Mike Slott gave us the inaugural track in Dublin-based imprint All City's 7 x 7 Beatstrumental series, and the self-proclaimed schizophrenic producer Fulgeance delivers the next. The 28-year old beatmaker and showman delivers a rough hip-hop number here that calls to mind the work of Dabrye, Prefuse 73, and Ammoncontact.
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The SoCal duo of Blu and Ta’Raach, otherwise known as C.R.A.C., favor hip-hop comprised of leftfield beats and distorted soul, and, if asked, will tell you there really is no genre you can pin their debut album, The Piece Talks into. "Buy Me Lunch," the album's lead single, features vocalist Noni Lamar and features a strange amalgamation of the MCs shouting "revolution" over some lighthearted acoustic guitars. A couple swear words and some references to AKs ensure some grit stays in the mix as well.
Chicago-based underground hip-hop label Galapagos4 keeps a steed of worthy talent in its ranks, including the prolific Qwel. The New Wine is Qwel's sixteenth release since his debut in 2000 as Typical Cats. From his early days rapping on a weekly radio show during college, Qwel has built an admirable group of devoted fans. Collaborating producer Kip Killagain brings some interesting sounds to the album, including the notable live violins and sick basslines on this track, "Agape Rain." Wyatt Williams
The 25-year-old Julie Budet comes from a sparsely populated patch of countryside in northwest France, but her alter ego, Yelle, has risen from the Parisian nightclubs into the florescent-lined world of pop music. "When I'm Yelle, I like to wear more colorful clothes and be sexier," she told XLR8R in Issue 118. Her first track, "Short Dick Cuizi," took a jab at TTC rapper Cuizinier and also caught the ear of Source Etc. With a production team of Tepr and Grand Marnier making bubbly electronic beats, Yelle released a debut full length, Pop-Up, for the label late last year. The group will be touring nonstop for the foreseeable future, playing dates across the EU and, later this summer, a festival in the pop-loving metropolis of Tokyo. Wyatt Williams
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XLR8R June/July cover stars Hercules and Love Affair began their musical collaboration over some casual studio sessions, and four years later, the duo of Andy Butler and Antony Hegarty have attracted the attention of DFA captain James Murphy, finished a full-length album (set for release in the U.S. on June 24), and ushered in a new channel of disco for the next generation. "Blind," from the new album, has already torn up the charts in Europe and is threatening to do the same Stateside. Click here to read the feature on Hercules and Love Affair, or download a pdf of XLR8R issue 118. Photo by Josh NcNey.
Bay Area-based Solos Records will soon unleash the second installment of its Solos in Stereo compilation, which will showcase the label's main core of artists, as well as a few guests. Residents on the imprint include eclectic producer Jovian, sampling master Roche, DJ Enso, and CB Radio, who prepped this electro-disco banger–complete with some seriously chopped up vocals from Argentinean frontwoman Cecilia Elguero–for the sampler.
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