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20 Questions - Ben Klock Talks Berlin, Marathon DJ Sets, and His Desire to Ride Horses and Become a Zen Monk

Berlin, Berghain, and Ben Klock. Though not quite a biblical trinity, the three are inextricably connected. After all, Klock is a native Berliner who's been involved in the city's techno scene since its inception. Today, he's one of the most visible residents at Berghain, the infamous German nightclub at the center of the contemporary techno universe. His marathon sets—often lasting eight hours or longer—have helped to define the sound of the club, offering a musical outlook that goes far beyond purist techno and instead champions a kind of long-form narrative that dissolves genres into a mass of textures and surfaces. That aesthetic carries over into the music Klock produces as well; his work has appeared on Ostgut Ton, BPitch Control, and Klockworks, his own label. All of that said, Klock is not completely tied to his hometown; he continues to maintain a constant touring schedule, and this Saturday, he'll be playing Room One at Fabric in London. The night's full details can be found here, but ahead of the party, Klock recently took some time out to answer 20 questions for XLR8R, touching on his pre-DJing ritual, his occupational history, and his thoughts on the future of Berlin's club scene. Read more » 

Bubblin' Up: Napolian

For an artist preoccupied with the dangers of technology and the covert operations of the military, Ian Evans (a.k.a. Napolian) appears relatively calm when speaking about the video for his latest single, the glitchy "DARPA." Featuring human-like robots, launching missiles, and frantic hands slamming out code, the clip has a distinctly paranoid vibe that permeates much of Incursio, his forthcoming debut full-length. Read more » 

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 » 

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