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Podcasts

Podcast 336: Frankie Knuckles

The history of house music is littered with iconic characters, but the influence of Frankie Knuckles can't be understated. Often referred to as "The Godfather of House Music," the Bronx native got his DJ start in New York City alongside fellow legend Larry Levan, but it was only after he relocated to Chicago that he truly made his biggest impact. Serving as a resident at early house hotspots like the Warehouse and later at his own club, The Power Plant, Knuckles played an instrumental role in growing house from a small scene into a global movement. Over time, he also extended his talents into the production world, and eventually became one of house music's most in-demand remixers. Now, after more than 35 years in the game, Knuckles remains active, continuing to turn out both remixes and original tracks and regularly touring the globe. On June 14, he'll be performing he was scheduled to perform for Love Fever at London's Found Festival, sharing the stage with Moodymann, Bicep, San Soda, and more, and the festival's organizers inquired if XLR8R would be interested in having Knuckles contribute to our podcast series. Given his pedigree, it didn't take long for us to say "yes." Read more » 

Podcast 335: Lee Bannon

Only two months have passed since we profiled Lee Bannon as part of this year's Bubblin' Up Week. Normally, we'd allow a little more time to pass before tabbing a Bubblin' Up artist for the XLR8R podcast series—if nothing else, for the sake of continued artist development—but in Bannon's case, it quickly became clear that the Brooklyn producer wasn't going to be waiting for anything. His debut LP for Ninja Tune, Alternate/Endings, dropped in January, turning heads with its blown-out aesthetic and frequent nods to drum & bass, yet Bannon has announced that he's already working on a follow-up. Given his prodigious work rate, we figured that Bannon might also be willing to take on our podcast series, and he not only delivered an exclusive DJ mix, but one that's stuffed with several of his unreleased tracks. Read more » 

Podcast 334: Efdemin

In recent years, the term "deep" has been used and reused, to the point where the word has almost no concrete meaning in the context of electronic music. That's why artists like Efdemin (a.k.a. Phillip Sollmann) are so important; there's little question that his work is "deep," but in Sollmann's case, the descriptor has a lot more to do with the actual depth and nuanced nature of his music than it does any specific sonic signifiers. He's long been associated with Dial Records, an imprint with a long history of thoughtful, detail-oriented house and techno. On March 31, the label will be delivering Decay, Efdemin's third full-length and an effort that was largely recorded in the serene environs of Kyoto, Japan. Ahead of its release, we've enlisted the veteran German producer to put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 333: Portable

Veteran house specialist Alan Abrahams has been somewhat quiet over the past few years, as barely a peep has been heard from either his ambient-inclined Portable moniker or his more dancefloor-oriented Bodycode alias. In fairness, a new Portable EP on Abrahams' Süd Electronic label is reportedly in the works, as is a new 12" for Perlon, but in the meantime, the South African-born artist has offered to provide a window into his current musical headspace by putting together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

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 » 

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