The easiest way to capture XLR8R's attention with a music video in 2011 was to merely have an original idea and at least a semblance of production value, a task that often proved more difficult than it might seem. With the growing number of found-footage reappropriations posing as visual-art pieces, it became increasingly difficult to get excited about the loads of videos that inevitably filtered into view. But that's not to say there weren't a sizable handful of clips that did actually pique our senses. Between the beautifully shot imagery, unique storylines, compelling animations, vintage techniques, and baffling special effects, we discovered some true artists who are still out there fighting the good fight for quality film production. Here are our top 10 favorites of that bunch. Read more »
Over the past few months, XLR8R has been curating a special set of charts for Beatport. UK producer Hackman has been making regular appearances on our site over the past two-plus years, thanks largely to his unique, drum-heavy take on funky-influenced house sounds. He can also be counted on to drop a steady stream of new releases, the most recent of which is the "Agree to Disagree" b/w "Sunburst" single on PTN, a precursor to his forthcoming debut full-length, As Above, So Below. Before the album drops early next year, Hackman has put together this list of 10 of his current favorite tunes, a sampling that includes dancefloor gems from several of his UK contemporaries. Read more »
London-based newcomer Stavrogin (a.k.a Theo Darton-Moore), a recent addition to the B.YRSLF Division roster, is yet another English teenage beatmaker with a knack for bass-music production. That said, the upstart producer's sparse, slow-motion take on the sound does set him apart from the rest of the increasingly crowded field. "Run Down," the first track from Darton-Moore's forthcoming Reflections EP (artwork above), is a mellow piece of warped 2-step with a heaving bassline and diced-up, R&B-esque vocal samples. The EP is out now exclusively on Boomkat, but will be made available via Bandcamp on December 19, and through all major digital music retailers in late December.
Veteran house producer and Dial Records boss Lawrence has been making music for more than a decade now, and at this point, his production style can essentially be boiled down into one simple concept: deep, thoughtful tunes. Granted, after all these years, it's something he does very well, and "Kurama," his latest single and first outing on DJ Koze's Pampa imprint, finds Lawrence maintaining his usual high standards. Yes, it's minimal, but it's also rather well done. Read more »
Canadian house quartet Azari & III certainly knows how to make the most out of its small discography of infectious club tunes, and continues its efforts with a forthcoming 12" of remixes of "Reckless (With Your Love)" and a new music video, to boot. Read more »
The summery title of this track, not to mention Luxembourg artist Sun Glitters' moniker, may contradict the brooding bass and thumping beats of the original, which was first released in July. This winter update of the track by Puerto Rican producer Discuss, from The Wind Caresses Her Hair, The Remix EP, isn't especially sunny either, although it amplifies the atmospheric quality of the track, puts more emphasis on a reworked, live-sounding drum pattern, and transforms it into a soaring, post-rock take on the song's melodramatic chillwave. The remix EP, which can be streamed in full after the jump, was released yesterday and also features a version of the tune from Albert Swarm, whose own Held EP will also soon be receiving the remix treatment, including a contribution from Sun Glitters himself. Read more »
Each time !K7 commissions a new mix as part of its venerable DJ-Kicks series, it requires the artist involved to include an exclusive piece of previously unreleased original music. The last time !K7 compiled these exclusive tracks into a single collection was in 2005, when it assembled songs by Kruder & Dorfmeister, Carl Craig, and Thievery Corporation, among others. Now, with 14 more mixes under its belt since the last compilation, !K7 decided 2012 would be a good time for a second installment of compiled exclusives. Read more »
Now through Christmas, Brixton-based producer Visionist (a.k.a Louis Carnell) will be giving away a free tune each week. The first of the three tunes is "Firstsight," a heavy track with syncopated, garage-influenced percussion, pitch-bent vocal snippets referencing the artist's name, and an odd and eerie piano riff looming in the background. Be sure to catch Carnell's other holiday gifts the next two weeks of 2011, and look for upcoming releases on the 502 and Keysound imprints in 2012.
Fledgling London imprint Robot Elephant has put together an interesting little compilation that it plans to release in 2012, a collection of music taken from classic Commodore 64 computer games. Read more »
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