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.
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 »
Part Netherlands and part Colorado, the elusive Brim Liski is a collective of underground producers who remain "happily depressed." Their collective output sounds something like M83 covering Depeche Mode remixing a Three 6 Mafia beat, and "Fight" is a great example of the group's ability to balance a head-nodding beat with poignant atmospherics and hushed vocal work.
If you've heard the magical effect of Cristabelle's silky voice adorning Norwegian prog-disco composer Lindstrøm's "Music (In My Mind)," then you have some semblance of what to expect from Real Life is No Cool, their forthcoming collaborative release on Smalltown Supersound. Lindstrøm and Cristabelle (a.k.a. Solale) describe their upcoming release as “structured chaos," and have even gone further to say the two artists are just about the exact opposite of one other. It should be interesting to hear what that kind of fire-and-ice tension does to pop-friendly space-disco tunes when Real Life is No Cool see its release January 19 of next year. The track list is available below. Read more »
XLR8R Hits Seattle's Decibel Festival, Chows BBQ With Benga and Willits, and Scoops Sounds With Lusine and Pezzner.
Words and reporting by Jefferson Petrey and Ken Taylor
Last week's Decibel Festival, the sixth installment of the electronic music gathering, held from September 24 til the 27, saw the XLR8R crew working overtime and double duty on the streets of Seattle, hitting up events from sun down til sun up and then some, and dropping in with producers Lusine and Pezzner for an upcoming episode of XLR8R TV. In fact, before we could even settle in to the city's idyllic environs, we were already chowing on BBQ with Benga and Christopher Willits. (Yes, BBQ in Seattle—not half bad!) The rest of the weekend was a bit of a blur, but with the help of Seattle-based scribe Jefferson Petrey, we've done our best to piece it all back together. Read more »
Christopher Willits tackles drum recording using a three-mic set-up.
In this episode, Christopher returns to Sound Arts Studio to show us drum mic-ing techniques with Jeff Pierre, a 16-year-old drummer from Haiti who plays the tanbou segón. Read more »
Taken from the Blu Jemz-curated Beat Machine compilation, "Tetris" is a slinky slice of instrumental synth-funk put together by Waajeed. Best known as an original member of Slum Village and a founder of Platinum Pied Pipers, Wajeed will be hitting the road as part of the Beat Machine tour that kicks off tonight.
What makes this piece interesting isn't really the music itself, which falls squarely into the shiny indie-electro category, but the method of dissemination: the new Friends of Friends label sells unique t-shirts commissioned by a specific musical artist, and every t-shirt contains a download code to a release by that artist as well as a musical compatriot. On the label's second release, Swiss duo Larytta tapped their countryman Bauchamp to share the release and artist Tatiana Rihs to design the t-shirt. With shirt and download code in hand, one can not only hear the six-track release itself, but remixes by Lazer Sword, Hecuba, and more.
The press promptly hailed A Place to Bury Strangers as “the loudest band in New York” when the trio released its self-titled debut in 2007—quite a compliment considering the masses of sonic terrorists lining up to play Brooklyn’s DIY venues. Now with Exploding Head, APTBS has refined its industrial shoegaze into something more tuneful, but no less brutal. Actual songs peek out from under the great morass of singer Oliver Ackermann’s scathing guitars. Read more »
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