Brooklyn's Jahdan Blakkamoore is hands-down one of the more exciting artists of the moment, with an impeccable flow, a slew of recent collaborations (including an XLR8R podcast), and his solo debut coming out in September on Gold Dust/Dutty Artz. Steele of Smif 'N Wessun took the first single from Buzzrock Warrior and spiced it up, bringing up the bass and adding some wonky synth flourishes, pitch-shifted vocal elements, and a bit more delay, making it a true dub-reggae monster. Watch out for Jahdan's Buzzrock Warrior on September 15.
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When the day comes that extraterrestrials land on Earth, and they inevitably become professional wrestlers, California/New York-based Lazer Sword will most assuredly provide entrance music for the bad boy of the bunch. As they exhibit on their sinister remix of Swiss duo Larytta's "You Got Nothing" from the upcoming Friends of Friends Vol. 2, the cross-continental beatsmiths lend a certain swagger to their cosmic future-hop productions that sets them apart from the rest of the lazer-blap crowd.
The opening drums of "African Rhythms" might say London, but Bookworms calls the streets of San Francisco home. Oddly enough, the track is a re-imagining—not a remix—of a song by experimental noiseniks (and fellow San Franciscans) Mi Ami. But where Mi Ami concocted a wild brew of tribal percussion and post-punk squall, Bookworms dabbles in U.K. funky house and colors the tune with enough echoed chants and drifting synths to soundtrack a wonderfully spaced-out tropical dance party.
It's safe to say that the XLR8R office is full of unabashed Portishead fanboys and fangirls—we've still got Third in heavy rotation and we don't think we're alone. So when we heard that founding member Geoff Barrow had started a new band called Beak> and a mp3 showed up in our inbox, we figured "yeah, we'll go ahead and post that." If "I Know" is any indication, the band shares a bit of Portishead's creepy vibe, but uses it in the construction of angular, Krautrock-influenced post-punk. Sounds good to us.
California-born Eric D. Clark not only provides vocal work for this tasty morsel of summertime party music, but also gives the punch-drunk house track a rework complete with spaced-out synth noise and piano work suited for a beachside dancefloor. The elements from Traxx's original production still shine through, but you can always check out his recent XLR8R podcast for a heartier helping of the Chicago house wizard.
His first release for London-based label Living, the Grotesque Song EP finds Polish producer Jurek Przezdziecki spreading his love for bouncing basslines and dubby FX via upbeat, noisy techno. The title track is a prime example of his lush and strangely melodic production work and sets an exciting tone for the rest of the EP's offering.
One of San Francisco's hidden gems, Altair Nouveau is a masterful producer of space disco and intergalactic boogie whose vintage synth-laden tracks should find their way into any self-respecting DJ's playlist. Lifted off his Space Fortress EP, "Sorcerer" isn't only fitting for Gandalf's epic night on the town, but also for those evenings spent alone at home smoking his pipe and perfecting spells.
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