Even as the '80s revival has dubiously morphed from a passing fad into what seems like permanent status, every once in a while an artist proves that the neon decade still has some ore worth mining. Don't You Remember the Future is the debut album from U.K. retro-futurist Jamie Jones, and although it portends to be a concept album set in 2116, the music sounds a lot more like 1986, from the Prince-biting proto-rave of "Summertime" to the jackin' diva-disco of "Half Human." Read more »
Interesting news on the dubstep front. By some wonderful twist of fate, Shackleton, Appleblim, and Komonazmuk were given access to every piece of every track from early Krautrock legends Harmonia's Brian Eno-produced Tracks and Traces. The project brings Shackleton and Appleblim back in the studio together for the first time since their Skull Disco collaboration. Read more »
London's melodic MC Speech Debelle was awarded last night with the Barclaycard Mercury Prize for Album of the Year for her debut album on Big Dada, the poignant and original Speech Therapy. Surpassing albums by Florence + The Machine, Friendly Fires, and Bat For Lashes, to name a few, Speech accepted the award with the same confidence and grace she exhibits in her music. Make sure to catch the talented artist on her next trip to the US.
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Every day this month we're rolling out a new feature on XLR8R's Labels We Love of 2009. Whether it's the eye-catching aesthetics of Type or the model-for-the-future approach of Interdependent Media, these cut-making selections of the best in underground electronic, indie, hip-hop, and experimental imprints punch way above their weight. Feast your eyes on the features and then download many of the labels' related podcasts here. Read more »
Filled with buoyant beats, 8-bit shoot-outs, and pastel-funky melodies, Mary Anne Hobbs’ latest compilation contains everything you’d expect from the British tastemaker’s broadcast, minus her ecstatic voiceovers. Connecting different strata of bass music, Hobbs showcases some of its more colorful, glittering strains, including Gemmy’s “Rainbow Road” and Nosaj Thing’s “IOIO,” both breezy, neon gems. Read more »
Heralded as ground-breaking in their time, as well as early godfathers of Krautrock, Hamburg-based trio Faust have paved the way for many artists and producers since their 1969 inception. Now, the band will be hitting North American pavement starting September 25 for only the third time in its lengthy career. The landmark tour will take Faust to its first performances in Canada and Detroit, and will also feature workshops on the "Faust method" in many cities throughout the two-week stint. Read more »
Last week, L.A. celebrity partyboy, candy-colored headphones enthusiast, and Benihana progeny Steve Aoki unveiled the video for "I'm in the House," his debut single as a solo "artist." Mr. Dim Mak has been quoted as saying that the single "jumps into your party pants and will make you dance dance dance."
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A few weeks back, Mad Decent held their second annual block party in Philadelphia, featuring Major Lazer, Blaqstarr, Maluca, and a host of other label stars. With dance contests, local foods, and performances all day, it looks like it came off quite well, judging from the excellent video below. And be sure to watch out for exclusive pics of the party in the next issue of XLR8R!
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If HEALTH's self-titled debut was a warning flare, then consider Get Color an all-out aerial assault. The L.A. Smell veterans have always been impressively noisy, but the band's sophomore effort finds them wielding all their fuzz, static, and sonic squall in the service of potent and powerful songs. Guitars are razor-sharp and distortion-heavy. Thunderous drums and menacing electronics recall the fury of '80s industrial. Read more »
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