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XLR8R's Best of 2011: Labels

These days, it's easier than ever for artists to share their music with the world. Now that Soundcloud and Bandcamp have become more or less ubiquitous, music makers can quickly link directly to their fans, which rasies the question, "Are record labels really necessary anymore?" The answer, as it turns out, is an emphatic "yes." It may be wonderful that just about anyone can make and release their own music, but the downside to that is, well, just about anyone can make and release their own music. The internet has become an endless ocean of new sounds, something so vast that it's all but impossible to navigate on your own. That's why labels just might be more important now than ever before; they've become proverbial lighthouses in the storm, particularly when they're well curated. Read more » 

Download: Capracara "House of Dolls"

First Listen

Continuing with its Ice Age Season series of 12"s, burgeoning label Unknown to the Unknown dropped a new record by London's Capracara today for its "House of Dolls" single. We've got the lead track for you right here, a percussive house jam that's heavy on the icy vibes. You can also check out the b-side of Capracara's new record after the jump.  Read more » 

Average: 6.1 (44 votes)
 
 

Review: Julio Bashmore Riff Wrath EP

What else could Julio Bashmore possibly do to add to his incredible run this year? His original output this year has been essentially unrivaled in terms of quality—we recently deemed "Battle for Middle You" the best track of 2011—while his remixes and DJ sets around the globe have been similarly excellent. In the wake of such a blazing run, it seems that the man atop Bristol's bubbling talent pool has decided that the next thing to do is bring the mood down a touch, as evidenced by the pair of cosmic slow-burners on Riff Wrath, his final EP of the year. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/19/2011

Alexander Robotnick Launches Year-Long Retrospective Series

Perhaps best known for his 1983 hit, "Problèmes D'Amour", Alexander Robotnick should be a name familiar to anyone with a knowledge of dance music's early history or just a love for the disco-tinged electro of days gone by. As it turns out, the now-60-year-old producer recently labored over the archives of forgotten tapes, vinyls, and hard drives that had accumulated throughout his three-decade-spanning career, and has announced an elaborate plan to release the best of this material over the course of a year. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/19/2011

Download: Mista Wish "Stretch Out (LOL Boys Remix)"

Label: Moveltraxx

LA/Montreal production duo LOL Boys offers up its remixing services on this track, giving what was once a straight-ahead hip-hop tune by Chicago rapper Mista Wish (formerly known as Lil Wish) a lot of bass, a dark, clubby vibe, and a bit of the weirdness that Markus Garcia and Jerome Potter (pictured above) are known to supply. The flowing rap of the original is gone, replaced by pitched-down vocal snippets, while the tempo is altered from slowish hip-hop to tech-house banger. The track is on Mista Wish's Stretch Out: Da Club Remixes EP, out now on Moveltraxx, which contains a variety of remixes from the likes of Scottie B, Lucid, and others, which variably delve into dubstep, electro, and Baltimore club.  

Average: 7.6 (32 votes)
 
 

Gear: Incase Reflex Headphones

The first thing you notice about a pair of headphones is how it looks, and from there, you can't help but wonder how it'll look once its on your own head. Given that so many headphones look like some oversized piece of intergalactic space gear wrapped around your ears, most of us just want something that's simple and comfortable. Incase appears to have had this in mind when they built the Reflex line of headphones—the look is meticulously clean, and, best of all, there are no obtrusive logos adorning either ear piece, so there's no danger of looking like an asshole. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 12/16/2011

Video: Maxxi Soundsystem "Make or Break"



In the interest of honesty, we should say that the above clip for Maxxi Soundsystem's "Make or Break" isn't super compelling. It's not a bad video, it's simply another vaguely psychedelic montage of edgy people having an edgy night out. That said, the song is pretty damn great. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/16/2011

Dirtybird Announces Three-Part Compilation

Playful San Francisco house-music imprint Dirtybird has announced an upcoming compilation featuring new music from label regulars Claude VonStroke, Christian Martin, and Catz N Dogz, to name a few, not to mention producers like Kingdom, Soul Clap, and a number of the roster's up-and-coming producers. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 12/16/2011

Download: Serani "No Games (Brackles Remix)"

Ahead of his appearance at the mammoth Rinse FM DJ and Blunted Robots co-label head Brackles (pictured above) has dropped this funky remix of Serani's 2008 dancehall hit "No Games." Brackles' shuffling percussion keeps the grooving island vibe of the original, but the producer updates the tune with a four-on-floor kick and a heavy bassline, making it more Rinse (and, of course, XLR8R)-appropriate. As we reported last month, the December 26 event will feature an impressive plethora of performers, including the complete roster of Rinse FM DJs. (via The Quietus

Average: 7.2 (68 votes)
 
 

XLR8R x Beatport: Mosca

Over the past few months, XLR8R has been curating a special set of charts for Beatport. London's Mosca is an artist we're especially excited to have participate, as the genre-hopping producer has followed up his breakout 2010 with an even stronger 2011, dropping the stellar "You Done Me Wrong" b/w "Bax" single on Numbers, the techno-leaning Wavey EP on 3024, and a series of quality remixes along the way. While a couple of those productions are included on this chart he's assembled, Mosca devotes most of his 10 selections to the diverse sounds he's known for throwing down every time he climbs into the DJ booth. Read more » 

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