon with a shrug. It's a surprising statement coming from a guy best known as the producer and touring DJ for rap wunderkind Joey Bada$$, but one listen to his upcoming Alternate/Endings LP for Ninja Tune makes it clear that he's telling the truth. Instead of jazzy, Dilla-flavored beats or blissed-out trap, Bannon's latest effort is full of sinister synth stabs, ambient found-sounds, and aggressive jungle breakbeats. Granted, for those who have been closely following Bannon's work outside of the rap world, Alternate/Endings just seems like the logical next step. Since beginning his musical career as a teenager, Bannon has slowly morphed into an experimental producer whose wide-ranging interests stretch further than those of the average beatmaker. Bannon's new record is both the culmination of that evolution and the first step in an ambitious, years-long plan to establish himself as a true artist on his own terms. Read more » 

Bubblin' Up Week 2014: Beyond Talabot - Barcelona's Electronic Scene Works Its Way into the Spotlight

As cities go, Barcelona is more beloved than most. With its sunny seaside location, stunning architecture, and reputation for late-night revelry, there is no shortage of reasons to fall in love with the place. For music lovers, Barcelona can be an especially rewarding destination, most notably in the late spring and early summer when Primavera Sound and Sónar—two of Europe's largest and most well-respected festivals—each lure massive crowds from across the continent. During Sónar week, the city often feels like a legitimate hotspot for electronic music, as the festival draws more than 100,000 people and a myriad of unofficial "Off-Sónar" events fill Barcelona's clubs with stacked line-ups and enthusiastic crowds. However, once the festival season comes to a close, a lot of that energy seems to melt away. Those outside of Barcelona may love to sing the city's praises, but that passion often fails to extend to the music being turned out by the artists who actually live there. Acts like John Talabot, Delorean, and El Guincho have secured international acclaim in recent years, but there exists a much larger network of quality artists, DJs, and labels whose work generally flies beneath the radar. Read more » 

XLR8R's Best of 2013: Readers Poll

All month long, we here at XLR8R have been indulging in our usual round of end-of-the-year fun, turning out list after list detailing what we think is the Best of 2013. Based on the response, it seems that most of the the XLR8R audience has enjoyed the process; still, after digesting three solid weeks of our editors' opinions about the past year, we figured that many of our readers would want to have their say. With that in mind, we asked them to vote for their choices in many of the same categories that we've already published our own lists for, and the final results are fascinating, to say the least. As always, it's interesting to see where the audience's opinions have diverged from our own—although that has happened less than usual this year—and we can't help but laugh when some of the same records appear in both the "Best Releases" and "Most Disappointing Releases" categories. This is the final article in our Best of 2013 series; we'd like to send out a huge thanks to everyone who voted, and we can't wait to hear what our readers will have to say in 2014. Read more » 

XLR8R's Best of 2013: Releases (15 - 1)

At this point, it's safe to assume that the majority of XLR8R readers know the drill. For the past three weeks, we've been cobbling together lists of what we consider to be the Best of 2013, and though our audience will finally get to have its say on Monday when we unveil the results of our annual Readers Poll, the editorial staff does have one last piece of business to take care of first—our favorite releases of the year. The first half of this list was published yesterday, but today's entry details the absolute best of the best, namely, the 15 releases we enjoyed the most in 2013. Read more » 

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