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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 » 

Podcast 325: Marquis Hawkes

After impressively debuting in late 2012 with his Cabrini Green EP for the Dixon Avenue Basement Jams imprint, mysterious producer Marquis Hawkes had an even better 2013. Operating anonymously from his home base in Berlin, he issued two more EPs, Higher Forces at Work and Sex, Drugs & House, and continued to deliver raw, ghetto-house-influenced sounds. Still, even after speaking with Hawkes at length for a Bubblin' Up profile last March, and subsequently naming him one of 2013's Best New Artists, we have to admit that we still don't know all that much about him. Anxious to remedy that situation—and also curious to hear the man at work behind the decks—we've asked the Bubblin' Up alum to come back for Bubblin' Up Week 2014 and deliver the first XLR8R podcast of the year. Read more » 

Podcast 324: DJ Koze

The calendar only flipped to December a few days ago, but it seems that much of the music world has already begun to set its sights on the end of the year. More specifically, everyone seems to be looking back at the last 11 months and evaluating what pieces of music were amongst the year's best. XLR8R is no different, and when our list of 2013's best releases surfaces during the next few weeks, there's little question that Amygadla, the long-awaited sophomore LP from DJ Koze, will make the cut. It's been a big year for the veteran German producer, which is why we thought he would be an excellent candidate to put together the final XLR8R podcast of 2013. Read more » 

Podcast 323: Axel Boman

Although Axel Boman first put himself on everyone's radar in 2010 with the breakout release of "Purple Drank" and the launch of his Studio Barnhus label, it really feels like the Swedish producer's coming-out party took place in 2013. Not only has the notoriously affable artist found himself increasingly on the international DJ circuit, but this year also saw him issuing both the Black Magic Boman EP via Hypercolour and Family Vacation, his debut full-length. Those records showcased Boman's love for breezy pop, groovy disco, and low-slung deep house. Curious to see how those tendencies would translate in the context of a DJ mix, we invited Boman to put together the latest installment of the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 322: Deetron

Deetron (a.k.a. Sam Geiser) is a techno producer. It sounds simple, but it's really the most important thing there is to know about the veteran Swiss artist. Though he's explored various facets of the genre, gradually moving from pumping, hard-edged sounds toward the more melodic variant he often champions today, techno has always been at the heart of his artistic vision. Over the past 15 years, he's been steadily turning out records for a variety of imprints, including Phont, Intec, Circus Company, and Aus, but his most frequent home has been the Music Man label, which actually just released his long-awaited sophomore album, Music Over Matter. The LP frequently found Deetron embarking on a number of collaborative efforts, so we thought the XLR8R podcast would give him a chance to properly have the spotlight all to himself. Read more » 

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 » 

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