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Download: Brim Liski "Fight"

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. 

Average: 7.9 (186 votes)

Review: The Very Best Warm Heart of Africa

Label: Green Owl

The Very Best may have been born in a London furniture store, but the music casts an obvious eye toward Africa. Read more » 

Lindstrøm and Cristabelle Team Up For New Album

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 » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 10/06/2009

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 » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 10/06/2009

XLR8R TV: What You Talkin' Bout, Willits? Part 13

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 » 

Download: Waajeed "Tetris"

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. 

Average: 7 (49 votes)

Download: Larytta "Play Me Loud (Futuro)"

First Listen

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. 

Average: 6.9 (34 votes)

Review: A Place to Bury Strangers Exploding Head

Label: Mute

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 » 

Magda Mixes a Dark Fabric 49 Compilation

Magda is a member of the Minus family for good reason—she's probably the best female techno DJ in world right now. It's no surprise, then, that she was tapped to mix the 49th installment of Fabric's lauded mix series. Featuring an eclectic selection of everything from the Italian horror of Goblin to the minimal atmospherics of Farben, the mix is "dark and groovy, with a soundtrack feel to it," as Magda herself puts it. Just in time for those stark, spooky winter nights! Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 10/05/2009

Slumberland Celebrates 20 Years With a Pair of East Coast Shows

The iconic Slumberland label is celebrating its 20th anniversary with back-to-back shows in D.C. and New York, featuring the best acts from the current Slumberland roster as well as groups from the label's past. With sets from bands as sonically diverse as Crystal Stilts and Lorelei, both shows are sure to be packed with fans of noisy avant-pop. To learn more about the label, check out September's Labels We Love feature on Slumberland, in which label head Mike Schulman talks about 20 years of releasing records. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 10/05/2009

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