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Podcast 321: Laurel Halo

It wasn't all that long ago that XLR8R first profiled Laurel Halo. After hearing her woozy, 4AD-esque King Felix EP, we did a small feature in January 2011 for a series that was then known as Bubblin' (these days, we call it Bubblin' Up), and we've been keeping a close eye on the Michigan-raised, Brooklyn-based producer ever since. In truth, her path hasn't always been an easy one to chart, as Laurel Halo has never been an artist who lingers in one musical space for too long. 2011's Hour Logic EP focused on drifting sonics, abstract beat structures, and manipulations of Halo's voice, while last year's Quarantine, her debut LP for Hyperdub, eschewed drum programming entirely while offering a series of leftfield, vocal-driven creations that were ostensibly pop, albeit in the most adventurous way possible. 2013 has seen another creative left turn, as the Behind the Green Door EP found Halo leaving the vocals behind and digging into techno, and that excavation has continued with Chance of Rain, her new full-length that dropped just a few weeks ago. Given that Laurel Halo has traversed so much musical territory with her own productions, we figured that her taste in other people's music would be equally intriguing, and asked her to put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 320: Clark

It wasn't that long ago that XLR8R was re-examining the extensive discography of UK producer Clark in one of our Rewind features. The veteran artist was a natural candidate for the series, as he's been regularly turning out music—almost all of it for the venerable Warp imprint—for more than a decade. Still, while it was fun to look backwards and dig up a bit of insight about some of our old favorites, we also found ourselves curious about where Clark's musical headspace resides in 2013. The recently released Feast/Beast helped somewhat, but as a collection of remixes, it could only tell us so much. His upcoming North American tour with Jon Hopkins and Nathan Fake, which begins next week, will undoubtedly shed some more light on the situation, but we felt like the man deserved a proper solo spotlight, so we invited him to put together the latest XLR8R podcast. Read more » 

Podcast 319: Noah Pred

Noah Pred may be a low-key artist, but there's little question that the guy is a worker. Born in the US, reared in Canada, and now based in Berlin, he's been steadily turning out quality pieces of house and techno for more than a decade. His tunes have appeared across a variety of labels over the years, although his music is increasingly being issued via his own Thoughtless Music imprint, which remains a highly active outpost in its own right. Next week, he'll be releasing Third Culture, his third LP and first full-length in four years. Given the long gap between albums, we found ourselves wanting to take a closer look at Pred's current musical headspace, so we invited the veteran artist to put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 318: Special Request

It's not often that an already successful artist comes up with a new alias and sees their career trajectory suddenly jump to another level, but that's exactly what seems to have happened to Paul Woolford. For more than a decade, the UK producer has been releasing a steady stream of well-received music, both under his own name and a variety of monikers, including Bobby Peru, Hip Therapist, and Skip Donahue. Still, at the start of 2012, he was still generally known as Paul Woolford, respectable and reliable techno producer. It wasn't until he began making hardcore- and jungle-referencing music as Special Request that things started to change. Initially issuing a series of white-label 12"s, the project was eventually snapped up by the young Houndstooth, which has just released the first Special Request LP, Soul Music. Coming at a time when nostalgia for the pirate-radio era and a renewed interest in jungle and drum & bass appears to be surging, Special Request has quite simply exploded, placing Woolford on a bigger stage than ever before. Given that, it seemed like the perfect time for the veteran producer to put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 317: Bill Kouligas' PAN Mix

All week long, XLR8R is presenting its annual focus on Labels We Love. Click here to check out the rest of the series.

Although many labels have had an impact on the sound of 2013, there aren't many imprints that have been more influential than PAN. Though the Berlin-based label has been releasing music since 2008, within the past year or two, its dark and unique blend of techno, industrial, noise, and various experimental sounds has solidified into a sort of template, albeit one that's still incredibly difficult to define in any sort of concrete fashion. As with many of the best labels, it's hard to describe exactly what a PAN record sounds like, but there's undoubtedly a connective thread that holds all of its releases together. In hopes of examining that thread a little more closely, we've enlisted label founder Bill Kouligas to put together an exclusive mix consisting of nothing but PAN material, and have elected to debut it as part of our Labels We Love coverage. Read more » 

Podcast 316: Huxley

Like many UK producers, Huxley (a.k.a. Michael Dodman) was initially a garage guy, but while there are still traces of the sound in his output, it's his house-leaning tracks that have boosted his profile and even made him a regular on the Ibiza circuit. 2012's "Let It Go" for Hypercolour was undoubtedly Huxley's biggest tune, but his discography runs much deeper than that, as he's also released records for Rinse, Tsuba, 20:20 Vision, and his own Saints & Sonnets imprint. His most recent offering is the Chatsworth Sound EP, a collaborative effort with fellow Brit and Hypercolour affiliate Shenoda. Basically, the past few years have seen a flurry of Huxley-related activity, so when the opportunity arose for him to put together something exclusive for the XLR8R podcast series, saying "yes" wasn't a particularly difficult choice. Read more » 

Podcast 315: Oneohtrix Point Never

Describing the work of Oneohtrix Point Never (a.k.a. Dan Lopatin) is no simple task. While the Brooklyn-based producer initially made his name with a series of trippily drifting synthscapes, recent years have found him consistently expanding his artistic vision, to the point where describing his "sound" is all but impossible. Today finds Lopatin releasing the excellent R Plus Seven, his latest full-length and first for the storied Warp imprint. Though his synth wizardry is still part of the equation, the LP further solidifies Oneohtrix Point Never as an experimental force, an artist who's taken stock of musical history and is unafraid to assemble challenging and highly conceptual worlds of sound. That's why we were so excited at the prospect of Lopatin putting together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series; there was little doubt that he would craft something that was both engagingly detailed and stunningly off the wall. Read more » 

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