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Trainwreck: DVA

Scratcha DVA (a.k.a. Leon Smart) is an animated guy. (We thought so even before he sent over the above depiction of himself as Raiden from Mortal Kombat.) His productions are obviously the work of an extrovert—check the wonky exuberance of his recent Fly Juice EP on Hyperdub for proof. And as the longtime host of Rinse FM's Grimey Breakfast Show (he's since switched to Hyperdub's less frequent program), DVA frequently peppered his sets with his own hilarious charisma. However, there's nothing funny about this harrowing tale from his early days. At the height of UK garage, Cyprus' Ayia Napa was the setting for a story of mistaken identity, police brutality, gruesome bloodshed, and more. Read more » 

Download: Ektoise "State Vector Collapse (Mark Fell Remix 1)"

First Listen

The Brisbane-based outfit of electronic experimenters Ektoise recently compiled a compilation of remixes, called Distortions (artwork above), which features two separate reworks of the group's track "State Vector Collapse" by veteran sound artist/producer Mark Fell (the man who is also behind the Sensate Focus moniker and half of longstanding, minimalistic duo SND). Here, we have Fell's first attempt, one that methodically builds heavenly layers of rich pads while a sharp percussion loop and clap pattern keep the beat steady underneath and a distant voice carries on in the background. After giving Fell's "Remix 1" a listen, you can hear his second version—which takes an entirely different approach—after the jump.  Read more » 

Average: 6.6 (28 votes)

XLR8R's Top 20 Downloads of November

Okay, you guys know the drill: Now that November is all said and done, it's time for us to look back over the past month and suss out which of the 80 or so downloads we posted got the most love. This collection of Top 20 Downloads is actually a somewhat surprising list, as it doesn't feature any of the usual suspects and boasts way more original productions than remixes. You can check out who all made the cut after the jump, and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for XLR8R's Top Downloads of 2012 to appear next Monday. Read more » 

Podcast 276: Disclosure

As 2012 rapidly comes to a close, it's obvious that Disclosure has been one of the year's breakout acts. The youthful UK duo has been on our radar for a while now—we profiled the brotherly outfit in our Bubblin' Up series back in March—but its recent run of releases, which included "Tenderly" b/w Flow," The Face EP, and "Latch," has the pair primed for a proper pop crossover, particularly once its forthcoming full-length debut drops sometime in 2013. Yet even if Disclosure's biggest impact on the music world is still to come, its influence on 2012 was undeniable; the duo's refashioning of vintage house and garage tropes into bouncy, vocal-driven gems has not only spawned legions of imitators, but is also indicative of how a significant portion of the electronic-music world has turned its attention to the '90s when mining for inspiration. In many ways, Disclosure's music was the sound of 2012, or at least one of them. As such, it's fitting that the duo would deliver the final XLR8R podcast of the year. Read more » 

Download: Chaos in the CBD "Pale Moonlight (Mak & Pasteman Remix)"

Label: Young Gunz

Auckland brothers in bass (not to mention in real life) Ben and Louis Helliker-Hales (a.k.a. Chaos in the CBD) are back with a jam-packed EP for Young Gunz, called Never Ending. The seven-track record boasts three new originals and remixes from the likes of Ryan Hemsworth, The Phantom, Doctor Jeep, and featured here, Mak & Pasteman. "Pale Moonlight (Mak & Pasteman Remix)" is backed by a thick breakbeat and a subtly aggressive sub wobble, all of which helps make for a much heavier take on the New Zealand brothers' more subdued original. And if you need more Chaos in the CBD in your like, make sure to stream the rest of the Never Ending EP before it drops on December 17, after the jump.  Read more » 

Average: 8 (66 votes)

Review: Hodge Dusted EP

Label: Deadplate

It's a widely perceived trend that many producers formerly in thrall to dubstep have gradually slowed their tracks' bpm. At one point (circa 2009-2010), this movement resulted in incredibly fresh mutations of UK garage, but lately, many of its practitioners have fallen into a purgatory of interminably rigid tech house. Not so in Bristol, where much of the local scene—arguably spearheaded by Peverelist—has been consistently taking bass music into wonderfully nebulous realms. Dusted, the latest EP by Hodge (a.k.a. Jacob Martin), is a fine example of this. Its tracks are adventurous enough to sit with the current crop of Bristolian productions, but also harken back to that golden moment of dubstep's splintering. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/04/2012

Video: Nick Hook "Sirens (with El-P and Rood)"

By now, we're guessing that most XLR8R readers are familiar with our resident street shaman and advice columnist, Nick Hook. Every Thursday, the man lends his wisdom to the masses for our Hi, Doctor Nick! column, but the guy also makes music, which is a big part of why we hired him in the first place. Hook released a free EP back in October, and now that record has spawned its first official video. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/04/2012

Download: David Labeij "Pourfact"

Label: Mobilee

After releasing Crazy Love just over a year ago via Berlin's Mobilee label, Amsterdam-based DJ/producer David Labeij is back with the four-track AEM record. The offering sees Labeij further exploring the minimal side of tech-house with an emphasis on syncopated basslines. "Pourfact" is a simple and effective club tune that demonstrates the producer's command over low-end driven grooves. You can check out the rest of the AEM EP, which is out now, here. 

Average: 6.2 (39 votes)

Review: Jason Burns & Brent Still Life Right Here EP

Label: Symbols

Listening to the Right Here EP, it seems safe to say that Jason Burns and Brent Still Life were not willing to venture into any sort of risky sonic territory—or even step just slightly outside of accepted bass-music formulas—on their first collaborative EP. Across its five tracks, the record hits the listener over the head with the commonplace features of space-age bass music, doing little to differentiate itself from the overflow of current productions which come wrapped in glowing chords, skittering drums, and R&B touches. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/04/2012

Resident Advisor Documents Paris in New 'Real Scenes' Episode

Resident Advisor's excellent Real Scenes series of mini-docs has so far examined the club and electronic music cultures of Bristol, Berlin, and Detroit. Unveiled today, its latest episode looks at the changing dance music scene in Paris. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/03/2012

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