XLR8R - logo



Review: Various A Blow To the State

Label: Coup D'Etat

An indie hip-hop label obsessed with the politics of the business-what could be more tired? Read more » 

Review: J Boogie's Dubtronic Science S/t

Label: Om

At an earlier point in life' might have called J Boogie's Dubtronic Science a religious experience. But today the medley of loping, after-the-acid-trip tunes conjures visions of velour-clad hipsters lounging under junior prom disco balls. Stronger tracks like "Universal Dub," which features Jamaican radio DJ and poet Tony Moses, and "Movin to my Beat," with LA's People Under the Stairs, almost compensate for watered-down numbers like Goapale and Capitol A's "Try Me"-you'd expect more from some of these artists. But on the "beats for your sheets" tip, the album fulfills its promise. Read more » 

Review: Onry Ozzborn The Grey Area

Label: One Drop

An amazing MC from Seattle's Oldominion crew, Onry Ozzborn doesn't fail to impress with his new album. A 25-deep crew full of talent, Oldominion have been steady making interesting hip-hop in the Pacific Northwest for years. Onry touches on various subjects from Jesus Christ to ghosts to Gandalf to wack emcees, and he does so with lyrical finesse, a touch of morbidity and a hint of humor. Production gets a little gothic on tracks like "Believe 2" and "Dance Your Life Away" with somber melodies and minor chords. Read more » 

Review: Ceephax Acid Crew

Label: Breakin'

Ah, the halcyon days of rave-those heady moments of dancefloor epiphany, stolen away in the setting of a dingy warehouse with the morning sun filtering in through skylights and the infectious sound of a TB-303 acid line writhing its way out of the speakers. Sound familiar? Read more » 

Review: Cool Hipnoise Showcase & More

Label: Select Cuts

Afro-Brazilian cool and acid jazz form the outer contours of Cool Hipnoise, a group that combines electro flamboyance with dub flavor. Percussion arrangements range from ostentatious to ultra-urbane, interweaving clava, snare and African gourd sounds. "Dois" evokes Getzian Ipanema and "3 Por Timor" combines bossa nova bass with lilting horns. The populist spirit of dub is redolent in such tracks as "C'Mon Family," which features The Last Poets, and the swank redux of Nirvana's "Come As You Are." Read more » 

Review: Various Grounded Sound

Label: Grounded

After a long, dark winter, this first full-length release on Boston's Grounded records is a welcome thing indeed. Full of shimmering melodies and delicate beats, it has an almost vernal feel to it, appropriate for the springtime profusion of flora and fauna. Beginning with the tripped-out buzz and hum of E*Rock's "Ice Museum" through to the slow krautrock groove of Charles Atlas's "Italian Air," this is a beautifully subtle collection of quietly jittery beats and warmly melodic electronics. Read more » 

Review: Matthew Herbert Big Band Goodbye Swingtime

Label: Accidental

According to Duke Ellington, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing. Such a declamatory statement should cause no insomnia for Matthew Herbert or those involved in his latest project. From the deftly brushed snares and lissome brass section of the opening "Turning Pages," the rhythmic fluidity of Herbert's big band is both plain to the ear and plainly pertinent. Herbert's personal beliefs are almost as well-known as his idiosyncratic working practices. Read more » 

Review: The Hacker Danse Industria

Label: Turbo


Review: Caural Blurred July EP

Label: Chocolate Industries

Zachary Mastoon is lost in the cornfields and abandoned factory rows of America's Midwest with only an MPC 3000 as his compass. Like DJ Shadow's early works, these three lush, romantic, deconstructed hip-hop instrumentals and one vocal cut with MC Diverse reach out in the dark, longing for connection with some familiar soul. Reach out for this. Read more » 

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player