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Podcast 348: Karizma

Even though he's been releasing records for nearly two decades (and DJing for more than three), it still feels like Karizma (a.k.a. Chris Clayton) is something of a mystery. Operating out of his home base in Baltimore, the well-respected artist—who is also known as Kaytronik and simply K2—has dabbled in a variety of sounds over the years, including excursions into jazz, hip-hop, and broken beat, but it's Clayton's hypnotically soulful, drum-laden house constructions that have truly defined his catalog. Suitable for a big room, but scuzzy enough for a basement, Karizma's tunes cut across the electronic spectrum, and sound especially potent in his own hands, as his prowess in the DJ booth—especially with a pair of CDJs—has become legendary. Next month, he'll be releasing his latest offering, the Beats & Bobs Vol. 1 EP, via longtime label home R2 Records; ahead of that, he's also put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 347: Jokers of the Scene

Jokers of the Scene isn't a new outfit—the Toronto pair has been remixing and releasing records since 2006—but until recently, the duo of Linus Booth and Chris Macintyre hadn't truly managed to distinguish itself. Despite the group's varied output, Jokers of the Scene often felt inextricably tied to the late-'00s bloghouse circuit, most likely due to the project's long-standing affiliation with the Fool's Gold imprint. As such, we were pleasantly surprised when the duo offered up End Scene, its first full-length, a few weeks back. The album, released by Throne of Kanada (a joint effort between the Throne of Blood and New Kanada labels) finds the JOTS boys significantly widening their musical palette, as the LP includes sophisticated nods toward classic house and techno, ambient music, and even some '80s pop. At its core, End Scene is a remarkably sophisticated listen, and one that gave us confidence that Booth and Macintyre were more than capable of putting together a quality mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 346: Funkineven

Funkineven first surfaced in 2009, during a time when young UK producers were often being lumped together because of a single commonality—they weren't making dubstep. And though it's true that Funkineven wasn't making dubstep, it's also true—and far more interesting—that the London-based producer never sounded much like any of his peers, either. While his contemporaries flirted with R&B, or big-room house, or abstract grime, Funkineven forged his own path, one which combined a raw, analog sensibility with the sounds of electro, '80s funk, and acid. Initially affiliated with the Eglo camp, Julien eventually formed his own label, Apron Records, which has become a reliable outlet in its own right, not only for Funkineven releases, but also as a home base for talents like Seven Davis Jr and Greg Beato. Julien has also proven to be an avid collaborator over the years, having worked with Fatima, Delroy Edwards, and, most notably, Kyle Hall, with whom he creates the unapologetically raw sounds of FunkinEvil. Through all of these efforts, Julien has staked out his own corner of the electronic spectrum, which of course makes him a natural candidate for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 345: Matrixxman

A lot of the chatter surrounding Matrixxman (a.k.a. Charles McCloud Duff) tends to focus on what he's done in the past, but in all honestly, the San Francisco producer's recent track record has us a lot more excited about his present and future output. Over the past year or so, Matrixxman has released one quality record after another, issuing house and techno tunes (both solo and collaborative) for the likes of Fifth Wall, Unknown to the Unknown, Classicworks, Deft, and Soo Wavey, the label he runs in tandem with frequent production partner Vin Sol. (The pair's white-label reworks of Sade have also caused quite a stir.) Next week, he'll be making his first appearance on Ghostly's Spectral Sound imprint, which will be presenting his new Amulet EP. To mark the occasion, we've enlisted him to put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 344: JTC's EM15 Mix

Looking back through the history of XLR8R, it's hard to believe that Tadd Mullinix was never commissioned to put together a mix for our podcast series. It certainly wasn't for a lack of enthusiasm on our part; after all, the Michigan producer has been turning out high-quality electronic sounds for more than a decade, primarily as Dabrye and James T. Cotton (a.k.a. JTC). (For the record, he's also released music under his own name and has been involved with a number of excellent collaborative undertakings, including 2AMFM with D'Marc Cantu and TNT with Todd Osborn. Those looking for a more complete rundown of Mullinix's history should definitely take a look at this feature we did last year.) This week, Mullinix will be heading north of the border for EM15; the six-day event is something of a new conception, as it combines two long-running Montreal festivals, MUTEK—which is celebrating its 15th anniversary—and Elektra. With Mullinix slated to perform on Saturday afternoon as JTC, the project with which he's been the most active over the past year or so, we figured that now would be an excellent time to finally extend him that podcast invitation. Read more » 

Podcast 343: Call Super

In some ways, the story of Call Super (a.k.a. Joe Seaton) isn't particularly unique. Raised in the UK and now based in Berlin, he admitted in our Bubblin' Up profile last year that his background doesn't really set him apart from many of his peers. However, when one listens to his output, especially the records Seaton has offered up since he settled in with the Houndstooth camp, it's clear that Call Super isn't the average techno producer. Calling his music difficult would be a stretch, but it's undoubtedly challenging, even when it's focused on the dancefloor. His latest 12", "Depicta" b/w "Acephale II," which dropped just yesterday, was delivered with remarkably little fanfare and even less explanation, yet it's full of robust, propulsive rhythms. At the same time, its tunes are marked by ominous atmospherics, ghostly melodies, and crunchy percussive elements; essentially, the tracks exemplify how the Call Super sound is nuanced, complex, and designed to reward those listeners who are willing to sit back and simply be enveloped by Seaton's artistic vision. Of course, one can only glean so much about an artist's vision from a handful of tracks; in hopes of viewing a more comprehensive picture of what Seaton hopes to accomplish, we invited him to put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more » 

Podcast 342: Kid Smpl

Kid Smpl (a.k.a. Joey Butler) isn't a particularly outspoken artist. The low-key Seattle producer (and former Bubblin' Up subject) maintains a relatively modest profile, quietly issuing music from his perch in the Pacific Northwest. Though his arrangements are often rather sparse, Butler's work has always been something of a hybrid effort, combining elements of instrumental hip-hop and R&B with leftfield bass explorations and pastoral melodies. Read more » 

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