XLR8R - logo

Reviews

 
 

Review: Aural Float Presents Space Night Volume IX

Label: Electrolux

By the late 1990s, the terms "downtempo" and "chillout" became synonymous with flat, coffeehouse-friendly dreck peddled to the masses under such titles as Ibiza Beach, Pure Moods and related swill. Despite that, there is good chill music out there, evidenced by the ninth volume of the German Space Night series curated by Elektrolux artist Aural Float. The two-CD set has its share of obligatory filler tracks, but contains new works by veteran artists such as The Orb, the Black Dog and Funki Porcini as well as contributions from R?yksopp and Pascal FEOS. Read more » 

Review: Various 4 years

Label: Wabi

Canadian design firm Wabi digs on all things minimal-both in music and graphic imagery. 4 Years is a retrospective of microtech music created mostly by Canadian producers for use in Wabi's live sight-and-sound events. Artists such as Fairmont, and British Columbia's Nassau weave subtle mumbled vocals and steady throbbing sequences, while Polmo Polpo's "Losing My Tentacles" blurs numerous post-techno and ambient subgenres, anchoring them to beats that escape from funk's humid regions to cooler climates. Read more » 

Review: Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra Che Che Cole

Label: Daptone

Brooklyn Afrobeat kings go the Latin route by saluting Fania Records singer Hector Lavoe with this remake of his top moment, 1969's "Che Che Cole" with Willie Colon. It's all about razor-sharp horn section lines, giant percussion and the capable vocals of the lovely Mayra Vega. The flipside rocks a Dibango-ish makossa version of the same tune. Both versions are solid-don't hesitate on this. Read more » 

Review: Daedelus Rethinking the Weather

Label: Mush

Blending tapered-knicker nerdiness with hypermodern digital effects, So-Cal producer Daedelus is wedged between the Burberry-scarved world of Godard and the cyborg-dominated world of Ghost in the Shell. Rethinking the Weather is a pastiche of instrumentals from his 2002 release The Weather-for which Daedelus teamed up with the droll, space-cadet-ish emcees Busdriver and Radioinactive. Read more » 

Review: Various Be Arisionable

Label: Arison

Be Arisionable charts the evolution of Arision, the label established by Italy's Simone Serritella (one half of Ubiquity act Cuica), a highly regarded jazz/broken beat producer. In keeping with London's leading broken beat club night, Co-op, it's dominated by exclusives (seven out of ten tracks are previously unreleased). The contributions from the most celebrated names involved here are well deserving of the plaudits: both Domu and 4hero's Marc Mac opt for forward-thinking, yet floor-friendly songs. Read more » 

Review: Ceephax Exidy Tours

Label: First Cask

Blah, blah, blah, Squarepusher, Squarepusher, Squarepusher. Has young Ceephax auteur Andy Jenkinson any other identity than being Tom Squarepusher" Jenkinson's little brother? Read more » 

Review: Req Car Paint Scheme

Label: Warp

As Brooklynites in mesh trucker caps continue to make odder and odder showy hip-hop joints, there's something more alluringly unnerving in the insular loping clatter of Req. With no shortage of releases over the years for myriad labels, Car Paint Scheme comes across achingly fresh. Album opener Runout Scratches" seduces with its hypnotic swirling haze of an entrance to Req's world. Read more » 

Review: Arundhati Roy Come September

Label: AK Press-Alternative Tentacles

At a time when liberals the world over are falling in line with the Bush Administration's atrocious state practices that get called the "War on Terrorism," the voice of Arundhati Roy is needed, and needed badly. Roy is unafraid to break with both liberal and left pieties, whereas most commentators shuffle their feet and avoid confronting "merely political" issues that hurt, devalue, and cheapen people's lives. Tackling so-called "multiculturalism," Roy speaks to the ways that a politics of "tolerance" assumes the other person is intolerable to begin with. Read more » 

Review: XRAY Monsta Mixes 2

Label: Mindbenda

Arguably the most lyrically devastating crew in hip-hop today, the Monsta Island Czars have evolved from mysterious MF Doom associates to an unstoppable rap powerhouse. Building on the success of their classic debut Escape From Monsta Island, chief beat-maker Xray hits us with another 20-track collection featuring remixes, exclusive new joints, and unearthed gems from the vaults. There's not a bad track on here, from the hypnotic guitar-laced jump-off Witchcraft Remix" to the subdued closer "Covert Op" by Darcmind. Read more » 

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player