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Hi-Five: Optimo Shares Five of Its Favorite Scottish Jams

Having previously held down an infamous Sunday-night residency at Glasgow's Sub Club for 13 years, it's fair to say that Optimo (the duo of JG Wilkes and JD Twitch) knows a thing or two about DJing. The pair has contributed to just about every mix series worth its salt, and although the two DJs have been invited to showcase their talents everywhere from Fabric to Panorama Bar, they maintain a firm belief that "Glasgow is the greatest city for partying on the planet." Apart from their duties behind the decks, the Optimo boys also head up an eponymous label that's now half a decade old, and have steadily grown the imprint into a reliable outpost for homegrown talent such as LUMA, Golden Teacher, and Divorce. Considering all of their Scotland-centric activities, it's no stretch to refer to the men of Optimo as true aficionados of the country's leftfield music scene; as such, it makes sense that ahead of the duo's set at The Last Big Weekend festival this Sunday in Glasgow, JD Twitch has volunteered to take us through some of the best jams that have emerged from his homeland over the years. Read more » 

Miles Whittaker, Cabaret Voltaire, and the Venue That Stole the Spotlight: Berlin Atonal's Five Most Memorable Moments

Berlin Atonal, which wrapped up a five-day run in the German capital during the early hours of Monday morning, was ostensibly a music festival, but it was much more than that. Art and food also played a big role, but Atonal wasn't really about those things either. Read more » 

Bubblin' Up: Sage Caswell

If he followed in his mother's footsteps, 24-year-old Los Angeles house producer Sage Caswell might never have made it out of the San Fernando Valley. Not that there's anything wrong with the suburbs—it's just that much harder for an artist to carve out a career in dance music when they're removed from the city. Making an impact often requires being in the midst of things, at least to start. Read more » 

20 Questions: Jackmaster Talks Fast Food, Rubadub, and Coping with the Endless Party Loop

While it's all but impossible to predict exactly what Jackmaster (a.k.a. Jack Revill) will play at any one of his many gigs around the globe—the Scottish-born DJ has been known to dip into forgotten disco gems, house classics, Detroit techno, old-school electro, and sing-a-long pop anthems, amongst other things—there's little question that the Numbers co-founder is capable of being a real force behind the decks. The folks at London club XOYO have certainly taken notice, which is why they've enlisted Jackmaster for a summer-long 13 Weeks to Jack residency. The series kicked off last month and runs through the end of September, with Jackmaster in the booth every Saturday night, occasionally spinning marathon sets alone, but usually joined by a selection of hand-picked guests, including the likes of Moodymann, Axel Boman, Joy Orbison, Kenny Dope, and others. (This coming Saturday, he'll be playing alongside Steffi and Spencer Parker.) On top of the residency, Revill has still managed to maintain a hectic travel schedule, but we somehow managed to pin him down while he was in Ibiza for an edition of 20 Questions. In the course of answering our queries, Jackmaster touched upon his history with Rubadub, learning from bad sets, the proper role of a resident DJ, and his undying love for 24-hour fast food. Read more » 

Get Familiar: Dark Entries

In the rapidly evolving world of electronic music, it's all but impossible to keep track of every new artist, label, party, and genre. At the same time, certain names will inevitably pop up again and again at the XLR8R office, some of which we've only given passing mention to on the site. In an effort to get our readers up to speed with some of the things—both new and old—that we've been digging lately, we've launched a new feature series called 'Get Familiar,' which aims to shine a spotlight on subjects we think are worthy of a little more attention.

Josh Cheon is passionate about the music he loves. That much ought to be obvious to anyone who's even passingly familiar with Dark Entries, his label. Over the past five years, he's created an imprint that reflects a serious devotion to the darker and more obscure side of '70s and '80s electronic music—the label's name is actually an homage to "Dark Entries," the first single released by canonical UK goth rockers Bauhaus. Splitting his time between reissuing lost classics and releasing new material in the vein of the industrial synth-pop of the past, the imprint has gradually become a major guiding entity in the continuing exploration of the formative years of electronic dance music. Read more » 

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