There's a load of reasons to be excited about this week's edition of Press Play. Specifically, we've got sights and sounds from the likes of Four Tet, Mosca, Breach, Kyle Hall, Autechre, Legowelt, Anthony Naples, Gerry Read, and Pilooski, among others—including quality remixes, full record streams, engrossing music videos, DJ mixes, and more. It's quite a bit to take in, so we suggest that everyone gets to clicking on those play buttons after the jump. Read more »
All week long, XLR8R is presenting its annual focus on Labels We Love. Click here to check out the rest of the series.
Before there was a Ghostly International label, there was the logo. A simple caricature of a ghost, it wasn't too far off from the bad guys that appear in Pac-Man, its eyes wide and vacant, with a jagged run of triangular cuts along the bottom. As a teenager, Sam Valenti IV, the founder of Ghostly, would put it on mix CDs and roughly mixed compilations of his own production work when he was just beginning to DJ and produce. "I Was DJ Spaceghost in high school," Valenti says. "I liked 'ghostly' as a word. I liked that it was two syllables. I liked that it was an adjective as a brand—you're describing it. Ghostly can take on different feelings. It can be positive. It can be negative. It felt right." Read more »
XLR8R always makes an effort to cover music that we think is new and exciting, but certain acts have proven themselves to be especially adept at breaking the mold. The Innovators mix series, presented by Cigna, is designed to spotlight one-of-a-kind artists that we think are particularly innovative and unique. Read more »
Daniel Avery's ascent from budding upstart to established talent has been quicker than most, with his flurry of critically regarded EPs and singles building steam throughout 2012 and rasing the London producer/DJ's profile well into 2013. Earlier this week, Avery landed on a new milestone in his still young career by releasing his debut LP, Drone Logic, via Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound label. But even with this new, fully formed artistic statement in our hands, there is still a lot we do not know about the unassuming Avery, which is why we've asked him to put together a collection of tunes for our latest installment of Hi-Five. He's responded by selecting a few choice cuts of what he calls "misty-eyed techno," highlighting tracks from the likes of James Holden, Dauwd, and Barnt while giving some insight into the tender, melodically rich productions that continue to inspire him. Read more »
B2B: Dan the Automator and RJD2 Talk Hip-Hop History, the Limits of Sample-Based Production, and the Current State of Music
Though they initially made their names during slightly different eras of hip-hop production, both Dan the Automator (a.k.a. Dan Nakamura) and RJD2 (a.k.a. RJ Krohn) now stand as respected veterans in the world of instrumental beats. Through his various solo outings and absurdly long list of production credits (Dr. Octagon, Deltron 3030, and Handsome Boy Modeling School among them), Nakamura has proven to be a producer constantly in search of new sounds, while RJD2's career has taken a similarly expansive path, with the Ohio native initially serving as the instrumental backbone of leftfield hip-hop label Definitive Jux before extending his talents into more freeform styles. Given these two artists' intertwining passions and histories, we figured that now would be a good time to get the pair of luminaries together for a bit of back-and-forth conversation, particularly since the recently reunited Deltron 3030 just dropped its long-awaited sophomore LP and RJD2 is offering up a new LP of his own this week, More Than Isn't. In this extended B2B session, Nakamura and Krohn give a glimpse into their turntablist and digging roots and explain why they both eventually moved beyond sample-based music; along the way, they also dole out their thoughts on today's beat scene, SoundCloud, and modern hip-hop. Read more »
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