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Hi-Five: Lone Selects His Top Madlib Productions

Considering that Manchester-based producer Lone (a.k.a. Matt Cutler) got his start crafting exploratory beats for labels like Werk Discs before moving into prismatic UK rave, it's not a total surprise that his freshly released Reality Testing LP for R&S finds him revisiting some of his hip-hop roots. In that spirit, Lone has selected his top five tracks from Madlib for the latest installment of our Hi-Five series. The legendary LA-based beatmaker and Stones Throw affiliate has produced for everyone from MF Doom to Freddie Gibbs, and has also issued a dizzying number of his own releases, both as Madlib and Quasimoto. As such, Cutler had to do plenty of digging, but he's gone through the extensive Madlib catalog and come up with a collection of influential standouts. Read more » 

20 Questions: Horse Meat Disco on the Endurance of Disco, the Taste of Horse Meat, and the Best Curry Shop in London

Disco never died, it just dispersed and went underground. Since its fall from the mainstream, the music's jubilant spirit has been carried on, not only in the electronic sounds that followed in its footsteps, but also in niche parties around the globe. One such party is London's Horse Meat Disco, which is run by a collective of four DJs—Jim Stanton, James Hillard, Luke Howard, and Severino Panzetta—that, for the past 10 years, has kept the disco fire burning in the UK with its long, sweaty nights of pure, unadulterated exuberance. This week, the crew has released its fourth compilation, Horse Meat Disco Volume IV, which arrives while the collective is in the midst of an extensive world tour. Fortunately though, all four DJs were able to take some time out of their busy schedules to answer 20 questions for XLR8R. Read more » 

Hi-Five: Doc Daneeka Shares His Favorite Piano-Led Tracks

We've been charting the progression of Welsh beatmaker Doc Daneeka (a.k.a. Mial Watkins) for quite some time—he first was singled out as one to watch in our Bubblin' Up series in 2010, and delivered an exclusive XLR8R podcast shortly thereafter. Back then, Watkins was turning out a particularly percussive brand of UK funky-leaning house, but in the years that have followed, he's shifted his sound toward propulsive, club-centric sounds. (He's also founded his own label, Ten Thousand Yen, joined up with the 50Weapons camp, and relocated to Paris following a stint in Berlin.) Last year's anthemic "Walk On In" single for Glasgow's Numbers imprint was one of XLR8R's best tracks of 2013, and its follow-up, "Treptow" b/w "Paname (Piano Vers)," which dropped on Numbers last week, prompted us to enlist Watkins for the latest installment of our Hi-Five series. Both of Doc Daneeka's new tracks prominently feature the piano, so we asked him to dig through his archives and select a few of his favorite tunes that highlight the iconic instrument. Read more » 

Track by Track: Martyn Examines His New LP, One Song at a Time

This week, veteran producer Martyn (a.k.a. Martijn Deykers) is releasing his third album, The Air Between Words, via Ninja Tune. There has already been plenty of discussion about the new full-length from the Dutch-born, DC-based artist, but in lieu of adding to the speculation about his work, we decided to hit him up directly for a bit of inside information. While many artists prefer to keep things mysterious, Martyn was happy to lift the curtain and give us some insight his latest effort. Taking on the record track by track, he's commented on many of the processes, influences, and motivations behind the LP. Read more » 

Sónar 2014: Winners and Losers

Last week, the annual Sónar festival set up shop in Barcelona for the 21st time, offering three full days and two long nights of (mostly) electronic music. According to its organizers, 109,000 people attended the festival this year, and that doesn't even include the thousands who came to Spain solely for the week's bounty of unofficial Off-Sónar events, many of which featured line-ups that rivaled Sónar itself. In short, Barcelona was once again stuffed with people looking to party, and XLR8R did its best to mingle amongst all of the mayhem. During past years, we've often tried to keep our focus on the official Sónar activities, but in the interest of telling a more complete story, we did a lot more dabbling in the Off-Sónar side of things this time around. Now that the festivities have come to a close, we've done our best to collect our thoughts and jot down a few observations, which are admittedly far from comprehensive—the list of artists that we didn't see could fill a festival on their own. At the same time, we did manage to take in quite a bit of the Sónar experience, and since we've never been shy about sharing our opinions when it comes to festivals, we've once again compiled a list of "winners" and "losers" from the week gone by. Read more » 

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