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.
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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.
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.
Veteran house and techno producer John Tejada is taking us back to 1995, when he operated under the moniker Lucid Dream. The Phthalo label recently salvaged some of the Lucid Dream material and put together an album entitled Recovered Data 95. In conjunction with that release, they've also tapped artists like Bodycode, Broker/Dealer, and Dominik Eulberg to put their own spin on these vintage Tejada tunes. Here, fellow Southern California producer Daedelus interjects his own love-soaked synth styles onto the 8-minute "Imbroglio," morphing it into a brief electro-tinged ballad that clocks in just under the 3 minute mark.
Anticon broheims and one-time bandmates in cLOUDDEAD, the members of Themselves and WHY?, recently got together to record "Canada," a plinky pop tune that finds Doseone putting his rapid-fire raps on the back burner and sweetly singing alongside Yoni Wolf. The tune may not be enough to quell the rising anticipation for the bands' respective forthcoming albums, but it's certainly a nice taste of what's to come. WHY?'s Eskimo Snow will be released on September 22. Themselves' CrownsDown will be released on October 20.
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