Throughout the week, a whole lot of material gets posted here on XLR8R. And while we know—and love—that some hardcore readers will eagerly pour over every single news story, interview, podcast, video, and MP3 download that appears on the site, we also realize that for most people, it's impossible to see everything, which means that some quality XLR8R content is likely to get missed in the hustle and bustle of everyone's daily lives. In the interest of making it easier for everyone to catch up, every Friday we present The Lowdown, a weekly wrap-up of the top 10 tidbits from our site. Read more »
"Despre Ei" is the kind of track that is good at taking its time. Serving as the closing effort on Romanian trio Premiesku's More 4 EP, the seven-plus-minute production is anchored by a slippery bass pattern which hypnotically cycles through its one-bar loop as the rest of the track's rhythmic elements dig deeper and deeper. Over the course of the production, Premiesku methodically pieces together thick hats and sharp percussion, on top of which the trio places dubby chords, distant field recordings, detailed layers of electronic glitches, and even a few glimpses of what sounds like a large choir (bathed in reverb, of course). When it all comes together, it's hard not to get sucked down into the production's dense, chugging path. "Despre Ei" and the rest of Premiesku's three-track More 4 EP will see a full release later this month via the Apollonia label.
While artists and music remain the primary focus here at XLR8R, we also know that labels continue to play a key role in the grand scheme of things. In truth, a case could be made that labels—and the curatorial function that they provide—are arguably more important than ever, especially when one considers that so many of the traditional music industry's gatekeeping and tastemaking institutions have crumbled over the past decade or so. Given that, we're always excited to shine an especially bright light on some of our favorite imprints each year via the annual Labels We Love series. The name is pretty self-explanatory, but be on the lookout for several in-depth label features, along with shorter pieces highlighting a number of noteworthy outposts. We've put a lot of time and effort into this year's Labels We Love, which will kick off on Monday, October 13, but we also know that the picture isn't quite complete, as we have yet to hear from XLR8R readers about their favorite imprints. Read more »
An affiliate of Matthewdavid's Leaving label who can more often be found operating under the name Ahnnu, Leland Jackson this week returned to his Cakedog alias to issue his third footwork-indebted outing under the moniker, Menace in the Phantom. Said to have been "inspired by the Battle Groundz of Chicago" and dedicated to the late footwork pioneer DJ Rashad, Jackson's new 14-track outing melds the breakneck pace and sharp sample chops of footwork with his own slant on off-kliter beat production. Pulled from Menace in the Phantom, "They Was Sleepin" serves as one example of Cakedog's hybrid approach as it spends its initial push placing sliding chords and—what sounds like—Nicki Minaj vocal samples atop familiar footwork rhythms, before transitioning to more pastiched territory in the song's final minute, where looser samples and a flush of new percussion hits are introduced. Jackson's latest outing as Cakedog is out now in cassette and digital form via Leaving/Stones Throw.
By now, we're guessing that most XLR8R regulars have caught on to the idea of Ask the Experts, a monthly feature in which a veteran artist agrees to answer questions directly from our audience. Last month's edition with Daedelus proved to be rather illuminating, and we're hoping for similar results this time around, as we've enlisted Vladislav Delay (a.k.a. Sasu Ripatti) to share a bit of his knowledge. Read more »
Vancouver's tireless 1080p label—who has already issued something along the line of 15 releases so far this year—will next add to its catalog Digitalisea, an eight-track cassette (or 11 tracks in digital form) from Turin-based artist Yari Malaspina (a.k.a. OOBE). Malaspina had appeared under his OOBE guise (which stands for "Out of Body Experience") with the SFCTR cassette for Opal Tapes in 2013, and on Digitalisea, the Italian artist seems keen to continue exploring his brand of slow-burning, sci-fi techno. Pulled from his upcoming 1080p release, "Radiation" oozes with noise-laden synth tones, their sweeping chords held up by an efficient series of airy hats and claps, and an unobtrusive kick-drum thump. OOBE's full Digitalisea cassette is slated to land on November 4.
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