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Download: Nitetime "Jive Talk"

The tough kicks of early-'90s boom bap and the sultry, heavily swung rhythms of classic disco are what make up this new tune by Boston's Nitetime, "Jive Talk." Recommended to the Future Classic imprint by party-starting production unit Soul Clap, Nitetime is a collaboration between Kon (of Kon & Amir; you may remember our XLR8R TV episode featuring the crate-digging duo) and Ben__ (of Whisky Baron), who have joined forces to lay down what sounds like a sun-streaked street party in Latin Harlem circa 1993. Rolling bongos and an ominously festive string sample carry the tune forward until we're met with a laid-back funk rhythm at the five-minute mark, swirling the tune amidst (presumably) '70s Axelrod samples in a languidly lush conclusion to this humid summertime jam. The Jive Talk EP is available now; Kon also performed a guest Nitetime mix on Gilles Peterson's new BBC 6Music show recently, the stream of which can be found after the jump.  Read more » 

Average: 7.6 (73 votes)

Lazer Sword Tours the World

Fresh off the release of its sophomore album, Memory, intercontinental duo Lazer Sword is hitting the road for a string of tour dates across Europe and North America. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 05/04/2012

Download: Alphabets Heaven "genggeng"

Brighton-based Jonny Wildey, whose twisted work as Alphabets Heaven has appeared on XLR8R before, is a producer with a truly kaleidoscopic take on hip-hop and post-Dilla beat structures. Straying from conventional methods, his music often switches direction mid-song to offer some pithy advice via a sample or to introduce a new instrumental tangent altogether. Like France's Fulgeance and US juggernaut Araabmuzik, Alphabets Heaven's weapon of choice is the MPC, and his sound on "Genggeng" reflects this chopped and rambunctious approach to production. Lifted from his second release for Canadian stable King Deluxe, Boosh (artwork above), Alphabets Heaven showcases whirring synths drowning under the pressure of heavyweight kick drums and a myriad of sliced samples; the vocals seem to be squeezed through the openings made between a bulbous sub bassline and flickering shakers to delirious effect. The four-track EP is available now, and features remixes by Robert Koch and Headshotboyz. The complete tracklist can be found after the jump.  Read more » 

Average: 7.2 (70 votes)

Hot City Offers First Taste of New EP, DJ Benz Debuts New Side Project

Hot City (pictured above) recently announced a slew of upcoming releases on Moshi Moshi and now we've been treated to a full track from the first EP, "Something Bout." Additionally, DJ Benz of Hot City has unveiled a separate project, Broken Youth, which just released a new single of its own, "Dreamer." Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 05/04/2012

2020 Vision Launches New Label

The minds behind somethinksounds and 2020 Vision have linked up to launch 2020 Midnight Visions, a new, forward-thinking dance imprint with a strong visual focus. The imprint's inaugural release will come from Brixton native Ph0t0machine on May 28, the On U EP. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 05/04/2012

Download: Face + Heel "Dragging Your Chains"

Label: Warm

As Face + Heel, the duo of Luke Taylor and Sinead McMillan creates intricate electronic compositions with an acute focus on songcraft. "Dragging Your Chains" has been streaming for some time, but is now being offered for download, most likely to help drum up excitement for the pair's forthcoming debut on Warm, the No Stars EP. The tune incorporates an assortment of found sounds, empty-bottle percussion, and mournfully detuned synthesizers, all of which provide a lush framework for pitched-down vocals to punctuate their densely constructed aesthetic. The central focus of the track, however, settles on an undulating bassline and its somber piano counterpart, as the two work together to fuse the song's varied elements together in a smooth display of songwriting and sound design. One could fathom comparisons to The xx and other pop-focused electronic projects of recent memory. With that in mind, keep your eyes peeled for No Stars, which drops on May 7, both digitally and on limited-edition 10". 

Average: 7.3 (56 votes)

Submerse Preps New EP for Apollo

Rob Orme, a prolific UK producer with releases on Well Rounded, Fortified Audio, and more under the moniker Submerse, is set to release a four-track effort this June on the newly revived R&S sub-label Apollo. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 05/04/2012

Gear: Korg Celebrates 10 Years of "Micro" with Monthly Giveaway

Normally, announcing the tenth anniversary of Korg's Micro synthesizer line wouldn't make for the most tantilizing of news. But considering that the Japanese company has decided to pair this news with word of a monthly contest—in which it gives away a free product from its Micro line (such as the MicroKorg XL pictured above) every month for the rest of the year—we couldn't help but get a little excited. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 05/04/2012

Download: Vaghe Stelle "Ciclo 4"

Label: Shabu

This contemplative, synth-driven number comes courtesy of Vaghe Stelle, an Italian producer honing in on a sound that falls somewhere between the kosmische-laden experiments of John Elliot's Spectrum Spools imprint and the lush, deeply felt techno of the Kompakt camp. "Ciclo 4" begins with a distorting, spacious melody shifting its filter envelope until a thumping beat kicks in with hypnotic shakers and a sidechained synth tone leading the festivities. Before two minutes have gone by, we're introduced to a slowly disintegrating arpeggio, which carves a melancholic hole into the center of the song and ultimately results in a drowsily delirious effect. Vaghe Stelle released an EP this past March on Shabu; you can listen and read more on the six-track offering (including a remix by XLR8R podcast contributor BNJMN) here.  

Average: 7.6 (72 votes)

Review: Last Step Sleep

Label: Planet Mu

Last week, in our profile of the new album by UK experimentalist Actress, we noted how producer Darren Cunningham had a distinct method to creating his tracks, which includes tapping into his subconscious à la Salvador Dali. Despite how curiously romantic it sounds, the act of maintaining creative productiveness whilst approaching sleep seems all too unlikely, but here we are again, with an LP from an artist who claims to have made it while drifting in and out of consciousness. Sleep, the aptly titled record in question, was crafted by the prolific Aaron Funk (better known as Venetian Snares) under his rarely utilized Last Step moniker, and features nine cuts of woozy, slowed-down acid which aren't completely dissimilar from AFX's massive Analord series. It's also probably the best thing Funk has released in recent memory. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 05/04/2012

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