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Stream Ford & Lopatin's 'Channel Pressure' Now

Next week, the duo of Joel Ford and Daniel Lopatin (once named Games, but now simply called Ford & Lopatin) will release its first proper full-length album—a flurry of '80s-influenced, leftfield pop tunes and refried radio noise called Channel Pressure (pictured above)—via the pair's newly minted Mexican Summer sub-label, Software. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 06/01/2011

Download: Shabazz Palaces "Swerve... The reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)"

Label: Sub Pop

Much like the recently reformed group of NY producers/MCs known as Anti-Pop Consortium, Seattle's Shabazz Palaces (a.k.a. Palaceer Lazaro of Digable Planets) has a serious penchant for being obtuse. Between the unwieldy song titles ("Swerve... The reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)" isn't exactly what you'd expect attached to a hip-hop tune), the fractured nature of the productions (some tracks might as well be two separate songs), and the existential subject matter ("I'm free to be a slave to all these things I can't escape," for instance), it's safe to say Lazaro's music isn't what we'd call typical. That being said, this track—which closes out the artist's forthcoming full-length for Sub Pop, Black Up (pictured above)—is a relatively cohesive and catchy jam. The slow-grooving beat that opens up "Swerve" is quickly paired with an elastic synth tone and an infectious hook, sounding almost like Shabazz Palaces wants to squeeze in one radio-friendly track before his 10-track LP stops spinning. And he does—that is, until it eventually transforms into something altogether different. (via Pitchfork

Average: 7.6 (37 votes)

Claude VonStroke to Release Remix Compilation, Tour This Summer

The man behind San Francisco party-starting house/techno hub Dirtybird, Claude VonStroke, just announced he'll soon be releasing a compilation album of remix work from his discography, along with some unreleased tunes. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 05/31/2011

Podcast 200: Richie Hawtin vs. Plastikman

When the XLR8R podcast began nearly five years ago, the initial premise was simple—get DJs, producers, and labels to put together exclusive mixes, and we would make them available for download. Over the first 199 chapters of the podcast, XLR8R has featured artists and genres from across the musical spectrum and across the globe, mixes put together by veteran hands and promising newcomers alike. Thankfully, XLR8R readers have responded, coming back in droves each week to devour the latest edition. Read more » 

Podcast 200: Mala

The second half of our two-part 200th podcast comes courtesy of another musical heavyweight, dubstep kingpin Mala (a.k.a. Mark Lawrence). Whether operating solo or as one half of legendary outfit Digital Mystikz, the man helped put dubstep on the musical map in the mid-'00s, not only as a producer and DJ, but also as the co-founder of the genre-defining DMZ label and club night with Coki and Loefah. Read more » 

Download: Powell "Atomic Tricks"

Label: Jumble

Many producers at work in the Ableton-centric realm of electronic music tend to favor 'soundcraft' over 'songcraft', which is all well and good, but a balance of the two certainly works in everyone's favor. Parisian tunesmith Powell certainly leans heavily towards the art of sound design, but thankfully has a toe or two dipped into the pond of catchy hooks. His brand of funky, electro-tinged bass music is rife with rubbery synth tones, swarms of neon space noise, and gut-punching beats, and, as heard on "Atomic Tricks," Powell will every so often wrangle those sounds from their disparate locations in the mix to work out an invigorating dance groove. Those moments are few and far between, not to mention short-lived, but damn if they're not worth the wait. You can nab the whole lot of them on Powell's seven-track Densui EP, here

Average: 7.9 (59 votes)

Download: Tessela "Push"

Label: All City

Although the All City imprint first caught our attention with its impressive series of 10" releases highlighting the varied talents of the Los Angeles music scene, the Irish label has proven itself to be a reputable home for all kinds of high-quality bass music. Past releases have included offerings for Martyn, Mike Slott, Hudson Mohwake, Onra, Krystal Klear, and others, and now UK producer Tessela is set to join the fray. Taken from a forthcoming three-song 12" (artwork pictured above) scheduled to drop in June, "Push" is propulsive cut punctuated by snapping snares, subby synths, some carefully placed vocal snippets, and a thunderous bassline. This West Country beatmaker might be a relative newcomer, but his work already appears to be on par with that of his All City cohorts. 

Average: 8.3 (62 votes)

Review: Bok Bok Southside EP

It's hard to dispute that Night Slugs was the breakout UK label of 2010. Beginning with Mosca's landscape-altering Square One EP and continuing with an impeccable series of releases from Egyptrixx, Kingdom, Girl Unit, Jam City, Lil Silva, and others, the imprint and crew headed up by L-Vis 1990 and Bok Bok quickly solidified its position at the head of the current class of bass-centric, post-everything producers and DJs. Oddly enough, all of this happened without an official release from Bok Bok (a.k.a. Alex Sushon), making his ascent all the more impressive in an era where most DJs' stature is defined foremost by the tunes they've produced. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 05/31/2011

Download: Crewdson "Cascade"

First Listen
Label: Slowfoot

Crewdson is a fresh UK producer soon to be inducted into the Hall of Precious Electronic Sounds, particularly following the release of his debut LP, Gravity. Our first glimpse of that inaugural offering is the flitting found-sound collage of "Cascade," a song which rushes quickly into your ears (much as its name implies), then swims and swirls around for six and a half minutes before trickling back out. Many comparisons could be made to fellow members of the Hall of Precious Electronic Sounds—names like Four Tet, Gold Panda, and Lali Puna spring to mind—, and they'd be apt; but if the flurry of miniature field recordings, the sounds of crunchy percussion, and the lilting melodies are any indication of the Crewdson's Gravity album, we expect some refreshing and original ideas, too. Look for it on June 20. 

Average: 7.7 (38 votes)

Our 200th Podcast Arrives Tomorrow... Who Will It Be?

Over the last few years, we've brought you some pretty slick podcasts. Among those 199 entries have been some out-and-out crowd-pleasers (Bok Bok, Nicolas Jaar), some instant classics (Moby's '90s rave set), and some polarizing horn-lockers (Pictureplane, DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn). Tomorrow, it's time to reveal who'll be helming the mix for our highly anticipated 200th podcast! Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 05/30/2011

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