XLR8R - logo



Review: Defari Odds & Evens

Label: High Times

If the Likwid crew is a family, then Defari is the second cousin. Fortunately, he's got enough rhyming skills to justify his familial pedigree. And this album does contain some good, though it is a bit derivative. Defari's straight-ahead multi-syllablic rhymes sound fairly Eminem-influenced, and he's also picked up a bad Kurupt-like habit of rhyming a word with itself-including rhyming "bitch" with "bitch." Production is of the thumping variety, mostly courtesy of Evidence and E-Swift, but featuring a Dre-like sound. Read more » 

Review: Desormais Iambrokenandremadeiambroken

Label: Intr_version

If looking for tangible clues regarding Mitchell Akiyama and Joshua Treble's duo Desormais, their name may not be the place to investigate. Translated from French as henceforth," Iambroken likewise urges you to come to your own conclusions, using ambiguity as a convincing instrument of suspense. Deconstructed guitars sprawl across the album's length, evoking Fennesz, My Bloody Valentine and Oval. Read more » 

Review: S.A. Smash Smashy Trashy

Label: Definitive Jux

If Def Jux is running the indie rap school, these guys have D-hall on lockdown. Their dirty, shoulder-shakin' bounce-bounce what-what take may offend some backpack beatniks. After years of getting crunk with college kids in Columbus, Ohio, S.A. Smash duo Camu Tao and Metro immortalize their no-consequences tours with odes to booze, blunts and bitches. El-P provides beats 'n' soul on "Illy"; Aesop Rock raps sexy on "Love to Fuck." But the summer anthem for the sloshed has got to be "Get Home" ("How'm I Gon' Get Home?"). Not for the self-righteous, this party schtick is funny if you let it be. Read more » 

Review: SKC & Longman Battlefield

Label: DSCI4

Hungary's SKC is on fire at the moment. With all the top dons hammering both his darker material as well as his jazzed-out stormer "Limelight," he's now taken to collaborating with some of his fellow Hungarians, and by and large the results are off the hook . "Battlefield," SKC's joint effort with Budapest DJ Longman, is our personal fave at the moment, as it evokes memories of when dark drum & bass didn't entail just the aggro, evil shit. This is both dark and decidedly funky a la classic Konflict and Ed Rush & Optical material. Read more » 

Review: As One So Far (So Good)

Label: Ubiquity

Heartless techno?

Review: Soul Purpose Breaking Records

Label: Coup d'Etat Entertainment

Hip-hop trio Soul Purpose marks an auspicious debut with this album, a broad-ranging collection, including tracks like the battle rhyme "Take Cover," "The Other White Meat," the stark indictment of justice system abuse, and the string-backed "I Stay Busy." The group-MC Mazzi and production duo Koncepts and Zvi-craft an album of bold horns and an old-school style they update freely. Minus the excessive interludes (seven, plus an intro and an outro, complete with sappy kid) and the rather dull title track, the album works both as a whole and piecemeal, and promises even more in the future. Read more » 

Review: Gerd Modified

Label: Life Enhancing Audio

Gerd graces us with an ostensibly insider concept that works for the masses. Gerd. Modified is a compilation of Gerd remixes, other artists remixing Gerd, and Gerd remixing themselves. All Gerd all the time works, though. The beauty of Modified lies in the imaginative inclusion of throwback instruments such as flute and flugelhorn, accenting the sensuous melodies sliding through virtually every track. Read more » 

Review: Chris Clark Empty The Bones Of You

Label: Warp

Fresh on the heels of his "Ceramics Is The Bomb" EP, Chris Clark digs deeper into the melodic IDM territory that Warp's not explored since Autechre's Incunabula, placing Clark in the surprising-if unenviable-spot of having Warp's best release in recent memory. A cracking first track, "Indigo Optimus" posits all the crunchiness of glitch programming, but reins it in under a harrowing, dark chord structure. Read more » 

Review: Maps and Diagrams Free-Time

Label: Pause-2

For the fans of the little intimate "lovelies" camp of electronic music, a gift of Maps and Diagrams. It's Solvent without the skitter: sheets of slender, tailored ambience and some non-intrusive but tastefully clever beats. Peaceable and pretty and non-effacing. "Do It Yourself" has a nice sheen of very high-noted strands of honey. "Ideal" is a rock-a-bye lullaby, all sweet, rich melodies lovingly brushing up next to one another like lips against soft, sleeping shoulders. Read more » 

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player