Last week, the New York-based sound sculptor Daniel Lopatin (a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never) released a collection of his hard-to-find past works, including his first three full albums—Betrayed in the Octagon, Zones Without People, and Russian Mind—and a number of rare productions previously availible only on limited CD-R and cassette releases. Pulled from Lopatin's Rifts box set (artwork above), "Blue Drive" is one such rarity which again displays the artist's patient craftsmanship and adeptness at venturing into the most gorgeous depths of ambient music—likely a recurring theme across the entire retrospective collection, available now from the Software label as five pieces of wax or a three-CD set.
Each day, XLR8R is populated with all sorts of information, most of which can be consumed fairly quickly. And though news stories, videos, and MP3 downloads are all essential parts of keeping tabs on the rapidly moving world of electronic music, that doesn't mean we've lost our taste for long-form reporting. We make a point to dig deeper in our Features section, making sure to always provide a steady diet of artist interviews, scene profiles, studio visits, festival reviews, and more. The articles may vary in scope and tone, but they all offer something more substantial than a simple blog post. Not surprisingly, we have our favorites from the past 12 months, which is why we've put together a top 10 list. That said, we didn't want our editorial staff to have the definitive final word, so we've also included a list of the year's 10 most popular features. A few articles appear on both lists, but the results are actually quite different. Let's just put it this way: the XLR8R audience really likes our In the Studio series. Read more »
Over the past few years, the XLR8R podcast series has become one of our calling cards, something that our audience can always be counted upon to devour with an unparalleled sort of enthusiasm. This isn't all that surprising—after all, each chapter of the series offers an exclusive, brand-new DJ mix from an artist whose work we're excited about. Whether helmed by a veteran producer or a fresh-faced newcomer, the podcast format gives the artist the room to stretch his or her creative legs, which is likely why the results vary so wildly from week to week. Sometimes, the mix will be stacked with exclusive dubs and unreleased tunes. Other times, DJs use the opportunity to raid their record stacks and delve into the past. Regardless of the approach taken, it's fascinating to see how different artists approach the opportunity, especially when they're only allowed to take on the XLR8R podcast once—repeat appearances are not allowed. With so many mixes over the course of the year, selecting our favorites of 2012 was no easy task, but we've managed to put together a list of the 10 that we enjoyed the most. For the sake of comparison, we've also included a list of the 10 most popular podcasts, and it's interesting to see just how much our tastes overlapped with those of our readers. Read more »
It's that time of year again—the time when people are swept up by the holiday spirit, overcome with a revived sense of generosity and kindness. In a small way, the London-by-way-of-Portugal producer Trikk is one of those folks, as he recently got in touch in hopes of giving away a "Christmas present" of sorts in the form of "Midway," a new track he wanted to offer to the XLR8R faithful simply as a token of appreciation. In the case of "Midway," it's not just the thought that counts, but also the qaulity of the content, as the rolling bassline, dubbed synth stabs, and skipping beat make this another impressive effort of the sort Trikk displayed so well on the "Jointly" b/w "Fall Down" single for George FitzGerald's ManMakeMusic earlier this year.
Toronto's Stuart Li, having spent the past decade operating under the moniker Basic Soul Unit, has produced a slew of singles and EPs over the years for labels like Ostgut Ton, Mule Electronic, Crème Organization, and Versatile. At this point, Li is something of a veteran of these smaller formats, yet Motional Response marks his full-length debut. Attacking this extended format with adroitness, Li offers a cross-section of his potent deep-house-cum-techno sound, resulting in a release that's both hypnotic and visceral. Read more »
Bass music bad girl Jubilee just sent over an exclusive new track called "Dis Time." If you've attended one of her weekly Burn club nights on Sundays in NYC, or if you've heard her new mixtape for Hearty Magazine, then there's a chance you've heard this track already. For everyone else, it's a fresh half-time shuffle driven by punchy, dubstep-leaning drums and acid-inspired bass frequencies and topped off with sassy vocal clips.
If anything has defined the output of the fledgling UNO label thus far, it's been a willingness to get behind unsung producers of all stripes, from Fur's smoothly contoured post-microhouse to Gobby's outright psychotic takes on techno. Don Froth's UNO debut, REflex, is more than garish enough to sit among their madcap ranks. The four originals here show a producer attuned to current dance music trends—there are hints of recent UK mutations here, especially in terms of sub-bass—who's also defiantly determined to put his own colorful, unpredictable stamp on it. Read more »
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