XLR8R - logo



Review: Lifesavas Spirit In Stone

Label: Quannum Projects

As the name implies, Lifesavas have a distinctly redemptive vision of hip-hop: they're out to save us from the bran-muffin beats and wack rhymes that have cartwheeled other rappers to mass popularity. Spirit In Stone has the glib, convincingly rankled tone of Mr. Lif's I, Phantom-though Lifesavas's lyrics are less recondite than Lif's-and the instrumental panache of Solesides' Greatest Bumps. MCs Vursatyl and Jumbo the Garbageman know how to chop it up, whether they're cracking about MC egos ("HelloHiHey") or exhorting fans to fuck the system in every way possible ("Resist"). Read more » 

Review: Push Button Objects Ghetto Blaster

Label: Chocolate Industries

As his album title suggests, Push Button Objects makes "glitch-hop" by having his hip-hop blared over by competing boomboxes on the playground. His latest joint is divided between a variety show of who's-who in indie rap, and abstract beat explorations tagged with noise bursts. Things pick up midway with "Air," featuring beats that slam like a strait-jacketed uncle in the attic, and "Sleep," which scratches an MC's voice into that of an eight-headed jabberwocky. Ghetto Blaster finally sobers up at "Washington Ave," a space-out with DJ Shadow-esque scope, before UFOs arrive to end the world. Read more » 

Review: Nina Nastasia Run To Ruin

Label: Touch and G

Approach Run to Ruin like a bottle of whiskey on a solitary night on the porch-in slow, successive sips, letting the rich, oaken taste and luxurious loneliness of her dark-waltz country music make themselves known. Nastasia's voice, alternately rough-hewn and sweetly high, is laced with deep languorous string strains. The ominous shimmering shiver in "I Say That I Will Go"'s heavy waltz-step builds into a slow-churning dissonance, while her low moan in "You Her And Me" matches up with those of the cello. Read more » 

Review: Stateless Bringin' Me Down Remixes

Label: Freerange

Andreas Saag tosses a bluesy, keyboard-infused semi-broken 4/4 cut from his Art of No State album to the house winds on two slabs from London's Freerange label. On one, Saag laces the b-side of the original with an '80s-style house rub, while the other disc finds Desha rolling the nu-jazz and Kaidi "Agent K" Tatham doin' that early New York disco thing. Read more » 

Review: VARIOUS ARTISTS Amoeba Music Vol. Iv

Label: Hip Hop Slam

Amoeba's latest melange includes everything from womanist spoken word to indie shogazer pap-all culled from the East Bay, Frisco and LA scenes. The totally hype parts: Balanceman's quirky Soup Or Spy?", which combines '70s spy-film horns with outer-spacey studio effects, Mr. Read more » 

Review: Ultra-Red Amnistia!

Label: Antiopic

Amnistia!, Ultra-Red's recording of an NYC rally for undocumented immigrant workers' amnesty on May Day 2000, is more likely to be enjoyed by noise fetishists than the blue-collar proletariat. However, it's still dazzling for reproducing the same intensity that arises between street protestors and riot police. Amnistia ("por Nueva York)" recalls the ambient-Marxists' Seattle WTO protest mixes, with its microhouse concoction of clicked beats, DSP scrapes and crowd chants. The vibe then darkens with collages of rally speeches that arise from a murk of feedback drones. Read more » 

Review: Various Take Me Aosis: A Nite Out In London

Label: Aosis

After bringing the cr

Review: Bolz Bolz Warrior EP

Label: World Electric

After two years off, Bolz Bolz re-emerges to outline the future of his new style. "Do What You Do" and "Chance" are new-school dancefloor electro tracks paired with Bolz Bolz's sensitive analog sound structures. The flipside offers the 4/4 "Who'd She Coo" and "2nd Chance," a bass-buster certain to shake the electro-breaks fans' booties! Read more » 

Review: Various Speicher CD 1: M. Mayer Mix

Label: Kompakt

Admittedly, the back catalog of Kompakt is a daunting thing indeed. And with their subtly different labels clogging the Kompakt section of your local record shop and blending into a muddy sea of micro-house, isn't it better to have label head Michael Mayer expertly mix your journey for you? This solid mix incorporates a few of his own tracks (including the near-perfect chugging dubbed-up chimes of "Unter Null"), plus those of other top-shelf producers like Superpitcher, Reinhard Voigt and everyone's favorite, T.Raumschmiere. Speicher? Special. Read more » 

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player