XLR8R is spending the week in Montreal, and when we're not wolfing down poutine or cruising around the city on a BIXI, we're also taking part in the annual MUTEK festival. Here are some of the highlights so far. Read more »
We'll just come right out and say it: The number one reason this track is making its way into XLR8R's download section is that it reminds a hell of a lot of our favorite album from last year, Delorean's gorgeous Subiza. The summery "Lessons," by Kansas City-based artist Motorboater, boasts nearly all of the Balearic-inspired trademarks that made the aforementioned record so lovable. Pattering percussion loops and thumping dance rhythms kick the whole thing into gear, sun-bleached synth chords and treated guitar riffs immediately tug at your heartstrings, and tweaked vocal samples float in and out of earshot over the top of Daniel Eaton's quietly plaintive vocal hooks. It's all quite nostalgic, yes, but not without its own subtle charms. We'll see how rest of Motorboater's new album compares when Sport drops later this month.
Moogfest is coming: The three-day celebration of the "father of the synthesizer," Robert Moog, has just announced its initial lineup. Not content to merely meet the expectations of revelers who basked in the glow of last year's festivities, this year Moogfest has gone beyond the call of duty to once again assemble a roster of exemplary artists that include the likes of Matthew Dear (pictured above), Ford & Lopatin, Gold Panda, and Battles. Read more »
By all accounts, Peru-based German house producer Aera (a.k.a. Ralf Schmidt) has been pretty busy in the past year. From creating his own tunes to dropping floor-rocking remixes, the Aleph Music label boss is an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with. Now, he's just released The Third Wave, his brand-new EP, and to get you excited about it, he's put on offer "Monte Sacro," a choice house cut of the finest order. Featuring an almost narrative-like flow, the track gradually builds from the faint murmurings of a distant and muted Soft Cell-like bass into an explosion of synthesized color.
With such a dizzying array of achievements, it's pretty hard to keep up with Heidi Van Den Amstel (a.k.a. DJ Heidi). The BBC Radio One personality and Get Physical affiliate has kept up a constant presence on the world stage with her taste-making radio show and her trans-European Jackathon parties. Read more »
Here's another track from the debut LP by 19-year-old tunesmith Blithe Field, a soft and summery production called "Illuminating Moments." Like the previously heard "Crushing" track, this cut employs both live instrumentation and washed-out electronic sounds to create its lighthearted, homespun mood. A few different guitar licks and a simple bassline more or less carry "Illuminating Moments," allowing Blithe Field to slip his tweaked vocal hooks and other samples into and out of the mix at will, without ever disrupting the flow. You can hear how the rest of the artist's Two Hearted album shapes up when it drops on June 28.
"Phoenix" has proven a rather useful template for Bristol-based producer Hyetal. With its nostalgic, gated-snare shuffle and warm analog stabs, there was a lot to like about it, and elements of the 2010 single have popped up in a lot of his recent work, not the least of which was "Beach Scene," one of the other stand-out tracks from Broadcast, his recent album on Black Acre. Now, Mancunian producer and fellow Black Acre labelmate Fantastic Mr. Fox goes back to the source for a remix, and playing freely with the song's genetics, he creates a snappy and cheerful track that hardly references the throwback appeal of the original. Instead, the "Fantastic Mr. Fox Remix" throws in cheeky cut-up synth tones and a cutesy chime melody for a fun take on a contemporary favorite. (via Pitchfork)
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