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Five Star: Rainbow Arabia

The LA-based genre mashers tell us about the major influences on their new album, Boys and Diamonds. Read more » 

Download: Pulseprogramming "First They Fire"

Label: Audraglint

Marc Hellner's Pulseprogramming project has a new LP on the way next month, and "First They Fire" is the initial offering to surface from the forthcoming release. Starting off with about as carefree an electro drumbeat as one could imagine, the track moves steadily into wispy, shoegazey electro-pop territory with a host of washy guitars and low, steady bass providing the bed for Hellner's nonchalant synth lines and Chanel Pease's serenely delivered vocals. As the tune calmly drifts through the tranquil space of its own creation, one could easily miss the mumbled details of the unusual (although metaphorical we're sure) chorus lyrics, "I'm on fire/ I'm on fire." Not quite the subject material we were expecting, but we're not going to let that stop us from happily clapping along. Pulseprogramming's forthcoming album, Charade is Gold (artwork above), is set to be released on May 3. 

Average: 7.8 (49 votes)

Matmos, Christopher Willits, and Nate Boyce Set to Release Collaborative EP

Before departing for the complete opposite coast of the continental United States, the formerly San Francisco-based duo Matmos (pictured above) had joined forces with SF's resident blissful guitar manipulator Christopher Willits and local videographer/musician Nate Boyce for an "expectation-less" collaboration of sorts. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 04/08/2011

Download: Branches "Everything You've Ever Done Has Been Beautiful"

This heavenly slice of electro indie-pop comes to us from Vancouver-based producer Jonny Dylan Hughes (a.k.a. Branches). Throughout the instrumental affair, Hughes implements a bath of ethereal synths and arpeggios which is built upon using a seemingly endless supply of delicate melodies with interlocking rhythms that precisely play off each other. The first blown-out drum loop enters the procession just after the one minute marker, eventually disappearing only to pop up again in short spurts between a number of incredibly melody-washed breakdowns. In customary electro-pop fashion, the biggest burst of energy is saved for the track's climax, where giant, glitched kicks and snares fire at will as Hughes' melodies soar above, unscathed by the tumultuous sounds below. "Everything You've Ever Done Has Been Beautiful" can be found on Branches' new EP of the same name (artwork above), which is available for download from the project's Bandcamp

Average: 7.7 (30 votes)

Ramadanman and Zed Bias Finalize North American Tour Dates, Launch Mix Series

Early last month we reported that the amazing team of future-music wunderkind, and XLR8R cover star, Ramadanman (pictured above) and UK bass veteran Zed Bias (a.k.a. Maddslinky) were putting together an extensive North American tour throughout the month of April. Now, word has come down the pipeline that all the dates have been finalized and, furthermore, Zed Bias has launched a four-part mix series to help spread the word. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 04/07/2011

Download: Lil Scrappy "Look At Me (Kaptain Cadillac Remix)"

We have to say, it's still a bit surprising that Dre Skull's Brooklyn-based Mixpak imprint released a record for one of Atlanta's earliest proponents of crunk, Lil Scrappy, even though "Look At Me" was produced by the label head himself. However, we're not at all surprised that the project came out sounding quite good, and it seems like the new EP of remixes for that single has completely followed in suit. Like this version by Kaptain Cadillac, the already maniacal southern rap jam is worked into more hyperactive territories where lofty BPMs rule the dancefloor and the MC's vocals are chopped into a neon flurry that perfectly match the glistening piano melodies. Though "Look At Me (Kaptain Cadillac Remix)" is actually not on the just-released Look At Me (Remixes) EP, Justin Martin's and Dâm-Funk's versions do the trick in its place, which you can hear yourself here

Average: 8 (58 votes)

Okayplayer Launches Caribbean Music Site LargeUp

The well-respected, hip-hop-centric website launched by The Roots' ?uestlove, OkayPlayer, recently expanded its musical reach a bit further, and launched a new sub-site, with help from XLR8R writer Jesse Serwer and photographer Martei Korlei, that focuses primarily on Caribbean music. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 04/07/2011

Venetian Snares to Release New EP Via Planet Mu

Prolific electronic experimentalist Venetian Snares has a new release in the works for longtime label Planet Mu, a four-track EP called Cubist Reggae. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 04/07/2011

New Marble Imprint to Release First Single

We told you about the brand-new label formed by DJs/producers Para One, Surkin, and Bombo, called Marble, just last month, and now we bring you news of that burgeoning imprint's first release, a collaborative two-song 12" single (pictured above) from the label heads. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 04/07/2011

Stones Throw Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary with Free Shows Recorded Directly to Vinyl

The venerable Stones Throw imprint is in the midst of its 15-year anniversary, and the always-creative LA label has cooked up a rather unique way to celebrate. Beginning next Thursday, April 14, Stones Throw will be hosting a series of free, invite-only live shows where artists will be recording directly to vinyl. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 04/07/2011

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