best of 2011
Make no mistake—here at XLR8R, we revere the work of veteran producers and definitely have a soft spot for classic tunes. That said, we'd be lying if we didn't admit that our love of new music is the driving force behind this publication. Our official tagline is "Accelerating music and culture" after all, and if that doesn't clearly convey our passion for the new, allow us to reassert it here. By design, new music and, specifically, new artists are the lifeblood of XLR8R, which is probably why aspiring producers, DJs, and musicians from around the globe submit their music to us on a daily basis. Granted, only a select few are up to snuff, but when quality material does come down the pipeline, we're more than happy to get behind it. 2011 was no different, and the following 10 artists not only made a big impressions on us—along with the electronic-music world at large—but are also the fresh faces we'll most likely continue to champion in the years ahead. … Read more »
These days, it's easier than ever for artists to share their music with the world. Now that Soundcloud and Bandcamp have become more or less ubiquitous, music makers can quickly link directly to their fans, which rasies the question, "Are record labels really necessary anymore?" The answer, as it turns out, is an emphatic "yes." It may be wonderful that just about anyone can make and release their own music, but the downside to that is, well, just about anyone can make and release their own music. The internet has become an endless ocean of new sounds, something so vast that it's all but impossible to navigate on your own. That's why labels just might be more important now than ever before; they've become proverbial lighthouses in the storm, particularly when they're well curated. … Read more »
XLR8R is inundated with new music every single day. CDs and 12"s come in the mail; upstart producers email links to the latest thing they've posted on their Soundcloud pages; established labels and overzealous PR companies send along elaborate press kits and password-protected downloads. We could go on. And even though you're all probably cueing up the world's tiniest violin right now, to be quite frank, the onslaught of new tunes we receive can be a bit overwhelming. As such, the task of making a list of our 50 favorite tracks from 2011 was incredibly difficult.… Read more »
The easiest way to capture XLR8R's attention with a music video in 2011 was to merely have an original idea and at least a semblance of production value, a task that often proved more difficult than it might seem. With the growing number of found-footage reappropriations posing as visual-art pieces, it became increasingly difficult to get excited about the loads of videos that inevitably filtered into view. But that's not to say there weren't a sizable handful of clips that did actually pique our senses. Between the beautifully shot imagery, unique storylines, compelling animations, vintage techniques, and baffling special effects, we discovered some true artists who are still out there fighting the good fight for quality film production. Here are our top 10 favorites of that bunch. … Read more »
Every Tuesday, XLR8R adds a new chapter to its ever-expanding cache of podcasts, always in the form of an exclusive mix from an artist who's piqued our collective interest. The list of podcast participants is a varied one, with relative unknowns delivering DJ sessions right alongside established producers and outright legends. Similarly diverse are the sounds represented, with some DJs aiming directly for the dancefloor with pulsing house and techno, others assembling ambient sound pieces, and some artists throwing caution to the wind and mixing things up in an indescribable fashion. Yet, regardless of what it sounds like, the debut of the XLR8R podcast has become one of the most anticipated events on our site each week. Selecting our favorites from 2011 was no easy task, but these were the podcast mixes we found ourselves coming back to again and again. … Read more »
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