XLR8R - logo

Reviews

 
 

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

Review: bEEdEEgEE SUM/ONE

Label: 4AD

As a founding member of New York experimental troupe Gang Gang Dance, Brian DeGraw has made a career of incorporating disparate elements into a heaving whole, merging everything from grime to contemporary Chinese pop. Gang Gang Dance writes some fantastic hooks, but because it is a group, and because of its psychedelic m.o., those hooks are often loose and fleeting. The idea of the band adapting its sound to a more populist format, then, is tantalizing. With such a bewildering array of influences, one might suppose SUM/ONE, DeGraw's solo album would land somewhere near a globally focused experimenter like Timbaland. This is partly the case. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/05/2013

Review: IVVVO Light Moving

There are two ways that the title of IVVVO's latest EP can be read, and both reflect his aesthetic. Light steals across the surface of these tracks like sunlight glints on a large body of water on an overcast day. If, on the other hand, we choose to read "light" as an adjective, the meaning still fits—these five tracks trip lightly across abandoned rave dancefloors, preoccupied with the past but not overly burdened by it. IVVVO garnered some attention over the summer with Future, an EP for Public Information that paired swollen drum rhythms and the occasional gorgeous, forestal melody. Despite that record's success, fall is a far more apt season for the time-stretched cloudiness of IVVVO's music, which looks back on early-'90s hardcore techno with the same opiated gaze as Mark Leckey's Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore video. That being said, Light Moving settles, at points, for reaffirming what we already know about the Portuguese producer rather than deepening his music's affect. Future's tremendous opening track, "Darkness in My Soul," suggested there's a lot more going on with IVVVO than riding the "death of rave" zeitgeist; Light Moving retains that promise, but doesn't do much more than the earlier EP did to show what his end game is. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/05/2013

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player