"New Beach House song."—it's a phrase that stirs even the soundsystem-inclined denizens of XLR8R HQ. Even if it is a holiday song, it's a Beach House holiday song, and no other indie outfits are more warranted a try at pulling on our heart strings with seasonal music than that of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. "I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun" finds the duo returning to their humble beginnings of home-recorded sounds—effectively bolstering the piece's intimacy like it was made just for whomever might be listening at the moment. Though the song does start off with some obligatory sleigh bell jingles and Legrand even slips in a couple "this time of year" references, everything else carries on as per usual for Beach House, which means sadly beautiful organ drones, subtle guitar strums, angelic vocal melodies, and ephemeral piano flourishes. It may work best as a 'winter song,' but "I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun" could've easily made a fine stopgap on the duo's captivating Teen Dream record. (via Gorilla vs. Bear)
It would be downright ludicrous to think you could make a definitive list of the "best" podcasts to have launched from the internet in 2010 (or any recent year, for that matter). We're fully aware of the more or less incalculable amount of DJ mixes, mixtapes, interviews, etc. that were broadcast from the infinite portals of the web, and our inability to hear even a fraction of them all. So, what we present to you as our year-end lists continue is a small grouping of the podcasts we here at XLR8R HQ have listened to and loved throughout the year, in our not-so-active feature from bygone times, OPP. Check them out, listed in no particular order, below. Read more »
Matthew Herbert, is in the midst of completing his One Trilogy, a three-album series which has served as the latest platform for the versatile London producer to explore his avant-pop side and also marks his first foray into the land of singing. The first of this trilogy, One One, contains 10 tracks named after various cities in the world and is where you'll find the pacing, guitar-driven track "Dublin." The video, which features a shorter version of the originally six-minute track, gives Herbert a healthy amount of screen time while he runs through the forest, sings into a dim light, and swims through a vast body of water. One One and One Club (made entirely from sounds recorded during a performance at Frankfurt's Robert Johnson club) comes courtesy of London's Accidental imprint, and are to soon be followed by the final part of the trilogy, One Pig, next year. Read more »
One of Mad Decent's many resident DJs, LA-based Paul Devro, has an early Christmas present for us all, a brand-new mixtape he's called Disco Hoti Hai. Over on his label's website, Devro explains the mix's origins: "Pomp & Clout asked me to make them a mixtape for them of whatever I wanted, so I thought I'd put my Bollywood disco record crates to work. So here it is, my X-mas gift to you: super rare, super popular, super weird, and super awesome hindi tunes all chopped the fuck up, so that they sorta make sense." Read more »
2010 was a good year for Detroit techno pioneer Kevin Saunderson; the iconic DJ/musician/producer resurrected his Inner City band at Movement, and released a load of singles and EPs both for himself and members of the Saunderson extended family (like his nephew, Kweku). Now, the artist is ready to follow up that work with another exciting project, a world tour with fellow dance music innovator Derrick May. Read more »
As a sort of celebration of 20 years of acid music, German DJ/producer/label head Boys Noize has brought together a handful of friends and label mates to craft a compilation of brand-new tunes following the blueprints of the old-school club genre. Read more »
Steven Julien's East London studio is like an analog gear menagerie: vintage Korg, Yamaha, Akai, and Roland synths and drum machines are systematically arranged on desks and racks everywhere. Perched in a swivel chair for our chat, the 31-year-old producer looks sharp in his Keith Haring x Supreme t-shirt, an item issued as a tribute to the late music entrepreneur Malcolm McLaren. Read more »
We're not entirely sure if it's a good or bad thing when you can't tell if a song is made with organic or synthetic instruments, analog or digital devices, people or machines. On one hand, it gives the music a sort of allure because of its ambiguous mystique, but editorially speaking, it's that much more difficult to properly credit sounds to their rightful source. Maybe we're just splitting hairs, but we shouldn't all just sit around being wrong, right? Well, regardless of how these sounds were made, "Yeagh" by Dublin duo Richie Egan and Niall Byrne (a.k.a. VisionAir) recalls the warm vintage synths found in the ambling Krautrock grooves of yore, though obviously invigorated with the sheen of modern production technology. The vibe of the song, which closes out the pair's brand-new A Vision EP (available for free download here), feels like an esoteric Tangerine Dream, Can, or even Silver Apples tune as performed by a guitarless Ratatat on quaaludes. Maybe that sounds weird, but so does this song—in a good way.
We'll be the first to say it: 2010 was not the best year for music videos. It seemed the overarching theme throughout the clips bubbling up this year was the re-appropriation of old footage, edited as the director/artist saw fit. And that's all well and good, but it certainly doesn't make us go 'Wow!' The videos on our 2010 favorites list were made of authentic, inspiring, funny, touching, grotesque, strange, and beautiful pictures, and were apparently born of truly original ideas. We may not be nearly as into the music accompanying the pieces (personally, we thought "Drunk Girls" was one of the worst songs this year), but that's not what this is all about, now is it? Read more »
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