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Podcast 332: Heatsick

Much of the attention surrounding Heatsick (a.k.a. Steven Warwick) focuses on his relatively spartan set-up, as the UK-born, Berlin-based producer makes music with just a Casio keyboard and a series of guitar pedals. It's certainly intriguing that Warwick relies upon these rudimentary tools, but fixating on his process does his music something of a disservice, as his intricate, loop-based creations are noteworthy in their own right. Heatsick releases have been popping up since the mid '00s, but there's little question that Warwick's efforts for the PAN label in recent years, especially 2013's Re-Engineering, have significantly elevated his stature. Still, after hearing so many of his original creations—many of which sound like off-kilter takes on house music by someone who most definitely didn't come of age in that scene—we found ourselves wondering what exactly a Heatsick DJ set would sound like. He's responded to that question with Back 2 Asics, an exclusive mix and the latest installment of the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 331: Magic Touch

During the past two or three years, Magic Touch (a.k.a. Damon Palermo), has often been viewed through the lens of his previous projects, especially his work with skronky outfit Mi Ami. However, with his debut full-length, Palermo House Gang, ready to drop next week via the 100% Silk label, it seems like the time has truly arrived to evaluate the LA-based producer solely on the basis of his output as a solo artist. Coming on the heels of several EPs, both for 100% Silk and Tensnake's True Romance imprint, the LP finds Palermo continuing to blur the lines between old-school house, indulgent disco, and classic garage. Curious if these stylistic tendencies would hold true in the context of a DJ set, we invited him to put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 330: KZA

It's not often that Japan is touted as a hotbed for disco, but those familiar with the work of KZA (a.k.a. Yotsukaido Nature) have little trouble acknowledging that the Tokyo-based producer is one of the genre's most compelling figures. For most of the '00s, KZA was best known as one half of Force of Nature, his collaborative—and similarly disco-minded—project with DJ Kent. But with the release of his debut full-length, Dig and Edit, the veteran artist established himself as a formidable solo act. Next week, he'll be issuing a follow-up LP, Dig & Edit 2, once again via Mule Musiq's Endless Flight imprint. Given the record's impending release, not to mention the fact that KZA is often renowned as one of Japan's most dedicated vinyl collectors, we figured that he would be an excellent candidate to put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 329: Lucy

The music of Lucy (a.k.a. Luca Mortellaro) is perhaps most closely related to techno, but attempting to neatly file the Italian-born, Berlin-based producer's work into any particular genre is essentially a fruitless endeavor. His 2011 debut LP, Wordplay for Working Bees, hinted at IDM while experimenting with foreboding sheets of atmospheric noise and abstract beat patterns, and garnered Lucy plenty of admirers in the process. The output of his Stroboscopic Artefacts label has been more straightforward, albeit no less impressive, as the imprint has become a reliable home for dark, driving techno sounds. In the midst of all this activity, Lucy has somehow also found the time to link up with other artists in the studio, turning out collaborative work with the likes of Speedy J (as Zeitgeber) and Silent Servant, amongst others. Later this month, however, he'll be heading back into the solo spotlight with the release of his sophomore full-length, Churches Schools and Guns, an occasion we've elected to celebrate by inviting Lucy to put together the latest installment of the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 328: Jerome LOL

While the electronic spectrum is full of producers that could be described as unique, Jerome LOL is someone who truly marches to the beat of his own drum. It's been more than a year since his shape-shifting former outfit, LOL Boys, went on what has seemingly become a permanent hiatus, and in that time, the LA-based artist and co-founder of the ascendant Body High label has maintained his undeniably meta sense of humor and continued to build an identity based around various web tropes and an affinity for the aesthetics of the internet's early days. However, he's also established himself as a skilled producer of washy, emotive, and slow-grooving house, albeit a variant that also includes plenty of nods to (and outright appropriation of) contemporary Top 40. Following a series of self-released singles—which were later compiled and mixed on a limited-edition cassette—Jerome LOL will finally be issuing his first official EP, Deleted/Fool, next week via the Friends of Friends label. The four-track effort is currently streaming online, but we were curious to hear more, which is why we asked Jerome LOL to put together this week's XLR8R podcast. Read more » 

Podcast 327: Actress

Every Tuesday morning, XLR8R presents the latest installment of its podcast series, highlighting an exclusive mix from an artist whose work has piqued our interest in some way. Having posted more than 300 podcast mixes over the years, it's safe to say that a wide variety of acts have contributed to the series, from intriguing up-and-comers (some of which were never heard from again) to indisputable electronic music legends. And though we're generally quite enthusiastic about all of our podcasts, we're not ashamed to admit that our anticipation levels do spike when someone particularly exciting agrees to participate. Today is one of those instances, as this week's mix was delivered by UK producer and Werkdiscs boss Darren Cunningham (a.k.a. Actress). Read more » 

Podcast 326: Visionist

It was early 2012 when XLR8R first profiled Visionist (a.k.a. Louis Carnell) in our ongoing Bubblin' Up series, and even then, the London-based producer seemed like an incredibly busy guy. Over the past two years or so, he basically hasn't stopped working; the latter half of 2013 proved to be a particularly fruitful period, as Visionist records popped up on Leisure System, RAMP, and Lit City Trax, solidifying the young producer's position as one of the leading figures in the resurgent grime scene. Of course, what makes Visionist's music so interesting is the fact that he's not a classicist; grime may be at the center of his artistic vision, but his tracks often bare traces of hip-hop, R&B, footwork, and other urban sounds from across the Atlantic. Now that the calendar has flipped to 2014, he appears poised to properly stake his claim, not just as a grime producer, but as one of the UK's most intriguing beatmakers. As such, we figured that there would be no better time to enlist his services for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

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