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Labels We Love: Clone

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

The story of Clone Records' early days is a familiar tale in electronic music. Label owner Serge, a DJ and occasional producer seldom referred to by his surname (Verschuur, for the record), started the label in 1993 because he could, and because it was easier for him to release records by himself than rely on others to do it. Clone's success is a well-trodden story of self-reliance and a DIY attitude to making things happen, and the name of the Rotterdam-based label is a tangential reference to this too, since many other labels in the US that Serge admired, especially in Chicago, were born not from grand ambition but through a pretty simple desire to get records out as quickly, and with as little fuss, as possible. Read more » 

Military Juntas, Ice Cream, and (Not) Smoking: 10 Things You Need to Know About Matias Aguayo

Matias Aguayo's music has always seemed like something of a strange fit for Cologne's Kompakt label. While Kompakt has, for the last 20 years, been a standard-bearer for the more subdued, deconstructed strains of techno and house, Aguayo takes an all-encompassing approach to his worldly, pop-inflected sound. That sound is equally informed by his German upbringing, his Latin American roots, and a sense for unusual time signatures (at least in the realm of dance music), but what primarily sets the Berlin-based Aguayo apart from his Kompakt brethren is his voice, which he not only uses for singing, but also for constructing basslines and rhythmic elements. Read more » 

Free Coffee, Ricardo Villalobos, and the Beauty of Bologna: 10 Reasons We Loved roBOt 07

We fell pretty hard for roBOt last year. In 2013, the Bologna festival's sixth edition saw artists ranging from Ben Klock and Seth Troxler to Tropic of Cancer and Holy Other performing in three different venues around the northern Italian city. Something about the combination of the dream setting (more on that later) and the smartly programmed, tastefully varied bill really grabbed us, placing roBOt up there with our favorite festival experiences of the year. In the interest of confirming that 2013 wasn't a fluke, XLR8R spent these past few days back in the Emilia-Romagna capital to take in 2014's edition of roBOT and assess the festival's overall progress. Read more » 

Real Talk: Locked Groove on Electronic Music in the Mainstream and Why It's Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

'Real Talk' is a series of artist-penned essays that appears on XLR8R from time to time, and our latest installment features Locked Groove (a.k.a. Tim Van de Meutter), who recently released the 'Thesseus' EP, his debut outing for Permanent Vacation. Like many of us, the Belgian-born, Berlin-based artist has noticed the rising tide of electronic music in mainstream culture—and the subsequent backlash from fans who predate the EDM era—and wanted to take the opportunity to talk about how pop crossover and increased exposure doesn't have to be a bad thing.

To start off, I'd like to say that everything in this little piece is just my own opinion. I realize there's no real right or wrong on this topic. Everyone has a different take on this and that's how it should be. Music has or should have the power to stimulate discussion and force people to interact with each other, be it in a constructive or destructive way. Again, this is how I see it. Read more » 

20 Questions: Flying Lotus Talks Collaboration, Close Calls at the Border, and the Best Advice He's Ever Received

Writing about Flying Lotus for XLR8R's readership is like introducing the Pope to a Catholic church—everyone already knows just about anything that could be said on the guy's behalf, and they would much rather see what he has to say, anyway. The Californian producer born Steven Ellison has appeared in our pages since his debut album, 1983, dropped in 2006, and even graced our cover two years later, when the seminal Los Angeles arrived via Warp. Then came the proliferation of the "beat scene," followed by the game-changing Cosmogramma, the jazzy Until the Quiet Comes, and now the latest Flying Lotus opus, You're Dead!, is imminent. Suffice it to say that we've all gotten to know Ellison very well over the years, but what's another 20 questions among friends? We took some time to meet up and chat with the busy artist in Warp's sunny Brooklyn office, and managed to uncover even more Flying Lotus facts and anecdotes. In our conversation, he told us about why he likes to make fun of people, the one time he got busted for weed while touring, what Herbie Hancock's house is like, five movies he wants us all to see, and a whole lot more. Read more » 

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