XLR8R - logo



Review: Burial Rival Dealer EP

Label: Hyperdub

There is one pressing thought that every fan of Burial will have during their first listen of Rival Dealer: this is not the same producer who released the canonical Untrue LP almost seven years ago. Over the course of that time, the staunchly (almost absurdly) elusive artist has been slowly chipping away at his seemingly perfect style of downcast dubstep, attempting to excavate the essence of that music and apply it to another direction. The results have been scattered, with tunes like "Ashtray Wasp" from 2012's Kindred EP and the b-side of "Truant" b/w "Rough Sleeper" making for the best examples of Burial's attempt at producing episodic, longform tracks, and others proving to be too convoluted to resonate like his shorter pieces. With the Rival Dealer EP, his only release of 2013, Burial seems to have finally reached the core of what made Untrue so phenomenal, and has built around it three new tracks which are largely unlike anything he's made before, even though they thrive on the same lifeblood as his most beloved music. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/16/2013

Review: Lauer Laui XIV

Laui XIV, Phillip Lauer's latest 12", is made of familiar parts. Lauer isn't exactly a conservative producer, but he is the sort of guy who's often referred to as "reliable" or "consistent." In short, he's someone who knows his way around the machines but doesn't always stand out—his Arto Mwambe project with Christian Beißwenger is still probably his high-water mark in that regard. True to form, the tracks here are well-crafted, but might be too familiar to escape sets' filler sections. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/13/2013

Review: Cassegrain & Tin Man High and Low

Label: Killekill

It's been a year since Carnal, their first collaboration, but Cassegrain & Tin Man are back for another round. The trio (Cassegrain is a duo) finds common ground in acid, and seems to find a particular pleasure in molding the telltale 303 sound into rarely heard shapes. Considering Tin Man's Neo Neo Acid LP from last year, which replaced the artist's melancholy vocals (which permeate much of the rest of his catalog) with instrumental dancefloor anthems, High and Low feels like a natural step forward. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/12/2013

Review: Nautiluss Solstice EP

Other than a track on 3024's Dovercourt compilation of Canadian producers, Solstice represents Graham Bertie's first entry as Nautiluss this year. Its four tracks fall into the same contoured, sort of genre-less tech-house as his contribution to that EP. Bertie uses a lot of familiar sounds, but does not stick to a particular arrangement pattern. This means that his tracks can vary in quality, and that variance is at the heart of this record. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/11/2013

Review: Joe "Punters Step Out" b/w "Club Scared"

Label: Hemlock

Following the accolades that accompanied the release of his "Slope" b/w "Maximum Busy Muscle" 12" in October, UK tunesmith Joe has returned at an atypically brisk pace, this time with a single for Untold's Hemlock label. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/10/2013

Review: DJ Koze Amygdala Remixes 1

Label: Pampa

DJ Koze's Amygdala is one of the most strangely comforting records of the year. Across its 13 tracks, Stefan Kozalla deals in a beautiful, fuzzy melancholia that seems to be made neither for the club nor headphones, but rather for soundtracking a session of collective weeping with friends at the occasional beauty of the world. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/10/2013

Review: Graze Edges

Label: New Kanada

Together as Graze, Adam Marshall and XI have put together an exceptionally prolific and consistent first year as a production pair. Squeezing in the project's debut LP just before 2013 comes to a close, however, proves to somewhat burden Edges, an elongated effort which, while solid, ultimately falls short of bringing the same sonic impact as Graze's triumphant debut EP. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/09/2013

Review: Batu "Spooked" b/w "Clarity (Dismantled)"

Thus far, Livity Sound has only released records by Kowton, Peverelist, and Asusu, its three founding members. Given that, perhaps the backwards spelling of the label name on its latest 12" heralds an imprint that's open to offerings from their associates. At the very least, Batu's "Spooked" b/w "Clarity (Dismantled)" reveals a producer on a very similar tack as Livity Sound's core trio. One could easily slot these tracks in with any of those producers' material, or with Pinch, whose Cold Recordings released Batu's debut back in August. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/09/2013

Review: Heatsick Re-Engineering

Label: PAN

As one half of niche noise act Birds of Delay, Steven Warwick coaxed waves of psychedelic drone from a minimal, casio-and-pedal-based set-up. He's since moved onto greater recognition with his solo Heatsick project, turning heads with a series of inventive releases for Berlin-based label PAN over the last two years that traded Birds of Delay's dense textures for refreshingly off-the-cuff dance beats, once again made with his trusty casio. Warwick's latest, a second full-length release for PAN, is perhaps his most eloquently conceptualized record yet. Described in the press materials as a "cybernetic poem," Re-Engineering is a brittle and surprisingly lithe record that updates the now-historic sonic futurisms of post-punk, disco, and synth-pop to comment on our current, hyper-modern era. It is also incredibly wry; Re-Engineering's track titles are heavy on puns and wordplay, and include such gems as "E-scape" and "Clear Chanel," while the title track features an automaton-like voice reading a buzzword-heavy poem. Moreso than Warwick's previous, often lo-fi releases as Heatsick, many of Re-Engineering's 11 tracks are surprisingly lush and make clearer the dance-music influences that have always been latent in the project; however, despite these changes, textured, improvisational psychedelia continues to help define the work. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/06/2013

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player