Over the past three weeks, XLR8R has dedicated itself to highlighting the Best of 2013, a process that has spawned a whole lot of year-end lists. And while we're likely all suffering from a bit of list fatigue at this point, we're happy to report that this year's "Best of" process has almost reached the end of the road. In the meantime though, we've arrived at what is most likely the most anticipated list of them all—our favorite releases of 2013. (For the sake of clarity, we should explain that anything with two or more original songs was considered a "release." Although most of our choices are albums, a handful of EPs made the cut. We also decided to include mix CDs in this category.) Whittling down the contenders and assembling a final list was no easy task, but these 30 records are the ones that we feel made the biggest impact in 2013. We'll be unveiling the list in two parts, beginning with numbers 30 through 16. Come back tomorrow for the top 15. Read more »
The latest single to appear from Irish house and disco stalwart Shit Robot was a piano-led, Reggie Watts-featuring dancefloor cut called "We Got a Love." Now, months after it was released, we have the details of the forthcoming album for which it serves as the title track. Read more »
New York-based producer Lou DiBenedetto (a.k.a. Headlock) follows up his self-titled debut—from which we shared the wistful cut "High Beams" as a free download—with an ambient edit of Janet Jackson's "Love Scene (Ooh Baby)" single from 2001. Dedicated to his "sweetheart" Total Freedom, "Love Obscene" is a breathy, reverb-drenched take on Jackson's sensual original song, which smears the vocals and percussion together in a celestial haze of synth pads.
Fledgling Brooklyn label Fifth Wall is starting to gain some much-deserved traction, and the second EP from co-founder Divvorce is an apt demonstration as to why. The label's releases so far—which include EPs from Physical Therapy, Clouds, Matrixxman, and label co-founder Hound Scales—have walked an intriguing line between bare-boned, stony-faced techno and gestures towards the more playful ends of the rave and bass spectrums. Consisting of two originals and two remixes from labelmates Physical Therapy and Unklone, the Vanessa (A Dreamer) EP purports to be influenced by "pretentious sources" such as Franz Kafka, Darren Aronofsky, and a solitary walk through Paris during Fashion Week, but it's surprisingly lacking in chilly austerity. Instead, as the record's humorous press release suggests, the EP exhibits a very self-conscious brand of seriousness that isn't afraid to have its tongue slightly in-cheek. Read more »
Before wrapping up its first year as a label, Long Island-based label South Fork Sound have put together a free compilation for the holidays. Featuring nine tracks which skirt the lines between leftfield and dubwise club sounds, the particularly restless "My Orchestra" from Volatil serves as one of the collection's standout cuts. Playing to its favor, the four-plus-minute tune seems unable to sync up with one particular groove, its jumpy chords and morphing percussion enticing the listener to follow their unconventional patterns to the track's end. South Fork Sound's entire A Very South Fork Christmas comp—which features additional cuts from Blind Prophet, Cauto, and others—can be grabbed as a name-your-price download here.
The reissue of Glaswegian Dave Clark's little-known "Portland" single on Numbers comes with an intriguing and drawn-out back story. Originally issued by the short-lived Stuffrecords label—an early incarnation of Numbers—under Clark's Sparky moniker back in 2002, it was later discovered by the Numbers team that Ricardo Villalobos was a huge fan of the record, setting in motion a plan to have the track reissued with a remix from the minimal legend. The resulting release pairs the electro, Drexciya-tinged title track with an additional pair of previously unreleased tracks from the 1998 sessions that birthed "Portland" and a mammoth, 30-minute-long, two-part remix from Villalobos. Read more »
XLR8R Downloads Player