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 »
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 »
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 »
Nothing Is True, Everything Is Permitted: Wolfgang Voigt, Lawrence English, and Others Ponder the State of Ambient Music
In September of 1978, British singer, musician, artist, and record producer Brian Eno penned a short manifesto as an introduction to a new sound he had been exploring. "Over the past three years," he wrote, "I have become interested in the use of music as ambience, and have come to believe that it is possible to produce material that can be used thus without being in any way compromised." The compromise he referred to was the proliferation of Muzak, or any of "the products of the various purveyors of canned music" which Eno felt the need to distance himself from. He did this by coining the term "ambient music," and releasing a series of LPs dedicated to "building up a small but versatile catalogue of environmental music suited to a wide variety of moods and atmospheres." Ambient 1: Music for Airports launched the four-part collection that same year, and it would establish Eno as the godfather of a subtle and exploratory style of composition that he first touched on with 1975's Discreet Music. Read more »
DJ Harvey (a.k.a. Harvey Bassett) has long been known for his eccentricity. The British DJ—who now lives as an expat in Los Angeles—has spent the better part of the past 20 years developing a reputation as one of the world's finest and most eclectic selectors. Although he's often associated with the disco revival of the late '90s and early '00s and is usually celebrated for his disco edits and ecstatic late-night Balearic moments, Bassett has also always had another side that's rooted in the rootsier end of '70s rock. Wildest Dreams, his new rock outfit, is the latest manifestation of that fixation, and the group's self-titled debut, which was released late last month by Smalltown Supersound, is a raucous trip through ripping guitar riffs and Led Zeppelin-style drums. Prior to a recent run of gigs in Europe, Bassett was able to take some time out to answer 20 questions for XLR8R about his favorite rock bands, his favorite places to dig for records, and his thoughts on the meaning of life. Read more »
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