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Banjo or Freakout Releases Free Christmas Album

Here over at XLR8R HQ, we're usually extremely hesitant to listen to anything titled "Christmas album" because, well, most Christmas music is pretty damn shitty. However, this album from London-based producer Banjo or Freakout caught our attention with its take on 10 Christmas standards, all tastefully reinterpreted into sparkling, melodic electronics. Yes, all the classics are here from "Oh Holy Night" to "White Christmas" and even "Frosty the Snowman" (seriously), enabling you to throw away whatever Mannheim Steamroller album is playing at your relative's house during the holidays and hit them with melancholy reimaginings of some songs that we probably would have left for dead otherwise. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/17/2010

Download: Sun Araw and Matthewdavid "Side A Track 3"

Label: Leaving

Two Los Angeles-based producers of all things spacey and ambient, Sun Araw (pictured above) and Matthewdavid, have collaborated on a new cassette entitled LIVEPHREAXXX!!!!, presumably put together during a "party" of sorts at Sun Ark Studios. The third movement on side A is an eight-minute excursion through the minds of its creators, one in which various drones and sounds come together with impossibly loose rhythms, only to be manipulated endlessly as layers of off-beat drum machines and percussion fill the spaces in between. Like most things from the Leaving camp, the track leaves you wondering if there's a secret message to decode, perhaps some sort of hidden melody or rhythm trapped behind the veil of fuzzy processing. Even if there isn't a message waiting for us at the end, we're pleasantly confused with where this outing goes and are left to wonder how weird the other 20-plus minutes of this tape must be. (via Altered Zones

Average: 7.1 (26 votes)
 
 

XLR8R's 10 Favorite Other People's Podcasts of 2010

It would be downright ludicrous to think you could make a definitive list of the "best" podcasts to have launched from the internet in 2010 (or any recent year, for that matter). We're fully aware of the more or less incalculable amount of DJ mixes, mixtapes, interviews, etc. that were broadcast from the infinite portals of the web, and our inability to hear even a fraction of them all. So, what we present to you as our year-end lists continue is a small grouping of the podcasts we here at XLR8R HQ have listened to and loved throughout the year, in our not-so-active feature from bygone times, OPP. Check them out, listed in no particular order, below. Read more » 

Download: Beach House "I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun"

"New Beach House song."—it's a phrase that stirs even the soundsystem-inclined denizens of XLR8R HQ. Even if it is a holiday song, it's a Beach House holiday song, and no other indie outfits are more warranted a try at pulling on our heart strings with seasonal music than that of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. "I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun" finds the duo returning to their humble beginnings of home-recorded sounds—effectively bolstering the piece's intimacy like it was made just for whomever might be listening at the moment. Though the song does start off with some obligatory sleigh bell jingles and Legrand even slips in a couple "this time of year" references, everything else carries on as per usual for Beach House, which means sadly beautiful organ drones, subtle guitar strums, angelic vocal melodies, and ephemeral piano flourishes. It may work best as a 'winter song,' but "I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun" could've easily made a fine stopgap on the duo's captivating Teen Dream record. (via Gorilla vs. Bear

Average: 7.6 (48 votes)
 
 

Part Two of XLR8R's Year-End Elements Wrap-Up

A look at fashion trends for the year's end, compiled by resident style guy Andrew Porter. Check back next week for the year's best albums and tunes. Read more » 

Watch Matthew Herbert's Video for "Dublin"



Matthew Herbert, is in the midst of completing his One Trilogy, a three-album series which has served as the latest platform for the versatile London producer to explore his avant-pop side and also marks his first foray into the land of singing. The first of this trilogy, One One, contains 10 tracks named after various cities in the world and is where you'll find the pacing, guitar-driven track "Dublin." The video, which features a shorter version of the originally six-minute track, gives Herbert a healthy amount of screen time while he runs through the forest, sings into a dim light, and swims through a vast body of water. One One and One Club (made entirely from sounds recorded during a performance at Frankfurt's Robert Johnson club) comes courtesy of London's Accidental imprint, and are to soon be followed by the final part of the trilogy, One Pig, next year. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/16/2010

Download Paul Devro's Brand-New Mixtape for Pomp & Clout

One of Mad Decent's many resident DJs, LA-based Paul Devro, has an early Christmas present for us all, a brand-new mixtape he's called Disco Hoti Hai. Over on his label's website, Devro explains the mix's origins: "Pomp & Clout asked me to make them a mixtape for them of whatever I wanted, so I thought I'd put my Bollywood disco record crates to work. So here it is, my X-mas gift to you: super rare, super popular, super weird, and super awesome hindi tunes all chopped the fuck up, so that they sorta make sense." Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/16/2010

Kevin Saunderson to Tour With Derrick May Next Year

2010 was a good year for Detroit techno pioneer Kevin Saunderson; the iconic DJ/musician/producer resurrected his Inner City band at Movement, and released a load of singles and EPs both for himself and members of the Saunderson extended family (like his nephew, Kweku). Now, the artist is ready to follow up that work with another exciting project, a world tour with fellow dance music innovator Derrick May. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/16/2010

Boys Noize to Release 'Acid' Compilation on His Label

As a sort of celebration of 20 years of acid music, German DJ/producer/label head Boys Noize has brought together a handful of friends and label mates to craft a compilation of brand-new tunes following the blueprints of the old-school club genre. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/16/2010

Funkineven: London's Soul-Funk Fusionist Helps Eglo Records Find Its Legs

Steven Julien's East London studio is like an analog gear menagerie: vintage Korg, Yamaha, Akai, and Roland synths and drum machines are systematically arranged on desks and racks everywhere. Perched in a swivel chair for our chat, the 31-year-old producer looks sharp in his Keith Haring x Supreme t-shirt, an item issued as a tribute to the late music entrepreneur Malcolm McLaren. Read more » 

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