XLR8R http://www.xlr8r.com Accelerating music & culture Sat, 26 Sep 2015 05:26:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Premiere: Hear the Efdemin Remix of Andre Kronert’s “Into The Zone” http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-hear-the-efdemin-remix-of-andre-kronerts-into-the-zone/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-hear-the-efdemin-remix-of-andre-kronerts-into-the-zone/#comments Sat, 26 Sep 2015 03:24:16 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103430 One of the most reputable techno labels around, Stockholm LTD, is set to release EXU Reworked, a six-track remix EP from Andre Kronert that features some of the more superior underground techno producers out there today. XLR8R is pleased to bring you an exclusive cut from this devastating and ominous album, “Into the Zone (Efdemin Remix),” which is available for streaming below. Active and intricate, the track dips into a deep, dark ravine of rhythm and power that throws you into a club-like mentality with no time to waste. Featuring other remixes from artists such as Ed Davenport, Mannerfelt & Grindivk, Juan Sanchez, and Exu’s Flow, this is a remix album that you don’t want to miss.

Be sure to pre-order your copy by going here.

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Event Review: Horst Arts and Music 2015 http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/event-review-horst-arts-and-music-2015/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/event-review-horst-arts-and-music-2015/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 21:51:47 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102828 Championing a "diverse and broad" spectrum of both art and music, Horst, now in it’s second year, is one of the final festivals of the  summer and occupies a gratifying and ambitious space. While Horst is far from the only festival to supplement a selection of DJs with visual accompaniment, a night or two at the grounds of a 15th-century castle, deep within the rolling Belgian countryside, proved to be a relatively involving experience far different from the Instagram-friendly sculptures and brash installations found at larger events.

With just two stages on offer, the festival excels in quality, not quantity. This year’s Red Bull Music Academy stage was specially designed for its lakeside location by pioneering architectural duo Robbrecht and Daem, and its contemporary design acutely complemented both the understated rural setting and the drinks brand’s typical slickness. If you’re more used to partying in a rented circus big top, and the idea of hiring an architecture firm to contribute to a rave seems somewhat indulgent, consider that the main-stage program takes place in the heritage-protected courtyard of the castle itself. Larger festivals might operate a one-in-one out system at their most popular stages. At Horst, you only need to cross a moat.

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Horst COMP-25

Photo: Willem Govaerts

The Castle stage played host to the festival’s largely house-oriented contingent of DJs, and while the programming might not have been the most daring on the circuit, it was certainly satisfying to hear a series of Panorama Bar-friendly sets beneath the starry sky. And while Innershades' acid-flecked, Belgian rave sound has its place, it was Palms Trax who truly got things moving on a lighter note, despite foregoing his live set owing to unfortunate technical difficulties. Running Back founder Gerd Janson rolled out a typically pumping performance for Friday’s headline slot, flirting seamlessly between infectious, tracky house and more obscure disco, leaving Job Jobse to conclude the party, further making his case as a truly gifted and inviting selector. Although never less than friendly, Horst’s overall crowd was arguably more reserved than you might expect for a rural rave-up. Yet Jobse managed to leave the involved crew in front of the decks literally screaming for more, with a particularly enthusiastic girl so desperate for the Belgian equivalent of one more tune, she attempted to make her own final selection on the CDJs.

The RBMA stage dealt with the more bass-heavy fare—and it proved just as popular, if not more, than it’s more 4/4–oriented neighbor just a few hundred feet away. It must be said that despite the convenience of passing between two distinct genres within a minute on foot, there was no irritating sound bleed, no sudden death of atmosphere, and no chronic volume reductions. The headline DJ acts here—Benji B, DJ EZ—got the crowd bouncing with ease, but took few risks despite their crate-digging reputations. Oneman, perhaps inspired by the strength of the U.K. grime and bass scene, was much more versatile on the Saturday, even getting away with a prime slice of Jamiroquai once he had the crowd perfectly on side. Throwing Snow and Romare played contrasting, but equally excellent, live sets on each night, with the latter’s powerful and infectious sample work proving just as addictive on the spot as on record.

While Friday was solely an evening affair, Saturday offeringsbegan mid-afternoon, and felt busier in spite of a persistent drizzle. Classy and inviting in his choices, Midland slowly but surely coaxed the hungover campers and the weekend warriors into the action, and was joined in the courtyard by sets from Hashman Deejay, San Soda, Jeremy Underground, and a seemingly telekinetic set from Tama Sumo, along with her wife and frequent DJ sparring partner, Lakuti.

By this time, the crowd had started to explore the site and its installations, and by night, each had its own remarkable character, with light seemingly a unifying theme. Many had understandably taken advantage of the site’s unique waterside location. Particularly impressive was Karel Burssens’ and Jereon Verrecht’s 88888, a incision deep in the lake that, in the dark, was filled with blinding light to create effect of a watery grave. Just as eye opening but more playful was Lux@580nM, essentially a street lamp suddenly transplanted into the water.

Photo: Jeroen Verrecht

Photo: Jeroen Verrecht

But within the castle itself, it was Christopher Gabriel and Arnoult Huskamp’s Children Of The Light that understandably received the most attention. The work of the pair will be familiar to anyone who saw Darkside’s recent tour (they designed its huge mirror feature), and their Horst installation shared a similar aesthetic but offered a different purpose. In a room filled with smoke, super-bright LED lights were hung from a huge circular frame, rotating slowly in the haze, and as the house and techno soundtrack drifts in from outside, dozens of ravers stood transfixed, occasionally running their arm through the middle as if it were some science-fiction portal.

“I think we live in a very interesting time in the way that, now, I think you can live far way away from where things happen, as everything travels so easily; images, music, fragments”, explains Arnout Van Vaerenbergh, one half of Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, the artistic duo who curated this year’s lineup of installations and will continue to do so for the next three years. “It travels so fast, and you can reach so far. And you can also travel yourself quite easily. And Horst is so far from the city center that when you do something here, it's important. And you won’t believe it when you’re here next week, or the week before, nobody would expect this to happen.”

Van Vaerenbergh is not joking when he says that Horst is “far from the city center”. More accurately, it’s a 30-minute bus ride from Leuven (best known for Stella Artois), itself the same distance by train from Brussels. Both of these trips, however, can be made easily, with Horst running a regular shuttle service to Leuven and back again throughout the event. Horst’s largely local audience are also incredibly polite, with the event as a whole largely grooving, rather than utterly popping off as it might at more established and less specialist Belgian events such as Pukkelpop.

With only Red Bull showcasing commercial sponsorship, and being so deep within Belgium’s rural landscape, Horst feels like genuine escapism, especially for the several hundred who choose to camp on site. Nothing at Horst was under thought, and those tired of larger festivals will appreciate the level of detail, and an overall remit that’s more creative than commercial. The contemporary festival is perhaps one of the few modern examples of regular youth collectivism, and if the irresistible kick of the sound system is the initial draw, and without losing a sense of fun, Horst instead engages it’s audience without a bindi, a head dress or a morphsuit in sight.

“For us, we’re very clear,” Gijs further elaborates. “Our work is art, but it can stand on itself. And when it’s in the form of a stage, for example, it’s supporting something else and it can be very good but it’s not art. And we want to have this artistic part, to have it autonomous. And if you have a few chemical elements, they can work together, and you can soften them and blend them and they can co-exist as two entities. We have a lot of people who might not see the art, but we have a lot of young people who are so interested, because Horst is different from all the other festivals.”

Heard at Horst:

Paul Woolford "MDMA"
Gerd Janson wheeled out the massive kick on this tune, unbeknownst to Job Jobse, who reached for it again an hour later. The crowd went mad on both occasions.

No Smoke "International Smoke Signal"
Obscure, new groove classic played by San Soda (of course) on Saturday evening, had every DJ in the vicinity scrambling for their Discogs app.

Romare "Love Song"
Had even the more reserved portions of the crowd at the RMBA stage unashamedly bouncing during his live set.

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Horst COMP-23

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

Photo: Willem Govaerts

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Interview: Swindle http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/09/interview-swindle/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/09/interview-swindle/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 21:18:03 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103369 When choosing to commemorate a moment, most people will settle for a photo—likely a poorly framed Instagram shared in a hurry to say “I'm here now and having fun!” But Cameron Palmer, the London musician known as Swindle, doesn't really take photos. When he landed in Cape Town two years ago for an overnight show to promote his Long Live The Jazz album, he was so taken aback by the beauty of the coastal town and the people he met there that he cancelled his return flight and stayed to make music. “I found myself in places I knew I might not have the chance to go back to. Certain vibes I was never gonna get at home. I wanted to document me being there,” the 28-year-old explains as he relaxes in the shade of a Brooklyn backyard on a hot August afternoon. “This music is something for me to listen back to and remember.”

swindle peace love and musicThe track Palmer created in Cape Town, "Find You" (featuring local vocalist Nonku Phiri), was more than just a reminder of a time and place. It was the first step towards a new album he didn't know he would be making. This September, two years after his eureka moment, Peace, Love & Music is being released via the Butterz label. The album documents Swindle's relentless touring over the past few years, his desire to make music that does “the old thing a new way,” and his dedication to remaining honest.

Palmer grew up in the south London suburb of Croydon, raised on a diet of funk and electronic music. He began collecting records at age ten and DJing at 12. Jungle was an early love—but by the time Palmer ventured into clubs or raves, the music had changed and no longer attracted him. Instead, it was grime that he gravitated towards, a new London music that would define both his generation and the mood of the country in a decade of depression and social anxiety. It was a bit ironic, too, as Croydon is perhaps best known today as the home of dubstep, rather than grime. “I wasn't so attached to the dubstep movement,” he explains. “I felt like I was on my own down there. So I'd go out east and check out the Butterz crew, before it was a thing. Terror Danjah also helped me out a lot. I'd go to a studio in Greenwich and link up with grime MCs.”

In 2007, Palmer self-released the The 140 Mixtape, a collection of grime tracks featuring MCs such as NoLay, Big Narstie and Ghetto. Three years later, he made his official debut via Planet Mu, and in 2011 he put out his first release on Butterz, the grime-minded label, collective and club night founded by DJs Elijah and Skilliam that Palmer had been involved with since the start. Recognition from the dubstep scene came in 2013 when Deep Medi, the label founded by scene pioneer Mala, released Long Live The Jazz, an ambitious and intoxicating mixture of Palmer's childhood love of funk and fusion with the gritty edge and rumbling low end of grime and dubstep. The LP was a collision of aesthetics and eras, a meeting of the old and the new that defines Palmer's work. It also helped put him on the road for more than two years as a solo DJ, keys player for the Mala In Cuba live show, and as the leader of his own band.

Across its sixteen tracks, Peace, Love & Music acts as a collection of musical postcards from Palmer's extensive travels. The album references cities and parties, in both name and content, that have made an impact on him: Tokyo, Los Angeles, South Africa, Shanghai, the Philippines, Amsterdam, Glasgow and Denver. It plays out like a tour would for Palmer, ending back in London where JME jumps on "Mad Ting" for a few choice bars, over a riddim that comes across like a big band clashing FruityLoops.

Palmer's two favorite American cities are represented on the album early on. The second track, "London To L.A.," is dedicated to the city of angels and features the vocals of Ash Riser. It was LA's affinity for funk that first attracted Palmer, and last year he made it a temporary home for a few months in winter. Most recently he was surprised to see the crowd recite grime bars at a local party, word for word. Next is Denver, with a dedication to the local Sub.Mission party and the Cervantes venue. The song opens on a recording of Palmer telling the crowd that he “only made this for Denver” and until the album came out, no one but those in attendance at Sub.Mission have ever heard the music.

Each track on Peace, Love & Music that's named for a destination was created with a similar process and intent, twisting the concept of exclusive productions. "Tokyo" was written on his return from a first trip to the Japanese capital in 2013. A week later he went back, to play keys for the Mala In Cuba live show, and tested an early version of the song while DJing the longstanding DBS party. In 2014, he again returned and captured crowd noises and words from Japanese DJ Nisi-P, with whom he had first toured the country. Once home, he added a chorus of horns to give the song a finishing touch.

More than simply providing a document of Palmer's personal experiences, and allowing everyone to hear the music, Peace, Love & Music also acts as a connection between the members of the global bass diaspora Palmer has bonded with over the years. “Now DBS in Tokyo can check for Sub.Mission, and vice versa,” he explains before admitting that this was a calculated move. “You go to all these places and realize that no matter how different people are, the intent is always the same.”

It's conventional wisdom that artists today make their money from touring. Aside from the  generalization that of that statement, such precepts also ignore that the road isn't always the best place from which to create. Artists need releases to tour—but can't always write new material while touring. It can be difficult to channel bursts of creativity into something meaningful when you're constantly moving and staying up late to work. For those who create largely within the limitless digital space of a laptop, writing on the road might be an option, but that's not how Palmer operates. “I need volume and keyboards,” he affirms in his south London accent.

“The minute you lie about music, it will punish you for that”

Half of Peace, Love & Music was written on the road, and Palmer went about solving the problem of creativity-in-transit the only way he knew how to: He asked where the nearest studio he could use was. In Cape Town that meant sessions at the local Red Bull studio, while in places like the Philippines the approach led him to some unexpected places. “Someone said there's an old man in the mountains I could go record with in a bamboo studio, with all bamboo instruments.” The result is "Malasimbo," a laid-back composition propelled by wooden percussion and the singing of Hilarius Dauag. “I couldn't have planned that. The guy I made it with doesn't even have a phone. It's completely honest. The collaborations in this album are in no way contrived. It's all people I came across.”

Honesty is something Palmer comes back to regularly during conversations. He talks about being honest with music, that the number one rule is to never lie with it. Later on, he states that “the minute you lie about music, it will punish you for that”—and he says it all with a conviction that's infectious. Instead of faking the funk, Palmer has found his own niche, best described by his motto “do the old thing a new way.” He blends the softness of strings and horn arrangements, composed with help from his band members, with the blunt edges of bass and beats. It's the perfect synthesis of funk and grime, the two genres he loves. He's quick to point out that they share a similar etymology: “You don't get closer than that in a way.” Palmer is now so comfortable with his approach that he may never again use synthesized instruments, even if it's only for his own satisfaction. “A lot of people ask me where my samples come from, but I don't sample. The musicians just play,” he explains.

Palmer's approach brings to mind the work of contemporaries like Flying Lotus, who first began to add musicians to his beats with 2010's Cosmogrammaor even Kendrick Lamar's latest album, crafted by jazz kids from LA and making use of classical arrangements to augment the power of the songs. In the worlds of electronic and dance music, people like Palmer remain the exception rather than the rule, despite the fact that many trained musicians hide behind the beats blasting onto dancefloors worldwide. Palmer attributes the situation to a lack of role models, or perhaps to people still seeing the two—instruments and computers—as different. There's also an inherent difficulty and monetary costs associated with taking such a route, something that Palmer knows only too well. He takes a hit on every live show with his band, choosing to sacrifice profit for artistic integrity as a form of long term investment.

swindle 2

For the past five years, Butterz have championed their own strain of London club music with over twenty releases from a range of local artists, regular parties at home and extensive touring. Their approach respects the artistic individuality that makes the best grime special, while promoting a collective mindset that has sometimes been missing from the music. The decision to finally take the jump with a full-length album was one that founder Elijah didn't want to rush. “This album feels like all the things we wished we could do when we first met in 2009,” he explains by e-mail. “Traveling the world, meeting other musicians and bringing them together on a project like this.” Palmer, for his part, has been integral in the presentation and roll-out of the album, handling videos, artwork and a promotional plan that sees him touring across the Americas in the two months leading to the release.

“I wanted do to the album on my own,” Palmer admits. “Doing it with Butterz gives me that freedom. They're not doing this for the money, they're doing it to make sure I can do it.” After five years of touring and releases on various labels, to issue Peace, Love & Music via Butterz feels like the only logical move for Palmer. “After all of this, I go back home.”

Peace, Love & Music is out now; the "Global Dance"/"Mad Ting" EP is also available.

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XLR8R TV & CreativeLive Present: Function at Decibel 2015 http://www.xlr8r.com/tv/2015/09/function-at-decibel-2015/ http://www.xlr8r.com/tv/2015/09/function-at-decibel-2015/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 17:10:52 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103373 In co-operation with CreativeLive and Decibel Festival, XLR8R proudly presents a live stream broadcast from the Crocodile in Seattle during the dB Conference 2015 closing party, featuring a live performance by Function (Ostgut Ton/Sandwell District).

Broadcast stream will be live starting at 5:30pm PST.



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Isolée Floripa EP http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/isolee-floripa-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/isolee-floripa-ep/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 09:00:41 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103299 Shape-shifting house chameleon Isolée returns to Pampa with a slice of emotional, deep and…well, at times, slightly sad house music—its bluer than the sea itself and draped in melancholy, while still retaining enough groove to keep the faith, boasting light skip and swing aplenty. At least that's the tone at the start of the title track, with its soft pace and yearning tone radiating through light top-line melodies and descending melodic bass chimes, all while beats twist and turn uncomfortably in the background. Just when you thought you couldn’t go any further down that deep rabbit hole, you do—before being brought back to earth on the drop, as snapping beats and shuffling percussion lift the spirits of the track.

The spirits are moved even further with the tremendous b-side, "Favouride," with the tempo, pitch and jack lifted to a more actively upbeat groove. A deep sub-bass burns deeply, while bell percussion takes the lead; the drop brings in sublime kick drum, the groove then intensifying every 16 bars before leaping into the unknown around the two and a half minute mark.

He's an undisputed—yet somehow elusive—champion of house music and its many facets, and Isolée's latest entry in the Pampa hall of fame will probably have you hitting repeat a fair few times.

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Headaches "Steev" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/headaches-steev/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/headaches-steev/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 08:46:27 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103316 We last heard from Canadia-born, Brooklyn-based producer Landon Speers (a.k.a. Headaches) last year when his track "Stagest" landed in our downloads section via Brooklyn label Connect. Originally founded by Rioux and Brandon Sanchez as an event series, Connect evolved organically into fully fledged label, pushing out stellar releases from artists such as Headaches and co-founder Rioux in its three-year life. The label is now re-branding as Human Pitch to create a more specific and singular identity, focusing on "warm and personable art that reflects nature in harmony with technology." Headaches "Steev" is one of the first tracks to land on Human Pitch after the re-brand and perfectly sums up the label's sound. Sultry and organic, "Steev" wraps its reverb-laden atmospherics around chopped, swirling vocals for four minutes of house bliss. You can pick up "Steeve" as a free download below, and stay up to date on all things Human Pitch here.


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Thool "The Dome" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/thool-dome/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/thool-dome/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 00:05:25 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103322 Recently added to Bullion’s imprint DEEK Recordings, the group known as Thool has a thing for “runes, clay heads and grabby hands” as made apparent on the DEEK Recordings website and the music video for its track “The Dome,” which is being featured as an exclusive download today on XLR8R. Kicking off with bells and a bassline that gently descends in a repetitive fashion for the first minute, the track then takes unexpected turn, transforming itself into a playful funk jam with a heavy emphasis bass and its boisterous snare hits. It has an unmistakable 80's vibe that will surely bring a smile to your face and, not to mention, get your feet moving. Thool's self-titled debut EP is out now and you can snag your copy by going here, with “Dome” available as a free download below.

The Dome

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Watch Video from Minimalist Ensemble Bing & Ruth’s album ‘City Lake’ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/watch-video-from-minimalist-ensemble-bing-ruths-album-city-lake/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/watch-video-from-minimalist-ensemble-bing-ruths-album-city-lake/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 23:52:27 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103317 Having mistakenly received a copy of an unusually limited pressing of Bing & Ruth’s debut LP, City Lake, five years ago, RVNG Intl. made a point of reaching out to the main member, David Moore, to begin a dialogue. Since signing to the label, Moore and his ensemble crafted their album Tomorrow Was The Golden Age and have now come together to remaster and expand their original City Lake album for the masses to enjoy. The sound of the minimalist brooklyn-based ensemble draws many parallels to composers such as Arvo Part, John Cage, and Steve Reich in particular, with “Rails” drawing rhythmic resemblance to Reich’s signature clapping sound. 

You can watch the graceful and roving music video for “Rails” below, with the album available for pre-order here.

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Q&A: Clint Stewart http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/09/qa-clint-stewart/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/09/qa-clint-stewart/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 16:51:10 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103118 Florida, Hawaii, San Francisco and now Berlin: It’s been an interesting ride for Clint Stewart, the surf-loving American DJ-producer known for his work as one of the first core artists on Pan-Pot's flowering Second State imprint. However, while many artists use studio work to help fill their touring schedule, Stewart made his name in the DJ booth during a seven year stint on the West Coast of America. It was time that saw him refine his skills with a series of underground parties, becoming a key figure in the area’s techno renaissance.

Production, for Stewart, has always been a secondary endeavor, and something that he has struggled with since the end of Safeword, the internationally acclaimed Mobilee production duo whose "Heavy Burdens High” rerub was featured in Maya Jane Coles' Essential Mix and made Rolling Stone’s top 20 mixes of 2013. But EPs are now beginning to flow, notably with the release of last month’s Shelter EP—with more expected to follow early next year.

Over the course of three hours in a Berlin park—with Calvin, his beloved (and indefatigable) Weimaraner dog by his side—Stewart explained the sources of his profound music ambitions, the importance of retaining his artistic integrity, and the role of San Francisco, Second State and the Safeword collaboration in his his development.

So you grew up in Florida—but how did you get here?
I was born in Jensen Beach, Florida, about two hours north of Miami, and I lived there until I was about 22, when I moved to Hawaii. My childhood was pretty normal—I was just the typical delinquent boy who played a lot of sports and spent lots of time by the ocean. Surfing has always been a part of my life, alongside fishing, diving, and being in the boat—and I think these experiences have gone a long way into making me who I am today.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 5.24.10 PM

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When did music come into your life?
I’ve always been a huge music junkie, from even when I was just a little kid. I was having regular guitar lessons when I was about eight years old and then I started learning the piano, encouraged by my mom. My parents are both big music lovers—they would be playing classical or blues through the house each morning—and so I grew up around it. I used to go to sleep each night with music playing.

But this wasn’t electronic music?
No. I grew up with surfers and skaters and so when I was really young, about ten or 11, I was into Misfits, Minor Threat or Metallica. I didn’t get into electronic music until I was 18 years old, so actually quite late—and up until I got into it, I completely hated it! I was basing it off a completely ignorant perspective of what electronic was. I thought that everything was techno—even drum and bass, at the time.

"I was never going back to some hole in the wall basement that is covered in sweat with a bunch of angry dudes trying to beat the snot out of each other."

Why do you think you got hooked on techno?
I went to school in Boca Raton, Florida at a place called Lynn University, which is a private school. I had like a 2.4 GPA but they gave me an academic scholarship because they had to give a certain number out—and I was just really lucky. I went to school with the kids of the CEO of FedEx, whose families owned banks in the Middle East—my mom’s a school teacher and my dad is a contractor, dude! It was there that I met these two identical twins, Karim and Maurice Neme, who were right next door to me in my school and they were the coolest, most interesting dudes ever. They’d always be playing music, like constantly, but I had no idea what it was—it was like the 1999 John Digweed dark, techy sound—and then one day I just got hooked by it. They took me to this party where this music was playing—and that was the switch! There was a sea of beautiful women, everybody was smiling and being really cool to each other. I was never going back to some hole-in-the-wall basement, covered in sweat with a bunch of angry dudes trying to beat the snot out of each other.

"That year or two of discovering new music was so powerful—that feeling you get when you discover so much new music is a feeling I’m not sure I’ll have again."

That must have inspired a pretty amazing period of discovery.
Yep. From there it was just digging. I came across Matthew Dear’s first work on Ghostly, the first time I heard this really rough, analog, weird, minimal—and that’s what exposed me to Perlon Records and Ricardo Villalobos. That year or two of discovering new music was so powerful—that feeling you get when you discover so much new music is a feeling I’m not sure I’ll ever have again.

Was it quite obsessive?
For sure—and it still is today. I am the type of person where if I get into something then I get obsessed. I don’t get into a lot of things, but when I am then it’s 100 percent. That thing has been music for a long time.

"With social media and things like Youtube today, the wizard’s curtain is not there anymore—everybody can learn to be a DJ—but at that time it was like unicorn shit."

When did you you first get behind the decks?
After that year in 2000, I transferred to another college—for no other reason than to get closer to to beach. At this stage I knew I liked electronic music and I worked on some nights, and then I met a guy who was selling two Gemini belt-drive turntables for $200—and so I brought them, even though I had absolutely no idea how DJs did anything. With social media and things like YouTube today, the wizard’s curtain is not there anymore—everybody can learn to be a DJ—but at that time it was like unicorn shit.

Did you just teach yourself?
Yep. I just wandered down to a record store and just bought a some records that I thought I liked. I had a radio show at college and I just spent hours working it out—but I started out just playing tracks because I didn't know how to mix. There were times that I really wanted to quit because I couldn’t get it right—it was just like six months of trainwrecking.

"It was nice to learn the old fashioned way, on shitty turntables. It’s like learning how to ride a bike on a unicycle!"

When did you begin DJing at parties?
I met a guy called Larry Banks who was a pretty integral part of the first wave of European electronic music that came to the States. He showed me a lot of stuff, and helped me get some gigs. I just played opening set after opening set, which actually really develop my skills. It was nice to learn the old fashioned way, on shitty turntables. It’s like learning how to ride a bike on a unicycle!

Were you playing quite a lot at this stage?
As much as I could! After college I moved back down to Palm Beach with my girlfriend, and then I met some guys—including Marc Smith, who I started Safeword with. We started working together, DJing and making music, and we all decided to throw a party on Sunday nights in Miami. It was at this little Cuban place and on the first floor there was a Cuban salsa band—that was like a sardine can, with people queuing to get in—and then upstairs was just us three playing this weird minimal tech stuff. People had no idea what we were doing and looked at us like we were idiots.

Why did you move to Hawaii?
I was only like 22 at the time, and I was super broke—really struggling on about $400 a week that I earned from doing graphic design for a small Boca Raton newspaper. My younger brother was living in Hawaii and earning a ton of money in construction. Dude, so I jumped on a plane over there to work with my brother. I just fucking did it. My whole thing was that I loved music, but realized that I didn’t know the right people and it was a really frustrating endeavor to push music without having any gratification for doing it.

And then how did your work with Auralism Records in San Francisco come about?
Before I left to go to Hawaii, my buddies who I was working with in Miami decided to start a record label—called Auralism Records. I was doing all the design for it, even though I wasn’t properly involved—and then the label moved to San Fransisco.

Is that what took you over there—and eventually made you stay?
Yeah—I would go to San Francisco quite frequently to play some parties and hang out with my buddies. In April of 2007, I was playing the official label launch party in San Francisco at a now-gone but legendary placed called the Compound—and I had never experienced anything like it before. I just decided to stay there to help out with the label and pursue music.

Was it a spur-of-the-moment decision?
It was—there was absolutely no plan to stay in San Francisco. There was only about two days between me thinking about it to calling my brother and asked him to send over my tools. But I’ve always had this spiritual side of me that makes me pursue things now—because it may be the last day.

And then you very quickly enjoyed some success, becoming a regular at undergrounds and warehouses in all corners of the city. Do you see the fact that San Francisco, at the time, was going through something of a techno renaissance as an important factor in your success?
Absolutely. Everything in life comes down to timing, and it was a really unique time when I was there. I was very lucky to have the people around me, all of whom had developed their own connections who then pushed me further. In 2007 you couldn’t find a club in San Francisco besides the EndUp—it was all underground, and I would go out five days a week, to more than one party each night, and there would be over 1,000 people at each one. It changed in 2008 because here was a change in law enforcement and the new sheriff wanted to get rid of these underground parties —but at that time it was one of the best places in the U.S. for techno.

It must have been a pretty amazing scene to be in.
Definitely. Everybody was so young, fresh and hungry—because nobody had really become a big international player at the time. And then you compound that with the San Francisco culture of free love that resonates from the '60s. It’s essentially a bunch of young hedonistic people making music.

"Those parties definitely helped grease the wheel of moving along—it’s a very social industry. If you’re DJing alone in your bedroom then you’ll never get anywhere."

Were you making a living from music at the time?
I quit my job in construction a year after moving to San Fransisco because the gigs started to pick up. But to begin with I was living with two mates—Alland Byallo and Jason Short—in the living room on a mattress. Every weekend we would rage and have a big after-party there. Those parties definitely helped grease the wheel of moving along—it’s a very social industry. If you’re DJing alone in your bedroom then you’ll never get anywhere.

How did your residency at 222 Club come about?
Technically I had a residency there because we were doing this party called Lil Brthr, which was an offshoot of one of our other parties. I was a resident then because I was playing there regularly—but eventually it came up for sale at the same time my buddy Emilio was looking for a place. It happened like this: “Dude, you should buy that place,” and he was like: “I have always wanted my own place.” And so he did it—my buddy owned 222. That’s when I really started playing all the time.

Do you reflect back and view those seven years in San Francisco as when you really refined your skill set?
Absolutely. Refined is an understatement. I knew what I wanted but I was exposed to new things, living and breathing music. It played a huge role in developing me into who I am—and that’s why I don't really correct people when they say I'm from SF, because everybody knows me from San Francisco. That’s where I made my name when it comes to music.

In 2013 you then moved in Berlin. Was this simply to push your music?
Sort of. I had been coming to Berlin for a while for gigs, and even people like Tassilo and Thomas of Pan-Pot were telling me to come. But I never wanted to move to to be successful; I only wanted to make the move when I had established a substantial foundation—and then Berlin would be the next logical step to push it further. It’s stupid to think you’re going to come here and stand out.

And so you felt like you had a platform by this point?
In 2013, yes. But the thing that really triggered it was more personal. I had some things going on with my family—and then when I got home from sorting it out ,my girlfriend broke up with me, just like that. That lit the fire under my ass. At that time I was doing music but I wasn’t 100 percent committed. I needed a fresh start, and then Tassilo and Thomas had offered me the opportunity to really push my music further with their exposure.

How did the move to Berlin tie in with the end of Safeword and the start of Second State?
When I moved to Berlin, I was working with Safeword and wasn’t even thinking about my solo career at the time. Marc, my partner in Safeword, was here too, and Mobilee were about to really push us as their next roster artists. I was staying at Tassilo’s house and one day he told me that Pan-Pot going to head in their own direction and start their own label, Second State—and they wanted to push me as their first artist, but only as a solo act.

How did your relationship with Thomas and Tassilo first come about?
A week after I decided to move to SF, we threw an Auralism party and booked Exercise One and Pan-Pot. I ended up taking care of the guys for the time they were here and we all hit it off. Thomas actually wasn't there as he was still pretty weary of flying at that tim,e so it was just Tassilo. After the guys left, Tas and I kept in contact and when they came back the next time they stayed at my house for a week.

But couldn’t you have continued with Safeword and as a solo artist?
Thomas and Tassilo’s offer was the kindling—but it’s not the reason we split up. I obviously didn’t want to end Safeword, but at the same time I had to look after myself, and this was a big opportunity to move forward. I really wanted to do both, but I soon realized that wasn't going to work, and both Marc and I had different directions musically that we wanted to pursue. There was a point where a realized that Safeword was never going to work between us anymore, so I had to focus all of my energies on my solo work.


Is it different producing as a solo artist than in a collaboration?
Yes. That’s been a very difficult transition for me. As s producer, I am hypercritical and so I end up shooting myself in the foot because I won't put any music out. I throw out over 95 pecent of the things I start. This is obviously easier in a collaboration—and in Safeword we had an identity because we were the guys that created it. It was music that came from a very artistic approach, and we had this cool dynamic where I was the DJ and Marc was more of a musician—so we had this meeting in the middle, which was cool. Going from this to just me has been a challenge.

Is this why your output—just three solo EPs in about 14 months—has been so low?
Yes. I am really trying to battle this hypercritical voice in my own head. I am definitely getting there now but it’s taken some time.

Why do you think you’re so critical of your work?
I think I am still developing my sound, and putting out music is an extension of my soul that people are going to judge.

Do you think your output will now increase, having had some time to adapt?
Definitely. I thought it would take me about six months to adapt to the new situation, but its taken me two years. I’ve learned a lot over that time and I do feel more ready now. Only now am I settling in to knowing what I want and knowing how to get it—both musically and otherwise. 2016 is going to be a big year.

Do you have a vision of where you want to get to, artistically speaking?
I am really happy with where I am now—but I am never going to be satisfied. I’ve done some gnarly jobs in my life, and know how good I have it, but I will never be content with my status. I want to play everything, everywhere and go as hard as possible for as long as I can. I want to release music that changes people’s lives, that has an emotional impact on people, and that is timeless. It’s important to me that I leave a legacy. I want a body of work that people respect and enjoy.

Has an album crossed your mind?
I have been putting a lot of thought into it—and it will come.

You talk about leaving this legacy. Is this something you’re very conscious of?
Definitely. It’s all about quality over quantity with me—I am never going to release more than two or three EPs in a year. Some of the most talented producers I know are never going to get the acclaim they deserve because they spread themselves too thin over too many different labels—so it is a real science to ensure you put out enough so your fans are content but always ensuring that they want more.

Does this impact the labels that you currently work with, or would work with in the future?
Yes. If I were to release on some big name labels, my DJ career could blow up—but do I think it’d be a good idea? I don’t want to jump on the bandwagon just to jump on the bandwagon, and I think this has probably slowed down my success as an artist. I hate the idea of putting out a record to push your DJ schedule and so I am wouldn’t want to do this. I am a DJ, first and foremost. I use other people’s must to tell my story.

So there are labels you wouldn’t put your music out on?
I will never say never, but it has to make sense. If I don’t maintain my integrity as an artist then nothing matters.

"If you take a while to get there then you’ll stay there, but if you come up fast and take shortcuts, then you’ll go down fast too."

Do you think your profile could be bigger now?
Possibly, but I didn’t take any shortcuts. I did it the right way—the old-school way. There is an infinite amount of ways to be successful. Mine isn't the only way obviously, but I'm proud of the path I've taken. It’s all about the slow-burn: If you take a while to get there then you’ll stay there, but if you come up fast and take shortcuts, then you’ll go down fast too.

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Weekly Selections: Decibel Festival, Piknic Electronik, Flash Presents Cassy Residency Launch http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/weekly-selections-decibel-festival-piknic-electronik-flash-presents-cassy-residency-launch/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/weekly-selections-decibel-festival-piknic-electronik-flash-presents-cassy-residency-launch/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 16:00:47 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103200 This week for our international event selections we have chosen Seattle's Decibel Festival, which includes the XLR8R hosted dB After-ours II party this Friday night with Marcel Dettman, Function and Vril; the summer closing event of Montreal's Piknic Electronik with Kompakt's Michael Mayer and Canada's own Shades of Blk and Alex Gragnani; and finally, Washington DC's club Flash which kicks off a new residency with Ostgut Ton's Cassy this Friday.

We welcome our readers to submit events for weekly consideration. To find more events in your city or to submit a new event visit our events page.


TBA Brooklyn - Brooklyn, NY, US
Masquerade Ball with Claptone
Flash - Washington, DC, US
Bottom Forty Decibel Festival 2015
The Crocodile - Seattle, WA, US
Liminality Decibel Festival 2015
Neumos - Seattle, WA, US
Studio 4/4: Decibel Edition
Q Nightclub - Seattle, WA, US
Subversion Decibel Festival 2015
The Showbox - Seattle, WA, US
Stretch & Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives with Lord Sear, Suce (Sucio Smash) + Special Guest
Cielo - New York, NY, US
Berghain/Panorama Bar - Berlin, Germany
INPUT | 12th Planet/ LUMBERJVCK/ DUBLOADZ at Output
Discwoman Decibel Festival 2015
Re-Bar - Seattle, US
The Magic Number Presents I Love Vinyl | DJ Scribe/ OP!/ Amir Abdullah/ Jon Oliver/ Shawn Dub in The Panther Room
Output - Brooklyn, NY, US
Studio 80 - Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
dB 2015 After-Hours 1
Q Nightclub - Seattle, WA, US


A Giegling Showcase with KONSTANTIN * DJ DUSTIN * OLIN
Smartbar - Chicago , IL, US
Keep It Movin' Showcase
TBA Brooklyn - Brooklyn, NY, US
Wovoka & Friends
TBA Brooklyn - Brooklyn, NY, US
Cassy Residency Launch
Flash - Washington, DC, US
Bar Standard - Denver, CO, US
Motor Decibel Festival 2015
The Crocodile - Seattle, WA, US
Body Language Decibel Festival 2015
Q Nightclub - Seattle, WA, US
Resident Advisor Decibel Festival 2015
The Showbox - Seattle, WA, US
Lucid Dream Decibel Festival 2015
Neumos - Seattle, WA, US
Bakermat/ Landis Lapace at Output and Kasper Bjorke/ Sexy Lazer in The Panther Room
Framework presents S-Man | Lupe Fuentes
Sound Nightclub - Hollywood, CA, US
Julio Bashmore + Andhim
1015 Folsom - San Francisco, CA, US
Dancing Room Only | Chili Davis/ Rissa Garcia/ Wreal at Stilton House
Output - Brooklyn, NY, US
Studio 80 - Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Percolate presents 5 Years of My Love Is Underground at Village Underground
Village Underground - Shoreditch London, United Kingdom
FABRICLIVE 25.9 w/ Playaz, High Contrast, DJ Hype, Hazard, Breakage & more
fabric - London, London, United Kingdom
Finest Friday
Berghain/Panorama Bar - Berlin, Germany
Arena Club - Berlin, Germany
dB After-Hours 2: XLR8R
Q Nightclub - Seattle, WA, US


DIALOGUE feat:: Fur Coat (Crosstown Rebels), Louie Fresco (No.19), MD (Dialogue) / All Night
dB Boat Party 1
The Islander Cruise Ship - Seattle, WA, US
Love Affair | Finley/ Harper/ Sharkbait with Deji (LIVE)/ Christian Voldstad on The Roof
The Panther Room - Brooklyn, NY, US
Optical 1: Dark Overtones Decibel Festival 2015
The Triple Door - Seattle, WA, US
HPL Media Street Event 2015
Street Art Museum - St.Petersburg, Russian Federation
Love & Disco: Maurice Fulton
Flash - Washington, DC, US
The Lyric Theater - Los Angeles, CA, US
TheHundred Presents - Julio Bashmore
Club Vinyl - Denver, CO, US
Beat Alchemy Decibel Festival 2015
The Crocodile - Seattle, WA, US
Kompakt Decibel Festival 2015
Neumos - Seattle, WA, US
Sublime Decibel Festival 2015
The Showbox - Seattle, WA, US
Madness Decibel Festival 2015
Q Nightclub - Seattle, WA, US
Public Works SF - San Francisco, CA, US
Unnamed Venue - Montréal, Québec, Canada
Extrawelt (LIVE)/John Acquaviva/Greg Gow/Nikola Baytala at Output and Sublimate Pres. Birdsmakingmachine/Dahlia/Sagotsky in The Panther Room
Output - Brooklyn, NY, US
North Of Nowhere at Blizzarts: Sergio Levels - Tazz - Alessandroid
Blizzarts - Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Illusion: Sleepy & Boo with Justin Isobe
Cielo - New York, NY, US
West Coast Legends feat. Doc Martin | Mark Farina | DJ Dan | Marques Wyatt + 6AM Basement Takeover
Globe Theatre - Los Angeles, CA, US
#NoFilter & #RollingTuff Present ANDHIM & Patrick Topping
The Attic - Los Angeles, CA, US
fabric 26.9 w/ Gerd Janson, Juju & Jordash Live, Blawan & NGE
fabric - London, London, United Kingdom
Tomorrow is now, Kid!
Studio 80 - Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Berghain/Panorama Bar - Berlin, Germany
S-Type & Obey City
Palisades - Brooklyn, NY, US
Arena Club - Berlin, Germany
Bnry with Konstantin, DJ Dustin & John Tejada, Rachel Torro, Michael Manahan
Re-Bar - Seattle, US
dB After-Hours 3: Droid Behavior
TBA - Seattle, US


breakfast club db2
The Breakfast Club - Decibel Edition II
Monkey Loft - Seattle, WA, US
dB in the Park
Volunteer Park - Seattle, US
dB Boat Party 2
The Islander Cruise Ship - Seattle, WA, US
Piknic Electronik - Michael Mayer
Parc Jean-Drapeau - Montreal, QC, Canada
Optical 2: Viscerality
The Triple Door - Seattle, WA, US
Get Lost LA 2015 at Le Jardin
Le Jardin - Los Angeles, CA, US
Thievery Corporation
Showbox Sodo - Seattle, WA, US
TeamSupreme Decibel Festival 2015
The Crocodile - Seattle, WA, US
Flammable: Decibel Edition
Re-Bar - Seattle, US
Sunset Sound System Season Closer!
Stafford Lake - Novato, US


Monday Social feat. Andhim at SOUND
Sound Nightclub - Hollywood, CA, US


Extra Dark - Ettuto
Kung Fu Necktie - Philadelphia, US


Policy/ Thefft/ Cloy & Em-Et on The Roof
Output - Brooklyn, NY, US
TBA Night w/ Taimur & Gio (Celebrating Gio's Birthday)
TBA Brooklyn - Brooklyn, NY, US
Kiezsalon w/ Sven Helbig and Anklepants at Musikbrauerei
Musikbrauerei - Berlin, Prenzaluer Berg, Germany
Kiezsalon w/ Sven Helbig and Anklepants at Musikbrauerei
Musikbrauerei - Berlin, Prenzaluer Berg, Germany
Clinic with Nitin (No.19) & Guests
Couture - Hollywood, CA, US
Enchufada & Que Bajo Present: "Club Atlas” ft. Branko/ Dengue Dengue Dengue!/ Uproot Andy/ Geko Jones at Output
Output - Brooklyn, NY, US
Studio 80 - Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

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Madlib, MED, and Blu Announce New Album, Share Video http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/madlib-med-and-blu-announce-new-album-share-video/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/madlib-med-and-blu-announce-new-album-share-video/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 15:00:29 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103025 On October 30, BangYaHead Entertainment will be releasing the fifteen-track LP Bad Neighbor, produced entirely by the one and only Madlib. The album also includes Stones Throw mainstays MED and Blu who provide vocals for the album, which also features a collection of guest appearances—including other Stones Throw affiliates like Dam-Funk, Anderson .Paak, Mayer Hawthorne, Aloe Blacc, Oh No and of course, MF DOOM.

The track “Tick Tick” feat. DOOM has been featured in a animated video commercial for the upcoming release, you can stream the video below and pre-order the release by going here.

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Premiere: Stream a Track from the New Subb-an EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-a-track-from-the-new-subb-an-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-a-track-from-the-new-subb-an-ep/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 13:21:52 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103280 Subb-an has announced his first solo release on 20/20 Vision, entitled The Other Side EP.

"Modern Love" opens the release with a bouncing groove characterised by it’s kick and bass combo. The star of the show is a wobbly acidic sequence that rears its head sporadic through track and is sure to create some waves on the dancefloor. This is followed by title track "The Other Side", in which a collection of crisp and sharp soundscapes are combined with Subb-an’s typical precision and attention to detail.

On the B side is "El Otro Lado (Terrace Dub)", while the digital release includes the exclusive "El Otro Lado (Original Mix)" which adds a dreamy synth layer that complements the core elements perfectly.

Ahead of the EP's release next month, "Modern Love" can be exclusively streamed in full below.

Release Dates: 

Vinyl: October 5
Digital: October 26


A1. Modern Love
A2. The Other Side
B1. El Otro Lado (Terrace Dub)
Digi Exclusive: El Otro Lado (Original Mix)

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Marc Houle to Perform Live Film Score During ADE for: A Page of Madness http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/marc-houle-to-perform-live-film-score-during-ade-for-a-page-of-madness/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/marc-houle-to-perform-live-film-score-during-ade-for-a-page-of-madness/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 12:58:32 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103261 Canadian techno artist Marc Houle has been mastering the art of live performances for over a decade. Always one to challenge himself, the devoted live performer has decided to push himself even further this year by creating a techno soundtrack to accompany the 1926 silent Japanese cinema masterpiece: A Page of Madness (Kurutta Ippeiji) by director Teinosuke Kinugasa.

When expressing his motivations behind this new project, the techno veteran has said: “When I first discovered the movie I was really drawn to all the beautiful visual elements and the emotions that were involved. The 70’s jazz soundtrack that was later added seemed to detract rather than add to the overall mood. I kept imagining a very dark sound to equal the dark story and decided to create one myself. The results were so moving and I am hoping to share this experience with others at ADE this year."

The film will make its premiere as part of the Films at ADE programme presented by Cineville, Melkweg and DJ Broadcast.

Watch a preview below or head to the Amsterdam Dance Event's website for more info here.

Marc Houle is set to perform his composition live in Amsterdam on October 15, 2015.

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Q&A: Sigha Announces Debut Release on Token http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/qa-sigha-announces-debut-release-on-token/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/qa-sigha-announces-debut-release-on-token/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 12:26:51 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103268

For many years, Token has been an almost exclusive platform for the music of Inigo Kennedy, Ø [Phase] and Ctrls. The Belgian label has, however, remained on point by putting out formidable productions by Rich Oddie & Ancient Methods’ Eschaton project, German powerhouse Rødhåd and Spanish heavyweights Oscar Mulero and Christian Wünsch as Spherical Coordinates, to some intercontinental fare by Xhin and Go Hiyama.

Token, an iron clad operation continuously manufacturing unyielding techno, has always, deep within its impenetrable shell, had a soft spot for British techno. And following a reissue of Mark Broom’s “Two", and welcoming Surgeon to its fold with the thunderous Fixed Action Pattern 12”, the Belgian label seeks out some fresh UK blood by inviting Sigha (a.k.a. James Shaw) to debut on the label with a stylistically sleek and suitably booming 12”, Our Father / A Better Way Of Living.

Sigha’s Token debut chalks up another milestone for the Berlin-based Englishman, not only because his name is now up there with the likes of the aforementioned, but Our Father / A Better Way Of Living provides Sigha with his first release away from a label that Shaw’s not intrinsically related to. Prior to this it’s been Scuba’s Hotflush, Shifted’s Avian, James Ruskin’s Blueprint and Shaw’s own Our Circula Sound that have unleashed his productions, and Sigha now steps up to deliver Token a linear 12” full of cosmic flavour and warehouse attitudes that judiciously falls between the sonic aesthetics of Inigo Kennedy’s twinkling melancholia and the interlocking kick drums and basslines of Ø [Phase].

Ahead of the EP's October 16 release, XLR8R sat down with Sigha to learn more about the release.

So this is your first release on Token. How do you find your personal style to blend with the label? 

I didn't write the tracks with Token specifically in mind but once they were finished the fit seemed like a really obvious one. I've known Kris for a long time and I've been a big fan of the label for years, so I sent them over. He was into what he heard and we locked the whole thing down. All in all it's probably the smoothest release I've ever been involved with.

You tend to be inspired by other visual arts when making music. Were you inspired by anything in particular for this release?

The two tracks on this EP were actually written years apart. "A Better Way Of Living" is at least two years old. I always felt it was a strong track but I was struggling to place it with other material. And then when I wrote "Our Father", I started to think that they could both sit well on an EP so I added some elements to "A Better Way", and then re-mixed it slightly to pull the two tracks into line.

Given the amount of time between the tracks I guess it's difficult to pick a clear influence across the EP. I certainly leaned heavily on the things I often draw from, faith and religion in particular. I'm always fascinated by the parallels between communal worship and the club experience, but I can't narrow it down to something more specific.

How has your work on Hotflush, OCS and Avian brought you to where you are today musically?

I suppose it all forms some sort of narrative, but I always think it's a slightly schizophrenic one. I kind of feel my personal trajectory as an artist is defined by the records that never came out. I make so much music that just sits on my hard drive, and often have to be pretty much forced into doing anything with it. Not because I don't want to release material, but I guess I'm always over thinking the issue. I have a very strong idea of what it is I'm looking to achieve with each release, and more often than not, the result ends up somewhere slightly different. Sometimes only a little, sometimes a lot, and not better or worse, just different, but that's enough to kick off all sorts of self doubt. Coupled with the fact by that point I've probably lost interest thanks to a short attention span and moved on to the next project. There'll be a whole series of recordings that will never see the light of day.

I've been very lucky with the labels I've worked with over the years. For the most part they've been very understanding and gently cajoled rather than pushed me into releases. Everyone's different and I suspect my attitude towards the whole thing isn't actually that unusual, so a good label will know how to handle an artist.

I guess this is the reason I'm more interested in working with labels who want to build close relationships with their artists. It feels like this way of working is much more likely to produce the best results on both sides.

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Houndstooth Set to Release Third Marquis Hawkes EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/houndstooth-set-to-release-third-marquis-hawke-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/houndstooth-set-to-release-third-marquis-hawke-ep/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 11:22:35 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102971 Berlin based producer Marquis Hawkes has announced that he will be releasing his second EP of 2015, Sweet, on October 30 via the Fabric affiliated imprint Houndstooth. The four-track EP is his third release on Houndstooth and is noticeably diffrent from his previous EP, Raw Materials, which focuses on more primitive house rhythms, rather than the Detroit influenced groove and funk that shines through in Sweet. Despite having featured Marquis Hawkes in one of our Bubblin' Up profiles in 2013, and featuring him as our first podcast of 2014, we still know very little about him. Having rarely been photographed or interviewed, Marquis Hawkes prefers to be judged solely on the quality of music rather than his appearance, character, or personal philosophy. His biographies simply read “Listen to the music - that’s all you need to know,” so we suggest you do exactly that.

You can stream his EP Raw Materials below and be sure to check out more from Marquis Hawkes by going to his soundcloud here.

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Premiere: Hear a Track from Skatebård's Latest LP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-hear-a-track-from-skatebards-latest-lp/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-hear-a-track-from-skatebards-latest-lp/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 01:06:52 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103212 Bård Aasen Lødemel (a.k.a. Skatebård) will drop his latest LP, CDIII, on October 23 via Norwegian imprint Balsa Wood.

Lødemel's colorful musical background—he's played the part of heavy metal drummer, techno and electro producer, and MC for one Norway's best-selling hip-hop acts—is plastered all over the sprawling, cosmic journey that is CDIII. Spread across 10 tracks, the LP presents a diverse selection of cuts taking in slow-mo house, old-school electro, primitive drum workouts, and Detroit-inspired techno, all stitched together with Lødemel's signature stripped-back, psychedelic sound.

CDIII is available for preorder now over at iTunes, or Brilliance, with the chunky disco cut "Donko Donko" streaming in full via the player below.

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Deebs & Jarell Perry "Home (Kid Smpl Remix)" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/deebs-jarell-perry-home-kid-smpl-remix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/deebs-jarell-perry-home-kid-smpl-remix/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 00:08:12 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103203 Kid Smpl should be a name that is quite familiar with XLR8R's regular readership. In the past, he's provided us with a brilliantly sprawling podcast, as well as numerous world class cuts for our downloads section, and we featured him as a Bubblin' Up artist back in January of 2013. Now, the Seattle producer returns with a twisted and industrialised remix of Deebs and Jarell Perry's track "Home." Originally released as part of  Deebs and Jarell Perry's EP Shift, "Home" gets a complete overhaul in the hands of Kid Smpl, who flips the R&B-tinged cut into a haunting sonic slab full of metallic percussion, detuned vocals, and sand-papered synth textures. You can pick up the track for free below and for those in Seattle, you can catch Kid Smpl at dB2015 Optical Kick-Off Party.

Home (Kid Smpl remix)

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Clay Wilson Skandha EP http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/clay-wilson-skandha-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/clay-wilson-skandha-ep/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 22:30:27 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102951 The long-running NYC affair known as the Bunker has been heralded as the "Godfather of Weird Techno Parties"—and its year-plus-old affiliated label, the Bunker New York imprint, has been as avant-garde and experimental as their murky bashes. Deep inside NYC's burgeoning experimental-music scene, fellow New Yorker Clay Wilson is the producer behind the label's 14th release. It's not the first time that Clay has the brought the fuzz to the hallowed vaults of the Bunker, and the Skandha EP continues the producer's knack for unsettling and challenging musical excursions.

The Bunker's moody credentials shine with the throbbing title track, laying witness to Wilson's textural nuances and and knack for droning percussive atmosphere, rather than on the driving, pounding 16-bar formula that's endemic to the majority of middle-of-the-road techno. The beats sound more akin to pieces of sandpaper causing friction burns on soft hands, and the track's bell-tuned percussion resonate like blips on a radar.

"Cataleptic" comes equipped with synthesizer echoes and stiff, swollen 4/4 kicks, delivered through a hazy veil of lo-fi sonics, with gusts of vocal chants and field recordings of birds chirping before being fading into mere echoes. There's lots jam-packed into the nooks and crannies of this track—its sub-level base of dark and inviting atmosphere beckons you in, yet doesn't divert from the unrelenting, metronomic rhythm laying at its core. It's like Throbbing Gristle and Radio Slave combining their individual weirdness and forces.

"Feres" features wailing sirens and echoing, unsettling noises, as a skippy techno beat and bell-chime groove onward in the background, while the eerie sounds of the night taking precedence in the foreground. Finally, Clay serves up "Pict," a dizzying track with swirling synths, zipping and strained echoes and razor edged snares, adding up to a voyeuristic, darkly delicious outing that shifts focus towards its unique melodies, long atmospheric flourishes and layers of sonic nuances.

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Premiere: Download a Track from Max Cooper and Alex Banks http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-download-a-track-from-max-cooper-and-alex-banks/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-download-a-track-from-max-cooper-and-alex-banks/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 19:09:11 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103157 Max Cooper's Quotient series is a free download series that has allowed the renowned producer the freedom to veer away from the dancefloor, as he explains himself:

"The Quotient Series has been a nice opportunity to experiment with new music outside of the restrictions of record labels and their need to sell product. This freedom has left me open to put out a piano solo and feedback matrix, a 10 minute ambient to drum and bass glitch remix, a track scored to a video, a one off club collab and more - all projects that I wanted to try, and am glad I did, but that wouldn't easily fit into the usual EP/LP formats.

It's been a sort of sketch and experiment project, much of it tied to the Emergence visual shows, where I've been experimenting with how I can perform music and visual in sync in a live format."

The last and final track in the series, "Eve," is a collaboration with Monkeytown artist Alex Banks and, this time, is a much more club-focused affair, perfectly melding the signature sounds of both producers into a monolith of deeply wound textures and wall-shaking beats.

"Eve" can be heard in full below, with the track also available as a free download at maxcooper.net.

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Francis Harris and Gabe Hedrick Set to Release New Floods LP as Aris Kindt http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/francis-harris-and-gabe-hedrick-set-to-release-new-floods-lp-as-aris-kindt/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/francis-harris-and-gabe-hedrick-set-to-release-new-floods-lp-as-aris-kindt/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 17:12:12 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103085 Francis Harris returns to his own Scissor & Thread label—under the Aris Kindt alias—with the release of a new album titled: Floods. This most recent project has been written in collaboration with longtime friend and guitarist; Gabe Hedrick and precedes Harris' sophomore solo album, Minutes of Sleep, released on the same imprint in 2014.
As stated in a press release, it took the artists over a year to write the entire project, "using a vintage 808, a modular eurorack and two guitars" as main tools. According to Scissor & Thread, Floods' main focus will be on "W.G. Sebald’s profound interpretation of Rembrandt’s 1632 master work, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp."
Hear a preview of the album below.

A1 Now Grey
A2 Floods
A3 Blue Sky Shoes
A4 Snowbird
B1 Every New Thing
B2 Embers
B3 Braids

Floods will be released via Scissor & Thread on November 16, 2015.

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Ticket Giveaway: Win Two Tickets to Crosstown Rebel's 'Get Lost' in Los Angeles http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/ticket-giveaway-win-two-tickets-to-crosstown-rebels-get-lost-in-los-angeles/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/ticket-giveaway-win-two-tickets-to-crosstown-rebels-get-lost-in-los-angeles/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 16:53:59 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102968 Every year since its inauguration in 2010, the Crosstown Rebels curated party Get Lost Los Angeles has always served as a transition from Summer to Fall, a farewell to those headed out to the dust of Burning Man, and as an early indicator of what tunes will dominate the world’s best dance floors in the coming months. This year, despite a slight delay in timing, that tradition continues as Crosstown Rebel’s head musical shaman, Damian Lazarus, returns to his familiar stomping grounds for the 5th edition of Get Lost Los Angeles.

To show its love for the Los Angeles community this weekend, XLR8R is giving away two tickets to Get Lost, taking place at Le Jardin on Sunday, September 27.  For your chance to win two tickets to this Sunday's gathering, give us a follow on Instagram and then enter your full name and email information below. XLR8R will choose one winner that will be contacted this weekend via the email provided. Terms and Conditions apply.

Pre-sale tickets and more information for Get Lost LA can be found by clicking here.

Instagram      Click on our badge to follow XLR8R_Official on Instagram.

Terms and Conditions:
  1. The promoter is, INMO and agent, XLR8R.com whose registered office is at 837 Traction Ave #304, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA.2. Employees of INMO / XLR8R.com or their family members or anyone helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition.
  2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  3. Closing date for entry will be Saturday, September 26 2015 at 11:59PM (PST). After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  4. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  5. The rules of the competition and the prize for each winner are as follows:
    • Only 1 entry per email address accepted
    • Must be 21 years of age or older to enter
    • Prize is for 2 tickets to Get Lost Los Angeles 2015 taking place at Le Jardin.
  6. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
  7. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
  8. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
  9.  Winners will be chosen at random from all valid entries received and verified by Promoter and or its agents.
  10. The winner will be notified by email within 8 hours of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 1 day of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
  11. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected.
  12. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  13. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  14. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of US.
  15.  The winner agrees to the use of his/her name in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current US data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
  16. Entries into the competition will automatically opt-in email for XLR8R.com weekly email newsletter, The Lowdown. User may unsubscribe at anytime.
  17. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  18. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to XLR8R.com and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at http://www.xlr8r.com/legal.

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Svreca Announces New EP with Remixes by Surgeon and Yves De Mey http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/svreca-announces-new-ep-with-remixes-by-surgeon-and-yves-de-mey/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/svreca-announces-new-ep-with-remixes-by-surgeon-and-yves-de-mey/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 16:51:15 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102965 Svreca has announced plans to release the Narita Remixed. TERMINAL 1 EP, with remixes by Surgeon and Yves De Mey.

The Narita Remixed. TERMINAL 1 EP is scheduled for November 13 release via Semantica.


A1 / 1. Mountain-splitter (Surgeon Remix)

B1 / 2. Trance (Yves De Mey Lush 104 Remix)

B2 / 3. Trance (Yves De Mey Env Follower Remix)

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Cubenx Set to Release Second LP, Elegiac http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/cubenx-set-to-release-second-lp-elegiac/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/cubenx-set-to-release-second-lp-elegiac/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 16:16:04 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102942 Hailing from Mexico, producer Cesar Urbina (aka Cubenx) is set to release his second album via French label InFiné Music. Having previously featured a number of downloads from Cubenx, we have come to truly appreciate his sonic adaptations as he has moved from producing dancefloor-centric techno to crafting the eclectic, dark, and orchestral sound that shines through in his newest release, Elegiacwhich is set to release on November 6. Constantly moving between Mexico, Paris, and Berlin, Urbina has embraced his life of travel wholeheartedly, adopting a nomadic mentality that has come to influence his music. His roving lifestyle is a central theme of the album, which he sums up in this statement:

“We’re not tourists, we’re travelers: tourists are those who think about going home from the moment they arrive, whereas a traveler might not come back at all.”

The album features four different vocalists who come from Mexico, Lebanon, France, and Berlin, further adding to the wanderlust vibes that Cubenx embraces in his music. While much of the music in the LP is lush and euphoric, the eclectic nature of the album features elements from a variety of genres that he has garnered from the road including UK Bass, Jungle, Trap, and a bit of field recording as well.

You can stream LP cut “Banquet,” which features french singer Pris Wayland, below and you can pre-order your copy of Elegiac on Bleep by going here.

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DJ Paypal Next up on Brainfeeder http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/dj-paypal-next-up-on-brainfeeder/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/dj-paypal-next-up-on-brainfeeder/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 14:42:07 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103111 DJ Paypal may be best known as a member of Chicago-based footwork crew Teklife, but in November, he'll arrive on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label with a new record, Sold Out. FACT reports that the double EP "takes him beyond the pale of footwork into something all his own," and features collaborations with fellow members of the Teklife syndicate DJ Earl and DJ Taye, plus Feloneezy, Jackie Dagger, Nangdo, Keiska, and Tielsie. Stream lead single "Awakening" below before Sold Out drops on November 13 in digital form, followed by a vinyl run in December.

01. Sold Out
02. Ahhhhhhh
03. Slim Trak
04. Awakening
05. We Finally Made It feat. DJ Earl
06. With Uuuuuuu feat. Feloneezy & Jackie Dagger
07. On a Cloud feat. Nangdo & DJ Taye
08. Say Goodbye feat. Keiska & Tielsie

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Hi-Five: Jacques Renault http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/09/hi-five-jacques-renault/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/09/hi-five-jacques-renault/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 13:00:27 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102471 Jacques Renault ZentrumJacques Renault's been a local New York all-star for years, in part through his production work with Marcos Cabral under the Runaway moniker (they also ran the On the Prowl imprint together), in part because of his relentless Gotham DJing schedule through the mid ’00s to this day, and certainly through Let's Play House, the label and roving party he runs with Nik Mercer. The last few years have seen his national and worldwide profile rise as well, largely through a busy touring schedule and a series of hot four-to-the-floor solo releases, edits and remixes that hit all the right spots. But now Renault's really ready for the spotlight: He's just released his debut LP, Zentrum, on Let's Play House, and it doesn't disappoint. The album—which features an all-star array of friends that includes Cabral, the Rapture's Luke Jenner, Mark Verbos, the Emperor Machine, and a/jus/ted's Teddy Stewart—references classic house and disco, but filtered through his own idiosyncratic prism for a fun set of tunes that's fully of the here-and-now. But Renault has a not-so-dirty little secret—he grew up in the D.C. area not as a dance-music acolyte, but as a fan of hardcore, postpunk and leftfield rock. A stint in Chicago—marked by a job working for the famed Gramophone record shop—helped to bring our young hero to the side of all that is good and right. But once a rocker, always a rocker, at least to a degree—and below, find Renault's five fave (guitar-heavy) seven-inch singles of the ’90s.


Jacques Renault's fave seven-inch singles of '90s.

JawboxJawbox “Motorist"/"Jackpot Plus!” (Dischord Records)
I might as well start off with one of Jawbox's 7"s for Dischord, a label that I was constantly buying from directly with almost every catalog update. I didn’t have a lot to spend, so to mix it up, I’d always pick out something new and something old. Fugazi, Shudder to Think, Flex Your Head, etc. The list goes on. I had a few tapes in the car, too, one of which was Jawbox’s Novelty, an album I know pretty much inside out.




The Make UpThe Make-Up, “Substance Abuse” (Time Bomb Recordings)
Along with Jawbox and Fugazi, I listened to a lot of Nation of Ulysses. I never saw them live, but I did catch the short-lived Cupid Car Club at Fort Reno one summer before the Make-Up started playing a bunch. There were  amazing lineups at the Black Cat and their benefit-type shows. Slant 6, the Cranium, Crom-Tech, etc. all stand out for me, and those shows always felt like such performances. Super-fun, and always a bit different from the other punk shows going on around the city.




MonorchidMonorchid, "Imposter Costume" (Lovitt Records)
This band was birthed from another Dischord fave of mine, Circus Lupus. I missed seeing them live, too, but this hybrid was even better. Killer riffs and serious band presence. They played with the Make-Up, Blonde Redhead and other indie bands from Arlington, Virginia. I used to joke how I saw Blonde Redhead the most because they opened up for so many bands back then. Now I see one of the group's twin brothers in my local grocery store and ask myself, "What are you guys up to?"




Jonathan Fire EaterJonathan Fire*Eater, "Give Me Daughters"/"The Search For Cherry Red" (Deceptive Records)
First time I saw this band was at 9:30 Club. They were different from the other D.C. bands, and I liked that a lot. Sort of like the U.K. bands I was getting into, too. Anyway, this sort of got me more interested in what was going on in New York, what the band scene was like up there. I’d only go to NY for day trips, so I didn’t get to spend that much time there to feel it out, but when I saw the Walkmen years later, at the Bowery Ballroom, it made me miss this band a little bit. I guess that’s how people feel when they see Ian MacKaye or Chain and the Gang.



BerlinBerlin “The Metro” (Geffen Records)
I wanted to include this because it’s actually one of the first 7"s that I ever had. My older sister’s friend gave me a handful of records and this was in the batch. He also gave me my first skateboard and shared stories about the local skate shop, the Sunshine House, and about Ian MacKaye coming in all the time to buy his signature maroon Vans. At the time, I didn’t really get it, and this record didn’t stand up to Henry Rollins or Government Issue, but years later I discovered it again along with Grauzone, Bush Tetras, Human League, Soft Cell, etc., which were pretty much my gateway to my disco-digging.


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Pearson Sound Teases New 12" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/pearson-sound-teases-new-12/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/pearson-sound-teases-new-12/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 11:17:06 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103060 Following the release of his self-titled debut album earlier this year, Hessle Audio co-founder Pearson Sound (a.k.a. David Kennedy) reenters the fray with a new 12", Thaw Cycle. Resident Advisor reports that the two-track affair is more club-oriented than the preceding album, and will be self-released by Kennedy on October 16. Until then, EP clips are streaming below.

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Slowburn "First One Back" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/slowburn-first-one-back/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/slowburn-first-one-back/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 02:32:42 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102882 Slowburn (a.k.a. Dave Hargadon and Phil Long) has been putting its name to discerning house and techno cuts for some time now, appearing on renowned labels such as Uzuri and Austere. The duo's latest EP, LDRX2, sees it return to the Lunar Disko fold for the first time since 2013's Lotus EP, with the end result being every bit as satisfying as the first. The release features the machine driven sounds of each producer individually, as well as their always on-point collaborative productions. Both accomplished producers in their own right, Phil and Dave complete the a-side of LDRX2 with their own individual jams, while the second half of the EP sees them don their collective alias once more. Consummating the LDRX2 package is the b-side track "First One Back," a final curious listen that only reminds us of the producers talent for churning out top-grade analog house and techno. All things told, this is another top quality package from the Slowburn lads, with "First One Back" available as a free download below.

First One Back

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Premiere: Stream the New Livio & Roby EP in Full http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-the-new-livio-roby-ep-in-full/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-the-new-livio-roby-ep-in-full/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 23:16:18 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102944 Romanian duo Livio & Roby have announced their debut on One Records with a stunning four track EP, entitled DT Revival.

Having been on the scene for over ten years, Livio & Roby have released on acclaimed labels such as Desolat, Saved and Fumakilla. Making great connections within the dance music elite they were soon signed to Loco Dice’s Artist Alife agency and the success that followed has taken them to all corners of the globe showcasing their dynamic DJ skills and innovative live set.

With their impressive album projects and constant flow of cutting-edge productions, the duo remain one of their nation’s leading acts in the field. Now part of the Lola Ed agency, they have a new collaborative album concept dropping on Desolat in the second half of the year, featuring some of the finest artists operating on our scene at the moment.

Their well known analog live project Premiesku is equally as successful with their debut album Indirect also released on Desolat, and further releases appearing on Apollonia, 2020 Vision and Vakant. Subb-an and Adam Shelton are big fans of their music and more than pleased to have them on board the label.

Ahead of the its September 28 release, the DT Revival EP can be exclusively streamed in full below.

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Hear "Nespole", the Opening Track from Floating Points' Forthcoming Debut Album http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/hear-nespole-the-opening-track-from-floating-points-fortcoming-debut-album/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/hear-nespole-the-opening-track-from-floating-points-fortcoming-debut-album/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 23:13:59 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102969 Floating Points today shares "Nespole", the opening track from his forthcoming debut Elaenia (out via Pluto in the UK and Luaka Bop in the US on November 6).

An intricate introduction to the album, the ebbs and flows of "Nespole" set the tone for things to come. Sporting lush layers of swelling synths, it's a brilliant precursor to the track that follows—the previously shared "Silhouettes (I, II & III)".

After debuting much of Elaenia live at Dimensions, Shepherd has also announced that he will bring his 11-piece orchestra to London's Islington Assembly Hall on November 17 2015. Pre-sale tickets are available now via Songkick. General sale will commence at 9am on Friday September 25.

Elaenia will be released on LP, CD and digital download. All pre-orders via the store will receive "Silhouettes (I, II & III)" and "Nespole" instantly.

Ahead of the album's release date, "Nespole" and "Silhouettes (I, II & III)" can be streamed in full below.

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Watch Haunting New Diamondstein Video for 'Nat Sherman Arpeggiator' http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/watch-haunting-new-diamondstein-video-for-nat-sherman-arpeggiator/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/watch-haunting-new-diamondstein-video-for-nat-sherman-arpeggiator/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 22:15:35 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102961 Los Angeles musician Diamondstein creates sci-fi soundscapes that blend the lines between Detroit’s techno underworld and evocative soundtracks of independent film. Described as cinematic techno and ‘Deep Score’, this new artists’s dark and dramatic dance music is beautifully realized in his new music video for his first official release titled "Nat Sherman Arpeggiator".

"Nat Sherman Arpeggiator", the first track off Diamondstein's upcoming EP The Ridges, is a powerful, waltzing song that uses slithering synth sequences to create the ominous but spiritual atmosphere at the core of Diamondstein's music. The accompanying video, directed by Jason Michael Roberts, shows a physically pristine dancer transform into a technological deity. According to the director, "The video is about visualizing the whole process of trans-humanism, and giving a face to the spirit behind a conscious machine."

The Ridges EP is scheduled for September 23 release.

Director/Editor/VFX - Jason Michael Roberts
Dancer - Ana Szimhart
DP/VFX - Patrick Lawler
Production Coordinator - Alyssa Fisher
Makeup - Daniela Grasso
Gaffer - Eric Ugland
Assistant Camera - Benjamin Rait
Additional Makeup - Rachel Rostad

Tracklisting: The Ridges

01 Nat Sherman Arpeggiato
02 RE
03 Conversations
04 Whorf
05 The Carving

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Stream Track from Ansome's Upcoming EP 'The White Horse' http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/stream-track-from-ansomes-upcoming-ep-the-white-horse/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/stream-track-from-ansomes-upcoming-ep-the-white-horse/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 21:00:05 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102891 Having previously released music on Mord, No Logo Music and his own imprint South London Analogue Material (S.L.A.M), techno producer Ansome has joined forces with the staunch techno producer Perc and his imprint Perc Traxs to bring you the severe sound of The White Horse. Bitter, turbulent, rambunctious and razor-sharp are the words that come to mind when listening to this new four track EP. While this form of highly aggressive techno is certainly not for everyone, the production value is spot on and it offers up a new take on “the way techno can be presented in a live context.” Elaborate and brimming with a type of energy that is seldom found in music these days, The White Horse, which is set to release on October 26, is a truly unique EP which is bound to further solidify Ansome’s reputation as a cornerstone of the London Techno scene.

You can stream the track “Dave The Rave” below and be sure to check out more sounds from Ansome by visiting his soundcloud here.

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Event Review: Berlin Atonal http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/event-review-berlin-atonal/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/event-review-berlin-atonal/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 19:20:51 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102898 Originally founded by Dimitri Hegemann in 1982 and  officially relaunched in 2013 by Laurens Von Oswald and Harry Glass, Berlin's Atonal festival was held at the abandoned Kraftwerk power plant in Mitte from August 19 through the 23rd. The series of music shows and audio-visual art installations that were at the heart of the festival left behind an impressive and extensive legacy. Although XLR8R missed the opportunity to attend the first two installments of the relaunched fest, its weighty contributions to the music and art worlds are so well known that the festival has turned into somewhat of a cultural institution, making us eager to see what this latest edition had in store for us.


From the moment XLR8R set foot onto the magnificent venue—a concrete, cathedral-like structure, with an atmosphere evocative of a Lynchian film and with a spread of art installations rivaling the infamous MONA museum in Tasmania—the bar was already set extremely high. And how could it not? This is a festival that for many years was at the forefront of the electronic and experimental music and art scene, meaning that it has a lot to live up to. The venue's concrete, open-plan interior, with its exceedingly high walls and pillars, made one feel extraordinarily minute against the immensity of the venue’s backdrop—and even with the obvious careful curation and overall planning of the event, the setting seemed to take a bit of the spotlight away from everything else. This wasn’t entirely a bad thing—but for a festival that was founded on the basis of pushing boundaries, we didn’t feel as though that were the case.

Ugandan Methods

Ugandan Methods

There were a lot of performances that did not live up to the expectations: David Borden and the Mother Mallard Ensemble’s kitschy synths rendition felt too outdated and dull for the occasion, for instance, and Shackleton’s Powerplant premiere was somewhat of a let down. Powell delivered one of his signature, high-energy, industrial-tinged breakbeat-techno sets—it was good, but in light of what the festival stands for, perhaps not adventurous enough. There were still some remarkably beautiful and standout acts worth mentioning. Max Loderbauer and Jacek Sienkiewicz carefully painted beautiful drone soundscapes which paired up with explosive projections in the background, all fitting together impeccably well with the mood of their eloquent set. A set from Regis and Ancient Methods, partnering up as Ugandan Methods, was also a grand success: Theirs was one of the rare performances featuring any beats to speak of, and they delivered a beautiful industrial-techno set that came as a breath of fresh air when contrasted with the rest of the festival’s drone monotonousness.The mise-en-scène of their performance was particularly striking—it was juxtaposed against the stunning cinematography of 1928’s La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (from director Carl Theodor Dreyer), re-edited in a way that matched the mood harmoniously. However, there were only a few of such standout acts, sadly not enough to compensate for many of the other, unexciting performances as a whole.



There is no denying that Atonal was extremely beautiful. Aesthetically speaking, it was grand, pure and candid. But for as much beauty as was conveyed, many performances altogether felt lackluster at best, leaving us craving for more. Bear in mind, this is a festival whose whole foundation was based on the purpose of providing artists the freedom to experiment freely—but unfortunately, this year fell short of that. While aiming to recapture the avant-garde and countercultural spirit it was once known for, it seemed as though many performers lost their voice, drowning against the surroundings that took the center stage—as if those surroundings were carving out an impossibly huge space to fill. Many of these acts felt similar to one another; in the end they seemed to merge together as one extended, drawn-out, drone soundtrack, one that stretched out for too long a time. The task of differentiating among performances became something of an effort, and perhaps five days was too much for the festival as a whole. We found ourselves questioning whether Atonal’s current popularity lies mainly on the hype surrounding it.

Atonal certainly has the makings of a unique and powerful event—and XLR8R remains hopeful that next year’s edition will be able to deliver more than just an aesthetically pleasing experience.

All photos: Camille Blake

berlin-atonal-2015-©-camille-blake-11berlin-atonal-2015-©-camille-blake-58berlin-atonal-2015-©-camille-blake-3 berlin-atonal-2015-©-camille-blake-29  berlin-atonal-2015-©-camille-blake-78 berlin-atonal-2015-©-camille-blake-82 berlin-atonal-2015-©-camille-blake-95 berlin-atonal-2015-©-camille-blake-124 berlin-atonal-2015-©-camille-blake-137

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Premiere: Hear Lucretio Remix IDGA's "No Glitter" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-hear-lucretio-remix-idgas-no-glitter/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-hear-lucretio-remix-idgas-no-glitter/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 17:07:20 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102884 Italian electronic music producer IDGA will drop his No Pictures, No Glitter EP via the vinyl-only 51Beats imprint at the end of the month.

Driven by analog machines, and with the Italian artist's typically dark and gritty stamp on it, the EP is a masterclass in functional, club-focused minimalism; splatterings of acid run wild atop drum-machine rhythms and coarse, swirling pads. IDGA's two originals, "No Pictures" and "No Glitter," land backed by a remix from Lucretio of The Analog Cops, who twists the deep textures of "No Glitter" into a slamming slab of raw analog house.

Ahead of the EP's release on September 30, you can stream Lucretio's remix in full below.

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Emika launches Kickstarter campaign for 'How To Make A Symphony' http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/emika-launches-kickstarter-campaign-for-how-to-make-a-symphony/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/emika-launches-kickstarter-campaign-for-how-to-make-a-symphony/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 16:31:38 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102713 Following on the heels of her 2015 album, DREI, producer and composer Emika is now launching a Kickstarter project to fund her first-ever symphony, to be recorded by the 70-piece Prague Metropolitan Orchestra. She's calling on her fans to help her bring the project to life, with rewards including 1-on-1 Skype production tutorials, contributor credits in the album notes, or a trip to Prague to see the album being made and dinner with the composer herself. How To Make A Symphony is setting up to be Emika's most ambitious project yet, with the help of soprano vocalist Michael Srumova, and Emika herself composing and producing the entire score.

You can find out more about the project by watching the Kickstarter campaign video below, and you can find out more about the donation reward levels by clicking on this link.

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Podcast 405: Ricardo Tobar http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/09/podcast-405-ricardo-tobar/ http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/09/podcast-405-ricardo-tobar/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 15:39:22 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102780 At the risk of repeating, we here at XLR8R have the good fortune of hosting yet another exquisite mix—this one coming from the hands of the Chile-born, Paris-based Ricardo Tobar. Previously releasing on Riley Reinhold's Traum Schallplatten and James Holden's Border Community labels, among others, his latest work—titled, succinctly enough, Collection—came out this past May, and like much of his music, its songs are rich, highly textured and emotive, often treading the area between heavenly, almost shoegazey bliss and rough, rugged grit. And that's what you get in the below mix as well: Celestial synths undulate over rough-hewn rhythms, while bursts of uplifting melody break through shards of electronic rattle. It's an enthralling, adventurous and fulfilling set, one that we suspect we'll be coming back to often.

VIDEO: Ricardo Tobar discusses his XLR8R podcast. 

01 Roman Flügel “Occult Levitation” (Dial Records)
02 Prof. Delacroix “Cupid” (Deepblak)
03 Fx Mchn “Art 2 Mouse” (London Housing Trust)
04 Thom Yorke “Guess Again!” (Landgrab)
05 Kyle Hall “Dr Crunch” (Wild Oats)
06 Ghost Culture “Giudecca” (Factory Floor Remix) (Phantasy)
07 Avus “Hill of Beans” (Passive Front Records)
08 Jonathan Kusuma “The Grand Search” (I'm a Cliché)
09 Francis Bebey “Forest Whistle” (Daphni edit) (Born Bad Records)
10 Errorsmith & Mark Fell “Cuica Digitales” (Pan)
11 Marcos Cabral “Man's Job” (Crème Organization)
12 Tobar “Mountains Are High Enough” (no label)

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Premiere: Stream the Video for Robag Wruhme's Remix of Coma's New Track http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-the-video-for-robag-wruhmes-remix-of-comas-new-track/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-the-video-for-robag-wruhmes-remix-of-comas-new-track/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 11:00:04 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102857 Following last week's Lora EP, Coma have now released the video for the Robag Wruhme remix of lead track "Lora," which can be streamed in full below.

Lora EP was released September 18 via Kompakt.


01/A1. Lora
02/A2. Lora (Pional Mix)
03/B. Lora (Robag Wruhme Mix)

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Breaking News: Function to Perform at dB Conference Closing Party During Decibel 2015 http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/breaking-news-function-to-perform-at-db-conference-closing-party-during-decibel-2015/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/breaking-news-function-to-perform-at-db-conference-closing-party-during-decibel-2015/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 11:00:02 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102754 This weekend, as part of our annual trip to the Seattle-based immersive electronic music experience known as Decibel, XLR8R and CreativeLive have just announced that they have teamed up with Decibel Festival to celebrate the end of dB Conference 2015 and kick off the festival weekend with an exclusive online performance.

Immediately after our official dB Conference panel "How to Get your Music Heard," taking place on Friday at 4:30pm PST at The Crocodile, XLR8R and CreativeLive will be offering up a live broadcast on XLR8R TV, featuring a performance by Berghain resident and Infrastructure New York label boss, Function.

Decibel is offering this event as a free show to the community, and with the help of CreativeLive, the show will  broadcast directly on XLR8R. Join us in person at the Crocodile in Seattle, WA at 5:30 PM or tune in live right here on XLR8R. You can also join us for our Official Afterhours party taking place at Q Nightclub, as part of the Decibel 2015 program.

RSVP for the live broadcast by clicking here:

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Aphrohead Resurrection http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/aphrohead-resurrection/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/aphrohead-resurrection/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 09:00:03 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102736 A recent poll of millennial-generation electronic-music consumers reveals that for many of them, Felix da Housecat is most known for his electroclash-era work, notably the scene-defining Kittenz and Thee Glitz album. Admittedly, this was a somewhat unscientific survey—we basically asked a few friends—but it still points to a problem for the man born Felix Stallings Jr.: When you make something as iconic as Kittenz and Thee Glitz and songs like "Silver Screen Shower Scene" and "Madame Hollywood," it can be difficult for fans to think of you as being capable of doing anything else. Admittedly, Stalling's version of electroclash was a bit more thoughtful than that of, say, A.R.E. Weapons or Avenue D (though we'll admit a soft spot for the latter's "Do I Look Like a Slut?"). But the Windy City native has a reach that extends far beyond the surface-sheen charisma of his early ’00s material; some of his ’90s house and techno releases, in particular, were inspired and inspiring. His 12-inch output under various names on such seminal labels as Strictly Rhythm and Djax-Up-Beats; albums like 1995's Metropolis Present Day? Thee Album, a sublime, contemplative long-player that, for many, stands alongside Larry Heard's most emotive music of the same era; and not least, his rough and raw, technoid output under the Aphrohead moniker—these all demonstrated that Stallings, as much as anyone, understands the power and potential of the 4/4 beat.

After a decade and a half of dormancy, the Aphrohead name was brought back for last year's "Grown Man Cry"; released on Crosstown Rebels, the track was a straight-up, no-messin'-around techno charger, one which bode well for a promised Aphrohead album. And now we have it: the aptly named Resurrection, also put out through Crosstown, has just hit the shops. To call it a "return to form" isn't quite right—you won't get that shock-of-the-new buzz that older clubbers felt when the early Aphrohead tracks were first played in the clubs, and Stallings has never really slowed down anyway—but still, Resurrection shows that he still knows his way around a gritty rhythm. As you might expect, it's an album brimming with the spirit of house's early days—but it's imbued with that spark, that special frisson—that pizzazz—that  Stallings brings to most everything he touches.

Stallings's called the music on Resurrection "train music," and that pretty much nails it; most of these tracks come rattling down the rails with a chugga-chugging vibe that, at least for four-to-the-floor fans, will be immensely appealing. The album leads off with "KlymaXXX," a song that with its new-wavy, vaguely Euro melodic sense feels like a toughened-up version of his early '00s output. It's a fine tune, but things really get rolling with the next cut, "Come to Me" —with its ascending bassline, eerie spoken vocals and lo-fi sound, it could pass for a lost Nu Groove classic. The distorted kick, rat-a-tat snare and bare-bones minimalism of "Let's Prance" would kill over a big sound system (the Radio Slave & Thomas Gandey remix already has, at pretty much every big festival we've been to over the past few months); the equally stripped-down but marginally weirder "Elevator (I'll Take The Stairs)" is a industrial-age theme song of sorts, all clattering percussion and angular synth lines; and "Medusa," not to mention pretty much the entire last third of the album, is forceful, burly, relentless techno. Resurrection may not be as seminal as Stallings's early work (what could be?), nor will it prove as iconic as Kittenz and Thee Glitz—it's a stellar set of sturdy, pure club music, nothing more and nothing less. But Aphrohead is back—and for that, we're thankful.

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Video Premiere: Watch a New Video from Benjamin Damage on 50WEAPONS http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/video-premiere-watch-a-new-video-from-benjamin-damage-on-50weapons/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/video-premiere-watch-a-new-video-from-benjamin-damage-on-50weapons/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 08:00:53 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102725 As the collective music world gathers together to say farewell to 50WEAPONS, the Monkeytown sub-label that has treated us to productions and remixes from the likes of Truncate, Marcel Dettmann, and FJAAK, we can rejoice in the fact that there are still a couple more releases to come from the label as it navigates towards a closing date at the end of this year. The final full-length album to be delivered on 50WEAPONS comes out this Friday, and is from none other that Benjamin Damage, the first artist to release on the label other than Modeselektor. Following this LP, 50WEAPONS will prepare the final releases on the label, including an box set that comes with 11 different 12" records and a custom USB stick that is available for pre-order now. To celebrate the upcoming release of the Benjamin's album, XLR8R is proud to debut the music video for the single "Pulse Width," directed by Konx-om-Pax & Michael Tan. The video also includes exclusive album art created by Stefan Endress. The video and song represent all of the emotion and style that we have come to love from 50WEAPONS, and we couldn't be happier to help debut this piece of art, for all the world to see.

You can pre-order your copy of Obsidian right now by visiting Monkeytown website, and "Pulse Width" is now available for immediate download when pre-ordering the album on iTunes. You can check out the glorious video for "Pulse Width" by clicking on the player below.

Pre-Order here:

iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/pa7wq49
Vinyl: http://tinyurl.com/nwybjha
CD: http://tinyurl.com/pxng4sh

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Silk 86 "Dem Curves" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/silk-86-dem-curves/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/silk-86-dem-curves/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 01:48:02 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102807 London-centric beat-makers Finn Casey and Thomas L are the faces behind the new Silk 86 project that is responsible for tracks such as "Buying Time" and "Could This Be", which were featured on its last EP giveaway, "On The House Vol.1." Having cut its teeth over the last decade DJing and promoting in the underground scene of East London, Silk 86 resolved to disregard genre stereotyping in favor of incorporating its eclectic musical background as its calling card. A cultured upbringing drenched in hip-hop has brought together a unified ethic to the sound, with a penchant for smooth basslines, hypnotic synths, and crisp percussive cuts that highlight a production prestige and confidence that outweighs its years. Picking up where it left off, On The House Vol. 2 features seven new tracks from the duo available for download right now. On The House Vol. 2 kicks off with 'Dem Curves,' which premiered on Radio One via George Fitzgerald's residency show. The full package features a host of original works that you can grab by heading over to their website.

Silk 86 will also continue its residency at XOYO over the year, with the next date falling on October 3rd with Carl Craig & Busy P.

Dem Curves

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Premiere: Stream Kasra V's Latest EP, Atlantis, in Full http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-kasra-vs-latest-ep-atlantis-in-full/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-kasra-vs-latest-ep-atlantis-in-full/#comments Mon, 21 Sep 2015 18:28:40 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102712 Tehran-born Kasra V's sophomore EP, Atlantis, will land on the vinyl-only LIPS imprint on September 28.

Now based in London, Kasra's built a strong reputation as a DJ off the back of his bi-weekly ‘Paradise’ show on NTS
Radio, and his various residencies around London's underground circuit. Launching into the production realm with his debut EP, The Persian Prince—also released on LIPS—Kasra now returns with the three-track Atlantis, an EP filled with the sort of off-kilter, balearic-tinged grooves he has built his name off. Fusing samples, stirring sound design, dubby basslines, and cosmic synth work, Atlantis presents three varied and world-class cuts of old-school indebted house.

Ahead of its release on September 28, Atlantis can be preordered here, with all three cuts from the EP streaming in full below.


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Event Review: Oasis Festival http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/event-review-oasis-festival/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/event-review-oasis-festival/#comments Mon, 21 Sep 2015 17:31:18 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102630 It’s very rare that a festival finds the right formula for its first edition—and Oasis in Marrakech is no different. Hosted inside the rather luscious grounds of the Fellah Hotel, a luxurious location that encompass both a small farm and several impressively adorned villas, the opportunity is there for an event to find a comfortable home in a heavily saturated market—but there are a number of issues that must first be resolved.

For the sake of convenience, I shall begin with the negative—most notably the production. The entire event was small, with no more than 2,000 people— many wealthy English and French—coming through the gates each day, spread between just two stages: Desert Oasis and Bamboo Arena.

While the presence of a large swimming pool in the former lent itself to a great Ibiza-like mid-afternoon party, allowing people to lounge around and cool off with the likes of Gerd Janson or Axel Boman spinning the discs, this set-up did not transfer to the later hours when the sun had set. In effect, there was no real dancefloor besides a small dusty area positioned almost directly below—but almost completely out of sight of—the DJ booth, which is placed high up in one of the neighboring villas. The DJ could not see the crowd, and the crowd could not really see the DJ—and this disconnect created an atmosphere of banging techno music that was almost entirely absent of any sort of if narrative or intimacy.





On the flip side, the sound, provided by multiple Funktion-One stacks, was very good—much better than that of the Bamboo Arena, a small, intimate stage nestled within a small woodland that could have used more speakers directed towards the center of the crowd. Similar questions must also be asked of the location of the DJ booth: The small island in the middle of the dancefloor could not have been more perfect for a festival focal point, and would have allowed the crowds to wander around the stage. Provided capacity for the festival was increased slightly, this would then serve as a magical area to experience the music.

Related to the above (and something that could also be easily addressed) is timing. Make no mistake: The setting of Oasis festival is nothing short of spectacular, with the clear night skies and the beautiful Atlas mountains perched on the horizon—but the organizers should exploit this by extending the hours until after sunrise. Admittedly, the event already feels long, stretching from 1pm each afternoon to approximately three the following morning, but I have no hesitation in suggesting that it should start and end later, catering for both a sunrise and sunset set. A case could even be made for just extending the hours by allowing allowing DJs more time in the booth. Besides DJ Harvey, who gave a spectacular four-hour show, each artist was restricted to just a two hour window, which seemed rather arbitrary.

The final, though smaller, issues were the extortionate prices of the refreshments and the behavior of the security personnel. It’s only basic economics for festivals to charge more for food and drinks within the grounds, but a price of 100 Moroccan dirham— approximately US$11, £7 or €9—for a regular sized beer seemed excessive. The food—though admittedly delicious and perfectly varied—was similarly priced and left one feeling slightly short-changed—given, of course, the length of the party and the €180 fee for a basic three-day festival ticket.

As for the security guards, they were overzealous in their endeavors. This was evident when three of them positioned themselves in the front of the Bamboo arena, looking out into the thinning crowd. But the problem was really highlighted when they threw—not ushered—out several gentleman for smoking marijuana. Security at these events is paramount for a reason (especially in a developing nation), and they can't condone the intake of illegal substances, but common sense must prevail if there is to be the relaxed vibe that will be so central to the the event’s success.






IMG_7430 (1)

Having read the above, it would be easy to assume Oasis festival’s first edition to be a failure, but there is no doubting that the promoters will be pleased with their work—and rightly so. The organization, from the shuttle buses between the main sites to the accommodations, was great. And, though numerous and of notable, all the aforementioned changes can be made without too much difficulty. The dancefloor problem can be corrected by bringing the stage down from the tower and shifting it 90 degrees (which should actually have been done after the first night of the event)—and the security guards can be instructed to relax, a little more. It must also be said that such changes should be accompanied by an increase in capacity to create more of a festival atmosphere, rather than an exclusive-party vibe.

Credit must also go to the organizers for attracting such a stellar lineup, with particular note going to the likes of Âme, Adriatique and Blond:ish, all of whom played spectacularly. A case could also be made for adding a little bit more variety, but Oasis is never going to compete with the likes of Dekmantel or Sonar when it comes to the range of talents on offer. The Oasis experience is as much about the culture as the music, and so this year's lineup served its purpose very effectively.

Away from all this evaluation, it is a hope of mine that the festival does succeed. Besides the pleasure that it gave to most, if not all, of those who attended, the benefit to the local community must not be overlooked. It goes without saying that the presence of such an event will work wonders for the Moroccan music community, but the benefits stretch well beyond this by providing work in security and hospitality—all of which was locally sourced.

Many first-time festivals will fail because there is no gap in the market, even though they have done the best with their resources. But Oasis is different: The formula is there, but it has just not been properly executed yet. My leaving thoughts are that the founders have stumbled upon a small gap in the market for affluent people who wish to explore the Moroccan delights and have a penchant for electronic, but wish to avoid the large-scale crowds and camping that are so commonly associated with weekend-long music events. Provided the above changes are successfully made, Oasis Festival could turn out to be a great success.

Next year, we shall see.

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Stream and Download a New Mix from DJ Richard http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/stream-and-download-a-new-mix-from-dj-richard/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/stream-and-download-a-new-mix-from-dj-richard/#comments Mon, 21 Sep 2015 16:54:51 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102705 Shortly following the release of his debut LP Grind on Dial, White Material co-founder DJ Richard has delivered the latest installment of Resident Advisor's podcast series. In keeping with the album's brooding, rough-around-the-edges production style, the mix samples '80s-era Dutch, Belgian, and UK obscurities plucked from the bins at Berlin's Record Loft. RA describes the 75-minute session as "a transmission from the dark corners of the subconscious." Stream it in full and read a brief Q&A with the Rhode Island School of Design alum here.

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Shigeto Set to Release New Intermission EP Next Month http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/shigeto-set-to-release-new-intermission-ep-next-month/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/shigeto-set-to-release-new-intermission-ep-next-month/#comments Mon, 21 Sep 2015 16:14:15 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102688 Detroit artist Zach Saginaw (a.k.a Shigeto) has a new EP dropping next month via Ghostly International, after a two-year hiatus. This latest project precedes the release of his last full-length on the label titled: No Better Time Than Now, released in 2013.

On why it took him this long to release new material: "I've been on the road for a long time now and also have been working on other projects," he goes on, "I haven't found the next step for me yet. I've been making loads of music as always, but I'm still looking for that concrete new path."

According to a press release, his latest Intermission EP represents: "a snapshot of the artist's transition between ideas and inspiration."

Intermission will drop via Ghostly International on October 30, 2015.


1. Pulse
2. City Dweller
3. Gently
4. Do My Thing
5. Deep Breathing
6. Need Nobody

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Luca Lozano and DJ Sotofett Team Up on 12" for Hypercolour http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/luca-lozano-and-dj-sotofett-team-up-on-12-for-hypercolour/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/luca-lozano-and-dj-sotofett-team-up-on-12-for-hypercolour/#comments Mon, 21 Sep 2015 12:17:11 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102673 Klasse label funder Luca Lozano will deliver a new EP via Hypercolour on November 20. Over the past year or so, the ever-active Berlin producer has turned out a pair of 12"s with Sex Tags' DJ Fett Burger, plus a joint EP with Mr. Ho on Creme Organization. According to a press release, the forthcoming Gun Fingers finds Lozano paying homage to his early years in Sheffield with "the breakbeats, edits and bleeps of his native city." Two flipside remixes are supplied by another Sex Tags rep, DJ Sotofett, and are reportedly aimed at "those who spend time chasing around motorways in search of the party." View the EP's complete tracklist below, and stream clips here. (via Resident Advisor)

A1 Gun Fingers (Original Mix)
A2 Calling All Dancers
B1 Gurn Fingers Massive Mix By Dj Sotofett
B2 Dj Sotofett's Gurn Redouble Riddim

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Premiere: Stream a Track from the New Eduardo De La Calle EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-a-track-from-the-new-eduardo-de-calle-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-a-track-from-the-new-eduardo-de-calle-ep/#comments Mon, 21 Sep 2015 08:23:14 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102652 Just as the work of the Detroit pioneers he's always worshiped, Eduardo De La Calle's music has the rare quality of transmitting universal emotions through simplicity. The Spanish producer has a knack for distilling melancholy with analog machines, and his second release for John Talabot's Hivern Discs is no exception. Nanoscopic Scales features four soothing techno tracks dealing with different facets of his sonic palette, and comes wrapped in a very special artwork by Barcelona-based studio Affaire.

Ahead of the EP's September 25 release, a video to mark the release of the EP and "Format Times" can be exclusively streamed in full below.


Side A
Format Times

Side B
I Think I Love You
Passage 2561

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Deep Space Orchestra "Dream States" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/deep-space-orchestra-dream-states/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/deep-space-orchestra-dream-states/#comments Sat, 19 Sep 2015 01:31:17 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102609 Deep Space Orchestra is the collaborative project of Chris Barker and Si Murray, a team of sophisticated music lovers that are currently based out of the UK. Since breaking on to the scene in 2011, the duo has released successful productions on labels such as Delusions of Grandeur, Quintessentials, and Instruments of Rapture. In 2015, the pair started contributing regularly to the highly eclectic KMAH station radio shows, and completed their debut album entitled Memory, which is due for release on their home-base label, Use of WeaponsNever wanting to sound like a one-trick pony, Deep Space Orchestra conjured up an original mood with its new album, and are now offering up a free download ahead of its album release schedule. "Dream States" is a bass led track that combines a visceral lust for rhythm with a soothing and warm foundation that also has its phasers set to stun. You can pick up a copy of Deep Space Orchestra's Memory LP when it drops on Use of Weapons on September 28.

Dream States

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M/R M/R EP http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/mr-mr-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/09/mr-mr-ep/#comments Sat, 19 Sep 2015 00:00:59 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102566 Growing up in Queens in the pre-Internet ’90s, cross-pollination between sub-cultures was unavoidable, according to Billy Werner; he cites how punks, skaters, ravers, and hip hop heads all seemed to end up dancing at the pioneering NYC techno night NASA, the gathering famously depicted in the cult classic Kids. It’s with that same wide variety of influences that Werner has donned many musical hats over the years: singing for hardcore band Hot Cross, releasing disco-house records as Billy W on labels such as Nordic Trax and Marcos Cabral’s Hamilton Dance Records—and recently, making gritty techno under the alias M/R. Werner debuted the M/R moniker last year with an excellent 12” on Philly-based label Great Circles, eventually catching the ears of longtime friend and L.I.E.S. boss Ron Morelli, who included it in his best of 2014 list.

Prior to any techno debauchery, Morelli and Werner shared numerous bills in New York’s punk-hardcore scene, later sharing the DJ booth on Avenue A in the East Village to play disco and boogie sounds. “I’d been sending Ron stuff over the years, and my M/R stuff may have been a little unexpected for him, but I think the Great Circles release really clicked with him,” Werner remarked. After giving Morelli first crack at new material early in 2015, this 12-inch the result, with three of the new tracks and one older getting signed to the release.

The record's first cut, “Let That Shit Breathe”, is a dark slice of brooding techno with a menacing kick drum pumping; soon. haunting synths saunter in and add some wavy spook. “Just Say No” follows and slows the pace, shifting away from straight 4-4 in favor of a broken-beat laced with rolling swatches of cut-up drums, psychedelic samples and left-field atmospherics to create a heady arresting vibe.

On the flip is the head-nodding “Slinky Kids,” with a scratchy, modulating synth riff in the fore and slow-beat drums providing the backbone for the groove to wander in and out amid bright sonic flourishes. “Coconut Jar” closes out the release similarly to how it started: Dark, nasty four-to-the-floor techno and booming drums give way to a devious synth line laid on top.

All of Werner’s influences come through on this EP, with its four tracks bringing different styles and sonic qualities to the table. Werner’s affinity for kick drums and distorted, over-driven synths  harkens back to his punk DIY days with Morelli, but those influences turn out to be a mere vehicle for a true songwriter’s acumen, one that creates grooves that won’t leave your head. Already tipped as one to watch, definitely stay on the lookout for more M/R material in the near future.

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Ricardo Villalobos Returns to the US for Time Warp http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/ricardo-villalobos-returns-to-the-us-for-time-warp/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/ricardo-villalobos-returns-to-the-us-for-time-warp/#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2015 18:45:58 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102577 Returning to the US for the second year in a row on November 20 and 21, Time Warp US has announced its 2015 lineup.

Arguably the most enticing addition to the phase one announcement, which includes Luciano, Chris Liebing, Joseph Capriati and Seth Troxler B2B Jamie Jones, is the edition of minimal mastermind Ricardo Villalobos, who returns to the US for the first time since 2011.

Time Warp US will take place across two floors at the awe inspiring Bedford Armoury in Brooklyn, with Time Warp's "Cave 2.0" setup—which you can check out below along with last year's aftermovie—being shipped over from Germany for the event.

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The Lowdown: This Week's Top Posts with Helena Hauff, Mr. G, Dâm-Funk, Novation, Decibel Festival & More http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/the-lowdown-this-weeks-top-posts-with-helena-hauff-mr-g-dam-funk-novation-decibel-festival-more/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/the-lowdown-this-weeks-top-posts-with-helena-hauff-mr-g-dam-funk-novation-decibel-festival-more/#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2015 17:00:09 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102498 Subscribe to the XLR8R Lowdown

Throughout the week, a whole lot of material gets posted here on XLR8R. And while we know—and love—that some hardcore readers will eagerly pour over every single news story, interview, podcast, video, and MP3 download that appears on the site, we also realize that for most people, it's impossible to see everything. In the interest of making it easier for everyone to catch up, every Friday we present The Lowdown, a weekly wrap-up of the top post from our site. An expanded version of the The Lowdown is also available via our weekly email newsletter.

Podcast 404: Helena Hauff - roBOt Festival 2015 Edition

Helena Hauff doesn’t really fit the mold of the modern-day electronic musician. She continues to reside in Hamburg and actively avoids the limelight; she doesn’t self-promote or even attempt to communicate with her ever-expanding fan-base; you can’t even find her on Facebook, never mind Twitter.

Q&A: Mr. G

Longevity, consistency, and quality don't always go hand-in-hand—but for the U.K.'s Colin McBean, that seemingly comes effortlessly. His career dates back to the early '90s; among other claims to fame, he was the partner of Cisco Ferreira in the British techno outfit the Advent.

Q&A: Dâm-Funk

The spoken-word intro that leads off Invite the Light, the latest full-length missive from Dâm-Funk, comes with a proclamation: "If we invite the light, it will surely come to us," a processed, distorted voice informs us; "if we invite the funk, it will never let us down."

Review: Novation Launchpad and Launchkey 61

Novation’s Launchpad—which has now expanded to Pro, Mini, and app versions—has been a staple in the Ableton world (and the rest of the DAW world, for that matter) for many years now.

Ticket Giveaway: Win a Full Event Pass to Decibel 2015
creativelivedbconference (1)

For over a decade now, Decibel Festival has turned Seattle into an electronic music hotspot for one-week out of the year, showcasing some of the most reputable names in the scene at various locations around the city. Acts being featured this year include Marcel Dettmann, Bonobo, Daniel Avery, Dauwd, Nicolas Jaar, John Tejada, DJ Tennis, Lusine, and The Black Madonna, just to name a few.

News: Kode9 Announces Album Tour Dates for USA

September has been an exciting month for news surrounding Kode9 and his first solo album, Nothing, that is slated for release on November 2.

News: ADE Festival Completes 2015 Program

The nighttime program of the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is now finalised. Between October 14-18, more than 2,000 artists will be appearing at over 340 events across the 100 clubs and spaces that are participating with ADE.

Weekly Selections: Bacchanale Festival, Symbiosis, Club IHC, and Decibel Festival

The inaugural edition of Canada's Bacchanale Festival began on September 6 with Lil Louis and September 16 with Pearson Sound, while its main events take place this weekend at Montreal's Old Port featuring live sets by Octave OnePhuture and Vril, and dj sets by Omar S, Answer Code Request, and others.

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