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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 » 

XLR8R's Top 20 Downloads of September

The month of September saw a slew of new tracks hit XLR8R's Downloads section, with remixes from the likes of Lee Bannon (pictured above) and Chicago house veteran Larry Heard joining a host of original productions from seasoned artists and relative newcomers alike. As we do every month, we have studied the stats and can now present our Top 20 Downloads of September. Read more » 

Rewind: Caribou

Dan Snaith has a history with making music that reaches back to his mid-teens, but he didn't actually get his start as an artist until the age of 22, when he wrote a track called "Anna and Nina" for the Leaf label's third Invisible Soundtracks compilation. "The music I was making before that point was terrible," the Canadian musician, singer, and mathematician remembers with a chuckle, quickly adding that he's happy no one ever released his earlier songs. "I knew there had been a change from what I'd made before. I thought, "This is something that I don't feel embarrassed about playing for people, and someone might want to put this out." Humble as he is, Snaith was unwittingly at the precipice of a 14-year career as an artist when he finished "Anna and Nina" in 2000, and would eventually come to establish himself among the most beloved names in indie and electronic music alike. Read more » 

Steps in the Right Direction: A Review of Decibel Festival 2014

Every September, the Decibel Festival brings a wealth of electronic music talent to Seattle, and every year, its organizers invite XLR8R to come and check out the proceedings. This year's edition featured more than 150 artists over the course of five days and nights, and also found the festival, which incredibly continues to be almost entirely staffed by volunteers, moving its headquarters to Seattle's EMP museum. As always, there was a lot to take in, but we did our best to check out as many things as possible and, more importantly, to take stock of exactly where Decibel is at. The 2014 edition was the festival's 11th go-round, and despite our fondness for the event—at this point, there is little question that it's one of the best electronic music festivals in the United States—we've also observed its various ups and downs over the years. This year, however, there was a lot more of the former than the latter, and we've jotted down a few of the artists, parties, and general trends that made the festival's 2014 edition particularly potent. Read more » 

Get Familiar: Giegling

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 recently 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. When putting together this particular edition, we honestly had no idea that the folks at Resident Advisor were planning a similar feature that would appear just two days before our article was scheduled for publishing. The RA piece is well worth a read, but we've put together our own take, and we'd like to think that Giegling is good enough to warrant the extra attention.

Giegling is a lot of things, but it began as a club and venue in Weimar, an East German city rich in culture and history. After the club's first owners abandoned it, a group of friends took the spot over, and with the help of a borrowed soundsystem, began hosting their own parties. Shortly thereafter, these friends began pressing their own records, and Giegling the record label was born. But Giegling is more than just a record label—it's a collective, a tightly knit group of friends and musicians (including Prince of Denmark, Matthias Reiling of Session Victim, and Vril, amongst others) who, over the course of five years, have developed their own idiosyncratic sound: a dusty, emotive, and soulful take on minimal house and dubby techno that is slowly but surely making its mark around the globe. Read more » 

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