XLR8R - logo



Review: Books On Tape Throw Down Your Laptops

Label: Deathbomb Arc

Mixing guitar chords with shuffling breakbeats of various tempos in spy-chase like sequences, Books on Tape proclaims its stance as "beatpunk," and features members of indie bands Bright Eyes and Slow Coach guesting with main man Todd Books. Forgiving the "we're so punk that we're making electronic music!" attitude, Throw Down's got occasional out-of-the-ordinary moments, mostly when some yelping vocals are thrown in, though any rawness they might possess is constrained by unyielding beats. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Panoptica: The Tijuana Remixes

Label: Certificate 18

Mexico's Panoptica enlists his boys from the Nortec Collective to plunge their very capable hands into his slippery downtempo tracks. With rimshots gleaming discretely in its smooth expanse, The Tijuana Remixes is a smooth lounge experience in Panoptica's signature slim-luxe style. The Tijuana Remixes ripple between minimal house, techno and slower, and at times can be a maddening listen: the tracks are sleek and supple, but one can't help but desire more of the richer thickness that the final track, "She's in Fiestas," approaches. Read more » 

Review: Mark One Tribesman

Label: Texture

Manchester's Darqwan ally maintains the Texture pressure with three dirty bombs. The long-awaited tech-garage of "Turn it Up" finally arrives, backed up by the addictive bad-trip 4beat of "Equalizer" and the soundtrack to the clash of civilizations, "Tribesman." Mark One is one to watch. Read more » 

Review: Bill Payer & Fat Hippy Salt Rocker

Label: Dirty Blue

Liverpool's Dirty Blue goes thumping and hypnotic 3AM-style here, as producers Andy Winrow and Simon McCormick take you into endless track-land. The title cut hoovers a reggae chord and dread vocal samples in space while the thump below runs easy and wild á la Swayzak. The flip's "Stranded" goes all opaque and urban-aboriginal percussive. The next school is in session. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Mickey Finn: The Takeover Bid II

Label: DMC

Londoner and Urban Takeover maven Mickey Finn flings us warped samples at hyperspeed on his latest drum & bass mix of frenetic wildlife at night. Read more » 

Review: Optic Nerve Teleportation EP

Label: Puzzlebox

Keith Tucker reinvigorated Detroit techno in the '90s via the militant electro of his former group Aux 88. His mission continues on these three dystopian snapshots. "When Aliens Call" crackles rhythmic lightning over telecomm seas, while "Back From the Future" and "DeepSpace" pay tribute to Detroit and Juan Atkins, respectively. Encore! Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Japanese Avant-Garde

Label: Sub Rosa

Ken Burns has his Jazz. Then there's the For Dummies series. And we'd need another Alexandria library just to hold the plight of "Intro To"s and readers published daily. But listening to Sub Rosa's microcosmic sampling of the supernova that is Japan's avant-garde, one finds no gaps in a massive history that includes Merzbow's noise, So Takahashi's digitized ambient planes, Yoshio Machida's computer-age homage to classical Japanese composition and Sachiko M's experimental minimalism. Read more » 

Review: Psychofunkodiscodelic Warriors of Funk

Label: Golden Gate

Laird, Laron and John Pickett toss ya four mischievous tracks that typify the San Francisco sound. "Lines of Pleasure"'s crunchy disco-funk-all simmering keys, subtle bassline and rude phone messages-gets sexed up on one remix, then taken to peak hour on another. The B-side's "Convertible Top Down" flutters rhythm guitar and wah-synth over chill drum-machine antics that explicitly rip off Zapp. A nice thump. Read more » 

Review: Eight Frozen Modules Thought Process Disorder

Label: Orthlorng Musork

Juxtaposing sharp-as-nails beat barrages with myriad gurgling, plasticene sounds, Eight Frozen Modules' Ken Gibson seems to cross the line separating IDM-pop convention and experimental abrasion with every other step on this, his full-length debut. Each track overflows with sound and fury as Gibson chews up and spits out radically de- and-re-formed melodies, grooves, beats and basslines. There are enough fits, starts and hairpin turns to make you reach for the Dramamine, but somehow you're still aching to continue the journey. Read more » 

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player