XLR8R - logo

Reviews

 
 

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

Review: Funn City All-Night People

Label: Startree

Morgan Geist may have just landed a UK number-one single, but Metro Area remains his most critically acclaimed project. Darshan Jesrani, his partner in that duo, has been relatively quiet since the pair first ceased operations some years ago—the two actually reunited for a run of live shows earlier this year—but his just-launched Startree label suggests that he is still investigating Metro Area's DNA. All-Night People, Jesrani's first single as Funn City, recalls the sort of material the duo dug out for its Fabric 43 mix—if not outright cheesy, it does capture a kind of exuberance that just doesn't exist anymore. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/06/2013

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player