Last month, we passed along the unfortunate news that Canadian duo Azari & III had decided to call it quits as a production pair. Still, there were bound to be a few loose ends to surface in the wake of that announcement. For instance: the pair's final remix of its career, a dub version of James Wolf's forthcoming "Heart & Soul" single, which can now be streamed in full. Read more »
It's been a while since we last heard from Graphics, a UK producer who'd been steadily building an impressive catalog of strong-armed house tunes before we lost track of his actions in the field earlier this year. But as "The Heckler" shows, the budding tunesmith has certainly not lost his step, as the fast-moving, piano-led roller serves as a fine re-introduction to the man's talents. With a few tasteful nods to classic garage and UKG tucked underneath, "The Heckler" wraps intricately layered vocal tweaks around a set of gooey chords that give the tune a dark R&B flavor. Aside from this welcome return by Graphics to the XLR8R Downloads section, the London producer has also released a new—and similarly impressive—VIP mix of his "I Know You're Ready" tune from his 2012 XLR8R podcast, which can be picked up over on the man's Bandcamp.
As much as we'd like to think that all of our Best of 2013 content is equally important, we do realize that a few of our lists are going to be more highly anticipated than the rest. With that in mind, we're fairly certain that today's feature is one of those year-end big-ticket items, as it contains the first half of what we think are the 50 best tracks of 2013. (The second half will be published tomorrow.) Perhaps it goes without saying, but XLR8R is quite literally flooded with new music on a daily basis; as such, we're willing to admit that although our list may not be the definitive "best," it does reflect the tracks that we enjoyed the most this year, and, more importantly, found ourselves coming back to again and again. Read more »
Some tracks hint at their affinity for the crisp, digital sounds of the '80s with neatly tucked synth lines and sneaky layers of gated reverbs, while others, like this one from Ambassadeurs, wear their love for the decade's sound right on their sleeve. "Make Me" is the latest pop-streaked production to surface from Mark Dobson (the Brighton resident behind Ambassadeurs), one led by a thick chorus of inhumanly pitched vocals and filled to the brim with snares, toms, stabs, and a variety of synth melodies that unapologetically reference the glowing sound of '80s pop and R&B. Not completely steeped in retro sonics, though, Amabassadeurs tune also makes sure to look ahead, landing on a unique hybrid that fuses the hyperactive production style of artists like Rustie and Hudson Mohawke with a more emotive take on electronic pop.
It's been a year since Carnal, their first collaboration, but Cassegrain & Tin Man are back for another round. The trio (Cassegrain is a duo) finds common ground in acid, and seems to find a particular pleasure in molding the telltale 303 sound into rarely heard shapes. Considering Tin Man's Neo Neo Acid LP from last year, which replaced the artist's melancholy vocals (which permeate much of the rest of his catalog) with instrumental dancefloor anthems, High and Low feels like a natural step forward. Read more »
On the new Motor City Jackin EP for Tracy, Barcelona producer Shelby Grey (a.k.a. Vicknoise) crafts cosmic and melodic house cuts with a heavy emphasis on retro synths. "Give Your Love" is a slow-burning, hypnotic throwback built on delayed vocal coos, sticky bass stabs, and crinkly, high-pitched cymbals, its myriad synth layers weaving through the piece's snappy repetition. Before it drops on December 17, the Spanish artist's forthcoming record can be previewed via the player included after the jump. Read more »
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