Ever since her debut album, Contact, Love, Want, Have, was released last month, the electronic music world has been abuzz with love for UK producer Ikonika. With her star firmly on the ascent, the Hyperdub artist is going to be toting her own brand of forward-reaching dubstep onto North American soil for a short string of dates through the US and Canada, making stops in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and at Montreal's MUTEK festival. Check out the show details after the jump and keep your eyes peeled for Ikonika's exclusive XLR8R podcast, which will debut here on XLR8R.com within the next few weeks. Read more »
LA Story: Ariel Pink and Warpaint contemplate fake Michael Jacksons, first crushes, and 10 days of silence.
Former home-recording maestro Ariel Pink has not only expanded his live and recorded line-up to include a full band, but he's also made the switch from the Animal Collective-curated Paw Tracks label to indie legend 4AD for his forthcoming record, Before Today. We had Warpaint's Emily Kokal, a fellow LA musician, talk with Pink about his new record—and just about everything that came before it. Read more »
Philadelphia coldwave patrons Cold Cave released Love Comes Close last year, but they're just now getting around to releasing a proper 12" single for "Life Magazine." The track is treated to remixes from the likes of Pantha du Prince, Arthur Baker, and, here, Optimo. Fresh off the finale of their long-running weekly Sunday-night party, the Glaswegian duo's intent is clear from the onset; JD Twitch and JG Wilkes are gonna make you move. Their mission is accomplished with much aplomb through hijacking the vocal from its original synth-pop resting place, and placing it in the middle of an energetic space-disco workout. Optimo also has an entry in the venerated Fabric mix series the comes out next week, and the "Life Magazine" 12" drops on June 8.
Composer, sound designer, and certified Ableton Live educator Laura Escudé certainly has the electronic music street cred necessary to back her forthcoming debut album, Pororoca. The title track of her new record is chock full of smooth strings, delayed synths, and ominous choir vocals, all of which combine to make up the bulk of her moody piece. In fact, a beat doesn't make its way into the song until two minutes in, and disappears in half the time—reminding us of an era when electronic music was more centered around melody than rhythm.
San Francisco's Sugar & Gold has always been about crafting fun, sexy dance music with a genderless quality, a combination tailor-made for the queerest metropolitan area in the United States. But while the group's sophomore record has some undeniably grooving moments, these are offset by the fact that the group often uses the same sonic palette to guide every piece. Read more »
Fever Ray, Soulwax, Caribou, Tricky, Lali Puna, LCD Soundsystem, Washed Out, and More to Play Berlin Festival
The German capital city's annual music festival, simply called Berlin Festival, has just announced its lineup for the upcoming extravaganza. For two days in September, DJs and bands from far and wide will convene at the historic Tempelhof Airport to do what they do best: perform live music. Read more »
The ever-growing mass of electronics heard on "Niobe," the closing number from Caribou's last album, Andorra, could be retroactively interpreted as a transition from the summery psych-rock explorations of Dan Snaith's past to the synthesized indie-pop found on Swim, his fifth full-length. While the Canadian producer previously used electronics and modern technologies to craft and adorn his intimate bedroom-born songs, his latest album pulls those sensibilities into the forefront—and with captivating and brilliant results.
Read more »
Since 2006, the Jus Like Music site has been championing sonic gems from the worlds of hip-hop, neo-soul, jazz, dubstep, funk, and more, but earlier this year, these bloggers decided to take their advocacy to another level and launch their own online record label. After releasing the debut single from Londoner BUG, the young label's catalog was bolstered significantly with Oscillations, a two-part compilation featuring contributions from Slugabed, Alex B, Om Unit, and a bunch of other newcomers who could be lumped beneath the ever-expanding "beat scene" umbrella. One of those newcomers was Bnjmin, a young UK producer who also records under the more widely known Jackhigh and Singing Statues monikers. His song "Arose" was originally slated to appear on Oscillations, yet time constraints forced it from the final tracklist, so Jus Like Music has passed it along to share as an XLR8R exclusive. If you like its washy tones and subdued vibe, then you'll probably want to go ahead and grab Oscillations online, as both parts are available for free download.
Milwaukee's Signaldrift has been releasing music since 1998, but have been relatively silent in recent years—the duo's last album was 2005's Set Design. Later this month, the ambient-shoegaze-Krautrock outfit is getting back into the game with Two Agents, a limited-run double LP on Portland's Audraglint label. "Yesterday's Tomorrow" is public's the first taste of Two Agents, and it sounds like an extra-chill Neu! song bathed in a warming glow of soft reverb. If all Kraturock-influenced music sounded this good, we're thinking there would be a whole lot more girls in the scene.
XLR8R Downloads Player