From the joining of Poland's Unsound Festival and Stefan Betke's (a.k.a. Pole) experimental electronic label ˜scape comes a new creation altogether, a compilation of collaborations entitled Connections. Written and recorded during a week-long session in Minsk after Belarusian producers and musicians were matched with partners from Germany, Poland, the UK, Switzerland, and Sweden, the internationally born music is said to range from "dark, heavy atmosphere" to more playful sounds across the 8-track compilation. In celebration of the upcoming release parties taking place throughout Poland, ˜scape has made the whole collaborative project available for free download on their website. Go there for more detailed information and check out the tracklist below. Read more »
Instrumental rock is a hard sell, especially the brand made by Wisconsinites Cougar. The band's music is often chaotic, constantly changing and fiercely ambitious. On their second album, their experimental leanings are on full display, with music that can be considered "rock" only in the loosest sense of the word. Cougar's more interested in intensity than accessibility, so when songs work—see the crashing, layered “Florida Logic” or the tinkling loveliness of “Pelourinho”—they carry a visceral directness. Read more »
Youthful French producer and ZZK compatriot Douster has certainly made a splash in 2009 with his clubby European take on the various tropical rhythms (and riddims) emerging from around the globe. Whether it be dancehall or kuduro, cumbia or UK funky, Douster can be counted on to deliver an uptempo, chopped-and-sliced dancefloor filler. Read more »
Producer/MC Jneiro Jarel prefers not to call any one city his own. Not wanting to fall into hip-hop’s territorial obsession, Jarel is more concerned with pushing his various leftfield projects forward than claiming certain area codes. “The thing about me, I always brought my vibe anywhere that I go,” he explains. “That’s why you can’t really put a finger on where I’m from. I call it a Viberian vibe—this is my own world.” Read more »
Ignore the title—the blood isn’t weak here. Suave microhouse rhythms, fluid synth riffs, and rackety percussive hits flow through the heart of this album by Chilean-Berliner Dinky (a.k.a. Alejandra Iglesias). She has a great habit of losing her vocals in the machine—exhibit A is “Skyped,” where her vowels splinter and dissipate into a mess of polyrhythms. Read more »
Phillin' It: For years, Philadelphia has been shrugged off as New York's little brother—a place where displaced Brooklynites went in search of cheaper rents, bigger spaces, and a touch less 'tude. But what's emerged over the years is far more than simply a sixth borough. So for this year's special City Issue, we dug around the Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Chinatown, and every other little enclave we could find to bring you the best that Brotherly Love has to offer. Check back every few days for a new feature from the east coast's newest hotbed. Read more »
Chicago's shape-shifting trio A Lull creates a vast sound far more massive than the sum of its parts. Their beat-heavy brand of post-rock relies equally on instrumental rhythms as it does melodic vocal percussion, a fact showcased fluidly on the XLR8R exclusive "Weapons For War." Ripped from their current sessions for next year's forthcoming debut album, Confetti, A Lull's song inhales as much as it exhales—trading in swirling electronics and tribal beats for acoustic rhythms and harmonized vocal hooks as it breathes. A Lull's Ice Cream Bones EP is out now on Lujo.
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