XLR8R - logo


20 Questions - Bok Bok Tackles '80s Boogie, Google Glass, and the Pros and Cons of London

Although three years have passed since the release of his last solo EP, Bok Bok has managed to remain a permanent fixture of XLR8R's ever-growing interests, and not just because he's a co-founder of the Night Slugs label. He's also a talented and accomplished graphic designer with his own hyper-stylized aesthetic, a collaborative producer who regularly works with the likes of rising LA vocalist Kelela and Dutch house stalwart Tom Trago, and a consistently in-demand DJ traveling from gig to international gig—that is, when he's not helming Night Slugs' monthly show on Rinse FM. Taking all of that into consideration, it's actually quite impressive that the artist born Alex Sushon could even find the time to finish his follow-up to 2011's excellent Southside EP; nevertheless, on May 26, Bok Bok will release Your Charizmatic Self, his second official solo outing. The record's seven tracks still offer the hallmarks of his restless, bass-centric sound—each heavy riddim jumps and slices with precision, synths are used as much as delicate adornments as they are opulent centerpieces, and song trajectories reserve the right to drastically change direction at any time—but there have undoubtedly been some changes made in the sonic landscape. Curious to ask Sushon about his upcoming record, not to mention what else has been going on with him recently, we sent over 20 quick questions for the busy artist to answer. He shared some thoughts on life in London, what his label wants to do with its new Club Constructions Community project, how he first discovered graphic design, what records he started out DJing with, and much more. Read more » 

Hi-Five - South London Ordance Selects His Favorite Uses of Leftfield Electronic Music in Advertising

Next week, South London Ordnance will issue the Contact EP, his second release in what's shaping up to be a busy 2014 for the UK producer. The four-track effort also finds him returning to Scuba's Hotflush label, which was responsible for last year's "Revolver" b/w "Transmission Funk" 12". However, beyond that, it's hard to say much more about the current state of South London Ordnance. He's clearly a talented artist, and one who colors his techno-leaning creations with dark and driving tones, but he's also someone that generally prefers to let the music do the talking, even when it's seeing the light of day via his own Aery Metals imprint. In an effort to dig deeper, we invited the London producer to put together the latest edition of our Hi-Five series, and his response was, well, interesting, to say the least. Most artists use Hi-Five as an opportunity to highlight some of their favorite tunes, but South London Ordnance's mind went to advertising; specifically, he compiled a list showcasing some of his favorite syncs. (For those unfamiliar with the term, a "sync" is when a song is licensed for use in a commercial, movie, television show, videogame, etc.) It's an unusual direction, but when one considers the increasingly central role of licensing within the music industry's many mechanizations, South London Ordnance's choice of topic is actually quite timely. Read more » 

Hi-Five - Elijah & Skilliam Highlight Their Favorite Wiley Tunes

First surfacing during a time when most people were eager to claim that grime was "over," London's Elijah & Skilliam have spent the past several years pushing a colorful, high-energy variant of the genre, both through their Butterz label and Rinse FM broadcasts. (It's worth noting that the pair's XLR8R podcast from 2010 is still an excellent listen.) Nowadays, grime has essentially been fully reanimated, and though a new crop of up-and-coming producers has emerged, there's little question that Elijah & Skilliam remain at the forefront of what's become a truly international scene. On May 19, the duo's entry in Fabric's esteemed Fabriclive mix series will be released. The diverse effort finds Elijah & Skilliam skewing toward newer selections, but when given the chance to speak with the pair, we found ourselves wanting to know more about their past. As a result, for this edition of Hi-Five, the London selectors have elected to look through their archives and come up with five tunes from Wiley, one of grime's most storied figures. More importantly, the tracks they've chosen demonstrate why, in their own words, "Wiley is king." Read more » 

XLR8R's Top 20 Downloads of April

After a brief break, we've decided to bring back our monthly series collecting the top tracks from XLR8R's ever-growing Downloads section. Our relaunch comes with a strong cast of contributions from veterans of the craft like Prefuse 73 (pictured above), Hyetal, and Arkist alongside an impressive group of newcomers including TÂCHES, Sleepyhead, and Habits of Hate, among others. Read more » 

Locals Only: Prins Thomas Shares His Five Favorite Spots in Oslo

Prins Thomas has been turning out records since 2005, yet the Norwegian producer still prefers to let his music—and his well-documented sense of humor—do most of the talking. His forthcoming third album, the simply titled III, is an effort Thomas describes as having "no great concept, no specific theme, no scheme, no plan... no space disco but still plenty of space." The LP is set to drop on April 28, and just a few weeks later, Thomas will be at the helm of 10 Years of Full Pupp, a compilation looking back at his label's first decade in action. Given this flurry of activity, we figured that the time was right to pick Thomas' brain for our Locals Only series. Although he continues to spend a lot of time on the road, Thomas still makes his home around Oslo; as such, we knew that he could nonetheless be counted upon to tell us about a few can't-miss spots in the Norwegian capital. Read more » 

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player