XLR8R - logo

Reviews

 
 

Marcel Dettmann Fabric 77

Label: Fabric

Marcel Dettmann's 73-minute mix for Fabric feels like an overdue milestone for an artist who has been at the peak of his powers for some time. As such, Fabric 77 is, to some extent, free from any pressure to be a career-defining document; it's as much a showcase for the Berghain resident's label, Marcel Dettmann Records (MDR), as it is an exhibition of the asceticism that informs his lengthy techno sets in Berlin and beyond. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 08/21/2014

J. Velez Territories

Label: L.I.E.S.

Following up last year's well-received MMT Tape Series collection for Rush Hour, late-blooming Jersey City producer J. Velez presents six loosely connected, genre-defying cuts on Territories, a lean LP which values open-ended sonic experimentation over most everything else. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 04/14/2014

Todd Terje It's Album Time

Pick
Label: Olsen

"Ragysh," "Inspector Norse," "Strandbar," and, reaching way back, "Eurodans"—Todd Terje has been responsible for a largely untouchable run of fun, floor-filling singles in recent years. For some artists, that might result in a lot of pressure once the time came to release a debut album, but as the title (and artwork, to a certain degree) of the Norwegian disco king's first full-length suggests, Terje hasn't attempted to compensate by taking on a more serious tone. Part victory lap, part prog-disco voyage, It's Album Time finds Terje triumphantly unafraid to continue simply being himself, as the man's musical ability and wealth of production personality prove to be more than capable of filling an album's worth of listening. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 04/07/2014

Millie & Andrea Drop the Vowels

Label: Modern Love

Over the course of their respective careers, the individual work of Miles Whittaker and Andy Stott (who together form Mille & Andrea) has always seemed to come with a sense of purpose. Stott's Passed Me By and Luxury Problems were centered around distinct sonic concepts, while Whittaker's releases (usually as half of Demdike Stare) have often adhered to more abstract conceptual guidelines. The details may differ from one release to the next, but the producers' separate efforts have continuously felt as if they were driven by something more than just an urge to make good tunes. Millie & Andrea's Drop the Vowels LP bucks that trend to a certain degree, as its eight tracks seemingly go in whichever way they please. Ultimately, the album sounds like two producers simply having fun with their combined talents. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 03/31/2014

Legowelt Crystal Cult 2080

Legowelt's creative pool runs deep. More than almost any producer in recent years, the Dutchman has released material at a mind-boggling pace while maintaining a consistent level of quality. Countless remixes, compilation tracks, and a string of EPs have filled the 15-month space between his 2012 LP, The Paranormal Soul, and Crystal Cult 2080, but somehow, Legowelt still hasn't tapped his well dry; his latest album finds the veteran producer delivering yet another solid effort. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 03/24/2014

Vermont Vermont

Label: Kompakt

The self-titled debut release from Vermont—a collaboration between Danilo Plessow (a.k.a. Motor City Drum Ensemble) and Innervisions affiliate Marcus Worgull—is one of 2014's most pleasant electronic offerings so far; it's also something of a surprise. Shedding almost every recognizable bit of its creators' usual dancefloor inclinations, Vermont finds Plessow and Worgull crafting an album full of exploratory electronics and Kraut-indebted synth adventures that proves both producers' talents reach well beyond the club. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 03/17/2014

Tensnake Glow

Label: Astralwerks

With the recent commercial success of acts like Disclosure and Duke Dumont, the lines between "underground" and "mainstream" dance music have continued to blur at an accelerated rate. At the same time, the critical tones emanating from those who wish to keep the two camps as separate as possible have only become more rash and dismissive. Glow, the debut LP from Tensnake, is bound to elicit some "gone commercial" flack, as the veteran German producer has tapped guest vocalists for more than half of the record's cuts and moved his output to Astralwerks, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. Still, those familiar with Tensnake's discography are likely aware that he's not someone who's been afraid to dabble in the more carefree ends of house and disco, which helps Glow feel less like a blatant stab at mainstream appeal and more like a natural evolution of his sound. However, that doesn't prevent the LP from coming off as a misfire, one where its creator's ambition seems to have outstripped his abilities. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 03/10/2014

Deadbeat and Paul St. Hilaire The Infinity Dub Sessions

Label: BLKRTZ

Over the past 15 years, Berlin-via-Montreal producer Deadbeat (a.k.a. Scott Monteith) has established himself as a bastion of dub techno, though his more recent efforts have found him tilting more toward techno than dub. In particular, last year's Infinity Dub single series found Monteith favoring rolling, four-on-the-floor rhythms more than the laidback, half-time rhythms that marked much of his earlier discography. With The Infinity Dub Sessions though, Deadbeat returns more directly to proper dub techno; he's enlisted the genre's most quintessential voice in Paul St. Hilaire (a.k.a. Tikiman) and crafted a record that channels the sounds of the Infinity Dub singles through the Rhythm and Sound tradition. The formula may not be new, but The Infinity Dub Sessions does seem to prove that there is still plenty of fruitful terrain to be explored in this underutilized corner of the electronic spectrum. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 03/03/2014

Untold Black Light Spiral

Label: Hemlock

Even for a producer like Untold, who has evolved his sound and realigned his production aims over the past few years, Black Light Spiral is a surprising effort. Billed as his official debut full-length, the eight-track album makes only the slightest attempt to connect to Untold's previous work, instead concerning itself with a sound that is unapologetically raw and intentionally stitched together with a loose thread. In truth, what Untold presents here can hardly be described as dance music, yet the LP still counts as one of the producer's most essential releases to date. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 02/25/2014

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player