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Review: Brother Ali Us

If there were any justice in this world, Brother Ali would be a solid contender for the title greatest rapper alive. Working with the same producer (Atmosphere's Ant) for most of his career has bolstered Ali’s already-consistent output, and his latest release, Us, is quality from top to bottom, as Ali vacillates between boastful jabs, message-mongering uppercuts, storytelling segments, and spiritual revelations. Meanwhile, the beats range from uptempo slams and funky, bouncy head-nodders to neo-exotica and retro-gospel. Read more » 

Ape School's Titillating New Video Rails Against Humanity

First Listen

Philadelphia's Michael Johnson, the avant-pop producer behind Ape School, has just had his first video released, featuring the lush animation of Anthony F. Schepperd in fusion with the soaring "Wail to God." The video features a monkey-man and his robotic friend ripping passive humans and oppressive authority figures apart, all the while dreaming of women's breasts. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 10/05/2009

Inbox: Ari Up

British punk legend Ari Up (a.k.a. Arianna Forster) takes her breakfast with XLR8R’s Inbox in this edition. The heavily dreadlocked Slits leading lady recalls one of her band’s rocky early shows, revisits living nude in the jungle, and pours a little out for Michael Jackson. The Slits’ latest album, Trapped Animal, comes out October 20 on Narnack. Read more » 

Mr. Chop to Cut Up Pete Rock and Drop Album of Remixes

After jack-of-all-trades engineer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Mr. Chop delivered a host of co-written and co-produced tracks on recent album Born Like This, DOOM touted his collaborator as "the illest to grace the boards." The praise hit the streets and landed Mr. Chop an offer to create a record of remixes and covers paying tribute to legendary NY DJ/producer/MC Pete Rock. The album, cleverly titled For Pete's Sake, will see release Nov. 3 on Now Again/Five Day Weekend. Tracklist is below. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 10/02/2009

Gutter Twins: Dev79 and Starkey take the sound of the Philly streets worldwide.

The everything-but-the-kitchen-sink aesthetic that DJs/producers Gair "Dev79" Marking and PJ "Starkey" Geissinger call "street bass" combines touches of Dirty South hip-hop, grime, Miami bass drops, glitched-out sex funk, dubstep, and dancehall—yet the two City of Liberty gents still have a way of making the sound a regional one. Read more » 

Download: Hudson Mohawke "Ooops"

In preparation for the can't-come-soon-enough release of Hudson Mohawke's debut album for Warp, the wonkily soulful Butter, Scotland's Wireblock and Lucky Me crews have put together a limited re-release of HudMo's 2008 breakout track, the bass-heavy bootleg remix of Tweet's "Ooops (Oh My)." The single that took a burgeoning scene by storm a short while back still sounds as fresh as the day it was delivered from Hudson's Glasgow studio. Their generosity isn't exactly a surprise, as both Wireblock and Lucky Me have graced XLR8R with exceptional podcasts that can be found here and here respectively. 

Average: 8 (88 votes)

Download: Cougar "Rhinelander"

Label: Counter

Somewhere between the tenacity of Ratatat, the cinema-scope of Mogwai, and the experiments of Tortoise you'll find Milwaukee's Cougar. XLR8R recently took a closer look on the quintet, and now we're happy to bring you a cut from their latest album Patriot, the choir-led "Rhinelander." The track builds slow, eventually coalescing vocal melodies and dueling guitars with heavy beats and distorted basslines into a transcendent post-rock sound. 

Average: 7.1 (26 votes)

Review: To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie Marlone

Label: kranky

Originally from Richmond, VA, and now based in Minneapolis, the duo of Jehna Wilhelm and Mark McGee makes no bones about its debt to Kranky's flagship band, the now-defunct Labradford. To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie's scope is cinematic, but their second LP suggests grainy, industrial cinéma vérité instead of the doomy, spaghetti-western feel of an album like Labradford's Mi Media Naranja. Read more » 

Buraka Som Sistema Embarks on Tour of Select US Cities

With its latest kuduro jam, "Restless," in hand, Portugal's Buraka Som Sistema is taking to the states to perform its fiery live show in select cities across the country. The new single will be available for all this November through download, and you can check out the tour dates below. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 10/02/2009

Kid606 Returns to the West Coast

The former East Bay resident and now Berlin-based Kid606 is returning to the west coast to party down with friends and fans alike. The Kid will be rocking five dates in a three-week span including a massive Tigerbeat6 night at San Francisco's Elbo Room. There's even a free Kid606 mix to download and get you pumped up for the upcoming shows. Cop the mix here and check out the dates below. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 10/01/2009

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