XLR8R http://www.xlr8r.com Accelerating music & culture Sat, 09 May 2015 17:10:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 roBOt Festival Announces Eighth Edition http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/robot-festival-announces-eighth-edition/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/robot-festival-announces-eighth-edition/#comments Sat, 09 May 2015 09:00:19 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=91007 Remembering the reasons we loved the previous edition, we are pleased to announce the return of Bologna's roBOt Festival for its eighth year, taking place again at the Palazzo Re Enzo in the historic heart of the city. The awe-inspiring hallways of the palace will provide the backdrop for video screenings, workshops, visual arts, and music, and following last year the nighttime scheduling will be taking place in the vast pavilions of Bologna Fiere; consequently doubling the capacity available to the festival.

roBOt will kick off on October 7, running to October 10, with early bird tickets now on sale here; and if you need a reminder of whats to come check out last year's recap video below.

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Korma "Dismantle" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/korma-dismantle/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/korma-dismantle/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 20:16:40 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90985 Early next week, Seattle’s Tommy Mertens (a.k.a. Korma) will release his latest EP, ZGMF-X19A, named after a Japanese anime character from the Mobile Suit Gundam series. The EP will be released via Infinite Machine and consists of seven bass-heavy cuts, with Mertens achieving the EP's machine-like aesthetic through "inspired sampling and deft arrangement of decrypted triple-A game soundbanks." In support of the release, we've been gifted "Dismantle," an unearthly cut full of sci-fi SFX, metallic scrapes, and ethereal pads, perfectly embodying the EP's alien world. ZGMF-X19A will be out on May 11, with "Dismantle" available as a free download below; along with a stream of the previously released title track.


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George FitzGerald Fading Love http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/05/george-fitzgerald-fading-love/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/05/george-fitzgerald-fading-love/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 19:56:33 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90943 Most producers, at least those with any kind of artistic curiosity or ambition, go through an evolutionary process as their careers advance; their discographies can be read almost as a biography, with each set of releases signalling a shift, minor or major, in their circumstances, their methodologies, and their aims. But there aren't many who have navigated their progression as gracefully as the British producer George FitzGerald. He's transitioned smoothly between stripped-down, bass-meets-techno material and catchy, synapse-tingling house—and he's excelled at both, with a far-away, yearning vibe serving as the common denominator. And now comes the latest chapter in FitzGerald's story, debut album Fading Love—and its another step forward for the producer, a romantic and lush collection of wistful tunes that sacrifice a tiny bit of clubland essence in the service of depth, emotion and maturity.

That's not a surprise, really. FitzGerald has said in interviews that Fading Love is a break-up album (accounting for its overall vibe of melancholy), and that the album also reflects the fact that he's been "losing interest in the club environment to some degree." Many of its songs sidle up to the edge of the dancefloor but never quite step onto it, opting for reflection rather than abandon. Sure, lead single "Full Circle," featuring Boxed In's Oli Bayston on vocals, features a hefty, mid-tempo kick drum—but its beautiful, minor-key chord pattern and end-of-the-line lyrics are what gets noticed here. Another of the record's vocal cuts, "The Waiting" (this one with Lawrence Hart on the mike) hews closer to dirge than dance music—though with its rich synth swells and gentle throbs, its a particularly gorgeous dirge. "Knife to the Heart" is another beauty, its main melody line played by what sounds like a lightly distorted marimba, with delicate piano chords providing punctuation; "Crystallise," with lyrics like "Around my heart, a clear divide/When all that's left, we crystallize" and its swirling arpeggios, could be thought of as a dispairing, end-of-a-relationship answer to "I Feel Love." Dance to it if you must, but enjoy Fading Love for what it is—a lovely, heartfelt set of tunes from a still-evolving composer and producer.

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Watch an Ableton Sampling Tutorial From Point Blank http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/watch-an-ableton-sampling-tutorial-from-point-blank/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/watch-an-ableton-sampling-tutorial-from-point-blank/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 19:03:18 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90978 Electronic music school Point Blank has just dropped a new sampling tutorial featuring Lead Course Developer Ski Oakenfull. In the video, Oakenfull heads to Vinyl Pimp in Hackney, East London to dig for records, and consequently build a track entirely of hand-picked samples from his haul. The video is the first in a new Shop 'n' Chop series for Point Blank, challenging artists to shop for, and build tracks from, vinyl.

You can check out the full 30 minute video tutorial below.

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Premiere: Stream Gabe Gurnsey's "Falling Phase" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-stream-gabe-gurnseys-falling-phase/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-stream-gabe-gurnseys-falling-phase/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 18:19:28 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90982 At the end of this month, Factory Floor founder Gabe Gurnsey will release his debut solo single, Falling Phase, on the recently reactivated  Drone label.

Falling Phase finds the rhythm originator exploring “humanising machines and electronics,” with two tracks of pure machine funk. The title track features splices of Nik Void's graceful, mechanized voice interspersed between powerful drum-machine rhythms and heavy, analog synth work. The single will be released on May 25, with "Falling Phase" streaming in full below.

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Colder to Return After a Decade http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/colder-to-return-after-a-decade/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/colder-to-return-after-a-decade/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 12:55:21 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90967 As RA reports, Parisian electro-pop artist Marc Nguyen Tan (a.k.a. Colder) is set to return ten years after the release of Heat, his last record and the second of his two acclaimed albums for Trevor Jackson's Output label. A new single, Turn My Back, is to be released via Not Available/Bataille on May 25. A reissue campaign will follow, and the site also reports that Tan has hinted at a new album for later in the year. A teaser video for "Turn My Back" can be viewed below.

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Premiere: Stream a Track from Robag Wruhme's Upcoming EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-stream-a-track-from-robag-wruhmes-upcoming-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-stream-a-track-from-robag-wruhmes-upcoming-ep/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 11:56:50 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90958 When last we heard from much-loved German producer Robag Wruhme on the Pampa label, he was releasing 2011's superb Thora Vukk LP. This coming Monday he returns to the imprint with the four-track Cybekks EP, and he has exclusively shared a stream of one of the record's tracks with XLR8R. "Volta Cobby" is the EP's third track, and, in the words of the accompanying press sheet, it "reinvigorates the classic collision of tech, house and stipped-back body music; exploring a multitude of moods via saw-edged melodies, fast-forward voices, and snatches of cymbals, all expertly combined for a late-night trip into what makes a dancefloor tick."

"Volta Cobby" can be streamed in full on the player below ahead of the full release of Cybekks on Pampa on May 11. Wruhme's excellent 2011 contribution to XLR8R's podcast series, meanwhile, can still be streamed and downloaded here.

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Max Cooper and Tom Hodge "Remnants (Satirist Remix)" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/max-cooper-and-tom-hodge-remnants-satirist-remix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/max-cooper-and-tom-hodge-remnants-satirist-remix/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 22:23:43 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90923 Following on from his stellar essential mix earlier in the year, British producer Max Cooper teamed up with composer and pianist Tom Hodge on the Artefacts EP, released last month via the FIELDS imprint. The EP is the pair's second collaborative effort and presents three tracks filled with beautiful atmospheres, skittering percussion, and Hodge's powerful piano parts. Later this month, Artefacts will return in the form of a remix package featuring reworks by Warp stalwarts Plaid, Milan duo Hunter/Game, Satirist, and Attaque. Satirist applies his techno touch to "Remnants," turning in a skittering, bass-heavy cut filled with jarring percussion and otherworldly sound design, with Hodges piano work echoing throughout. You can pick up Artefacts here, with a free download of Satirist's remix of "Remnants" below.

Remnants (Satirist Remix)


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Premiere: Stream Mbongwana Star's "Nganshé" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-stream-mbongwana-stars-nganshe/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-stream-mbongwana-stars-nganshe/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 19:47:33 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90938 Newly formed Congolese seven piece band Mbongwana Star releases its debut album, From Kinshasa, on May 19 via World Circuit Records. Founding members Coco Ngambali and Theo Nzonza (of Staff Benda Bilili fame) have pulled together a cast of young Kinshasa musicians, presenting a sound that is truly their own. Traditional Congolese rhythms form the backbone of the band's sound, with recycled and reconstructed electronics, elements of post punk, and an experimental attitude towards miking and recording providing the finishing touches. The album is driven along by galloping percussion, eerie guitars, dubby synths, and powerful vocals, creating an undeniably infectious full length that will surely turn heads.
From Kinshasa can be preordered here ahead of its May 19 release date, with album cut "Nganshé" streaming in full below.

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Q&A: Damian Lazarus http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/05/qa-damian-lazarus/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/05/qa-damian-lazarus/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 16:12:03 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90889 He's one of the world's premier DJs, exuding an air of confidence from behind the decks—but when it was time to find his role as the leader of a live band, Damian Lazarus was, perhaps, a bit less sure of himself. "I play a few instruments…badly," he admits. "I was having trouble trying to figure out what to do. All I knew was I didn’t want to be the typical DJ in a band, hiding behind a laptop. I want to actually be doing something. So, among other things, I’m using modular synths—which is probably the most stupid thing to be doing when you are playing with a new band. They are the most unpredictable instruments you could possibly imagine; sounds that you’ve never heard before can start coming at you. But I really love the challenge."

The challange he's referring to is Damian Lazarus & the Ancient Moons, a combo that connects Lazarus's public love affair with hypnotic and heady late-night grooves with his slightly more private penchant for all things (or, at least, many things) spiritual and mystical. On the face of it, that convergence could be—if Lazarus were a less committed artist—a typical production ploy to add a bit of depth to one's sound: Add a bit of world-beat flavor to your house rhythms, and—poof!—instant otherworldly grooviness.

But Lazarus went a few steps further than download a few percussion sample packs—he's gone and put together a collective of incredible, globe-spanning musicians. The Pakistani Qawwali virtuosos Fareed Ayaz, Abu Muhammad and Hamza Akram; the Mozambican guitar genius Neco Novellas; Hossam Ramzy, the Egyptian percussionist who worked with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant on their ’94 album No Quarter; the leftfield-jazz pianist Eric "ELEW" Lewis; sitarist Sidartha Siliceo, a onetime student of Ravi Shankar; Penguin Café double-bass man Andrew Waterworth, who provided string arrangements for Mexico’s Yucatan Symphony Orchestra; vocalists Moses Sumney and Ali Love; and, helping Lazurus tie it all together, producer James Ford from Simian Mobile Disco—they all appear on the Ancient Moons sprawling debut album, Message From The Other Side, coming out on May 18 via the !K7 label and Lazarus's Crosstown Rebels. (Lead single "Lover's Eyes (Mohe Pi Ki Najariya)" came out last year; the more recent "Vermillion" was one of Pete Tong's Essential New Tunes in April.)

It's a great piece of studio artistry, a rich and fulfilling work—but it's in the live setting that the joy that Lazarus gets from leading this project really shows. XLR8R recently had the pleasure of catching him and the Ancient Moons live at Brooklyn's Verboten (rescheduled from March, thanks to the usual delays with visas)—and Lazarus, replete with flowing robe and wizard's beard, was a wonder to behold, whirling between banks of equipment, percussion and the mike, always deep in concentration and intensely focused, and seeming to be fully in his element. (You can see a few photos from the night here.) From the outside, one gets the feeling that his whole career trajectory has been leading up to this enterprise—and  Lazarus doesn't disagree. "I couldn’t be happier," he says. "I didn’t realize I was going to be this happy! I feel at home, really at home, with this."

What was your original motivation for launching the Ancient Moons project? It seems like between your DJ schedule and running Crosstown Rebels, you already had a pretty busy career.
I guess it had been long enough since the release of my first album—which, let’s be honest, was a little bit self-indulgent. [laughs] For a long time, I had been playing around with ideas and wondering what would be the next move for me would be as an artist, outside of DJing. I took my time figuring that out. I had to come to terms with a few things in my career and my life, and I had to figure what it is that really makes me tick.

And what was your conclusion?
Well, there were a number of years of a lot of playing in dark, druggy rooms, doing long after-hours sets, and I kind of molded myself into that character. Which I love—but I finally started to realize that there is a lot more to me than just that. The times when I feel most artistic, lets say, or when I’m most natural, is when I’m playing outside in the open air. Under the stars, on beaches, in the jungle, in the desert, soundtracking the solar eclipse at festivals—I love doing stuff like that. I realized that’s the kind of thing—nature, I guess—that I feel most closely connected with. Once I established that, I realized maybe I should be making music for those kinds of moments. After that, everything started to fall into place for me.

And how do you think that realization manifests itself in your current music?
I think it freed me from making music for those dirty after-hours, and also from trying to throw all my influences and inspirations into the pot in one go—which I think I had perhaps done before. I established that I wanted to make music that just felt right for those times when you’re watching the sun rise, thinking about the universe and beyond. That’s when the penny dropped. I started thinking about the wider picture of dance music, and how I could bring outside voices—world-music influences, different kinds of musicians and collaborators, different instruments—into this project. It felt right and natural to me, which I guess means I took the right turn.

Did you get a feeling of relief when you made that turn?
I don’t know if it was really relief. As a DJ, you have the constant opportunity to take the easy road. You play in a club for a couple of hours, and you know ahead of time that there are a couple of tracks that will make the people’s hands go up in the air, and everyone shouts and screams. And there are easy way to make those tunes, the kind that might go to the top of the Beatport charts. But that’s not the kind of artist I am. I don’t really go for that kind of easy sound; I think I’ve always been a bit more subtle. So working in the studio, for me, has always been a slightly more difficult process. I don’t have an end game in mind, and I want to experiment. I mean, I knew how I wanted this project to feel, and I knew what kind of reaction I was looking for, but I wasn’t sure how to get there.

"I think that it’s the kind of music that lets you slip in and out of other dimensions."

So instead of relief, it was like wandering into the unknown.
Something like that, yeah.

And now that you’ve made the music, how do you think it does feel?
I think it feels like there’s a lot of mysticism there; I think it feels quite spiritual; I think it connects you to other possible life forms out there. [laughs] I think that it’s the kind of music that lets you slip in and out of other dimensions—all that, and with the dancefloor very much in mind.

Yes, it’s definitely good dance music.
It is, but instead of just the usual kicks and drums from sample packs, I wanted to work with musicians and live percussion to get a sound that I guess you could say is a little tribal, but more in a ceremonial sense rather than the usual way.

As opposed the big-room tribal-house sort of way?
Yeah, we’re not doing that at all. And the songs can be interpreted as stories. There’s a track from the album, for example, called “Trouble At The Séance”—the idea there is that there’s a group of people sitting around a table, with their hands on the table, trying to call the spirits. And something goes wrong, and all hell breaks loose. The idea is that we’re playing around with these little vignettes that might work as a film as well as a piece of music, combined with some experiences I’ve had—playing in these amazing locations, and these discoveries I’ve made along the way.

What kind of discoveries?
Like finding out about Manly P. Hall, who wrote this amazing encyclopedia of all things esotereic, The Secret Teachings of All Ages. I’ve always been a little bit interested in the dark arts and mystical beings. I think the music is an extension of all that.

It really seems to fit you well. From the outside looking in, it certainly doesn’t seem to be forced.
It’s really not. People tend to comment about what I wear, and call me the Dark Lord and all this kind of nonsense. I guess I was that, a bit—but it wasn’t like I just decided one day to dress in black, wear a hat and look mysterious. That kind of just happened. But things happen for a reason, and what I dress like does fit my thought processes, I guess.

You have so many amazing performers on this album, from so many different worlds. Was it hard to put this all together?
It actually happened quite effortlessly—there was a lot of serendipity involved. It was as if the universe was saying, “Okay, this is supposed to happen. This is the right direction to be taking.” And that gave me a lot of positive vibe to move on with the project. At that point, all I needed to do was to find someone who would help me take this project, with all these different people and sounds and ideas, and make it a cohesive body of work.

And that person was James Ford?
That’s right. I do have experience with musicians, but I wanted to take it to the next level. For instance, I wanted to work with a full orchestra, but I haven’t had experience in doing that. I needed to find people who knew how to do that kind of thing. So I took my time, getting my ideas together—lyrics and simple melodies and whatnot—and finally, I just came across James at a festival in Berlin. We just kind of bonded over a bottle of whiskey, and by the following morning, I had him committed to working with me.

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

You recorded this album all over the place—but one of those places was Mexico, which seems like a special locale for you.
Yeah, we’ve been doing the Day Zero festival there for three years now, among other things. But something really special happened to me a little while ago in Mexico. It was a moment I experienced on the beach in Tulum. I had a minor stomach operation, and afterwards went down there to have a little holiday. While I was there, I went to see a shaman, a healer kind of guy, who I’ve seen before. He’d lay his hands on me and get all the dirt out, basically, and give me a moment of purity. So I went to see him, and I told him I had this operation, and he said he wasn’t allowed to put his hands on me because the healing process had to fully do its thing. Apparently, if he did put his hands on me, it would interrupt the process. I was pretty disappointed, because I had just been through a pretty heavy period and felt like I needed some help. I asked if there was some alternative, and he said, “Go to the edge of the ocean tonight between the hours of ten and eleven. Put your face up to the moon with your arms outstretched. Call on the moon to give you good energy.” So I was hanging out on the beach that night with some friends, and went over to do what he had told me—and I felt this kind of energy, this force, that I had never experienced in my life. It was ridiculously strong; I felt like I was being electrocuted, but not in an unpleasant way. He had warned me that something like this might happen, and he said, “If it does, don’t worry. Just enjoy it—it’s the universe giving you the energy that you need.” That’s potentially bullshit, of course—and when it started happening to me, I couldn’t quite believe it. I called one of my friends over—it was Greg [Oreck] from Thugfucker—and I told him what I was experiencing me, and asked him to put his hand close to my body. Without touching me, he put his hand close to my back. And he caught the energy from me! It was the most incredible thing. I realized at that moment that Mexico plays a very strong role in my life. The universe is just so clear there.

That’s quite a story!
And it’s a true one, too, so it's even better.

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John Heckle Preps New EP, Shares Previews http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/john-heckle-preps-new-ep-shares-previews/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/john-heckle-preps-new-ep-shares-previews/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90915 Liverpool producer John Heckle has a new release in the works: the five-track Blues for a Red Giant EP. Slated for release via Dublin imprint Lunar Disko, the record is said to offer "raw cuts from a distant dimension" and features "distorted percussion, otherworldly melodies, and driving basslines." Heckle, who we profiled back in 2013 as part of our Bubblin' Up series, is an alum of the Mathematics, Tabernacle, and Crème Organization labels and known for making raw, machine-driven house and techno, though (as Juno Plus notes), this new material enters more melodic territory. The EP is the first to surface under his name this year; more recently, Heckle's output has been concentrated around his Head Front Panel project.

No official release date for Blues for a Red Giant has been shared as of yet, but the EP's tracklist, along with audio clips, can be found below.

A1 Bon Voyage
A2 Red Giant Encounter
A3 Drunken Organ
B1 Collective Intelligence
B2 Implications of Meaning

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Four Tet Announces New Album http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/four-tet-announces-new-album-2/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/four-tet-announces-new-album-2/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 07:37:09 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90908 Kieran Hebden (better known as Four Tet) has unveiled details of a new album, which will see an official release in early July. Entitled Morning/Evening, the record comprises two extended tracks, running about 40 minutes in length, and is the successor to Hebden's 2013 album Beautiful Rewind. It will arrive via Hebden's own Text imprint, following the release of Anthony Naples' Body Pill LP earlier this year.

While no official sound clips have been shared as of yet, the tracklist and artwork for Morning/Evening can be found below. (via Resident Advisor) Update: Four Tet will be performing this new work for the first time, live at Mayfield Depot on Friday 17th July.


01. Morning Side (20:24)
02. Evening Side (19:53)

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Stellar OM Source Preps New EP for RVNG Intl., Streams Track http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/stellar-om-source-preps-new-ep-for-rvng-intl-streams-track/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/stellar-om-source-preps-new-ep-for-rvng-intl-streams-track/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 21:47:42 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90887 Christelle Gauldi (a.k.a. Stellar OM Source) will return to RVNG Intl. next month with Nite-Glo, her first material in two years. The EP will follow on from Joy One Mile with four tracks drenched in 303 rhythms. Nite-Glo was written in an emotional time of loss for Gauldi, with her hardware-based mobile studio acting as an escape and an outlet during that time and guiding "Gauldi’s rhythms to unexpected places of emotive and meditative power." Nite-Glo will be released on June 8 via RVNG Intl. and can be preordered here with an instant download of "Sudden," which can be streamed in full below.

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Premiere: Hear Roland Tings Remix Seekae's "The Worry" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-hear-roland-tings-remix-seekaes-the-worry/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-hear-roland-tings-remix-seekaes-the-worry/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 20:47:27 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90857 Experimental electronic trio Seekae released their third album, The Worry, at the end of last year to critical acclaim. The album was a slight sonic shift from their traditional sound, with percussionist Alex Cameron stepping up for vocal duties for the first time. At the end of this week, the title track, "The Worry," will return in the form of a remix package, featuring reworks from Henrik Schwarz, András Dub, and the one in question here by Roland Tings. The rising Australian artist turns in a dancefloor focused rework of the pop-tinged original, keeping the brooding vocals front and centre and adding in deep chords, graceful synth work, and drum-machine percussion to great effect.

"The Worry" remix package will be released on May 8 via Future Classic, with Roland Tings' remix streaming below; along with the previously released remix by Henrik Schwarz.

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Diynamic Festival Returns to Amsterdam http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/diynamic-festival-returns-to-amsterdam/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/diynamic-festival-returns-to-amsterdam/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 19:51:45 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90876 Diynamic Festival will return to Amsterdam at the end of this month for the third year running with a cast of Diynamic regulars including Solomun, Adriatique, H.O.S.H., Kollektiv Turmstrasse, and Stimming. The festival takes place in a forest just outside of the city and is easily accessible by bike or bus. This year, Diynamic has decided to add a second stage to the festival, focusing on a more intimate feel and longer sets by some of the artists. Tickets are almost sold out and available here, with the full lineup and last year's after movie available below.


Solomun, Adriatique, H.O.S.H., Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Stimming, Karmon, NTFO, Thyladomid, Magdalena, DJ Phono, Ost & Kjex.
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Lung Dart "B. OK (MOBBS Remix)" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/lung-dart-b-ok-mobbs-remix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/lung-dart-b-ok-mobbs-remix/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 18:55:54 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90871 MOBBS is a South London based experimental producer and composer who has turned in a brilliant remix for rising Peckham alt-pop duo Lung Dart's track "B. OK." In his rework, MOBBS transforms the woozy original into something even weirder, twisting the original's field recordings into broken rhythms and ethereal sound design; faint, reverb drenched vocals swirl under crunchy, percussive samples, with deep pads gurgling just below the surface. MOBBS' remix of "B. OK" will be his debut release and lands in support of Lung Dart's debut EP, Ebbs, which was released on April 27 via Happy Valley Records. You can download the MOBBS remix of "B. OK" for free below.


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Premiere: Hear a Track From Endian's New EP on secretsundaze http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-hear-a-track-from-endians-new-ep-on-secretsundaze/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-hear-a-track-from-endians-new-ep-on-secretsundaze/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 16:55:34 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90855 At the end of this month, secretsundaze will release Finish Me, the third EP from George Levings (a.k.a. Commix) under his Endian moniker, which he started to be used as an outlet for the "more technoey and house sound" that is increasingly inspiring him. The EP follows on from his previous releases on Electric Minds and Non Plus Records, with three storming tracks that you might have noticed popping up in various DJ sets lately—the most notable being Joy Orbison who used "Finish Me" in his essential mix late last year. "Finish Me" is a stomping cut propped up by a body-shaking breakbeat groove, with industrial-tinged samples, dramatic pads, and skittering percussion running wild on top. The full EP will be available via secretsundaze on May 25 and can be preordered here, with the title track available to stream in full below.

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Lone Announces Deluxe Reissue of Lemurian http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/lone-announces-deluxe-reissue-of-lemurian/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/lone-announces-deluxe-reissue-of-lemurian/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 14:15:38 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90859 Lone's now classic debut album, Lemurian, will receive a deluxe reissue by Magic Wire and R&S on June 29. Originally released in 2008, the album will return remastered by Matt Colton, with new artwork—which can be seen above—by Konx-om-Pax and on vinyl for the first time. The initial press will be on colored vinyl, with a spot gloss cover, a full color printed inner, and a download code. You can check out the full tracklisting for Lemurian's reissue below, along with Lone's remaining US tour dates.


1. Koran Angel
2. Cali Drought
3. Interview at Honolulu
4. Banyan Drive
5. Green Sea Pageant
6. Girl
7. Orange Tree
8. Maya Codex
9. Atoll Mirrored
10. Sea Spray
11. Under Two Palms
12. Lens Flare Lagoon
13. Borea
14. Buried Coral Banks
15. Phthalo Blue
16. Sunken
17. Minor Suns

Upcoming Shows:

May 7 - Montreal - Newspeak

May 8 - Brooklyn - Output

May 9 - Miami - Bardot

]]> http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/lone-announces-deluxe-reissue-of-lemurian/feed/ 0 20 Questions: Marc Houle http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/05/20-questions-marc-houle/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/05/20-questions-marc-houle/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 12:00:16 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90822 Canadian-born Marc Houle is not a DJ; he is widely acclaimed electronic musician who produces his own music and performs it live, beat for beat, drum for drum. Artists today can spend their whole careers striving for originality in what is a continually saturating market, but this is exactly what Houle has achieved by combining the house sounds of Detroit and Chicago to create his own unique blend of synth-heavy minimalist techno.
It's a decade on from his debut LP, 2004's Restore, on Richie Hawtin’s Minus label—and now Houle's givin his seminal release a stunning makeover called Restored, calling on some of the leading names in modern techno for contemporary remixes,  including Danny Daze, Harvard Bass, Julian Jeweil, Joris Voorn, M.A.N.D.Y., Popof and Houle himself. On the verge of the U.S leg of his Restored tour, Houle kindly agreed to partake in XLR8R’s latest edition of 20 Questions.

Where in the world are you right now?
I’m back home in Berlin, enjoying the grey sky and warm studio.

What were your reasons for moving to Berlin in 2008? What's the best/worst thing about the city and how does it compare to Windsor, Ontario?
For years I was coming to Berlin and staying with friends so I could play shows around Europe before returning back to Canada. Europe was really the only place I could actually make a living playing my music. While I was visiting, I learned how amazing this city really is and slowly realized that it was the only place I could live, so I moved my studio over and have loved it ever since. Growing up in Windsor was so good because it was five minutes to drive to downtown Detroit where all the crazy parties were in the ’90s. Without growing up there and experiencing the Detroit techno scene, I would not be doing what I do now.

Where is your favorite place in the world to visit?
As unglamorous as it may sound, I love going back home to Windsor to see my family, for obvious reasons. Besides that, I guess Japan—its so fun out there and the food is amazing, and the people I know are very special to me. Argentina and Colombia are probably the most fun to play because they just go insane.

What do you miss most when you are on the road, and why?
A lot of my peers are able to sit at a laptop, open up Ableton and make tracks on the road. I’ve tried over the years and I just can’t seem to do that. Maybe it’s the lack of gear. Maybe it’s ’cause I gotta use headphones…but I really miss making music on the road which is a good thing because when I do come back home, I go crazy.

Does music production/performing now feel more like a job rather than just a hobby?
When I was younger, I was really into graphic design and turned that into my career. I began to loathe it to the point where I don’t really care about fonts or open up Photoshop anymore.  I always made sure that the same thing wouldn’t happen to music.
I’ve been making electronic music for about 30 years now. I’ve always known that it’s something I’ve needed to do, but I never expected or even thought about doing this for a living.  It’s a passion of mine first and career second. To me, keeping it fun, challenging and exciting out trumps everything else.
A big advantage I have is that as a live act, I can tour around and play and party then come back and balance out things by working in the studio for a while. The balance works well and it keeps everything fresh.

Did you first envisage yourself more as a music producer or a live artist?
I’m definitely more of a producer.  I could live without touring but I couldn’t live without creating.

How have your production techniques evolved over time?
They haven’t, really. I still have most of the same gear I started with and I still use Cubase. So the way I do things isn’t much different—but obviously, after all this time, my ears have gotten better at making things sound the way I want.  I listen to my old stuff sometimes and laugh about how poorly it was mixed or how muddy things sound.  The most important for me is being comfortable enough where I don’t have to think too much in the studio; I can just play music and have fun creating.

What was the first record you ever bought?
Maybe Iron Maiden—Live after Death? I remember sitting at the mall and opening it up while sitting at a fountain. It was so fun because it had a giant book inside with loads of pictures. It's so vivid, even today.

What is your favorite non-electronic album?
Maybe the Spoons from CanadaArias & Symphonies. There are synths in the band but it’s more rock I suppose. Van Halen’s 1984 is also pretty fun. Oh, and Black Sabbath—Paranoid. Sianspheric's Somnium is amazing, too

What is the best DJ/Live set you've ever seen?
Probably [Richie] Hawtin in Detroit at one of the Plastikman warehouse parties back in the ’90s. It’s all a blur but I remember those parties being remarkably good and looonnnngggggg.

Why the longstanding preference for live sets over DJing? What do you feel it offers that a DJ set does not?
The good part about playing live is that you are playing songs that you know better than anything else. No DJ could know every aspect of my track like I do so I can work them and play them like nobody else can. It’s unique to me.
The bad part is that a DJ can take a track from anywhere and play it so his arsenal is much bigger. I could never DJ. It would feel weird for me to be on stage playing someone else’s song.

"My goal isn’t to get praised for playing original tracks; it’s to make people dance."

Do you ever feel that people fail to properly grasp the concept of and skill involved in performing a live set?
Sure. When I’m up there, I’m so busy counting in my head, planning, thinking—and people are used to DJs who can put a track on and have a drink and talk to friends. Most people on the dancefloor have no clue what a live act is and probably just think I’m Djing. But that’s all fine to me.  My goal isn’t to get praised for playing original tracks; it’s to make people dance.  So that’s all I ever care about—doing my job.

Does the current state of the electronic music scene excite you, and why/why not?
Ha, ha—tough question. Without sounding like an old jaded curmudgeon…lately I’ve been watching big DJs play the same crappy music because it’s easy and it works. It sounds like they’re playing one loop for hours and hours and every 16 bars playing a sound effect and cutting out the bass before bringing it back in for the crowd to go "woo." I call it Buji tech because it just goes "buji buji buji buji." There’s always sub-bass, usually on the 3, 7,1 1 and 15 playing along a shuffle beat. It has no soul to it.

How has your attitude towards music production and performing changed over the years?

Photo: Yonathan Baraki, barakistyle.com

Photo: Yonathan Baraki, barakistyle.com

Not really, no. I've gotten better at cleaning out all the mud though. I've come to realize that every sound I put in usually needs only a small portion of the overall mix so I'm always removing unwanted frequencies to make room for other instruments and to let more space come in. My tracks don't sound as muddy as they used to.
As for performing, I think I've gotten much better at being flexible and being able to customize my show on the fly. I can tailor to what the people on the dancefloor need to hear, and not what I've prepared ahead of time. I still have fun up there though even if I may look deep in concentrated thought.

How are your preparations coming along for your Restored tour? Does touring continue excite you as much as it did or has it just become part of the job?
The only time I get exhausted from touring is when it’s not a weekend thing but an extended tour that takes me away from my home life and studio too long. Otherwise I look forward to the shows and the parties and all the great like-minded people along the way. Also, I’m always throwing new gear in the live show mix, so it’s exciting to take it on the road and test it.

What's a typical day like for you leading up to a performance?
Eat, sleep, play, after-hours, plane, repeat.

What were your motivations behind the Restored remixes album?
When I realized that 10 years was coming up on my first album, I wanted to do something different than just re-releasing a remastered edition or including some bonus tracks or something.  I thought it would be interesting to get a fresh take on an old album and put some new life into something that many people never heard.  I’ve always loved that album because it was before all the craziness started, and it was just me as an artist before ever setting foot on stage.

"I’ve had a lot of phases in my time: guitars, bass guitars, bleeps, dark, slow, techno, house."

How would you describe your sound has evolved in the 10 years since the original Restore LP on Minus?
’ve had a lot of phases in my time: guitars, bass guitars, bleeps, dark, slow, techno, house. It’s not so much that I’m headed in a certain direction, but more like my circle is getting bigger and I’m trying more things that I didn’t do before. I still make tracks that sound like the ones I did in the ’90s, but I’m also making some brand new sounding material. I don’t have any pressure in the studio so it’s just whatever comes out of the machines and my brain at the time.

Photo: Gaëtan Tracqui

Photo: Gaëtan Tracqui

What inspired you to start the Items & Things imprint as a Minus sub-label with Magda and Troy Pierce in 2011? What's your vision for the label?
Originally, we would be traveling around and come across some great weird fun music that deserved to be released. At the time we were on Minus and the music didn’t really fit that sound or aesthetic. So we started the label out of a necessity to bring some cool tracks to light. Since leaving it’s become more of a platform for all our music, along with other special things we still find. Today it’s very different. With us three not meeting up as much as we would like to, it’s become less of a focus—but that’s something I want to change, of course. It’s very special to me regardless of how busy I am or how little money labels make these days.

What's the first thing you'll do after answering these questions?
Continue recording new tracks, of course.

Restored Tour

May 9: Sonotone, Biarritz
May 23: Verboten, Brooklyn
May 24: Bleu, Detroit
May 30: Arena Park, Berlin
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Premiere: Stream SP-X's Moving Through Mirrors EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-stream-sp-xs-moving-through-mirrors-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-stream-sp-xs-moving-through-mirrors-ep/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 23:43:49 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90848 SP-X's Moving Through Mirrors is the second triple vinyl release to land on Peter Van Hoesen's Time To Express label after the much lauded Receiver series. The EP is presented in three separate parts—part one was released on April 6, followed by parts two and three, which will be out on May 11 and June 8, respectively—with six tracks in total showcasing the stripped-back techno aesthetic that SP-X excels at. Propped up by booming hardware rhythms, metallic synth lines, and unearthly sound design, Moving Through Mirrors is an assured outing by a producer in total control of his dancefloor arsenal.

Out on May 11, part two of Moving Through Mirrors can be streamed in full via the player below.

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A/S/L "3934 km" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/asl-3934-km/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/asl-3934-km/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 22:20:38 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90831 A/S/L is an emerging LA based producer making the sort of sun-tinged house music you'd associate with the West Coast city. The Away from you EP will be the first release for A/S/L and will feature four varied house tracks including the one in question here, "3934 km." "3934 km" is a thumping cut that opens with a looped female vocal sample and faint chords, before a raw, galloping rhythm lurches forward, providing the body for the rest of the track to ride on. Away from you will be released on June 16, with "3934 km" available as a free download below.

3934 Km

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Premiere: Stream Cesare vs Disorder's "Vortex" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-stream-cesare-vs-disorders-vortex/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-stream-cesare-vs-disorders-vortex/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 20:55:16 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90816 At the end of last month, Berlin's Vakant label released Vortex To Unreason, the new EP from Italian producer Cesare Marchese (a.k.a. Cesare vs Disorder). The four-tracker features two new originals from Marchese, with the title track arriving with reworks from Romania's Cristi Cons and fellow Italian Fango. Marchese endeavoured to present something unexpected and slightly different with Vortex, with his two tracks nodding to his lost feelings of the 90's, and a time when electronic music was made for the mind and soul as much as it was for the club. "Vortex" is an amalgamation of modern day production and these lost feelings, with it's skipping rhythm, heady atmospheres, and ravey synths working together to create an all-encompassing journey full of nostalgia. You can stream "Vortex" in full below, with the full EP available for purchase here.

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XLR8R Announces Festival Partnerships, Launches Special Edition Podcasts http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/xlr8r-announces-festival-partnerships-launches-special-edition-podcasts/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/xlr8r-announces-festival-partnerships-launches-special-edition-podcasts/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 20:05:53 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90811 Now that festival season is upon us, XLR8R is proud to announce its partnerships with some of the best events on the calendar. This year, we're so far working with 13 world-class soirees from around globe, bringing you the news, the know-how, and the ins and outs of each event, as it happens. Our festival partners to date include Detroit's Movement; Mutek Montreal; the Lyon based Nuits Sonores; Amsterdam's Dekmantel; Piknic Electronik Montreal; Seattle's Decibel; the forward-thinking arts and technology gathering Sónar; Fiber FestivalMontreal AIM Festival; and L.E.V. and Intonal, both of which have just finished.

We are also teaming up with select festivals on a series of collaborative podcasts featuring chosen headliners and up-and-comers. This special edition series kicks off today with XLR8R Podcast 385: Audiofly - Movement 2015 Festival Edition.

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Stream an Exclusive Track from Actress's DJ-Kicks Mix http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/stream-an-exclusive-track-from-actresss-dj-kicks-mix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/stream-an-exclusive-track-from-actresss-dj-kicks-mix/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 14:18:59 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90804 Yesterday, XLR8R's Mitch Strashnov gave Actress's DJ-Kicks mix a hearty thumbs-up, awarding it 8.5/10 and hailing its focus on "brilliant selections" over seamless beatmatching. Today, one of the exclusive tracks from the mix, GNESIS's abstract, twinkling "Pear," has been made available to stream in full via !K7's Soundcloud page. "Pear" can be heard on the player below, while Actress's DJ-Kicks mix is available now on !K7. Actress's 2014 contribution to XLR8R's long-running podcast series, meanwhile, can still be streamed and downloaded here.

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Helm Announces New LP for PAN http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/helm-announces-new-lp-for-pan/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/helm-announces-new-lp-for-pan/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 13:18:49 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90798 London-based experimentalist Luke Younger (a.k.a. Helm) has announced that he'll release a new LP next month. Olympic Mess will be Younger's fourth outing for Bill Kouligas's PAN imprint, and is apparently an album "born of destructive practice, competing desires, and troubled optimism." Musically it is said to be Younger's response to "a period spent engaged with loop-based industrial music, dub techno, and balearic disco," and was created using "an array of heavily processed samples, found sound and electroacoustics." No previews are yet online, but the album's cover art and tracklist is included below ahead of its June 15 release on PAN.

01. Don't Lick The Jacket
02. I Exist In A Fog
03. Fluid Cloak
04. Outerzone 2015
05. Often Destroyed
06. Olympic Mess
07. Sky Wax (London)
08. Strawberry Chapstick
09. The Evening In Reverse
10. Sky Wax (NYC)

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XLR8R Podcast 385: Audiofly — Movement 2015 Festival Edition http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/05/xlr8r-podcast-385-audiofly-movement-2015-festival-edition/ http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/05/xlr8r-podcast-385-audiofly-movement-2015-festival-edition/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 13:12:35 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90737 Luca Saporito and Anthony Middleton, together known as the Barcelona-based DJ and production team Audiofly, have been working together since 2002—and for most of that time, they've been firm favorites among the world's right-minded clubbers. And why not? After all, they've released dancefloor-filling tunes on such esteemed labels as Get Physical, All Day I Dream, Moodmusic, Tsuba, and Rekids, just to name a few; their own label, Supernature, along with its Maison d'Etra imprint, boasts a discography that includes Jay Haze, Solomun, Martin Buttrich, Alex Niggemann, James Teej, Just Be and, of course, the Audiofly guys themselves; their Flying Circus parties are among nightlife's go-to affairs; and they're among the scene's most in-demand spinners, with gigs at clubs and festivals spanning the globe In short, Saporito and Middleton are at the top of their game.

None of which is to say that the two are complacent: Unlike some clubland luminaries who seem to prefer a state of stasis over one of change,  Audiofly isn't afraid to evolve with the times. Over the years, the duo's sound has gone from full-on, late-night, electronic-house thumpers to something a bit deeper, sleeker, dreamier and even later-night. It's a sound that's still Audiofly to the core, but it's a progression that Saporito and Middleton attribute—at least in part—to playing in Romania, where they feel the crowd encourages experimentation rather than a reliance on formulas. You can get a taste of Audiofly's current direction via this subtly hypnotic mix, which is taken from one of those Romanian gigs—and you can also sample their sonic wares when Audiofly hit Detroit to play this year's Movement festival on Monday, May 25.

Video: Audiofly's Luca Saporito and Anthony Middleton discuss their XLR8R podcast

XLR8R Podcast 385: Audiofly - Movement 2015 Festival Edition by Xlr8r on Mixcloud

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Patrice Scott Euphonium http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/05/patrice-scott-euphonium/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/05/patrice-scott-euphonium/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 13:00:32 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90732 For some people, deep house is not a fad or a fashion—it is a way of life. Corny as that sounds, it is most certainly true for a career practitioner like Detroit’s Patrice Scott. While it would be easy for someone like him to distance himself from the genre in the wake of it being so pillaged by a million modern-day copycats, he has instead continued to do his do—to lead by example. After building up a healthy back catalog of EPs over the last decade, mostly on his own Sistrum label, he now offers up a debut full length that makes zero concessions to anything but deep, slowly unfolding and absorbingly emotive music.

What that means is that Euphonium is a comforting and familiar affair that contains no real shocks or surprises. What it does contain, though, is definitive deep house in various guises, from fully horizontal and immersive to more unsettled, propulsive stuff that strikes right at your heart. Even though dance music isn't supposed to work in the album format (i.e., as a collection of tracks), because each cut here is so fully formed and has such an arcing narrative, the LP never grows stale or staid.

There is an otherworldly, intergalactic feel to much of Scott's work here: Rather than earthy and human reference points, cuts like "Distr5th" travel to the edges of our galaxy, with smeared pads and warming solar winds the backdrop to steely bass riffs. "Hysteria," too, is a cosmic affair where aurora-borealis–style light displays stretch out over quickened drums and polyphonic synths, while the title track marks not only the album's midpoint, but also somewhat resets the mood and encourages you to sink back down into Scott's swelling, golden, oceanic chords.

From there, the Scott continues to balance motion with emotion, slowly picking up the pace again before rounding things out with the majestic "Music Therapy Pt.2". There is a poignant, weighty sense of finality to this track that concludes the 55 minute journey to perfection. It also shows that, despite his concentrated palette and focus on deepness, Scott is more than capable of conjuring up many different moods at will.

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Q&A: Daniel Avery http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/05/qa-daniel-avery/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/05/qa-daniel-avery/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90751 For many electronic music fans, Daniel Avery's Drone Logic was one of the albums of 2013, and they weren't wrong: The LP, released on Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound label, was the soundtrack to a rave-time reverie, its shimmering, textured chords and gleaming, oddly anthemic vibe firmly establishing him as one of house and techno's singular artists. (It's not for nothing that no less than Andrew Weatherall described his sound as "gimmick-free machine funk of the highest order.”) He's recently released a collection of remixes titled New Energy [Collected Remixes], featuring versions of Avery tunes from Roman Flügel, Perc, Silent Servant, Audion, and Rødhåd, among others—and now, with the wind in his sails, he's gliding into festival season as a must-hear artist. On May 15,  that wind wafts him and his Divided Love party to Lyon, France, where he'll be curating a stage for that town's annual music, art and digital-culture gathering, Nuits Sonores. In the run-up to the festival, the talented DJ and producer took time out to answer a few of our queries.

You seem like someone who probably chooses what festivals to play at fairly carefully. How important is it for you to be associated with a festival that has an artistic element to it, as Nuits Sonores does?
Well, it’s always important in life to surround yourself with interesting and inspiring people. That’s the thing that keeps me going. Nuits Sonores does everything right: the curation, the sound, the people, the artistic element and also the general energy it brings to the city for the time it’s on. I could immediately feel it the first time I walked in. It’s a genuine honor to be hosting a Divided Love stage this year.

"When there is a sense of implicit trust in the air on both sides of the decks, that’s when the special moments occur."

Have you ever found yourself playing at the kind of festival that you wish you hadn’t been booked at, where perhaps your vaguely psychedelic, melodic take on house and techno wasn’t received as well as it could have been?
You’re right that I am careful with what I choose so no, it never gets that far. Life is far too short to try and please everyone. I’m more than happy with the position I’m in.

I’m guessing you adapt your sets to any given situation and crowd— if so, do you enjoy the challenge of “bigger” sound at festival-style sorts of events? Or is it your preference to play smaller, more intimate gigs?
I love both and, honestly, there doesn’t feel like too much difference between the best gigs. DJing is a communal experience between everyone in the room, whatever size. When there is a sense of implicit trust in the air on both sides of the decks, that’s when the special moments occur. That’s the energy I mentioned earlier. It’s indescribable, really.

Your productions, to my ears, have a certain elegance to them while still functioning well as “party music.” Not sure if you would agree with that assessment, but if you do, how do you walk that line without crossing too far in one direction or the other?
The only thing I think about is that I want to make something that will last. All I hear is that kids today “don’t have an attention span anymore,” which is why so much in the media is based on cheap thrills. That’s such a condescending and, in my opinion, wholly inaccurate viewpoint. I want to stand back in ten years time and know that everything I worked on—whether it’s music, artwork, videos, or even DJ sets—was worked on with love, thought and some kind of consideration for depth and longevity.

You have a long relationship with Fabric, and have been a resident there for quite a while now. Do you feel its important to have a home base, where you theoretically are able to experiment a bit more than you might at one-off gigs?
I’m proud to call Fabric my London home but I am fortunate enough that I now feel that trust of being able to experiment most places I visit. Taking chances is one of my favorite things about playing out.

Photo: Steve Gullick

Photo: Steve Gullick

Early in your career, you were rather famously championed by Andrew Weatherall, whose studio you worked in. Now that you are an established semi-veteran, is there anybody new on the scene that you’re really excited about?
From where I’m standing it feels like a healthy time for electronic music. Different genres are coming together and shaping each other: techno, drone, acid, ambient, noise.... To me it feels like a new wave of psychedelia: music in which to get fully lost. There are so many new artists doing interesting things. A few from the top of my head would be Volte-Face, Cassegrain, Voiski, Kamera, U, Kobosil, Manni Dee, Tripeo, Rote…the list is endless.

I know it’s only been a few months since New Energy [Collected Remixes] was released—but are there any plans for a new album of original material in the works? Are there any other upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
Alongside a few more Divided Love nights, yes, I am fully back in the studio working on the next record. It feels exciting at the moment.

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AnD Preps Two Remix 12"s of Tracks from Debut Album http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/and-prep-two-remix-12s-of-tracks-from-their-debut-album/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/and-prep-two-remix-12s-of-tracks-from-their-debut-album/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 12:11:16 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90783 When it appeared late last year, Manchester techno pair AnD's debut LP, Cosmic Microwave Background, caught the attention for its raw brutality as well as its grainy sci-fi background concept. Now the duo has enlisted a clutch of remixers to provide new takes on choice cuts from the record, with the results slated for release on two separate 12"s next month.

AnD Rmx 01 gathers reworks of "The Surface Of Last Scattering" and "Power Spectrum" by Zeitgeber, Sleeparchive, and O/H, while AnD Rmx 02 finds JK Flesh Reshape (Justin K Broadrick) take on "Non Sky Signal Noise" and Black Rain tackle both "The Surface Of Last Scattering" and "Galactic Motion." No previews are yet available, but the artwork for the two records is included below along with full tracklists. AnD Rmx 01 will be released on Electric Deluxe on June 15, while AnD Rmx 02 will drop on the same label on June 29.

EDLX043 ArtworkEDLX044 Artwork
AnD Rmx 01
A / 1. The Surface Of Last Scattering (Zeitgeber Remix)
B1 / 2. Power Spectrum (Sleeparchive Remix)
B2 / 3. Power Spectrum (O/H Remix)
AnD Rmx 02
A / 1. Non Sky Signal Noise (Justin K Broadrick as JK Flesh Reshape)
B1 / 2. The Surface Of Last Scattering (Black Rain Remix)
B2 / 3. Galactic Motion (Black Rain Remix)

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Actress DJ-Kicks http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/05/actress-dj-kicks/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/05/actress-dj-kicks/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 20:00:16 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90654 Listening to a mix by Actress is a lot like watching a Satoshi Kon film; it sets the tone early, bashes you in the face with how jarring it comes and goes from the initial start, and then by the end you realize how thoroughly engrossed you were the entire time. In this case, while listening to Darren Cunningham's irreverent take on a series such as DJ-Kicks, I was mesmerized, yet always aware that things might go awry at any moment—Cunningham has chosen not to emulate the effortless mixing of previous selectors in the series. Instead, he's done what he does best in this medium, which is to choose brilliant tracks that would provide contrast and/or comparatively enhance the listening experience.

The first thing that anyone will notice is that Cunningham opts to segment his selections and weave them through their titles, artists and labels in a riveting way from the outset. Starting off with Breaker 1 2's "2," he settles listeners in with an analog emphasis, continuing by incorporating Lorenzo Senni's off-putting and brilliant "Elegant, and Never Tiring," following up by heading toward darker corners with cuts from Reel By Real and Autechre. When Chameleon's "Thought 2" give us a rhythmic representation of snake charming, it's more of a red herring than anything, as Beneath's "Stress 1" reminds of a backing track to a bizzaro U.K.–funky rave in a '80s John Carpenter film. These jarring moments are what make Cunningham's DJ-Kicks stand out—and he replicates this formula by flowing between cathartic and calming, doing it just enough so it doesn't become too repetitive of a process. When Zennor's "Tin" rumbles with a drum track layered between oriental loops, it begs to stay at that energy level—until John Beltran's "Anticipation" soothingly enters to break the rhythm, providing breathing room.

The next few tracks by STL and Snakepiss bring the tempo down to Earth, closer to where Actress' Ghettoville LP lied dormant, clawing at our feet. That mood flips with the one-two punch of Chez N Trent and Mark Fell; both tracks are rhythmically quite far apart, yet help to facilitate the mix's finale. Joyful rhythms and stupendous loop-mania set up the final stretch of tracks, from Hank Jackson, Gherkin Jerks and Actress himself. The cuts play off each other masterfully, their strengths enhancing each other, leading to a more-than-satisfying conclusion to a worthy addition to the DJ-Kicks catalog. The decision to reject seamless beatmatching has only enhanced the mix, and lets us look into the Actress's process in a different context. Let's hope his next mix comes sooner rather than later.

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Kraftwerk Announces North American Tour http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/kraftwerk-announces-north-american-tour/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/kraftwerk-announces-north-american-tour/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 17:44:07 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90720 German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk will return to North America in September with their multimedia 3-D show. The tour kicks off in Edmonton on September 16 and will stop in many cities the group have never played before, finishing the run on October 9 in Michigan. Kraftwerk debuted their 3-D concert in 2012 at a residency at MoMA in NYC, but this time around, they'll skip NYC, as well LA and SF. You can check out the full tour schedule below.

Tour Dates:

9/16 - Edmonton, AB - Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium

9/17 - Calgary, AB - Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium

9/19 - Portland, OR - Keller Auditorium

9/23 - Denver, CO - Ellie Caulkins Opera House

9/25 - Austin, TX - Bass Concert Hall

9/27 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium

9/29 - Miami, FL - Olympia Theater at Gusman Center

10/2 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory

10/3 - Boston, MA - Wang Theatre

10/5 - Detroit, MI - Masonic Temple Theatre

10/7 - Minneapolis, MN - Northrop

10/9 - Kansas City, MO - Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

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B2B: Lido & Canblaster http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/05/b2b-lido-canblaster/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/05/b2b-lido-canblaster/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 17:38:38 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90688 Norway's young Peder "Lido" Losnegård has, with Cashmere Cat, coproduced hit numbers like Mr. Cat's "Adore"and Ariana Grande's "Be My Baby," and, as a solo artist, released last year's I Love You EP on the Pelican Fly label. France's Cédric "Canblaster" Steffens, an erstwhile video-game soundtrack composer, is key member of the Club Cheval production collective, among other claims to fame. Put them together and—boom!—you get the succinctly named Lido & Canblaster, the duo behind Pelican Fly's Superspeed EP, a meticulously sound-designed stroll through an alternative universe of R&B- and garage-tinged pop weirdness. Losnegård and Steffens recently got together for a chat about influences, producer tags and more—and here are the results.

Canblaster: The first time we played together, I remember playing a song you really liked, so much that today we can still hear it in your show if we listen carefully. The song was Crystal Waters—“Gypsy Woman." This song is also very important to me; to me it’s one of the strongest house chords ever written, I remember hearing it very late on a radio show when I was a kid and hunting the track for days, asking older people what that dadadi dadooda house song was. It was one of these major records that helped me develop the style of my early records, songs like “Jetpack” or “3rd Ring.” Maurice Fulton’s style, especially the drums, as always been amazing. Can you quote one or two tracks that made the “Lido” sound what it is today?

Lido: It’s very hard for me to define specific songs that were important to me. I think Rustie’s Glass Swords album was probably the first time I realized that the music I was making could actually carry itself as instrumental music. That was in many ways the first time I heard something similarly to my stuff released in a format like that. Soundwise, Lido started out as a project for me where I tried not to compromise. I combined all the elements from different genres that I liked and wanted to see what would come out if I did just that.

Canblaster: What is the first tune you remember mastering on the piano? I mean owning the tune, feeling like you do an interpretation of it and not just play the notes, like you could just play this music on loop for hours?

Lido: No idea. I very early found that most of the songs I knew were consisting of the same chords, so I remembered that when I mastered those chords I would sit and make mash-ups of songs for hours and hours. The joy of mastering a song didn’t come to me until I was exposed to more difficult material in high school. I remember the feeling of overcoming a song like an obstacle with King Crimson or Debussy.

Canblaster: In a previous interview we did together, when asked if our EP, and your music in general, was not too complicated for today’s crowd, you answered that it is very important not to underestimate your audience. I feel like it’s a trait we both share but it’s the first time I heard it expressed this way. Could you develop that point a little bit?

Lido: When I grew up I was listening to gospel and soul music from an early age, while everyone else was listening to classic rock or radio pop. I was a completely normal kid in every way, but I was exposed to different music than everyone else. And through years of exposing my friends to weird things and paying attention to, for example, movie scores, I found that it really is all about exposure. There are tons of examples of songs that have become huge from being exposed to people in the right way. But the industry never learns that and fails to have true faith in a song if it isn’t sonically similar to whatever else is currently doing well.
Speaking of which: The first instrumental music I was ever exposed to was video-game music. I remember especially that the Zelda soundtrack influenced my writing early on. It's also the prime example of how the industry is underestimating the listener, because video-game music has some of the most advanced melodies ever, and yet people with no musical background find it catchy. It's all about exposure.

Canblaster: You have a producer signature, these four notes. I remember first hearing it hidden in the piano solo at the end of the Cashmere Cat track “Aurora.” Is the idea behind it coming from the rap producers putting their tags at the beginning of the track ? Like “Mike will made it/You are now listening to Araabmusik/Mustard on tha beat hoe”? Or is there more to it? And what are your favorite signatures or tags these days?

Lido: My tag is the main melodic line from the first Lido remix I ever did, so it made sense symbolically to take something from that with me onward on the Lido project. Because I make so much different music, I wanted to have a signature that I could blend in or make obvious depending on what was suited for the track. A lot of producers bind themselves to a tempo or style with their signature. Personally my favorite is probably Cardiak, who uses a simple heart-monitor note—conceptually genius and subtle. Tags have a fascinating effect on people. Every beat becomes cool as soon as you hear “mustard on the beat hoe.”

Canblaster: What makes a good chord?

Lido: A good chord is full, but has space. It’s comfortable, but interesting. It feels like home, but it’s still leading somewhere.

Canblaster: I only played once in Norway, but my grandmother used to tell me that her own grandfather was a priest from Norway, and when she bought her house in the north of France, he came there and she had to kneel down at the entry so he could bless her and her house, do a cross sign. She told me he had this very long white beard, I always picture it like this unrealistic cartoon scene in my head, like Gandalf or something. Do such people really exist today ? Or does it sound to you like an old school grandma legend? And what was it like to grow up in Norway?

Lido: Ha! That doesn’t sound like the people I hang out with in Norway, but it’s a long country so I’m sure there are plenty fairy tales going on in the countryside. Growing up so remotely and without a scene to influence you makes you really dig for things you like, and it forces you to find your own ways of achieving the sound you need. So in many ways I’m grateful to it and I don’t think I’d be making the music I’m making right now if I was born somewhere else.

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One Track Brain "Stimulus" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/one-track-brain-stimulus/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/one-track-brain-stimulus/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 16:22:55 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90713 At the end of last month, emerging imprint OTB Records released the new EP by One Track Brain titled Gefühl Operator / Stimulus. The EP follows on from the well received The Answer To Everything by London producer Aggborough, with two hard-hitting cuts aimed firmly at the dancefloor. B-side track "Stimulus" is a thumping techno outing that opens with a brittle, rust-coated synth line and a booming bottom end. Thick, gurgling atmospheres underpin the track, swelling and retracting throughout, with brutal, industrial percussion slicing through on top. The full EP is available now on vinyl and digital, with "Stimulus" shared as a free download below.


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Wolfgang Voigt Preps Ambient LP for Kompakt http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/wolfgang-voigt-preps-ambient-lp-for-kompakt/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/wolfgang-voigt-preps-ambient-lp-for-kompakt/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 14:01:40 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90706 Ever-active Kompakt co-founder Wolfgang Voigt has detailed the tenth installment in his Rückveruauberung series of open-concept albums. Entitled Nationalpark, the hour-long recording aligns with the opening of German national park Hunsrück-Hochwald and is described as "an abstract, ambient-infused sound installation, which can be experienced as a kind of 'acoustic hike through the forest' thanks to a series of loudspeakers allocated in a natural environment."

Voigt reportedly processed improvised string and wind instrumentals digitally to make the album, which will see an official release on May 25. Until then, both its artwork and tracklist can be viewed below, and clips are available for preview here via Kompakt's website.


01. Rückverzauberung 10

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Philipp Gorbachev Launches New Label http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/philipp-gorbachev-launches-digital-only-label/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/philipp-gorbachev-launches-digital-only-label/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 12:58:35 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90701 Berlin-based producer and self-declared Russian exile Philipp Gorbachev is launching his own label, PG TUNE, which will provide a platform for a string of digital singles due out over the spring and summer. The imprint's inaugural release will be Power of the Funk, which (according to Resident Advisor) is more techno- and dancefloor-oriented than Gorbachev's previous solo outings and takes its cues from his regular after-hours sets at Moscow club ARMA17.

The release of Power of the Funk on May 18 follows Gorbachev's 2014 debut album on Cómeme, Silver Album, plus an appearance on the label's most recent V/A compilation. His second single for PG TUNE is expected to land in June.

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Moog Launches New Video Series With M. Geddes Gengras; Shares Free EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/moog-launches-new-category-5-video-series-with-m-geddes-gengras-shares-free-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/moog-launches-new-category-5-video-series-with-m-geddes-gengras-shares-free-ep/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 22:42:50 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90683 Today, Moog Music launched their new Category 5 video series with a conversation with M. Geddes Gengras, who describes his exploration of analog effects modules and the process-based sound design used in the composing of the 3 Impressions EP. The announcement of the EP coincided with Moog's announcement of the discontinuation of two of their popular Moogerfooger analog effects pedals, which were evidently used in the production of the EP. Moog plans to continue building a limited quantity of units while parts and materials last.

You can check out the first Category 5 video below, along with the 3 Impressions EP; which is offered as a free download.

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XLR8R's Top 10 Downloads of April http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/xlr8rs-top-10-downloads-of-april/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/xlr8rs-top-10-downloads-of-april/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 20:09:23 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90669 Now that we've ticked over into May, it's time to announce the top 10 most popular tracks to land in XLR8R's downloads section in April. Like in March, April's list is mostly made up of original productions, with only two remixes present. Two LA producers topped the list this month, with Symbols label head, Kastle, in the top spot, followed closely by Cooper Saver, who's rework of Harriet Brown was one the two remixes on the list. Saver and Kastle were joined by Leeds based newcomer Iglew, 100% Silk affiliate Cherushii, and New Yorks' Mike Bloom, among others.

March's 10 most popular XLR8R downloads have been assembled into a list below and can be grabbed for free by following their respective links. In addition, all 10 tracks have been compiled into one convenient playlist, which can also be found below.

1. Kastle "Strange Days"
2. Harriet Brown "Stop Think (Cooper Saver Remix)"
3. Iglew "Sleep Lighter VIP"
4. Cherushii "Wild Abandon"
5. Pajaro Dune "A Sudden Desire (Zadig Remix)"
6. Gordon "MK Ultra"
7. Yard One "Memory Echoes"
8. Malcom "Falcon Lake"
9. Walrus "Mother Nature"
10. Mike Bloom "Lush"

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Stream Shan and Gerd Janson's Remix of Ghost Culture's "Mouth" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/stream-shan-gerd-jansons-remix-of-ghost-cultures-mouth/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/stream-shan-gerd-jansons-remix-of-ghost-cultures-mouth/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 18:11:43 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90653 Earlier this week, Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound label released "Mouth," the remix single following on from the release of Ghost Culture's self-titled debut album—which arrived in January this year. "Mouth" lands with three remixes from Running Back label head, Gerd Janson, and one of his label regulars Victor Shan, who turn in three grooving reworks of the machine driven original with a Club Mix, an 808 Culture Dub, and the peak time Acid Mix. The single is available now over at the Phantasy Sound webstore, which includes a free instant download, and you can stream the 808 culture dub of "Ghost" in full below.

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Wild & Free "Tropique" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/wild-free-tropique/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/05/wild-free-tropique/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 17:28:31 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90649 Next up on the LA based RIS Labs label is the Low Pressure EP by George Cochrane and Drew Kramer (a.k.a. Wild & Free), an LA based duo making summery, instrument-based dance music. Cochrane and Kramer—who release as Give In and Les Professionnels, respectively—have quite the list of collaborations and production credits under their belt, having worked with artists such as Psychemagik, Pete Herbert, and ambient duo Cubik & Origami. Pulled from their latest EP is "Tropique," a loose and organic cut, which fuses their instrumentalist backgrounds with their production sensibilities. The undeniably uplifting "Tropique" can be downloaded for free below, with the full EP available on May 22 on RIS Labs.


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Vakula to Release New Album Dedicated to Jim Morrison http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/vakula-to-release-new-album-dedicated-to-jim-morrison/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/vakula-to-release-new-album-dedicated-to-jim-morrison/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 13:58:17 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90640 As RA reports, maverick Ukrainian artist Mikhaylo Vityk (a.k.a. Vakula) has announced that his next album will be a bluesy 11-tracker entitled Dedicated To Jim Morrison. His full-length homage to the late Doors frontman has been announced only a couple of months after the release of A Voyage to Arcturus, Vityk's last LP, which was inspired by the 1920 David Lindsay book of the same name. Clips from Dedicated To Jim Morrison can be heard on the player below ahead of the record's full release on Vityk's own Leleka imprint, and we've also included the album's full tracklist. The LP has no solid release date yet, but Vityk is quoted as saying he hopes it will be during the summer, and possibly on Jim Morrison Memorial Day (July 3).

01. The Argument
02. For Jim
03. A Memorable Fancy
04. The Canyon Road
05. Proverbs of Hell
06. Mississippi Delta
07. The Human Abstract
08. Good Advice
09. Airolg
10. Beatnik Dance
11. Tien Beach

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Premiere: Listen to a New Track From Shenoda http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-listen-to-a-new-track-from-shenoda/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/05/premiere-listen-to-a-new-track-from-shenoda/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 12:21:23 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90636 Cambridge-born producer Shenoda has previously turned out impressive releases that blend garage with house and techno for labels such as Hypercolour, Fear Of Flying, ManMakeMusic, and the Hypercolour offshoot Losing Suki. In May he'll follow the likes of Move D and Radio Slave by releasing an EP on the London label Electric Minds, and he's shared an exclusive pre-release track stream with XLR8R. The cut, which is called "nonamenoname" as a rather meta dig at unimaginatively titled tracks, is a dense, crunchy ride in Shenoda's signature floor-focused style. It can be streamed on the player below ahead of the release of the Mancs EP on May 11. Shenoda also appears alongside Oskar Offermann and Dolan Bergin at Electric Minds' July event at London's Dance Tunnel, with tickets available here.

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Premiere: Listen to a 10 Minute Remix From King Britt http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-listen-to-a-10-minute-remix-from-king-britt/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-listen-to-a-10-minute-remix-from-king-britt/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 21:20:43 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90608 Circle and Rise 8 last teamed up on their release for Leftroom Limited two years ago. Since then, Rise 8 have been recording their full length album, with Circle (a.k.a. Rob Paine and Keith Landis) focusing on running Worship Recordings; which is where they meet again with the Gone Too Deep EP. Keeping in line with the dubby aesthetic of Worship, "Gone Too Deep" is a deep and melancholic cut accentuated by the vocals of Rise 8’s Gerhardt Koerner. Also featuring on the EP is Philadelphia legend King Britt, who reignites his Scuba moniker for a 10 minute interstellar epic, layering atmospheres and gliding synths with the almost unrecognisable vocals from Koerner.

You can hear the King Britt Scuba remix of "Gone Too Deep" via the player below.

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Art Department Steps Up for Fabric 82 http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/art-department-steps-up-for-fabric-82/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/art-department-steps-up-for-fabric-82/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 20:25:10 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90620 As reported on Resident Advisor, Fabric 82 has been mixed by Art Department and will see release on June 22. The mix heralds a new era for Art Department, which is now the solo project of Johnny White—Kenny Glasgow recently departed ways with White to focus on his solo career. The mix itself features 17 tracks from artists such as Basic Channel, Mr. G, Frank & Tony, Matthew Herbert, and Fred P.

Fabric will hold a launch party on June 13, which will also feature Kenny Glasgow, Scott Grooves, and Nitin on the bill.

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Q&A: Lindstrøm on Runddans http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/qa-lindstrom-on-runddans/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/qa-lindstrom-on-runddans/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 20:21:13 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90522 An album that features Hans-Peter Lindstrøm in collaboration with Todd Rundgren and Emil Nikolaisen might seem, at first, like a fully crazy idea. After all, Lindstrøm broke thorugh with the kind of soaring synthesized disco that has helped to define the club music of this millennium; Rundgren, active since the ’60s and still going strong,  is most known as the venerable pop maestro behind such classic gems as "Hello, It's Me," "I Saw the Light," and the Laura Nyro-esque "We Gotta Get You a Woman"; and Linsdstrøm's fellow Norway native Nikolaisen, from the band Serena-Maneesh, tends to favor a squalling, swirling, “rock & roll chamber of magic” (as he's put it). But think about it again, and it begins to make sense: Lindstrøm's 2012 LP, Six Cups of Rebel, was a dizzying and dense set of progressive electronics, while for much of the ’70s, via albums like A Wizard, A True Star and Initiation, along with early work with his combo Utopia, Rundgren was one of the standouts of the then-burgeoning progressive-rock world—making them both well-suited to mesh with Nikolaisen's tripped-out sonics.

It's an idea that's so crazy, it just might work—and thus, we have the trio's sprawling Runddans, a utterly unhinged joyride of an album, with Rundgren's mellifluous vocals and shredding guitar anchored by the maximalist glee of Lindstrøm and Nikolaisen's studio shenanigans. On the eve of the album's release—it comes out May 5 on Smalltown Supersound—we reached Lindstrøm by the phone at his Oslo home.

Runddans-Rundgren, Lindstrøm, Nikolaisen

Had you been a Todd Rundgren fan before this project began?
Not really—I wasn’t very aware of his music at all. Actually, I think I always used to get him mixed up with Nils Lofgren! To me, they were both just kind of like these ’70s American music guys, and I didn’t really pay attention. That wasn’t really my thing.

But you had discovered him at one point—in interviews when Six Cups of Rebel came out, you name-checked him as one of the influences for that album.
Yes, I did finally discover him, and I was happy that I did. I really respect both his experimental side, and his beautiful pop-music side. And when he combines those two, in one album or even one song, that’s when he’s the best. Some of his mid-’70s albums are pretty amazing. They are a great mixture of experimentation and beautiful songwriting.

Have people seemed surprised when they find out about this collaboration?
When people have been asking what I’ve been doing, I tell them that I’m collaborating with Emil Nikolaisen, and most Norwegian people actually know who he is, and they regard him as a really respected musician. But most Norwegians don’t really know who Todd Rundgren is—so I guess they are not really surprised. [laughs] They’re like, “Todd who?” Some music heads do know him, though, and for them it does seem to make sense, at least if they think about it a little bit.

What was the genesis of this project? I’m guessing that you and Emil already knew each other, and Todd had done that remix of “Quiet Place to Live”—but it’s a big step from that to doing an entire album together.
Yeah, you’re right! The remix was really the start, though. Before then, I didn’t know Todd at all, and Emil didn’t know him either. But after the remix, three years ago, Smalltown Supersound invited him over to give a lecture at this music conference that happens every February. He ended up doing some live shows when he was here, and he also wanted to do some work in the studio, and so we proposed that we all meet in the studio. This was nothing very planned—he was just up for doing something. Emil and I prepared a couple of things for us to work on—and it just took off from there, really. But in the beginning, we were really just fooling around. After we started working on it, we thought we might have something more. We started visualizing it as an album with a lot of drama, one that tells a story.

That was three years ago? I had no idea that this album was so long in the making.
I think that the length of time it took benefited the album. Todd is living in Hawaii, and Emil has been working a lot in the U.S., so there was a lot of sending files back and forth. And there was a lot of trying different things, and a lot of cutting and pasting—which I guess you can here on the final result. [laughs] But because we spent all that time, we ended up with a lot of really interesting postproduction stuff. A lot of that happened in the last year…and even in the last month.

Other than that initial session, were you ever all in the same place at the same time?
Well, in that initial session, we were really productive and recorded a lot of stuff, and we used a lot of that all through the album. But other than that, it’s been a lot of Todd recording stuff in his studio in Hawaii and sending it over. There are a lot of files, which is one of the reasons why it took so long.

There might have originally been a lot of files—but you are presenting this as one long track, split into different sections.
That’s right. It’s really one piece of music, but we did have to split it up into smaller pieces in order to be able to look at it more clearly. We tried to make it as interesting as possible.

You've certainly succeeded with that. What’s the reaction been like so far?
I haven’t really played it to too many people yet, just a few bits and pieces here and there. The reaction to that has been good, but I think you really have to hear the whole album to get the full effect.

And you really have to listen to it to get that full effect. It’s definitely not background music.
Yeah, it’s not the kind of album that you put on and do some work while it’s playing; you really have to concentrate, I think. And you’ll get different things out of it every time you listen—there are a lot of musical references to Todd’s past, for instance, and all kinds of things that are important to us, and that we hope listeners will enjoy as well. So, basically, it’s serious listening music.

The record definitely comes across as an amalgamation of your various sounds, too. One can hear a lot of Utopia-era Todd in there, along with parts that sound a bit like his A Wizard, a True Star period; one can hear both your cosmic-disco side and your Six Cups of Rebel side; and then there are influences from Serena-Maneesh I there as well.
We did want to make the album sound like it was equal parts, Todd, Emil and me; we wanted it to be perceived that way from the start.

You mentioned before that you wanted the album to tell a story. Can you explain what that story is?
I think you’d really have to ask Todd that one! He’s the one responsible for the words. But Emil and I thought about the album as being a life cycle, from birth to death. And the chords are constructed that it’s cyclic so that the last chord in every section is the same as the first chord in the next section. So basically, it’s about cycles. [laughs] But Todd has said that he regards it as the beginning and end of all music, or something like that. But personally, I always like to leave interpretation to the listener, rather than try to explain it.

What was Todd like to work with?
He was totally amazing, like the greatest guy ever. He’s really positive. He still looks forward, rather than just looking back all the time—which is amazing for somebody who’s been doing music as long as he has. Emil and I actually got to go to Hawaii a few months ago, and got to spend a lot of time with the Rundgrens, which was such a nice experience.

He’s has such a way with a melody, and though I’m not sure who was responsible for the melodies on this record, they really shine on this release.
That was him. I’m really happy with the way that worked out. The catchy melodies, if you can say it like that, work really well against the weird, experimental music that backs it. And that’s the way I think about Todd Rundgren—pop melodies and experimental music. And it’s the same with Emil. If you listen to his music, there’s usually a really nice pop song as the core element of a track, but there’s always a lot of noise and weird stuff, too. He’s an amazing musician. They’re both big heroes of mine, and it was an honor to work with them.

And they might feel the same about you, I suspect.
I’m not sure about that…but I do hope there is mutual respect, at least. [laughs] We’re all extremely happy with the way the record came out, and I really think it’s the thing that I’ve done that I’m most proud of.

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Acid Mondays "Chi Ka Pasa (Dub Mix)" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/acid-mondays-chi-ka-pasa-dub-mix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/acid-mondays-chi-ka-pasa-dub-mix/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 16:29:04 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90600 Earlier this week, Acid Mondays released their latest EP, Chi Ka Pasa, via Timo Maas's Rockets & Ponies label. The five track EP features one new original, with Acid Mondays also presenting a 5D mix and a Dub mix of "Chi Ka Pasa." Ion Ludwig joins the duo on the EP, providing his touch to the track with two remixes, the percussive "Progmix II" and the hazy "Progmantra Mix," with the former being a vinyl exclusive and the later, digital. Acid Mondays' Dub mix—also a digital exclusive—hones in on the low end, with twisted vocals and slicing percussion running wild atop a bone-shaking bassline and dubby chords. You can download the Dub mix of "Chi Ka Pasa" below, with the full EP available to purchase here.

Chi Ka Pasa (Dub Mix)

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Seven Davis Jr Announces Debut LP for Ninja Tune; Streams Lead Single http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/seven-davis-jr-announces-debut-lp-for-ninja-tune-streams-lead-single/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/seven-davis-jr-announces-debut-lp-for-ninja-tune-streams-lead-single/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 14:40:48 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90597 LA-based vocalist and producer Seven Davis Jr has unveiled details of his debut long-player, which will see a summer release via Ninja Tune. As Resident Advisor reports, the album undertakes themes of freedom, integrity, and self-improvement, and is (in Davis' own words) about "finding your place. Knowing yourself. Being where you belong." Universes follows from recent 12"s on Ninja Tune and FunkinEven's Apron label, and features guest appearances from Bristol's Julio Bashmore, fLako, and Kutmah, who oversaw the release of Davis' The Lost Tapes Vol. 1 on his own IZWID imprint.

Before Universes lands on July 24, lead single "Sunday Morning" is available to stream below, where we've also included the album's complete tracklist.

01. Imagination
02. Freedom
03. Sunday Morning
04. Everybody Too Cool
05. Good Vibes feat. Julio Bashmore
06. Be A Man feat. fLako
07. Fighters
08. Afterlife feat. Kutmah
09. No Worries
10. Welcome Back

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Hi-Five: Mike Simonetti's Pale Blue Releases a Heavenly New LP, The Past We Leave Behind http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/hi-five-mike-simonettis-pale-blue-releases-a-heavenly-new-lp-the-past-we-leave-behind/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/hi-five-mike-simonettis-pale-blue-releases-a-heavenly-new-lp-the-past-we-leave-behind/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 13:30:44 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90470 He's been a fixture on the scene in the New York area for years—but if non-Gotham-dwelling XLR8R readers are familiar with Mike Simonetti at all, it's most likely due to his association with Italians Do It Better, the label he started with Johnny Jewel in 2006 that made its name by trading in icy-cool, ’80s-glazed synthetic disco that dripped with attitude. (He also ran the the more subterranean-rock–oriented Troubleman Unlimited, home to Wolf Eyes, Zola Jesus, Rye Coalition, and Shotmaker—among many, many others—from the mid-’90s through the mid-’00s.) But time marches on: Simonetti has parted ways with Italians Do It Better, started the 2MR label with Mike Sniper from Captured Tracks, and formed the Pale Blue combo with Elizabeth Wight of Silver Hands. And now the results of those endeavors are in, as Pale Blue has just released a glorious debut album, The Past We Leave Behind, on 2MR. It's a swooning, swooping, dream-time confection, dripping with arpeggio runs, synth washes, gauzy textures and gently motorik rhythms, brimming with emotion and, on tracks like "Myself" and "Grace,"  approaching something like sublime beauty.

But there's another side to Simonetti, a side that's a bit more less polished and a hell of a lot more gritty, one that's hinted at by his association with some of the leaner and meaner bands on the Troubleman roster: In the ’80s, Simonetti was a member in good standing of New York's then-burgeoning hardcore-punk scene.  And so we present to you: "Mike's top five late-’80s NYHC bands who should have never recorded a record because their demo was perfect."

Krakdown (1987 demo)

The 1987 demo is untouchable and probably the pinnacle of late ’80s NYHC.  The demo bleeds with intense rage and sloppy aggression and all that awesome shit everyone likes about NYHC.  Its like if Void were from Queens.  Jason Krakdown is the ultimate NYHC frontman and he  deserves a shrine in his honor—perhaps outside the location of the Lismar Lounge? Plus he gets bonus points for fucking with Metallica at that CBGB show…the absolute best. I played this demo so much the tape broke, and i used some scotch tape to put it back together.  P.S.: The Krakdown 7" wasn't that bad, but their demo was perfection.  When the 7" came out, I never listened to it.

Breakdown (the demos)

Every demo by this band is incredible. They go hand in hand with Krakdown as far as being the best NYHC band of their day. Hardest shit ever. They had their graffiti game on point (bricks, angry giant skinhead moshing through NYC, etc). To this day you hear bands copying their style. They pretty much invented a genre.… Oh, and also because of this lyric: "I like to see a street fight/especially when it's on a weeknight/I dont care who's wrong or who's right/I just wanna see a street fight/Walking down the street with my Big Mac/out of nowhere someone gets whacked/I dont care if you're white or black/Start the violence, fuck the facts/I dont care who's wrong or who's right/I just wanna see a street fight"

Supertouch (live on WNYU's Crucial Chaos—St Patrick's Day 1988)

Yo, whats up everyone! This isnt a demo per se, but I dont think Supertouch ever made a demo. The 7" was sub par and the LP was pretty awful. I dont think Mark Ryan ever had his vocals recorded properly. But this NYU session…fucking incredible. If Supertouch released this on vinyl in 1988 they would have been bigger than Jesus. The drums sound like cardboard boxes and Mark sounds angry as hell. I used to record Crucial Chaos on my sisters tape deck in her room every Thursday. I had to use her room because her stereo was in the exact position where i could get reception without any static. One day my mother did some cleaning in her room and moved her stereo…it took me hours to find that sweet spot.

Raw Deal (demo)

When the Killing Time LP came out, I wasn't into it. It was too clean sounding, too metal. The Raw Deal demo has so many hits. And of course, the raw demo quality makes is sound even more honest and intense. Also the Breakdown connection doesnt hurt either (they shared members). Take Breakdown's mosh parts with a more straight-ahead NYHC approach and you have a legendary demo. Hard as shit music made by a bunch of Italian guys from the outer boroughs.

Outburst (demo)

Fuckin' loved Outburst. But definitely a weird bad to see live. They all looked so young compared to the other bands that payed CBGBs, and the singer was this little long-haired hippie looking guy, but he had this thick New Yawk accent…and the music was heavy as hell and raw and aggro. The guitar tone was so ahead or its time. That guitar player was way underrated. Imagine a mix between Discharge and Breakdown.. They should've been much more popular than they were. But then again, their 7" sucked so maybe that's why.

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Ital Returns to Gang of Ducks http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/ital-returns-to-gang-of-ducks/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/ital-returns-to-gang-of-ducks/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 10:54:15 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90587 Lovers Rock label head and former XLR8R podcast contributor Ital (a.k.a. Daniel Martin-McCormick) will make his proper debut on Italian label Gang of Ducks in June, following a remix of Sabla's "Spirits" from earlier this year. The upcoming EP, entitled Toxic Work Environment, arrives in the wake of the Brooklyn-based producer's 2014 LP Endgame on Planet Mu, and features a remix by Gang of Ducks regular G.O.D. Juno Plus reports that the record builds on Endgame's "dark precision and oozing paranoia," yielding five "vicious dancefloor weapons."

Toxic Work Environment is due out on June 1, and while no official previews have been shared as of yet, the EP's artwork and tracklist are on view below.


1. Syndrome
2. Toxic Work Environment
3. Canker Sore
4. The Citadel
5. The Citadel (G.O.D. Rework)

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LHF Readies New EP for Keysound http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/lhf-readies-new-ep-for-keysound/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/lhf-readies-new-ep-for-keysound/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 10:02:43 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90584 London collective LHF will return to Dusk and Blackdown's Keysound label in June with a new record, entitled From the Edge. The EP marks the elusive crew's first official outing since its 2012 long-player, Keepers of the Light, and (as Resident Advisor reports) follows from a series of numbered EPs put on pause after 2011. The four tracks on offer feature previously recorded vocals from jungle mainstays Ragga Twins, which were reportedly sourced "from an unlikely source dating back many years" and used with the Twins' permission. LHF member Double Helix handles production on the EP, with assistance from Low Density Matter and Lumin Project.

Before From the Edge lands on June 1, lead cut "Fugese" can be streamed below, where we've also included the EP's complete tracklist.

01. Fugese feat. Ragga Twins
02. Exodus feat. Lumin Project & Ragga Twins
03. 2000 Dust feat. Low Density Matter & Ragga Twins
04. Street Wise feat. Ragga Twins

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Sónar Announces the Premiere of RGB|CMY Kinetic http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/sonar-announces-the-premiere-of-rgbcmy-kinetic/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/sonar-announces-the-premiere-of-rgbcmy-kinetic/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 00:42:57 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90539 SonarPLANTA is a joint initiative between Sónar and the Sorigué Foundation, which aims to promote and celebrate experimentation in the arts, especially those around technology and new media art. This year will be the second edition of SonarPLANTA, with ART+COM presenting the kinetic light installation RGB|CMY Kinetic; which is currently being produced in Berlin. RGB|CMY Kinetic is both a sculpture suspended in the air and a choreography of light, with the third element in the project being sound. Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds will create two tracks for the installation, one which will draw from the data stream generated by the movement of the sculpture’s elements and a separate composition abstractly representing movement.

You can check the installation plan below, along with a video of a previous installation by ART+COM.


Symphonie Cinétique – The Poetry of Motion, 2013 from ART+COM on Vimeo.

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