It's that time of year again, folks: the Kompakt gang is back at it with yet another trophy to add to its shiny collection of Total compilations, and this year's contribution of hits from The Field, Thomas/Mayer, Nicolas Stefanis, and more is looking to be the stand-out in the set. Read more »
Instrumental hip-hop wizard RJD2 has announced the birth of a new label called RJ's Electrical Connections, and to celebrate, he's re-issuing his first three releases, including his break-out album Dead Ringer. As if that weren't enough reason to get happy, the Philadelphian is also releasing some of his b-sides and rarities digitally, and putting out a massive vinyl-only boxed-set retrospective called RJD2: 2002-2010. Read more »
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.
Two Californian cumbia nueva princes return from Argentina with guns a-blazin’.
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Tribe's Rebirth, which we reviewed way back in January before it had an official title, is finally expected for release in October on the LP's producer Carl Craig's Planet E label. For those who don't know, Tribe was Detroit's answer to the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and featured the likes of Phil Ranelin, Wendell Harrison, and Marcus Belgrave. Read more »
Electroclash godfather Felix da Housecat supposedly wanted this album to be more pop than his past albums. He succeeded—kind of. Sure, the tracks are accessible, but they're also undemanding; the music is fun, but a little disposable. The bouncy beat and breathy vocals on “Plastik Fantastik,” for example, get boring fast. Contrast that with the outstanding “Kickdrum,” which is thick, textured, and flat-out gorgeous. Read more »
Above Photo by Erik Moholdt
Earlier this month, XLR8R was invited to come and check out the 2009 edition of the Øya Festival in Oslo, Norway. Over the course of five days, we scampered around Oslo, saw a dizzying number of bands, hopped on a boat to check out the fjord, and thoroughly enjoyed what has to be one of the most laid-back, diverse, environmentally friendly, and well-organized music festivals on the planet. Here are some of the highlights.
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In this round of Inbox, XLR8R gets down to business with techno DJ and producer, Nightlight Music founder, and graphic designer, Alland Byallo. The snarky San Franciscan hates on Dell computers, flaunts his extensive sock collection, reviews his culinary school notes, and keeps his fingers crossed that either Enya or Bobby McFerrin will sit down for some studio time. Byallo’s album Brick by Brick comes out August 27 on Nightlight Music.
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