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Holy Other: Underneath the Hood

"I want it to just be over," says Holy Other. The shadowy UK artist is referring the mystery surrounding his true identity, which he has somehow managed to keep secret. It hasn't been an easy task, especially once last year's With U EP was met with resounding acclaim. (For those keeping score at home, XLR8R tabbed it as the Best Release of 2011.) This week, he's followed it up with another impressive effort for the Tri Angle imprint, Held, his debut full-length. Once again showcasing his ability to combine dark, lurching melodies with affecting pitched vocal snippets and hip-hop-flavored percussion, the record is already garnering its share of accolades. This flash of attention will only intensify as he embarks on heavy touring schedule in the months ahead, all but ensuring that Holy Other's days as an anonymous beatmaker are numbered... and he knows it. Read more » 

Download: Low Line Relay "Near"

Earlier this summer, London's Low Line Relay (a.k.a. Leo O'Callaghan) released his In The Gutter EP via 4Lux, and now he has returned with a new track lifted off of his new Fingerprints 12" for Cambrian Line. Although he's a London resident, Callaghan's woozy track "Near" resonates with the elements of the work from certain LA locals—for instance, Teebs and Shlohmo could easily use the florid guitar riff for their own productions. From there, the song breezes into a heavily jazz-influenced, dowtempo medley peppered with a gibberish vocal sample and a walking bassline. The creeping synth melody that hovers in the mix recalls the blissed-out work of artists like Thundercat, perhaps at a slower pace. You can watch a video for "Happiness," another cut from Low Line Relay's new EP, after the jump.  Read more » 

Average: 8.1 (56 votes)

Review: LV Sebenza

Label: Hyperdub

Any listener who has seriously followed the morphing spectrum of UK bass over the past several years has likely noticed that LV is one of the scene's most dependable outfits. True, the London trio's name may not spread as far and wide as some of its internationally renowned contemporaries, but LV has always been associated with productions of the highest quality, balancing a proclivity for funky-inspired club cuts with a taste for South African house and a continued dedication to vocal collaborations. Last year's Routes, the group's debut full-length, was an accomplished gathering of LV's unique aesthetic alongside vocalist Joshua Idehen, and while Sebenza takes a similar route—tapping a number of South African MCs to add their talents to the effort—the collaborations here largely leave something to be desired. Fortunately, the strengths of LV's productions buoy Sebenza; even when the vocals fall short, the sonic constructions are still worth being marvelled at. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 08/29/2012

Kuedo Readies First North American Tour

Following his June release of Work, Live & Sleep in Collapsing Space EP via Planet Mu (check our review, here), Berlin-based producer Kuedo is preparing to hit North America for the first time. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 08/29/2012

Download: Ages "Michael Bownzon (feat. Citymouth)"

During a recent mix for psychedelic beat label Error Broadcast, Orange County's Ages (a.k.a. Michael Lundy, pictured above) dropped a brand-new tune, a collaboration with Dropping Gems artist Citymouth. "Michael Bownzon" is short but dense, boasting deep, glittering beats decorated with sparkling keys and filter sweeps that help sculpt a kind of lush, constantly morphing hip-hop. Ages' mix, which you can hear in the player following the break, also features an exclusive Matthewdavid track and more of the Lundy's own unreleased cuts.  Read more » 

Average: 8.2 (57 votes)

Review: Airhead "Pyramid Lake" b/w "Black Ink"

Label: R&S

Rising UK producer Rob McAndrews (a.k.a Airhead) is a musician of unquestionable ambition. His R&S debut—the doubleheader of "Wait" b/w "South Congress," released back in March—saw McAndrews assimilating a brain-achingly broad spectrum of influences, blending scattershot post-dubstep beats, fey indie guitar lines, post-rock builds and an erratically sliced Karen O vocal to ends that were unique, ambitious and, ultimately, opinion dividing. This follow-up 12" however, largely ditches those ties to indie rock, dragging things back in the direction of the dancefloor, albeit in an equally eclectic and sprawling manner. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 08/29/2012

Laurel Halo and Ital Prep North American Tour

Two producers working on the more experimental side of Brooklyn's ever-growing electronic music scene, synth alchemist Laurel Halo (pictured above) and house music contortionist Ital are gearing up for a joint North American tour this fall after both releasing records via Hyperdub and Planet Mu, respectively. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 08/28/2012

Download: Antwerp "Haab'"

First Listen

London-based digital label Noise Praise is gearing up to release the second EP by UK talent Antwerp, titled Permanent State of Jet Lag (artwork above), and has already unleashed one of the cuts in anticipation. "Haab'" is composed of a light flurry of notes and odd, dizzying noises that sound like contorted string instruments. The eclectic medley of sounds seems more like an audio collage when the beat kicks in, and its quick pace proves that Antwerp is enamored with the same kind of upbeat tempos we enjoyed on last year's "Equinox." 

Average: 6.9 (42 votes)

Teengirl Fantasy Readies European Tour

Brooklyn experimental house duo Teengirl Fantasy (who shared with us its top five '90s-era Digital Revolution tracks in our recent High Five feature) is returning to Europe for a string of shows to showcase its new album, Tracer, which we reviewed earlier this month. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 08/28/2012

Podcast 262: Midland's Dimensions Mix

If there's one word that sums up UK producer Midland (a.k.a. Harry Agius) rather nicely, it's patient. Granted, his first appearance on record, a collaborative outing with Ramadanman on a 12" for the Aus imprint in 2010, gave him a pretty auspicious beginning to his career as a producer. Nevertheless, Midland smartly avoided cashing in on the hype and instead chose to take the long road, gradually developing his sound while steadily dropping a solid series of singles and EPs. He's never crafted a dancefloor smash—honestly, his slow-burning house aesthetic doesn't exactly lend itself to would-be anthems—but Midland is unquestionably a respected producer, and one who's seen his stock rise significantly following his most recent release, the Placement EP. Part of that rise has meant an increasingly busy DJ schedule, and next week, Midland will be one of the dozens of top-flight artists and DJs heading to Croatia for the inaugural Dimensions Festival. XLR8R will be in attendance, so we figured now would be a good time to shed some light on the festival—and Midland's music, of course—by enlisting the rising beatsmith to put together an exclusive mix for our podcast series. Read more » 

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