The UK's Ben Westbeech isn't the most likely candidate for the XLR8R podcast series, as the classically trained musician and producer is often recognized for his skills as a crooner. Next month, he'll be releasing a new album, There's More to Life Than This, via the venerable Strictly Rhythm label. Read more »
Ever since the day we found out that New York cyborg-rock trio Battles was weeks away from dropping its sophomore album, Gloss Drop, we've not only wanted to hear what music it holds, but also see what kind of crazy visual art it will be packaged in. Now, we have a taste of both. Read more »
Berkeley duo Jed and Lucia (real names Emma Lucia and Mark Reveley) is only a week away from the release of the follow up to its Super Human Heart LP for the Ubiquity label, a four-track EP called Helium. The title track is the only non-remix production on that offering, which we have to share with you here. Distant synthscapes, broken piano melodies, hushed vocal coos, and herky-jerky drum loops are at the heart of "Helium," and effectively help the song straddle the many fences that stand between genres like beat music, chillwave, ambient, synth-pop, and other electronic sub-strands. We expect it will sit nicely next to a remix from UK producer Letherette, and two new versions of tracks from the pair's Super Human Heart record by Lucia and Reveley themselves.
Operating since October of 2009, the UK house and R&B-flavored Well Rounded imprint has released standouts from C.R.S.T. and Hackman, not to mention Deadboy's (pictured above) breakthrough cut, "U Cheated." This year, Well Rounded is expanding by launching a sister label called Well Rounded Housing Project. Read more »
Yesterday, gloomy New Orleans duo Belong released the highly anticipated follow-up to its 2006 debut, October Language. Released on Kranky, Common Era finds the band working in more overtly pop territory, experimenting with voice and melody in the foreground rather than burying it in fuzz. That said, "Never Came Close" comes off the new record, and is anything but crystal-clear pop. The ghost of Ian Curtis lurks in the song's dulled drums while a warm fog of processed voice and guitar coalesces into a wonderfully ominous brew.
Rising UK producer Becoming Real (a.k.a. Toby Ridler) has, much to XLR8R's appreciation, put the "house" in witch house. Over the last few months, Ridler has lent UK tour support to witch-house poster children Salem, and provided remixes to folks like Forest Swords. Read more »
We introduced you to Glaswegian DJ/producer Koreless back in February, sharing his promising "Up Down Up Down" tune and news of his recent signing with UK label Pictures Music. Well, the fruits of that conjoining are now upon us in the form of the limited-edition "4D" b/w "MTI" 12", the release of which is joined by this free, unreleased track, "Maria." This production exhibits a decidedly chilled-out side to Koreless' growing sound, but still shows the artist's audio sculpting skills in full form. The low-end frequencies envelop your head while the crackling vocal samples, pattering rhythmic sounds, and reverb-drenched piano melodies cut straight through the mix, simultaneously dancing on your eardrums and flirting with your heartstrings.
In memory of Steve Reid, the legendary jazz drummer whose prolific career included working with James Brown, Miles Davis, and Kieran Hebden, among others, before passing away last year, BBC Radio DJ/Brownswood head honcho Gilles Peterson has founded the Steve Reid Foundation. Read more »
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