XLR8R http://www.xlr8r.com Accelerating music & culture Fri, 01 May 2015 22:44:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 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.

Tropique

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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.

italart_043015

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.

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

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Kutiman Presents Thru-You-Too - Remixes, Launches Multimedia Website http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/kutiman-presents-thru-you-too-remixes-launches-with-multimedia-website/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/kutiman-presents-thru-you-too-remixes-launches-with-multimedia-website/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 22:26:05 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90527 Celebrated musician and video artist Kutiman first launched Thru-You 5 years ago, which saw the artist slicing and combining existing musical elements of unrelated musicians on YouTube to great acclaim. Following up Thru-You is Thru-You-Too, which uses the same methodology to present 6 tracks ranging from R&B flecked pieces, to more soul and groove focused outings. In a quest to capture Thru-You-Too's spirit of diversity and multi-cultural genre merging, Kutiman has enlisted 10 producers, all from different countries and musical backgrounds, to remix tracks from his ground-breaking release. Some of the producers and musicians involved in the project include Free The Robots, Red Axes, and Rejoicer.

The project has launched with a multi-media website, which presents the artists involved and provides streaming for each remix. You can check out the website here, with a full stream of Free The Robots remix of "Give It Up" below.

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BuRu "Others (Rekord 61 Remix)" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/buru-others-rekord-61-remix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/buru-others-rekord-61-remix/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:04:51 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90511 Next month, the Berlin based Konstruktiv imprint will release the new EP from emerging producer BuRu called Fitting The Pattern. The EP is full of lo-fi tinged textures, booming drums, and moaning synths, and features a measured, mature techno sound, with support from the likes of Spencer Parker, Perc, and Radio Slave. The five-tracker also arrives with a remix from label boss, Rekord 61, who turns in an acid-soaked rework of the syncopated original, twisting and looping the vocal sample on top of an engulfing low end. Fitting The Pattern will see release on May 18 and in the meantime, you can download the Rekord 61 remix of "Others" below.

Others (Rekord 61 Remix)

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Premiere: Listen to Mirko Loko's Upcoming LP for Cadenza http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-listen-to-mirko-lokos-upcoming-lp-for-cadenza/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-listen-to-mirko-lokos-upcoming-lp-for-cadenza/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 16:29:24 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90461 Six years on from his debut album, Swiss producer Mirko Loko is set to return to Cadenza Music with his new LP, Comet Plan, next month. Ahead of the release on May 4, Mirko's forthcoming album is now streaming in full exclusively on XLR8R.

Comet Plan is a captivating and engrossing effort, with the 12 tracks on offer spanning all manner of house and techno, while forming a cohesive whole. "Get Down" opens things beautifully, gliding along with deeply layered atmospherics, synth phrases, and vocal samples, perfectly setting the scene for the blissed out ride ahead. From there, the album paces itself through the multi-colored landscape of "Venus" and the undeniable party vibe of "U Special," before slowing down to make way for the 10 minute epic, "Kolor." In the back half, things get slightly darker with "Angelis" and "Danger" complementing the glistening beginning.

Officially released on May 4 via Cadenza Music, Mirko Loko's Comet Plan can be streamed in full exclusively on the player below.

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Nina Kraviz Announces трип Double Pack, Shares Track http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/nina-kraviz-announces-%d1%82%d1%80%d0%b8%d0%bf-double-pack/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/nina-kraviz-announces-%d1%82%d1%80%d0%b8%d0%bf-double-pack/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 16:12:45 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90508 Nina Kraviz has announced the second multi-artist double-pack on her label трип titled De Nero Is Concerned. Following on from The Deviant Octopus, the release will see the return of a few of the artists, with new tracks from Steve Stoll, Bjarki and Parrish Smith, with Kraviz and Exos also releasing their first collaboration. New artist additions will come in the form of Tape Records co-founder Deniro, Nikita Zabelin, and Barcode Population. Like The Deviant Octopus, De Nero Is Concerned takes its name from a dream scenario imagined by Kraviz, with the release being conceived and programmed as a soundtrack.

De Nero Is Concerned will be released on 2x12" vinyl on May 18, with a stream of Deniro's "Dumans" below; along with a full tracklisting.

Tracklisting:

A1 Bjarki - Revolution
A2 Deniro - Dumans
B1 Barcode Population - Barcode Population
B2 Kraviz & Exos - No Criminals
C1 Parrish Smith - L'Importance De Doute
C2 Steve Stoll - D.U.M.B.O.
D1 Nikita Zabelin - Rush
D2 Deniro - Organezized
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Piknic Electronik Unveils First Wave of Artists http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/piknic-electronik-unveils-first-wave-of-artists/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/piknic-electronik-unveils-first-wave-of-artists/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:38:20 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90504 Innovative Montreal summer party Piknic Electronik has announced the first wave of artists to play at this years edition. Launching on May 17, the weekly event has unveiled the first 14 parties to run through until June 26. Kicking things off will be the inaugural double weekend featuring Mano Le Tough and The Drifter on Sunday, and Heidi and Maya Jane Coles on Monday. Also included in the first wave is Scuba, South London Ordnance, My Favourite Robot, and Damian Lazarus; in addition to a host of local talents including Jacques Greene, Maher Daniel, and Iron Galaxy.

You can check out the full 2015 Piknic Electronik program in the video below and head here for more info.

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Q&A: The Orb's Alex Paterson http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/qa-the-orbs-alex-paterson/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/qa-the-orbs-alex-paterson/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 12:01:11 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90424 It's always a bit dicey to describe an artist or act as "unique"—anything that we can think of has been thought of before, probably many times over. But for more than a quarter of the century, there probably hasn't been much to compare to the Orb, , the groundbreaking combo that’s been making dubbed out, rubbery, sample-happy, goofily trippy ambient dance music since the late ’80s. The Orb’s history is far too byzantine to recount in its entirety, but in simplified form, its goes something like this: Alex Paterson, a roadie for Killing Joke during the mid-’80s, first recorded as the Orb with Jimmy Cauty (from Killing Joke side project Brilliant and the Dada dance-music duo the KLF) and a slew of like-minded collaborators, including the prog-rock guitarist Steve Hillage, maverick bassist Jah Wobble and Killing Joke member/future superproducer Youth. The result: a slew of singular, iconic tracks that includes "A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre of the Ultraworld," "Little Fluffy Clouds," and "Blue Room."

The others eventually went their separate paths, but Paterson held on to the Orb name and continued his collaborative ways, first working with Fehlmann (the electronic-music experimentalist who was in the avant-garde dance act Palais Schaumburg, among many, many other claims to fame) in the early ’90s. The two have worked together, on and off, ever since, notably as full coproduction partners on 2005's Okie Dokie It's The Orb On Kompakt. (Talk about your literal album titles.…) In the ensuing years, Paterson has collaborated with dOrb KOM330_Sleeve_6mmSpine_gatefold.inddub pioneer Lee "Scratch" Perry and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour—but now, Paterson and Fehlmann are at the controls once again on the new Moonbuilding 2703 AD, coming out on Kompakt on June 22. In typical Orb style (if there is such a thing), it's another sprawling, cosmic and utterly appealing work, with four long tracks—three of them cracking the 14-minute mark—featuring names like "God's Mirroball" and "Moon Scapes 2073 BC." XLR8R caught up with Paterson as he and Fehlmann prepared for an extensive series of live dates, which sees the pair bringing their audiovisual extravaganza to the the Nevada desert's Further Future festival on May 1, and Lyon, France's Nuits Sonores gathering on May 16.

I was just relistening to my old copy of U.F.Orb, and it struck me how much of the DNA of the Orb’s early work runs through the new material, even though over two decades have passed since that record’s release.
I don’t know if I would put U.F.Orb into the same category as Moonbuilding, though I do think that’s a nice viewpoint that you’re looking from. Neither Thomas nor I had really intended on looking at our old material when we were putting this together. But we actually have been doing that over the past three years, playing a lot of old material to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Orb. We would play the entire U.F.Orb album or the entire Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld at various venues around the U.K., and found that we had a good time doing that kind of set.

You don’t think that kind of immersion in your older music had any effect on the production of the new album?
No, I don’t think that it applies to the Moonbuilding album at all, really. But I can say that the making of Moonbuilding took an immense amount of time.

The subject matter, 5000 years of moon history, seems to cover an immense amount of time, too.
5000 years and then some! [laughs] It’s a concept album, in the sense that U.F.Orb is a concept album, or at least packaged in that kind of way. But if anything, the sheer length of the mashed-up ideas that went into this album would be more consistent with a release like "Blue Room," which we released as a 40-minute single.

Besides your long-form pieces like "Blue Room," you have experimented, at least around the edges, with pop music as well.
We’ve tried to interpret what pop is meant to be through the Orb. It’s very difficult, that one—pop music as it is, in it’s clichéd form, isn’t really for the Orb. But we do try.

And not to keep referencing the past, but sometimes you end up with pop gems like “Little Fluffy Clouds.”
That was an interesting one. We were forced to do many, many versions of “Little Fluffy Clouds”—which we refused to do for any major label. But, of course, that’s what we ended up doing, trying to find that pop formula. “Blue Room,” of course, didn’t fit that formula at all—but people went out and bought that record anyway, simply because they enjoyed it. The labels didn’t really understand that. We weren’t playing the same game that the majors were playing. We’ve always had our own fans, who seem to like the way we do things.

I certainly don’t think anybody has ever accused you of selling out to the industry or chasing pop stardom.
No, you’re probably right about that. [laughs] But I think I’ve earned some respect, and that’s enough. I’m happy with what I’ve done, and what the Orb has done, and what’s been achieved while staying true to what we are.

Part of what you are seems to include an affinity for sprawling psychedelia. I think that’s what I was referring to when I mentioned the Orb’s DNA earlier.
Well, all we can do is what we do, pretty much what it says on the tin. We can’t really pretend to do anything different, like whatever cool fad there is to be in. We’re way past that now. The whole idea was that we always want to do things that don’t sound like anyone else.

We have a unique approach to reaching our goal, which has nothing to do with sitting around with synthesizers.

I’d say you succeeded in that effort.
It’s always been that way, too. We didn’t want to sound like Underworld or Leftfield or the Prodigy. That’s not our ethos. And we’ll carry on doing this—perhaps through some even more extreme pieces of music, as we progress further along.

You’ve been working with Thomas Fehlmann, on and off, for many years now. Why do you think you two mesh so well together?

Thomas Fehlmann and Alex Paterson

Thomas Fehlmann and Alex Paterson

It’s because we both understand what we want to get out of music, and we understand how to achieve that. We have a unique approach to reaching our goal, which has nothing to do with sitting around with synthesizers. And therefore, every track might be surreally different from the last one—we don’t even save any sounds from whatever the last tune we made was, apart from maybe the bass end.

So I can assume there are no Orb sample packs out there for budding producers.
Sorry, there are not! We just start over all the time—like, “oh, no, it’s not hi-hat time again!” Every track is an adventure.

The deluxe-vinyl version of the release includes a J Dilla tribute track called “Dilla’s Moon Quake.” I wouldn’t have guessed you guys to be J Dilla fans—but after I thought about it for a bit, it made sense.
Yes, we have been fans. For me, it was Madlib that got me into J Dilla—I can remember listening to Madlib and scratching my head, going “Didn’t I use those samples myself?” Which I actually had. Progressively, I began to realize that we were trying out the same ideas, just coming at it from different directions. We were really making house music out of hip-hop beats on the first album, straight up. And Madlib was making hip-hop tunes out of…10cc! [laughs] That is the ultimate, really. And, of course, I love the work that J Dilla did with Slum Village and Common and the rest. Amazing work. Anyway, we were approached by J Dilla’s estate, and they gave us some cleared beats that had never been used before.

Nice!
Well, let’s say “hardly been used before.” [laughs] But we’re happy to have had a place to make use of them.

You have a pretty hefty tour schedule coming up. After doing this for so long, and being in a position where you could kind of rest on your laurels, why take on what I assume is a massive undertaking?
Well, there’s an energy thing that just comes along when you do something like this, I suppose. There should be, anyway!

Do you ever play any of your classic tunes in a live setting?
Occasionally. On our last gigs, we were playing “Towers of Dub,” for instance. “Fluffy,” we kind of play around with in a weird way—there’s “Golden Cloud,” that kind-of-version that we did with Lee “Scratch” Perry, with him giving it a large amount of “the skies are blue in Jamaica” stuff. But no, we don’t really do a greatest-hits show.

Nor would we expect you to.
But here’s something, a weird confluence: “Little Fluffy Clouds” is the same key and same BPM as the song that David Bowie did with Pat Metheny, “This is Not America.” And Pat Metheny played guitar on “Little Fluffy Clouds.”

What are the odds?
Yeah! How do you like me now? [laughs] Things get weird all the time.

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Dimensions Festival Announces Final Round of Artists http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/dimensions-festival-announces-final-round-of-artists/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/dimensions-festival-announces-final-round-of-artists/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 10:18:05 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90477 Today, Dimensions Festival released the final lineup for this years edition, adding some of electronic music's finest to the already bulging list of artists. Included in this final wave is Model 500 mastermind Juan Atkins, Âme, Boddika, Floating Points (DJ set), Objekt, Space Dimension Controller, Petar Dundov, and returning by popular demand, Underground Resistance presents Timeline live—the perennial favourites couldn't play their headline slot at last year's edition due to weather problems.

Dimensions Festival will also hold an opening concert on August 26, headlined by Four Tet (live), Little Dragon, and Floating Points (live), before the full program and festival kicks off August 27 and running until August 30. You can find information on tickets and the full lineup over at the Dimensions website.

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Lil Silva Streams New Track From His Forthcoming Drumatic EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/lil-silva-streams-new-track-from-his-forthcoming-drumatic-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/lil-silva-streams-new-track-from-his-forthcoming-drumatic-ep/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 21:21:44 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90448 London producer Lil Silva has shared another track from his forthcoming EP, Drumatic, to be released on May 10 on Good Years Records. The dancefloor focused EP finds Silva in fine form, melding ravey stabs, sharp vocal samples, and hard hitting percussion to devastating effect. Ahead of the full release, Lil Silva has shared the second track taken from the EP, "New Squeeze," which can be streamed in full below, along with the previously released "606."


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Outis Announces New EP From Luigi Tozzi, Shares Preview http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/outis-announces-new-ep-from-luigi-tozzi-shares-preview/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/outis-announces-new-ep-from-luigi-tozzi-shares-preview/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 20:43:14 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90426 In June, 23 year old Roman artist Luigi Tozzi will release his Calipso EP on Outis Music, the label headed up by techno icon Dino Sabatini. The four-tracker will come with three originals and a remix by Sabatini, and reflects the distinct style emanating from the Italian capital. Calipso will follow on from stellar releases from Claudio PRC & Ness, Modern Heads, and Edit Select, all adding to an enviable back catalogue from Outis.

You can hear previews of all four tracks from Calipso over at the newly launched Outis Music web store, with full tracklisting below.

Tracklisting:

A1 Calipso
A2 Ambrosia
B1 Nostos (Original)
B2 Nostos (Dino Sabatini Version)
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MUTEK Montreal Announces Final Program http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/mutek-montreal-announces-final-programming/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/mutek-montreal-announces-final-programming/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 17:02:33 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90409 As we approach the commencement of the 16th edition of MUTEK next month, the festival has announced the final stages and programming which will include the free outdoor stage EXPÉRIENCE, the nighttime experimental PLAY programs, and its daytime program DIGI_SECTION.

Running from Thursday to Sunday this year, the free outdoor EXPÉRIENCE stage will feature some heavyweights of the scene with Canadian hero Mathew Jonson joining Kode9, Adrian Sherwood, and Detroit techno master Dan Bell at the new Parterre location, which will see a substantial increase in capacity.

MUTEK has also announced DIGI_SECTION, a daytime program featuring a digital technology and music symposium, artist Q&As, panels, presentations, workshops and showrooms. Taking place at the Phi Centre from Tuesday, May 26 to Saturday, May 30, DIGI_SECTION will be focused towards music enthusiasts and creative professionals, with speakers, interviews and hands-on workshops from big names such as Ableton, littleBits Electronics, Roland, and Korg.

You can find more information on all of the above here, with the full lineup schedule for EXPÉRIENCE below; along with the MUTEK preview mix.

MUTEK2015PREVIEW004 by Mutek Montréal on Mixcloud

EXPÉRIENCE

Thursday, May 28 - 5:00pm: CMD (CA) / BASSILUS C (CA) / DROL. (FR) / MATHEW JONSON (CA)   Friday, May 29 - 5:00pm: RACINE (CA) / NEU BALANCE (CA) / PROJECT PABLO (CA) / KHOTIN (CA) / OJPB (CA)   Saturday, May 30 - 3:00pm: LUNATE (CO) / DÉBRUIT (BE) / NORTEC COLLECTIVE (MX) / MOON BUGGY (CA) / DEWALTA & SHANNON (DE/CA)   Sunday, May 31 - 3:00pm: ADRIAN SHERWOOD (UK) (DJ set) / DAN BELL (US) (DJ set) / KODE9 (UK) (DJ set) / +SURPRISE GUEST
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Lossy "Hackney Brook" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/lossy-hackney-brook/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/lossy-hackney-brook/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 16:21:41 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90376 Sam Sharp (a.k.a. Lossy) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer based in Hackney, London. Next month, Sharp will inaugurate his new label, Boot Cycle Audio, which is to be a home for the more electronic and experimental side to his Lossy moniker. Kicking off the label will be the River Solos EP, four tracks inspired by the London watercourses and performed as solo synthesiser pieces on the Korg Volca Keys. In support of the release, Sharp has sent over "Hackney Brook," an exclusive bonus track with beautifully layered textures befitting a track inspired by one of the subterranean rivers of London. You can download "Hackney Brook" below, along with a full stream of EP cut "River Thames"; with the full release coming on May 11 via Boot Cycle Audio.

Hackney Brook

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Stream the New EP by Nitsa Resident Shelby Grey http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/stream-the-new-ep-by-nitsa-resident-shelby-grey/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/stream-the-new-ep-by-nitsa-resident-shelby-grey/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:22:10 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90399 Shelby Grey, whose tracks "Glow In The Dark" and "Give Your Love" have previously been featured in XLR8R's Downloads section, has just dropped a new three-track EP via the Holographic People imprint. Ascension finds the Barcelona DJ/producer and resident of the city's storied Nitsa night on somewhat darker form than usual, with hypnotic arps, humming bass and distorted voices among the record's most notable ingredients. The EP came out yesterday on Holographic People, and can be streamed in full on the player below.

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Podcast 384: Zenker Brothers http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/04/podcast-384-zenker-brothers/ http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/04/podcast-384-zenker-brothers/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 13:48:59 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90365 We here at XLR8R love no-nonsense names, and Munich, Germany's Zenker Brothers fit the bill on that count—Dario and Marco are indeed brothers, and Zenker is their real given surname. (None of that Wighnomy Brothers or Aphex Twin fake-sibling business for these guys.) We also love no-nonsense (and hot) music, and that's just what the brothers, who run the rather magnificent Ilian Tape label, specialize in: sometimes tough, often atmospheric and always compelling techno, leavened with more than enough rubbery playfulness, dubbed-out weirdness and plain old funk to keep things extremely interesting. (We also loved their recent album, Immersion—read our review here.) Talented DJs and producers as individuals, the two joined forces as a single entity back in 2011—but with the new album, an upcoming DJing schedule to die for and the continued ascendency of their label, we have a feeling that 2015 is going to be Dario and Marco's year. Therefore, we figured it was high time to host an Zenker Brothers set, which the pair have thoughtfully put together through the magic of an all-vinyl mixing session. We love it, even more than we love their nomenclature.

Video: Zenker Brothers discuss their XLR8R podcast

Podcast 384: Zenker Brothers by Xlr8r on Mixcloud

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Laurent Garnier's Book Electrochoc Being Made Into Film http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/lauren-garniers-book-electrochoc-being-made-into-film/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/lauren-garniers-book-electrochoc-being-made-into-film/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:43:24 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90396 As reported over on Resident Advisor, Laurent Garnier's book Electrochoc is being turned into a feature film. The book charts the history of dance music and features contributions from Jeff Mills, James Murphy and François K, among others. It was first published in French in 2003, and an English translation is to be released, at long last, on July 2. Details are thin on the ground as regards the film project, but Garnier, a previous contributor to XLR8R's 20 Questions series, is understood to be co-writing the script, and filming is to begin later this year.

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Premiere: Watch a New Video from Drew Lustman http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-watch-a-new-video-from-drew-lustman/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-watch-a-new-video-from-drew-lustman/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 11:47:24 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90392 Earlier this month, Brooklyn producer Drew Lustman ditched his Falty DL pseudonym and "the connotations and associations" surrounding it to release a rugged yet graceful album named The Crystal Cowboy on Planet Mu. Now Lustman has exclusively shared with XLR8R a sun-bleached, flickering video for LP track "Wolves," which is pitched as "Drew's melodic take on dub techno, building crunchy, rolling drums and shivery chords." The video, directed by Lee Skinner, can be viewed below, while the full album is available now via Planet Mu.

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Fur Coat Returns to Crosstown Rebels With New EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/fur-coat-returns-to-crosstown-rebels-with-new-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/fur-coat-returns-to-crosstown-rebels-with-new-ep/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 22:45:17 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90370 Sergio Munoz and Israel Sunshine (a.k.a. Fur Coat) will release their latest EP, Berlin Chronicles, next month on Crosstown Rebels. You might have heard the tracks popping up in Fur Coat sets of late, with the duo testing the waters since BPM to great effect. "We’ve worked on the EP since coming back from BPM Festival in Mexico and have been hammering the tracks in every show." The duo explains, "We feel each track has a real identity that fits amazingly well in our dj sets, creating some incredible moments on the dancefloor. The sound of this record is slightly different and one we feel super excited about. We believe it shows a slightly different, much techier and melodic side to our production. It’s just the starting point for our music this year."

The three track EP will see release on 12" on May 18, with a Beatport exclusive following that on May 25.

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Premiere: Stream the New Seb Wildblood & Apes EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-stream-seb-wildblood-apes-new-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-stream-seb-wildblood-apes-new-ep/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 18:12:26 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90359 At the end of May, Church co-founders, Seb Wildblood & Apes, will release their latest split EP, Noshi/Mortimer Road, via the Skint imprint. The EP also features the vocal stylings of Phantasy affiliate Kelly Lee Owens, who joins Seb on "Noshi," adding her soothing voice to the bubbly, sunshine tinged affair. On the flip side, Apes provides a more dancefloor focused outing with "Mortimer Road," melding repeated vocal samples with an eerie synth line and sharp percussion. The EP follows on from Seb's Barcelona/Blue Colour EP on Skint, which also featured Apes on remix duties.

Noshi/Mortimer Road can be streamed in full below, with the EP seeing release on May 23—preorder here.

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Maxime Dangles "Sughar" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/maxime-dangles-sughar/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/maxime-dangles-sughar/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 16:27:10 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90352 French producer Maxime Dangles was last featured on XLR8R mid last year with his track "Unversal," a deep, hypnotic techno cut pulled from his Conduktion EP which saw release via the Dunsciat label in August. Early next month, Maxime will release his debut LP, Résilience, a 13-tracker to be released on Skryptom which also features a remix from Soma label heads SLAM. In support of his new LP, Maxime has offered up his track "Sughar," which opens with a booming low end and throbbing chords, before being punctuated by rolling, rattling percussion. You can download "Sughar" for free below, with a preview stream of Résilience also available.

Sughar

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Machinedrum Releases DJ Rashad Tribute EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/machinedrum-releases-dj-rashad-tribute-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/machinedrum-releases-dj-rashad-tribute-ep/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:34:09 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90349 Over the weekend, Machinedrum released Movin' Forward, a tribute EP dedicated to the late Chicago footwork figurehead DJ Rashad. As Resident Advisor reports, the record contains a couple of Travis Stewart's unreleased collaborations with Rashad and fellow Teklife crew member DJ Spinn, plus guest appearances from Nick Hook and Taso. All proceeds from the EP, available for purchase on Bandcamp here, will be directed to Rashad's family and estate. Meanwhile, a complete tracklist, along with Stewart's words on Rashad and the making of the EP, can be found below.

"DJ Rashad was, is and will forever be a legend. Not only was he a footwork and juke pioneer, but also one of the hardest working DJs and producers I've ever met. The dude really never stopped working. He was either globetrotting and spreading the sound of Chicago around the world or in the lab pushing himself to expand his sound further and further. On April 26, 2014 the world lost one of the most inspiring and talented artists of our time. His spirit moves through Teklife, the dancers, his friends, and everyone he has touched or influenced.

Over the past few years I've been lucky enough to collaborate with Rashad and even be remixed by him. The tracks were never completely finished and seemed impossible to finish after he passed. Eventually I mustered up enough courage to open the sessions and finish them. It is what Rashad would have wanted me to do.

Movin' Forward is a collection of those collaborations plus two exclusive unreleased Machinedrum tracks that were heavily inspired by Rashad and the Teklife crew. I called it Movin' Forward because I know Rashad wants everyone he touched to keep pushing themselves and follow in his footsteps on the path he had been creating all these years. I'm proud to have known him, shared the stage with him and to have collaborated with him. May his sound and spirit continue to inspire and spread through everyones speakers! Teklife to tha next life!"

01. DJ Rashad, Machinedrum & Nick Hook - Understand
02. Machinedrum - All I Really Want
03. DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn & Machinedrum - The Flow
04. Machinedrum - The $$$
05. Machinedrum - SeeSea (DJ Rashad & Taso Remix)

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Allies for Everyone Atonement EP http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/04/allies-for-everyone-atonement/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/04/allies-for-everyone-atonement/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:00:55 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90319 Brian Suarez first rose to fame, or a certain level thereof, as the instigating force behind Gater, an electroclash-era NYC outfit that stood out from its contemporaries for its subdued take on the sound’s often angular version of synthesized dance music. Many in that early-’00s scene adopted a willfully cynical, heavily eyelinered, campy-punky attitude of detachment; Suarez and his music, on the other hand, came off as charming, and even a bit cuddly. (One Gater concession to the scene’s eccentric demands was to feature vocalists named Chesty Morganstein and Her.) His current project, Allies For Everyone, is still imbued with that aura of innocence that he’s always cultivated in his music—but his latest release, the Atonement EP on Blindfold Recordings, sees Suarez straying ever so slightly from his pop-tinged, glimmer-house comfort zone toward something with a touch more darkness flowing through it.

Of course, that’s not to say that you’re like to hear Adam X or any of the Sandwell District alumni dropping Atonement’s tracks into their sets: There still aren’t many sharp edges to Suarez’s music, and there’s an alluring, dreamy feel running throughout the EP. But the typical Allies For Everyone mood, one of blurry-eyed optimism, has been replaced by a feeling of wistful melancholy. That’s particularly true of the title track; “Atonement” is a sigh of a tune, with Suarez’s breathy vocals (singing “I will stand as still as stone/I will make my darkest known/Everything that I've done wrong/ with this breath I will atone”) floating above a thick four-to-the-floor kick, sustained bass tones and synth washes, and an array of echoing pings and pongs. Danish producer Sivesgaard, on remix duty, accentuates the song’s melancholy via his remix’s gorgeously soaring keys, its cavernous effects giving his version a grandly opulent feel. Flipside cut “Walls,” meanwhile, will probably garner the most dancefloor action—it’s tonally similar to “Atonement,” but with acidic squelches in place of Suarez’s vocals, it’s a bit more menacing than most Allies material. It’s another strong piece of work for an artist who deserves more recognition.

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Premiere: Watch a New Video from Second Storey http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-watch-a-new-video-from-second-storey/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-watch-a-new-video-from-second-storey/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 13:37:57 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90345 London-based producer Alec Storey, who operates under the solo alias Second Storey, has shared a new video for "The Overview Effects (Parts 1 & 2)." Taken from his debut full-length Double Divide, which was released on the Fabric-affiliated Houndstooth label back in October, the track samples the voice of Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the sixth person to ever step foot on the moon. His heavily distorted narrative describes the so-called "overview effect": the phenomenon of looking at planet earth from a new, radical perspective. Video footage was taken from The Planetary Collective's mini-documentary The Overview Effect (available to watch in full here), and edits together shots of astronauts spinning in zero gravity with the earth floating below them.

A full stream of Double Divide can be heard here via XLR8R, and the video premiere for "The Overview Effects (Parts 1 & 2)" can be watched below.

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Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer Ready Album for Perlon http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/ricardo-villalobos-and-max-loderbauer-ready-album-for-perlon/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/ricardo-villalobos-and-max-loderbauer-ready-album-for-perlon/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:45:01 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90340 Just days after detailing an upcoming 12" for Frankfurt imprint Raum Musik, Ricardo Villalobos has revealed plans to release an album with modular synth specialist and founding member of the Moritz von Oswald trio, Max Loderbauer. The veteran Berlin producers have teamed up on past releases such as 2011's Re: ECM LP, but the forthcoming outing—entitled Safe in Harbour—finds them working under the newly adopted moniker Vilod. While little has been shared by Perlon by way of details, distributor Wordandsound describes the record as featuring "sensual syncopation and eruptive bass energy."

Safe in Harbour will see an official release via Perlon on June 15 in double-LP and CD formats, and a complete tracklist is on view below. (via Resident Advisor)

A1 Modern Hit Midget
A2 Safe In Harbour
B1 Mulpft
B2 Beefdes
C Zero
D1 Mosi Fud
D2 Surmansky Blow

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Watch a New Production Masterclass From Matthew Dear http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/watch-a-new-production-masterclass-from-matthew-dear/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/watch-a-new-production-masterclass-from-matthew-dear/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:38:34 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90334 Richie Hawtin's CNTRL tour is a college campus tour of the USA based around individuality and creativity in technology-based music. The tour features performances and lectures from some of the top names in electronic music including Chris Leibing, Dubfire, Matrixxman, and the man in question here, Matthew Dear. On the tour's first stop at the Berkley College of Music, the artist also known as Audion gives a 30 minute, in-depth masterclass touching on everything from his sound design approach to how he arranges his tracks, his workflow and studio tips, and how his hit 'Mouth To Mouth' was made. The full 30 minute masterclass from Dear and Point Blank can be watched below.

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Premiere: Hear Matthew Herbert Remix Sasha Siem's "Proof" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-hear-matthew-herbert-remix-sasha-siems-proof/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-hear-matthew-herbert-remix-sasha-siems-proof/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 19:16:07 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90311 British-Norwegian artist Sasha Siem released her highly anticipated debut album, Most of the Boys, through Blue Plum Records at the beginning of March. The album was produced by Bjork and Sigur Ros collaborator Valgeir Sigurðsson in Iceland, fusing her classical music background with her love of pop music. Pulled from the album is "Proof," a soft and haunting cut which will be released as a single and remix package titled See Through at the end of next month. Featuring in that package is Matthew Herbert's remix of "Proof," which keeps the haunting vocals of the original, but melds them with industrial-tinged percussion, floating pads, and a rumbling low end. You can stream Herbert's remix in full below, ahead of the single's full release on May 25.

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dubLoner ft Isaac Haile Selassie "Chairr Nawena (Kush Arora remix)" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/dubloner-ft-isaac-haile-selassie-chairr-nawena-kush-arora-remix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/dubloner-ft-isaac-haile-selassie-chairr-nawena-kush-arora-remix/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:26:06 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90302 Earlier this month, Kenneth James Gibson (a.k.a. [a]pendics.shuffle) released his latest EP under his dubLoner moniker on Adjunct Audio, the label he founded in 2005 with friend Konstantin Gabbro. The five track EP features two dubbed out originals, both featuring the vocal stylings of Isaac Haile Selassie, with the title cut "Chairr Nawena" receiving remixes from Boston's GYS, Kush Arora, and a club mix by dubLoner himself. Chairr Nawena will be Gibson and Selassie's third outing together, with the two previous seminal releases arriving on the now defunct de'fchild Records. We've been offered the remix by San Francisco based artist Kush Arora, who reworks the twisted vocals and atmospherics of the original into a more club-friendly framework adding rolling percussion and room-rattling bassline for maximum effect. You can pick up the Kush Arora remix of "Chairr Nawena" below, with the full EP available here.

Chairr Nawena (Kush Arora Remix)

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QRATES Starts Service for Small-Scale Vinyl Pressing http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/qrates-starts-service-for-small-scale-vinyl-pressing/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/qrates-starts-service-for-small-scale-vinyl-pressing/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:13:19 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90284 With vinyl booming, now is an apposite time for small labels to be putting out wax, but issues such as high minimum pressing amounts (300 to 500 typically), high costs, deadstock risks and the challenge of finding distribution partners are still making it a venture that's out of reach for many.

Japanese company QRATES has just launched a funding and pressing service that offers a solution to all this. In the company's own words, artists and labels using the service "can press vinyl from a minimum of 100 copies (additional copies can also be repressed), and by using the funding system they can collect preorders before they actually press their vinyl. The pressing will only begin when the designated amount of preorders is reached, meaning that there are no advance payments needed from artists and labels. Furthermore there are no dead stocks. The price of the vinyl can be set by the artists and labels, and the revenue will go directly into their pockets."

QRATES also offers a 3D design tool to simulate the vinyl, sleeve and labels prior to pressing, and the chance for users to sell previous releases in their own customized QRATES store. More information on the service can be found over at the QRATES website.

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Premiere: Stream a Track From the New Joe Le Bon LP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-stream-a-track-from-the-new-joe-le-bon-lp/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-stream-a-track-from-the-new-joe-le-bon-lp/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:54:46 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90294 Operating for over 16 years, Detroit label Moods & Grooves has amassed quite the back catalogue, releasing records from a stellar cast of artists including Kyle Hall, Mr. G, Theo Parrish, Rick Wade, Andres, and Kenny Dixon Jr. (a.k.a. Moodymann). In May, the influential imprint will add to that list with the new LP from veteran producer Joe Le Bon, who comes to the label with a soulful album full of intricate rhythms befitting a producer of his stature. Le Bon's House Music Love Music has managed to perfectly straddle the line between dancefloor prowess and home listening, with the 13 tracks on offer full of depth and emotion, but with a hard hitting backbone. It's a brilliant album which opens itself more and more with every listen.

House Music Love Music will be released on Moods & Grooves on May 4 and will be available here. Ahead of its release, you can stream album cut "Like Cotton Deep Orchestra" in full below.

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Matt Tolfrey Fabric 81 http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/04/matt-tolfrey-fabric-81/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/04/matt-tolfrey-fabric-81/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90253 More than a decade ago, Matt Tolfrey played the DJ set that would make the rest of his career. It was one in the presence of Fabric’s musical director, Craig Richards, at Nottingham’s influential and now sadly missed club, the Bomb, where Richards was playing a gig of his own. So impressed was he with Tolfrey’s skills that he called him up the next day and invited him to play a set in the famed Farringdon meat-packing factory. Since then the two have come together on many occasions, and now they finally make their relationship legit with Fabric 81.

Back then, Tolfrey was famed for playing late-night after-party sets that were more than a little wonky and left of center, but in the years since, he has very much become a headliner in his own right. Part of the reason for that is his ever-expanding Leftroom empire—it's a label and party series that has served the younger, newer end of the dance market, to be sure, and is one that has made stars of the likes of Laura Jones and Sam Russo. Rather than going in heavy on his cronies, though, Fabric 81 largely finds Tolfrey more intent on indulging the depths of his own personal taste rather than reaching for the music of his immediate peers.

That's both a blessing and a curse, because although there certainly are some brilliant records included along the way (none more so than the opener from Rednail Kidz), 25 tracks is rather too much to cram into 73 minutes for any of them to make a lasting impression. To his credit, the mixes themselves are super slick and quick, but many tracks are dropped in with a stark immediacy before the last one has even begun to resonate. Plenty have been edited down to just two or three minute snippets—the cumulative effect is hurried, almost tiring, because the rooted 4/4 kicks rarely rest or digress for even a moment.

There are knowing nods to his roots along the way, with razor sharp house cuts from Nottingham’s famed DiY crew and chief beat maker Nail included next to "geniuses of our time" such as Derrick Carter. There are also shades of the sort of minimal that informed the early part of Leftroom's output, as well as some reminders of his after-party days with freaky cuts like Tokyo XXX's "Soichi Terada," and a taste of current Tolfrey projects in the form of an edit done along side jozif as Kerb Staller. What this mix most reminds us, then, is that Tolfrey is as well-versed in classic sounds as he is a master of contemporary styles.

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Stream a Track From Terranova's Forthcoming New LP for Kompakt http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/stream-a-track-from-terranovas-forthcoming-new-lp-for-kompakt/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/stream-a-track-from-terranovas-forthcoming-new-lp-for-kompakt/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:53:32 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90281 Berlin pair Terranova's keenly awaited new album—their first since 2012's Hotel Amour—is due to drop next month on Kompakt. Ahead of that, the duo has shared a full stream of album track "Skin & Bones," a lush, sweeping cut that features guest vocals from Danish artists Lydmor & Bon Homme (Tomas Hoffding of WhoMadeWho, who previously featured on Terranova's 2012 summer anthem "Question Mark"). "Skin & Bones" can be streamed on the player below, while the Restless LP gets its full release on Kompakt on May 11.

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Mister Saturday Night Preps Two New 12"s; Preview Both Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/mister-saturday-night-preps-two-new-12s-preview-both-now/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/mister-saturday-night-preps-two-new-12s-preview-both-now/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:39:46 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90271 Mister Saturday Night has been a little quiet on the releases front of late, with its last outing having been more than six months ago now. In early May the redoubtable New York party-starters (and former XLR8R podcast contributors) will return to the fold twice over with same-day releases from longtime label associate Gunnar Haslam, and Nebraska, who is new to the label but has previously released on Rush Hour and Delusions of Grandeur, among others. Haslam's three-track Margareten EP is heady, night-drive fare, while Nebraska's Stand Your Ground four-tracker pulls together jazz and disco influences. Preview clips of both EPs can be streamed on the players below ahead of their release on May 5. Haslam's own contribution to XLR8R's podcast series, meanwhile, can be streamed and downloaded here.


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Pittsburgh Modular Announces the Patch Box Modular Effects Pedals http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/pittsburgh-modular-announces-the-patch-box-modular-effects-pedals/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/pittsburgh-modular-announces-the-patch-box-modular-effects-pedals/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 23:31:16 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90267 Modular synthesizer and accessories manufacturer Pittsburgh Modular has announced the launch of its Patch Box line of modular effects pedals. The Patch Box looks to redefine modular synthesis and the popular stomp box by creating unique patchable effects units. The Patch Box is available as a fully customizable, empty enclosure or as a pre-configured set of Complete and Core effects systems which include Time Box, Filter Box, Dwarf Box, and Phase Box. You can find more information on the Patch Box Enclosure here, which will begin shipping in May with a suggested retail price of $349. The Patch Box Complete and Patch Box Core systems will begin shipping in June and are outlined below.

Time Box Core - Suggested Retail Price $779
Time Box Complete - Suggested Retail Price $1,199

Filter Box Core - Suggested Retail Price $679
Filter Box Complete - Suggested Retail Price $1,199

Dwarf Box Core - Suggested Retail Price $799
Dwarf Box Complete - Suggested Retail Price $1,199

Phase Box Core - Suggested Retail Price $799
Phase Box Complete - Suggested Retail Price $1,019

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PAN Announces Debut Release From Lifted http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/pan-announces-debut-release-from-lifted/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/pan-announces-debut-release-from-lifted/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 21:01:22 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90261 Lifted is an ongoing collaborative project from Matt Papich (a.k.a. Co La) and Beautiful Swimmers' Max D, who will be releasing their debut album, 1, on PAN at the end of the month. A couple of the tracks from the album surfaced in Max D's XLR8R Podcast from last year, which had us hanging to hear more. The eight track LP showcases improvisations and experiments in leftfield techno and ambient, and was recorded in their respective hometowns of Baltimore and Washington DC. The pair also called on Gigi Masin, Motion Graphics, 1432 R co-founder Dawit Eklund, Jeremy Hyman, and Jordan GCZ (of Juju & Jordash) for contributions to the album, which will see release on April 27.

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Premiere: Hear The Acid Remix Young Magic's "Something In The Water" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-hear-the-acid-remix-young-magics-something-in-the-water/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-hear-the-acid-remix-young-magics-something-in-the-water/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 17:25:17 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90198 Today, Young Magic released Remixes Vol. 1, a pay-as-you-feel charity album which features contributions from artists such as Teebs, Doldrums, Matthewdavid, Roland Tings, and The Acid. All proceeds from the album will go to the Aboriginal Benefits Foundation, which was established by a group of individuals involved in Indigenous art and culture, with the aim of improving the well being of Aboriginal Australians. The ABF has a particular focus on supporting art, health and cultural projects with a connection to Aboriginal art and/or artists.

LA based trio The Acid rework "Something In The Water" into a peak time, acid tinged cut, which gradually builds into a huge crescendo of slicing synths and sharp percussion. You can stream the remix in full below, with the album available for purchase here.

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XIII "Racnid" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/xiii-racnid/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/xiii-racnid/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:31:10 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90244 We profiled Italian label Gang Of Ducks in our Get Familiar feature last October, shedding some light on imprint and artist collective who have been making some waves of late. The label has released records from artists such as Haf Haf, My Panda Shall Fly, and One Circle, and will add to that list in a few days when they drop the debut album from XIII. No [The Relative Effect of Explication] is an obscure journey created from modular synth jams, murky drums, and field recordings, with three of the nine tracks also featuring collaborations from "gang" members Traag, Vaghe Stelle, and Sabla, who help in delivering a picture of what the philosophy behind the label is. In support of the release, we've been gifted "Racnid," a bonus cut from XIII full of creepy modular atmospheres and synth work, which are offset by trudging drums and airy pads. It's an engaging and disorienting glimpse into the world of XIII and Gang Of Ducks. "Racnid" can be download for free below, with the full album available April 26 here.

Racnid

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"Tears": An Oral History http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/tears-an-oral-history/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/tears-an-oral-history/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:04:31 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90189 Just over one year on from the Frankie Knuckles's untimely death, the Defected label, in collaboration with Def Mix, is about to release a House Masters Frankie Knucklesretrospective of the Godfather of House's greatest tunes, House Masters: Frankie Knuckles on April 26. The compilation actually had its genesis before the beloved DJ-producer passed away; the project began in February 2014, with Frankie selecting the productions and remixes he wanted to be included on this look back on his none-more-influential career. (Check out a conversation between Knuckles and Defected head Simon Dunmore here.) In a nice touch, the comp is a charity release, with proceeds going to the new Frankie Knuckles Fund, established in partnership with the Elton John Aids Foundation. Also nice: The double-disc release's  track list, which boasts such stone-cold classics as "Your Love," "Baby Wants To Ride," and "The Whistle Song," along with Knuckles remixes of First Choice's "Let No Man Put Asunder," Alison Limerick's "Where Love Lives," Loose Ends' "Hangin’ On A String" and more. But one of the best cuts on the release—and in the minds of many, one of the most lushly beautiful house tracks ever produced—is "Tears."

Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, and Satoshi Tomiie

Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, and Satoshi Tomiie

Billed as "Frankie Knuckles Presents Satoshi Tomiie," the tune wasn't a Knuckles production, exactly. Tomiie, then 20 years old, laid down the instrumental tracks, while Knuckles directed the vocal session (with Robert Owens, then known mainly for his work with Larry "Mr. Fingers" Heard), supervised the mix, and served as a sort of executive producer; "he had a Quincy Jones type of role,” as Tomiie puts it. Whoever it's credited to, it's Classic Vocal version is one of the most stunningly soulful moments in house history, while a trio of David Morales rerubs on the flip helped cement that still-young artist as one of house's go-to remixers. Released on FFRR in 1989, it's music that reverberates to this day, and XLR8R was lucky enough to catch up with three of the principle players—Tomiie, Owens, and Def Mix den mother Judy Weinstein—to talk a bit about the tune's creation. (Note: When Robert Owens sings snippets of "Tears" to you over the phone…well, it's goosebumps time.)

Tomiie: House music was just being introduced into Tokyo back then, and only a few DJs knew about. I was a little familiar with house— not like a professional or anything, but I had been exposed to house before I met Frankie, and I knew who Frankie was. I was helping out with his first Japan tour ever, which I think was in 1987 or ’88. I was making the theme music for his series of parties, something that would play before he started his set or whatever. That’s how I got the opportunity to meet him. And he was forced to listen to my music. [laughs] He said something like, “This is really cool”—but back then, I couldn’t understand it at all. Somebody had to tell me, “Oh, he really likes what you do.” I thought he was just being nice, but then he said something like, “Oh, maybe we can do some records together.” Once I heard back, I was like “Whoa, really?” I mean, I was only 20 years old.
They invited me to come to New York, my first trip there. I brought a cassette with me. I was into Chicago house, but I was also into Detroit techno stuff as well. The cassette had one Detroit-style song, and one Chicago-style one. That was “Tears.” I had already done all the instrumental parts to “Tears” in my bedroom. I had named it that because of the way the one piano line reminded me of tears rolling down. Anyway, that was the one Frankie liked.

Weinstein: Frankie had this cassette with the instrumental on it, and he brought it by the office. I loved it right away—it was so beautiful. I wanted to find out who this Satoshi was, this guy who could make a song like this but was so young. After a while, when I had heard it a number of times, I suggested he put some vocals on it; there was a song hidden in those tracks.

Tomiie: I had been a fan of Mr. Fingers stuff, and Robert Owens sang on his tracks, so I said to Frankie, “It would be my dream if we could get Robert Owens could sing on this track. He was like, “No problem—I think I can hook that up.”

Weinstein: I probably would have suggested Teddy Pendergrass. [laughs] What can I say? It was a different era.

Tomiie: I was back to Tokyo, and I recorded all the instrumentation onto two-inch tape, and sent that back to New York—this was before the Internet, so that’s how you had to do it. That what Frankie and Robert used to record the vocal on.

Owens: I was in Chicago, and people were telling me, “Frankie Knuckles is looking for you.” I was like, “Really? What’s this all about?” And they said that he has this song that he wants you to sing on. He was playing in Chicago at Metro, the place above Smart Bar, so I came on down to hear what he had in mind. He said, “Oh I have this track that you might want to sing on.” I was like, “Okay, let me hear it,” and he played it in his set. I thought it was a nice track. Frankie said that they wanted to call it “Tears,” and I went home to write some lyrics. I just had to remember what I had heard; I didn’t get the actual backing track or anything, so I had to write it from memory. I wrote in about 15 minutes. Some lyrics I’ve written have been from personal experience; other lyrics, I’ve kind of gotten from talking to other people about their experiences. For “Tears,” I just wondered how I would feel if I really love someone and it wasn’t reciprocated.

Robert Owens

Robert Owens

I was staying with my mother and father at the time, and I showed them the lyrics, and they said, “That’s nice!” So I called Frankie and recited the lyrics, and told them they had the approval of my parents. He was like, “Well, that’s cool. Let’s fly you in to record them.” I sang my first take, and they thought it was too aggressive. [laughs] Which, with bigger labels, is often a problem. They want things to be radio-friendly, and not too emotional. I always think, well, why take the gospel out of gospel? But anyway, I gave them something a little bit more structured, and took the emotion out of certain areas. But not “drippin’ and droppin’” part or the “regretting nothing but the pain” part—they stayed in.

Weinstein: There was actually somebody else who song on it, too—the wife of [longtime NYC club kingpin] Steve Lewis. She was doing the “so many tears” part.

Owens: I think that Frankie or the record company wanted there to be two versions of the song, a female version and a male version. Frankie had Jennifer Lewis for the female version, but I think she was too nervous, so she just ended up doing that one little part on it in the beginning. She was a lovely girl.

Tomiie: After they were in the studio, I didn’t hear anything for a long time. I was wondering, okay, what’s happening? But then one day, a cassette arrived in the mail—and I heard it and just was like, oh, wow.

 Weinstein: It got signed to Pete Tong’s label, FFFR. It was a big deal back in the day, and they flew us all over to England. Photo shoots, meeting up with record people…it was a real priority record. It was really the beginning of Def Mix; its one of the songs that helped make Def Mix. And it’s still a classic Def Mix song.

Owens: I’m fortunate to still be here. And “Tears” is one of the reasons I am.

Tomiie: I was thinking, this was the best start of a career that could I could ever think of! I mean, this was the one of the first tracks that I had ever made. And it was all because of the magic of Frankie.

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