XLR8R - logo


Nite Jewel: Ramona Gonzalez uses eight-track logic—and a touch of Heidegger—to craft wistful lo-fi disco.

Ramona Gonzalez’s resume overflows with creative projects, but the soft-spoken voice of LA’s three-piece experimental synth-pop group, Nite Jewel, is still just finding her legs musically. Using a self-proclaimed “technically amateur” approach—messing around on a keyboard, singing in her head, mumbling aloud until something sticks, and then hitting the record button on her portable eight-track cassette deck—Gonzalez creates music that alternately evokes doe-eyed innocence and dark sensuality. Read more » 

Download: Radian "Git Cut Noise"

First Listen

The closest thing to rock music you're likely to hear from this glitchy, Vienna-based live electronics trio, Radian, can be found on the opening track from their upcoming new album. Coming four years after the group's last effort, Juxtaposition, Radian's Chimeric is built around live recordings of drums, bass, and guitar, although they've been cut up, rearranged, and tweaked into near oblivion. Despite efforts made to keep "Git Cut Noise" away from anything easily called "straightforward," passages of stripped down and crunchy rock flirtations do bubble to the surface. 

Average: 5.4 (24 votes)

Download: 2562 "Flashback"

Label: Tectonic

Dave Huismans, who works under the monikers of 2562 and A Made Up Sound, has made a startling rise to the top ranks of dubstep and deep, dubby house within only a few years. As 2562, Huismans creates atmospheric dubstep that has as much to do with shuffling Detroit house and dub-techno as it does with the current Hyperdub roster. In front of a dusty dubstep beat, "Flashback" features a lush, two-note synth line reminiscent of Theo Parrish, spacy squelches, breathtaking polyrhythms, and synth flourishes that somehow recall Aril Brikha's first full-length. There's an undeniably organic sonic quality to much of Huisman's work, and "Flashback" is definitely not a departure from his oeuvre. Taken from his new album Unbalance.  

Average: 7.5 (59 votes)

Review: Traxx Faith

Label: Nation

The first full-length from Traxx (a.k.a. Chicago-based DJ and producer Melvin Oliphant III) touts the most jacking-est of styles—"jakbeat," an Ann Arbor and Chicago sound that’s both an ode to and update of early Chicago house. Traxx, no purist, reaches back even further (“Parametric Melody” nods to Larry Levan, quoting Peech Boys’ “Don’t Make Me Wait”) while also looking ahead. Vintage as the drum programming and acid synths are on a track like “Enka,” Faith has a soulful, futuristic quality throughout. Read more » 

Quick Blockhead Tour Starts Tonight

To prepare for the January 12 release of his third proper Ninja Tune record, The Music Scene, Blockhead is heading out on a short tour starting tonight at the Echo in Los Angeles. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 11/11/2009

Fabric Forges New Territory With Upcoming Compilation

Known primarily for its massive club and ongoing DJ-mix releases, Fabric is set to venture into new territory with an upcoming compilation series. Using the unusual title of Elevator Music, each edition of the series is meant to showcase unreleased songs from producers that have caught the ears of Fabric's staff. With a quick look at Volume 1's tracklist, it's easy to see they've been listening to a lot of dubstep, UK funky, and all around bass-centric music. We wholeheartedly approve. Fabric's Elevator Music Vol. 1 will be available January 18 and you can check the tracklist after the jump. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 11/11/2009

TBC: Fear of Music - Why People Get Rothko But Don't Get Stockhausen

Author David Stubbs contributed to the influential fanzine Monitor before writing for Melody Maker. He is also a former reviews editor of The Wire and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, and Ace Records. Read more » 

Download: Robot Koch "Gorom Sen (Shlohmo Remix)"

First Listen

The frenetic dubstep of Robot Koch gets the remix treatment from a mysterious young buck from Los Angeles. Taking the original from Koch's forthcoming album, Death Star Droid, Shlohmo slows its breakneck pace, creating a piece where the sampled Angolan vocal stems are still evident, but put to a dark, low-slung bass slice. A piece meant for blunted, late-night drives through the 'hood, Shlohmo's remix of "Gorom Sen" shows that the 19-year-old has earned his upcoming mini-album on Friends of Friends

Average: 7.9 (134 votes)

Download: D-Lo "Any Mini feat. Shady Nate & Mr. Tower"

If Yay Area native D-Lo hadn't proved he knew how to get dumb with his smash hit "No Hoe," he'll definitely prove it with this new joint. With DJ Fresh's nasty, non-traditional rhythmic structures providing the track's backbone, D-Lo spits about hoes, guns, and fucking your girlfriend behind your back. Mr. Tower provides the strongest verse on the track, but generally, this is some dope hyphy business that'll definitely be blasting in your 'hood in the coming months. 

Average: 5.7 (44 votes)

Review: CFCF Continent

Label: Paper Bag

The first sounds heard on the debut full-length from Montreal-based producer Michael Silver (musically known as CFCF) are a slow, bouncing beat matched by a handful of poignant synth tones that could have swirled straight from the hands of a lovesick android. Continent's opening track, "Raining Patterns," is more future-R&B than disco dance party, and sets the mood for an album more about the upper half of your body than the lower. Read more » 

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player