XLR8R http://www.xlr8r.com Accelerating music & culture Tue, 21 Apr 2015 14:33:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Podcast 383: Walker & Royce http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/podcast-383-walker-royce/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/podcast-383-walker-royce/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 14:33:05 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89994 It was just a few years ago that the NYC DJ-production team Sam Walker and Gavin Royce were spinning opening sets at Cielo, doing the occasional remix for the venerable Nervous label and generally living the relatively simple life. Nowadays, of course, the longtime friends are budding international dance-music kingpins, thanks to a flurry of red-hot work for heavyweight labels along the lines of Dither Down, Crosstown Rebels, OFF Recordings and Moda Black (read a review of the pair's recent My Dream EP here); just yesterday, the pair dropped a remix of the Golden Boy's tune "The Promise" on Eton Messy Records. And that's not to mention the seal of approval from Pete Tong—the BBC Radio 1 tastemaker tapped the duo as Future Stars in 2013, and this past October, he recently selected their "Sister" as one of his Essential Tunes. Along the way, their sound has hugely evolved, morphing from charmingly low-key and emotive deepness into a thumping brand of house that's considerably tougher and and a bit more twisted—kind of like what you'll get with this mix from the men themselves. If you like what you hear—and we suspect you will—you can catch Gavin & Royce at San Francisco's Monarch on April 25, the Lost Village Festival in Lincolnshire, U.K. on May 23rd, at London's Ministry of Sound on the same day, and at the Gottwood Festival in Wales on June 11.

Video: Walker & Royce discuss their XLR8R podcast

01 Joshua "Let The Spirit" (Prescription)
02 Carl Craig, Green Velvet "Rosalie" (Relief Records)
03 DJ Deeon "Truthstrumental" (Dance Mania)
04 Gemini "On This Planet" (Walker & Royce Edit) (white label)
05 Trevor Rockcliffe "The Bells" (Steve Mulder Remix) (Mentor Records)
06 Walker & Royce - My Dream--- (Moda Black)
07 Green Velvet "Shake & Pop" (Relief Records)
08 Chambray "Rub" (DJ Haus Remix) (Ultramajic)
09 Till Von Sein "Sundowna" (Dyed Soundorom & Shonky Remix (Supplement Facts)
10 In Flagranti "Genital Blue Room" (Codek)
11 A Jackin Phreak "Take a Love Break" (Mental Groove)
12 The Glimmers "I'd Much Rather Go (Out With The Boys)" (Diskomo)
13 Marc Houle "Clock Width (Harvard Bass Remix)" (M_nus)
14 Groove Armada "Get Down (Walker & Royce Meltdown Remix)" (Moda Black)
15 Justin Jay "You Give Me Butterflies" (Pets Recordings)
16 Nick Höppner "No Stealing"(Osgut Ton)

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XLR8R Podcast 383 - Walker & Royce /a>

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Stream Another Track From Lockah's Upcoming EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/stream-another-track-from-lockahs-upcoming-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/stream-another-track-from-lockahs-upcoming-ep/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 14:02:09 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90071 As we reported last month, former Bubblin' Up artist Lockah is soon to release his new And Blue Brindle Too EP via Donky Pitch. The Scottish beatmaker (real name Tom Banks) has now made a second of its tracks available to stream pre-release. A blocky-yet-airy mix of euphoric synths and guitars and strident live drums, "You'll Suckers Don't Even Cut Corn" can be streamed on the player below ahead of And Blue Brindle Too's release on Donky Pitch on April 27.


1. Barcelona Drums
2. When Were U In '82, When Heate Legend Dies
3. You'll Suckers Don't Even Cut Corn
4. Canada Gifts
5. Barcelona Linn Reprise

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Nick Höppner Folk http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/04/nick-hoppner-folk/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/04/nick-hoppner-folk/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 13:00:10 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90002 If you've been the manager of Ostgut Ton, one of the foremost techno labels of the day, it is clear you know what sort of records make a club tick. Couple that with ten years plus of production experience and a DJ diary that would be the envy of any underground spinner, and what you have is the recipe for a kicking full length. And that’s pretty much what we get from Nick Höppner’s debut solo album, Folk. Given the amount of time he has spent in clubs over the years, it’s refreshing that Höppner stays true to what he knows here and opts to serve up plenty of floor-facing fodder, despite the fact such a collection of tracks will always risk the wrath of the anti-dance album brigade.

But this one works just fine, because it unfolds like a set: a robust, forceful set that barrels along on bulky drums and never really leaves you hanging long enough to get bored. That’s not to say every track is a winner—there are some filtered vocals on "Come Closer" that lend it a rather naff electro-house feel. And the slower tempo of "Relate," though obviously intended to stall the album’s growing momentum before a big closer, is all too pleasantly inoffensive and middling.

The album opens on "Paws" (one of its most triumphant notes along with the similarly rush-y title track) with translucent and gloopy synths slithering around a train-track kick-clap like oil on water. It's an effervescent house track that sounds like little else, and sets in motion the sort of slick groove that rarely wanes from there on in. Tracks like "Mirror Image" build on that nebulous sense of rhythm—it jitters up and down, leaving long shimmering tails of percussion and diffusive synth lines in its wake.

Rather than being imbued with a musty and humid techno feeling, much of Höppner's work here feels more akin to the soaring serenity of Detroit's finest hi-tek soul: "Out Of" rides a grinding bass riff to the outer edges of the galaxy, "Rising Overheads" is pregnant with a sense of growing unease and inner tension in line with its fiscally suggestive title and the stomping "Grind Show" offers a more brutal, dark and industrial mood. Whatever style he opts for, then, Höppner has a rare knack for propulsion that is impossible to ignore.

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Suzanne Kraft Preps LP for Melody As Truth http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/suzanne-kraft-preps-lp-for-melody-as-truth/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/suzanne-kraft-preps-lp-for-melody-as-truth/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 12:32:06 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90068 As reported over on RA, LA producer Suzanne Kraft (real name Diego Herrera) has a new album coming soon on Jonny Nash's Melody As Truth imprint. Following on from releases in varying styles on the likes of Running Back, Young Adults and Noise In My head, the Talk From Home LP finds Herrera heading into relaxed, sun-dappled Balearic territory. Snippets from all of Talk From Home's seven tracks can be streamed on the player below ahead of the album's full release in July.

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Premiere: Watch a New Video From Christian Tiger School http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-watch-a-new-video-from-christian-tiger-school/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-watch-a-new-video-from-christian-tiger-school/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 12:02:53 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90061 Young South African pair Luc Veermeer and Sebastiano Zanasi (a.k.a. Christian Tiger School) have made waves of late with their LA beat scene-inspired melding of the sounds of their homeland with influences ranging from hip hop to ambient and jazz. The pair's debut album is due in the summer, ahead of which Vermeer and Zanasi have shared with XLR8R the video for a glowing, fleet-footed album track called "Chorisolo."

On the video, directors Christopher Bisset and Ross Hillier break the cardinal "never work with children or animals" rule. "The cast ... was made up of friends' dogs," Bisset explains. "The trickiest thing, technically, was trying to train the dogs to keep time with the beat and to stop looking at the camera. Lots of retakes." The surprisingly disciplined results can be viewed below ahead of the release of Chrome Tapes in the summer on Tommy Boy Entertainment.

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Premiere: Stream Four Tracks From Quiet Dawn's Debut Album, The First Day http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-hear-quiet-dawns-debut-album-the-first-day/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-hear-quiet-dawns-debut-album-the-first-day/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 18:50:16 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90008 Today, French producer Quiet Dawn will release his debut album The First Day, a concept album of sorts centered on the "first day in search of love." The album sees release on First Word Records and is a collaborative amalgamation taking in jazz, hip-hop, and broken beat influences. The collaborators include Miles Bonny, Oddisee, and Sarah Gessler, among others, all adding their unique talents, with Quiet Dawn effortlessly forming a cohesive whole across the 12 tracks.

The First Day will be available on vinyl and digital here, with four of the album cuts streaming in full below.

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The Orb Announces New Album on Kompakt http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/the-orb-announces-new-album-on-kompakt/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/the-orb-announces-new-album-on-kompakt/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 17:09:21 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=90001 Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann (a.k.a. The Orb) will release Moon Building 2703 AD via Kompakt on June 22. The latest outing will follow up their 2005 album Okie Dokie It's The Orb On Kompakt, with another genre bending psychedelic LP. Alex describes the album as “a solid piece of music that mutates into an eight legged lunar Land Rover and takes off into a cosmic horizon of a million sounds, patterns and textures. It spins the listener on his/her head, rewiring their brains to maximum capacity, then brings them home, sweet home.”

Moon Building 2703 AD will be release on vinyl, CD, and digital on June 22, with full formats and tracklisting below.

Formats and Tracklisting:

180 gram vinyl LP:
A. GOD'S MIRRORBALL - 14:44 min
B. MOON SCAPES  2703 BC - 14:40 min
C. LUNAR CAVES - 13:06 min
D. MOONBUILDING 2703 AD - 13:06 min

Limited deluxe vinyl LP:
A. GOD'S MIRRORBALL - 14:44 min
B. MOON SCAPES 2703 BC - 14:40 min
C. LUNAR CAVES - 13:06 min
D. MOONBUILDING 2703 AD - 13:06 min
E. DILLA'S MOON QUAKE (The Orb's tribute to J Dilla) - 10:39 min
F. MOON QUAKE (slice of silver) - 08:44 min
MOON QUAKE 6  - 04:22 min

CD & download:
1. GOD'S MIRRORBALL - 14:44 min
2. MOON SCAPES 2703 BC - 14:40 min
3. LUNAR CAVES - 13:06 min
4. MOONBUILDING 2703 AD - 13:06 min

Download  deluxe:
1. GOD'S MIRRORBALL - 14:44 min
2. MOON SCAPES 2703 BC - 14:40 min
3. LUNAR CAVES - 13:06 min
4. MOONBUILDING 2703 AD - 13:06 min
5. MOON QUAKE (slice of silver) - 08:44 min
6. MOON QUAKE 6  - 04:22 min

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Rodriguez Jr. "Persistence Of Vision (Retinaculum Dub Mix)" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/rodriguez-jr-persistence-of-vision-retinaculum-dub-mix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/rodriguez-jr-persistence-of-vision-retinaculum-dub-mix/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 16:15:17 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89988 French producer and live act Olivier Mateu (a.k.a. Rodriguez Jr.) released "Persistence Of Vision" on Mobilee Records almost a year ago. The typically melodic and soulful track become a key part of his live set and was the perfect accompaniment to last summer. Now a year on, we've been gifted a dub mix of "Persistence Of Vision," a deep and throbbing cut which was produced to give Mateu a darker option in his live sets. "This remix of 'Persistence Of Vision' has been created especially for my live performances." Mateu says, "My aim was to translate the original track, which is kind of housey and melodic, into something for darker rooms. It's been a great tool so far, as all of my sets really take off when I drop this bassline." You can check out a video of one of Mateu's live sets below, recorded at the recent Desert Hearts festival, along with a free download of the dub mix of "Persistence Of Vision".

Persistence Of Vision (Retinaculum Dub Mix)

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Marcel Dettmann, Norman Nodge, and Kobosil Remix Terence Fixmer http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/marcel-dettmann-norman-nodge-and-kobosil-remix-terence-fixmer/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/marcel-dettmann-norman-nodge-and-kobosil-remix-terence-fixmer/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 16:05:58 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89989 A Terence Fixmer original, "Aktion Mekanik Theme," has been given the remix treatment by Berlin techno mainstays Marcel Dettmann, Norman Nodge, and Kobosil, and is due out this summer on Ostgut Ton. The track was originally released as part of Fixmer's EBM compilation for Music Man in 2003; a press release states that it was "as much a landmark release for techno as the whole Aktion Mekanik compilation was for EBM as a genre."

Dettmann reportedly approached Fixmer with the remix project after hearing the original version played out by Kobosil in a club. "Marcel suggested to give this track a new life through remixes," Fixmer is quoted as saying. "The Kobosil one injects an amazing energy with a great sound, I wish I would have done such a version at that time. The Norman Nodge version could be a track done in '89 or '90, it sounds so much New Beat, very Belgian, like another original. And Marcel uncovers the core, the essence of the original—it has much suspense, it's dark and atmospheric."

Aktion Mekanik Theme Versions will see an official release on June 8, and the EP's complete tracklist is posted below, along with an unofficial stream of Fixmer's "Aktion Mekanik Theme."

A1. Action Mekanik Theme (Kobosil 44 version)
B1. Action Mekanik Theme (Norman Nodge NN Version)
B2. Action Mekanik Theme (Marcel Dettmann theme Version)
Digital bonus track: Action Mekanik Theme (Original Version)

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Blawan to Inaugurate New Label, Shares EP Previews http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/blawan-to-inaugurate-new-label-ternesc/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/blawan-to-inaugurate-new-label-ternesc/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 13:31:33 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89981 Jamie Roberts, the British techno producer better known as Blawan, has announced the start of his own label, TERNESC. While largely occupied with building his Karenn project with Pariah over the past few years, Roberts is planning to inaugurate the imprint with his first solo material since 2012. As he explained earlier today on Facebook (and Resident Advisor reports), TERNESC is named for his London club night by the same name and will serve as the main platform for his productions under the Blawan moniker. The upcoming EP, entitled Warm Tonal Touch, offers four modular techno tracks and is slated for release on May 12; a follow-up record will reportedly arrive "not long after."

Ahead of the release of Warm Tonal Touch next month, clips are available to stream below, where the EP's complete tracklist has also been included.

01. Talatone
02. Fentanyl
03. Slow Mick
04. Blue Bottle

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Various Artists Future Disco 8: ­ ​Nighttime Networks http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/04/various-artists-future-disco-8-%c2%ad-%e2%80%8bnighttime-networks/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/04/various-artists-future-disco-8-%c2%ad-%e2%80%8bnighttime-networks/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 13:00:39 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89965 Naming your mix-CD compilation series Future Disco probably made a lot of sense when the premiere installment came out way back in 2009. Those were the heady days of the nu-disco movement, when the idea of cross-pollinating house, Balearic-tinged rhythms and glitterball beats still seemed shiny and new. (Never mind that the sound had basically been around since…well, since disco producers first discovered drum machines, which was a long time ago.) But that’s all beside the point, as the "disco" half of the moniker always seemed more of a suggestion than a rule—tracks like the subdued Koze remix of Mount Kimbie’s “Made to Stray” (from last year’s Future Disco 7) or Bot’ox’s “Blue Steel” (from 2010’s third edition) have a pretty tenuous connection with what most people traditionally think of as disco, anyway. The only thing that matters is if the compilations are any good—and if you’re at all into warm, moderately paced four-to-the-floor grooves with a generally optimistic feel, than the Future Disco series has been very good indeed. (Fans of, say, Lustmord might have a differing opinion.)

From the outset, it’s clear that Future Disco 8, released on the Needwant label, will not disappoint: Opener “Your Life,” from Australian producer Andras Fox, is a treat, its synapse-ticking chords and gentle orchestral stabs getting the mix started with a dose of warm-breeze-in-the-bright-sun cheer. The Tuff City Kids Acid Over remix of the Working Elite’s “Freedom” anchors dollops of lilting 303 bleeps with a percolating bassline and modulated piano; the James Zabiela version of Hot Chip’s “How Do You Do,” one of the more somber and grander tracks of the mix, marries spacious cathedral chords to its syncopated kick and claps; and Rob Basejam’s “Dippin’ In” is the kind of dream-state roller-skating jam that, to quote the great Vaughn Mason, will make you wanna “rock left, rock right, to the end of the groove.”

There are a few cuts that might divide listeners. Johnny Blake’s breathy voice on the Chopstick & Johnjon mix of Zoot Woman’s "Don’t Tear Yourself Apart" might annoy those averse to preciousness, for instance, though there’s little denying the beauty of the track’s cascading synths. Likewise, the vocals on the Gardens of Love remix of Vimes’s “Celestial” hue a little to close to Chris Martin’s oeuvre (definitely not a good thing)—though again, the song itself is utterly gorgeous. But those are minor complaints—this is a gem of a set, one that we think transcends categories, disco or otherwise. Bonus: a second CD with stand-along versions of some of the mix’s best tunes.

 

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Logos Preps EP for Different Circles, Streams Track http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/logos-preps-ep-for-different-circles/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/logos-preps-ep-for-different-circles/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 11:52:13 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89973 East London producer and Boxed regular Logos (a.k.a. James Parker) has shared details for an upcoming record on Different Circles, the label he and Mumdance launched late last year. The four-track Glass EP follows from Proto, his recent full-length with Mumdance on Tectonic, and features what is described as "an apocalyptic noise remix" from Berlin-based industrial techno producer Shapednoise. (It's worth noting that all three aforementioned producers also work together under the moniker The Sprawl.)

Glass will see a vinyl release on May 18, and its title track can be streamed via Boiler Room Debuts below, where the the EP's artwork and tracklist are also on view.

logosart_042015

A1. Glass
A2. Glass (Shapednoise Remix)
B1. No Skyline
B2. Savanna Overlord

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Camea Steps up for Get Physical's Full Body Workout Vol. 15 http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/camea-will-mix-get-physicals-body-workout-vol-15/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/camea-will-mix-get-physicals-body-workout-vol-15/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 22:43:13 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89956 On Monday, Get Physical will release the 15th edition of the popular Full Body Workout series mixed by Seattle's Camea. Alongside tracks from artists on the Get Physical roster such as Alican, Julian Ganzer & IOAKIM SAYZ, and Tom Peters, Camea has included two exclusives of her own; both of which you can preview below. Like the editions before it, the mix aims to present the sound and dynamic range of Get Physical, as well as the current movements happening in electronic music.

Camea will also be kicking off her new radio show concept, Neverwhere, which will air on the third Friday of every month on Digitally Imported Radio. The show will feature mixes from Camea, complimented by occasional interviews and guest mixes, which will set the stage for an eclectic mix of “dark, tech house grooves and spacey techno—stuff that takes me out there.”

Full Body Workout Vol. 15 will be released this coming Monday on Beatport, followed by all other outlets on May 8.


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Liar to Release New EP on Infinite Machine; Listen to a Preview http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/liar-to-release-new-ep-on-infinite-machine-listen-to-a-preview/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/liar-to-release-new-ep-on-infinite-machine-listen-to-a-preview/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 17:34:34 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89945 Bucharest producer Liar has become quite a fixture on Canadian label Infinite Machine and is described as their "resident tearjerker," with his back catalogue featuring ballads, pop influenced cuts, and "dream-spawned narrative arcs." His upcoming EP, Genesis Dubs, pulls heavily from '90s jungle and rave, with three thunderous tracks in line with the likes of Dillinja, Goldie and DJ SS.

You can preview the EP below, before its full release next week.

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Premiere: Stream the Forthcoming Desert Sound Colony EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-stream-the-forthcoming-desert-sound-colony-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-stream-the-forthcoming-desert-sound-colony-ep/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 17:00:18 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89920 London producer Desert Sound Colony debuted on Francis Harris and Anthony Collins' Scissor & Thread imprint late last year with his The Way I Began EP. Later this month he will follow that up with a second effort for the label, the four-track Cracks In My Soul EP. Like his debut, the release is a rich, reverb-heavy affair, "shimmering with hypnotic lullabies and sweeping, detail-orientated instrumentation." Ahead of its full release on Scissor & Thread on April 27, Cracks In My Soul can be streamed in full on the player below, where we have also included details of Desert Sound Colony's three US dates next month.


May 2nd: Further Future Festival - Las Vegas, NV
May 15th: Together Festival - Boston, MA
May 16th: Resolute - New York, NY

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Gordon "MK Ultra" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/gordon-mk-ultra/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/gordon-mk-ultra/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:14:45 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89940 Earlier this year, rising French producer Gordon released his debut EP, Bleu Merle, on the Infiné imprint. The four track affair showed a producer completely in tune with his sound with a set of dense productions heavily influenced by Detroit techno and leftfield electronic music. This time around, Gordon has offered up "MK Ultra," a smoky, hallucinogenic ride said to be inspired by the illegal CIA operation of the same name that attempted to brainwash people in the '60s and '70s. Across its nearly seven minute run, "MK Ultra" builds from disorienting vocals and a muted low end, to a hard hitting bassline, low slung chords, and swirling synths, all culminating into a track sure to set dancefloors alight.

MK ULTRA

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Kenny Glasgow Leaves Art Department http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/kenny-glasgow-leaves-art-department/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/kenny-glasgow-leaves-art-department/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:36:35 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89936 In a statement released this afternoon, Toronto house duo Art Department has announced the departure of Kenny Glasgow from the band after five years, two albums and a slew of EPs and remixes. In the statement, Glasgow says: "This kind of a project is like a creative marriage and after 5 years we just feel like there's more we need to do in other areas. Having already released a solo album, I have felt a strong need to follow that up and explore that side of my production. Art Department is in a great place and I'm not getting any younger, now is the time."

The pair's careers still look destined to be pretty interlinked, however. A new collaborative label is apparently in the works with the name Social Experiment, and the statement adds that the pair "will continue to do a very limited number of special appearances together throughout 2015 and have already been in talks about a potential live show as a future project."

Glasgow is planning to release his sophomore solo LP on the pair's No.19 Music label later this year.

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Stream Two Tracks From Kit Grill's Upcoming EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/stream-two-tracks-from-kit-grills-upcoming-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/stream-two-tracks-from-kit-grills-upcoming-ep/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:06:21 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89929 London-based NTS resident Kit Grill has made two tracks from his forthcoming, limited-edition EP available for stream via Boiler Room Debuts. The Europe EP carries on where his 2013 debut album, Mirror Image, left off, gathering together five strikingly beautiful, regal compositions recorded in January and February of this year. EP tracks "Overnight" and "Information" can be streamed on the player below, while Europe, which is limited to 100 copies, is released on Grill's own Primary Colours label this coming Monday, and can be pre-ordered on his Bandcamp page. Ahead of that Kit Grill can be seen in London tonight with longtime champion and associate Jacques Greene at AIRspace in Brixton.

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Nicolas Jaar Preps His First Solo 12" in Four Years http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/nicolas-jaar-preps-his-first-12-in-four-years/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/nicolas-jaar-preps-his-first-12-in-four-years/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 12:27:48 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89923 As RA reports, Nicolas Jaar has just announced his first solo 12" in four years. Details on the new release are currently thin on the ground—no previews or artwork are available yet and Jaar simply says that the two tracks that comprise it were recorded in his hometown of New York City between 2011 and 2015. He has however confirmed the track titles, which can be found below, as well as a release date of May 11 on his own Other People imprint.

A1 The Three Sides Of Audrey And Why She's All Alone Now
B1 No One Is Looking At U

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Tresor to Release Surgeon Boxset http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/tresor-to-release-surgeon-boxset/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/tresor-to-release-surgeon-boxset/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 02:27:16 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89912 Tresor Records, the label arm of the famous Berlin club, will reissue three albums from British techno pioneer Surgeon. The LPs—Basictonalvocabulary, Balance, and Free + Form—originally released on the Berlin imprint between '97 and '99, will now be presented as a series of 2xLPs throughout the year, while a bundle of the albums will arrive as a three disc CD box June 8. The original Remake 12"s that accompanied each album will also receive the same treatment, along with alternate versions by Surgeon and contributions from Mick Harris.

Tracklist:

Basictonalvocabulary:
01. (Intro)
02. First
03. Krautrock
04. Movement
05. 9 Hours into the Future
06. Depart
07. Rotunda
08. Waiting
09. Scorn
10. Return

Balance:
01. Preview
02. Golden
03. Circles
04. The Heath
05. Pnuma
06. Set One
07. Set Two
08. Box
09. Dialogue
10. Dinah's Dream

Force + Form:
01. Remants of What Once Was
02. Black Jackal Throwbacks
03. Returning To The Purity Of Current
04. At The Heart Of It All

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Premiere: Download a New Remix by Nguzunguzu http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-download-a-new-remix-by-nguzunguzu/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-download-a-new-remix-by-nguzunguzu/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 21:50:19 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89907 After lying dormant for almost 20 years, the legendary Fania Records was recently revived with a new focus on contemporary artists, giving them unprecedented access to the highly regarded back catalogue for remixes. Fania has since released remixes from artists such as Twin Shadow, Giles Peterson, and Quantic, in an ongoing series of remix compilations from Armada Fania. The upcoming compilation will feature a remix by Los Angeles based duo Nguzunguzu, who turn in a bouncy, percussion heavy rework of Willie Colon & Hector Lavoe's "Timbalero." To celebrate the release, Subsuelo and Late Night Laggers will be throwing a party at Los Globos tomorrow night, with MA from Nguzunguzu as a special guest.

You can find more info about the party here, with the Nguzunguzu remix of "Timbalero" available as a full stream and download below.

Timbalero (Nguzunguzu Remix)

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Seth Troxler Announces New EP on Tuskegee http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/seth-troxler-announces-new-ep-on-tuskegee/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/seth-troxler-announces-new-ep-on-tuskegee/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 20:43:30 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89902 Seth Troxler will release his latest EP, Just Back, on April 27 via Tuskegee, the label he c0-founded with The Martinez Brothers last year. The EP will be Troxler's first solo outing on the label and finds the DJ and producer in fine form with two slamming house cuts. "CZ" opens the EP with a bubbling atmosphere and sharp percussion, building tension towards a twisted organ line that kicks the track into overdrive. "Junkyard Tool" rounds things out and is an altogether more propulsive track; complete with rolling percussion and swirling, overhead, synths.

Just Back will be released on Vinyl April 27, with the digital release following on May 18.

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Premiere: Hear Eprom Remix Amon Tobin's "In Your Own Time" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-hear-eprom-remix-amon-tobins-in-your-own-time/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-hear-eprom-remix-amon-tobins-in-your-own-time/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 17:07:04 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89896 Amon Tobin is back with Dark Jovian, an exclusive Record Store Day release and his first since 2011's breathtaking ISAM. The EP is a stunning, sonic experimentation with cinematic qualities, which wears it's influences on its sleeve. "I made these tracks a year or two ago after binge-watching space exploration films. People have, from time to time, described things I've done as "scores for imaginary movies," which has always irritated me, but on this occasion it's sort of true." Amon says, "Anyone who loves John Williams, Gerry Goldsmith or Gyorgy Ligeti will hopefully see what I'm drawing from, and how it then sits in an electronic context. Dark Jovian is a small personal project which is, nevertheless, dear to me: A one off indulgence into a genre that I love."

Dark Jovian will be released via Ninja Tune this Saturday, with the Eprom Remix of "In Your Own Time" streaming in full below, along with the product video for the release.

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Usmev "This Vibe (Vocal Mix)" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/usmev-this-vibe-vocal-mix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/usmev-this-vibe-vocal-mix/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:35:18 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89892 We last heard from Usmev in February this year with his rework of Trulz & Robin's "Adventure," which saw the Barcelona producer add his club-ready touch to the almost beatless original to great effect. Now, Usmev is back with his latest EP, This Vibe, on Cymasonic Recordings, which shows the producer's range with a melange of dancefloor focused pieces. Included on the release is "This Vibe (Vocal Mix)," a slamming, vocal heavy track opening with sharp hi-hats and looped chords, progressing into a hard hitting bassline. The EP will see release May 2 and in the meantime you can download "This Vibe (Vocal Mix)" for free below, with the "This Vibe" also streaming in full. 

This Vibe (Vocal Mix)

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Pev & Hodge Announce Joint EP for Livity Sound, Share Previews http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/pev-hodge-announce-joint-ep-for-livity-sound-share-previews/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/pev-hodge-announce-joint-ep-for-livity-sound-share-previews/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:56:31 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89884 Pev & Hodge are set to deliver Bristol outpost Livity Sound's second release of 2015. The arrival of the two-track 12" on May 11 marks the pair's first collaborative outing since 2013's Bells EP, although both have remained active in other solo and shared projects. According to a press release, the record's two tracks are the result of jam sessions between the two producers, and are described as "frenetic, intense, and fully Livity Sound in style." Hear previews of title track "21 Versions" and b-side "What Your Heart Knows" below.

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Sónar Completes Line-Up for 2015 Edition http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/sonar-finalizes-line-up-for-2015-edition/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/sonar-finalizes-line-up-for-2015-edition/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:14:48 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89876 Sónar has unveiled the final batch of artists scheduled to appear at this year's Barcelona edition in June, making the 2015 line-up complete. Joining an already stacked festival bill that includes The Chemical Brothers, Duran Duran, FKA Twigs, Arca, Autechre, and more is Nazoranai (the formidable trio of Keiji Haino, Stephen O'Malley, and Oren Ambarchi), Barcelona favorite Pional, hip-hop producer Just Blaze, and Koreless, who will appear with visual artist Emmanuel Biard. James Ginzberg of experimental duo Emptyset will premiere a new A/V work with French artist Joanie Lemercier, and Evol and Davic Nod will play as part of an Editions Mego showcase.

Sónar runs from June 18–20; for a complete festival lineup and ticketing information, head here.

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Real Talk: Ambivalent http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/real-talk-ambivalent/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/real-talk-ambivalent/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:00:06 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89847 'Real Talk' is a series of artist-penned essays that appears on XLR8R from time to time.

This installment's scribe is  producer Kevin McHugh, the man better known as Ambivalent. McHugh's production career began in 2006, when his 'Roomies' EP came out on Camea's Clink label—but it was the following year that changed his life, with the release of "R U OK" on Richie Hawtin's Minus. The skeletal, late-night tweaker of a track was massive, and established McHugh as one of Minus's mainstays. In 2012,  after feeling a bit constricted by the techno label's sonic template, McHugh amicably parted ways with the label; since then, he's unleashed his inner househead via his Amber persona, served up some tasty techno in his LA-4A guise, and put out an nice array of fierce electronics (from Matrixxman, Alden Tyrell, himself and others) via the Clone-distributed Delft label. And he's not done yet: his even newer label, Valence, just sprang into existence with the release of an excellent Ambivalent three-tracker. This essay sees the Berlin-dwelling artist posing the age-old question: Just what the hell is a DJ?

If you ask sports fans, they can tell you in solid detail about the rules of the game they love. Most of the time a squad of players move something from one end of a rectangle to a small portal on the opposing side of that rectangle, similarities abound. The differences are what define the games. Move the ball with your feet: That’s football. Pick it up and toss it: That’s rugby. Put it on a wood court: basketball. Put it on ice and it becomes some brutal thing where white people with sticks forfeit blood and teeth.

A slightly more vague set of boundaries define styles of music. I don’t want to wade into examples of what puts a track in or outside the box of what’s techno or house. But suffice to say, most fans can agree on how to classify whatever they’re currently hearing. The more subdivided the classifications, the differences become more nuanced. Still, most can agree on basic stylistic differences.

But what a lot of electronic music fans can’t seem to agree upon is a really simple, albeit fundamental question: What is DJing? More crucial: What is not DJing? The term wasn’t exactly simple at its inception, but it’s only gotten harder. The bounds are being tested all the time, and they seem to shift—not just moment-to-moment, but in how they're applied to any individual DJ. Lots of tech riders include laptops or CDJs. As far as I know, only one includes cakes.

To wade in slowly, I’m going to say we have to cut a higher standard than “DJing is anything done by one who calls themselves a DJ.” The diplomatic definition might say that it’s any time a person presents a sequence of recordings to create a collective effect within the listener...yeah? Sounds pretentious, like an art-school homework assignment.

But you’ll also have to excuse any of us who hesitate at the notion that DJing is exclusively achieved by layering vinyl discs in the same tempo. Yes, that’s my personal introduction to DJing, one of my favorite ways to play, and it’s the origin of dance-music culture. But it would exclude Theo Parrish, who can sometimes forego beat-matching in order to play the best selection, or Function, who has played blistering sets of angular techno from a laptop. No fan of the art would begrudge either man his due as a Real DJ.

So what does Paris Hilton do? (Note to self-—bumper-sticker idea: WDPHD?) I’ll anticipate your response and follow up. If she’s not a real DJ, what does a real DJ do?

Full disclosure: I’ve faced the question myself. Lately I choose to play with Pioneer CDJs in clubs, and vinyl at home (if you’re asking: There’s not a chance I’m trusting one of 200 extant copies of a prized record to the geniuses at Easyjet. Current Discogs prices mean replacing my collection would require selling all of my organs—yes all of them). Previously, I spent time lugging multiple computing platforms and lengths of cables through clubs, airports and hotels. Before that I played what I called “live” but was far less “live” than my DJ sets. For a while I used the multilayered approach with lots of interlocking loops and tracks, but ultimately realized that my job was more about letting the music do its job.

Seeing KiNK play live—using vinyl, computers, machines and a lot of adrenaline—will frustrate any definition of the boundaries of DJing (or live music in general). Great artists can often do that. Is he a DJ? Certainly. Is he simultaneously many other things? Absolutely.

Maybe the technical questions are too murky. Let’s skip the question of how a DJ does what they do. I still have to ask, what does a DJ do?

Let’s talk about the music a DJ decides to play. I’ve heard a lot of fans and colleagues talk in awe of DJs who play “their sound.” I have to admit it’s something I hadn’t encountered as much when I started, but lately it’s a marker of a massively successful DJ to play several hours of records with a single constant groove, sonic signature, timbre and energy level. Many of the artists I once followed for their ability to manipulate a crowd through twisted, bouncing hours that resembled a motocross track have recently switched to bringing listeners over a flat autobahn through a cornfield. (No judgements,—some cornfields are transcendently beautiful). Others still carry the banner for the polyglots and omnivores—those who want music of many colors placed in elegant order, with a sommelier's touch for vintage, provenance and taste. Is one of these a better model for DJing?

A word I keep hearing lately is “uncompromising.” It flatters anyone it’s applied to, as I think most of us in the modern era believe art is made in a hermetic womb indifferent to the outside world. But nightclubs aren’t museums. Is a DJ meant to present his or her vision of music regardless of who’s listening? Is the DJ expected to have a single, unbending vision, ruthlessly applied in any context? Conversely, how far should a DJ adapt to make an uninterested room start dancing? Maybe this is all theoretical bullshit, but I’ve faced it personally when looking out at a room of dancers and wondering about the limits of their expectations or patience. I’ll just say I’ve been both pleasantly surprised at times, and sorely disappointed at others.

I recently played at Berghain, a room famous for a very specific brand of techno, under my LA-4A alias. I had to think a lot about how the expectations of that room fit with what I wanted to present under that alias. I ended up digging out records I’d owned for 20 years, rare gems I’d forgotten to play, and some classics every DJ loves. The balancing act went both ways—some moments leaned into expectations, some went completely against the grain, and I felt the crowd was with me the whole time. At the end, I felt like I’d rediscovered my roots as a DJ. Finding the intersection of my ideas and the audience's desires made me a better DJ, but it ruined my chances of being called “uncompromising.”

Another variable thrown into this mix of questions is: how has the definition of the art form changed over time? Last year, the venerable legend Derrick May lamented on Twitter about the way the scene has changed.

No one would ever doubt the art of DJing embodied by Mr. May, nor would many DJs, young or old, withstand a comparison to him. I’d contend that he’s one of “today’s DJs”—he’s certainly not yesterday’s—and he’s still got the gift. I was lucky enough to play before him earlier this year; it’s clear he’s not resting on his laurels. Whatever time or planet he came from, he can smoke 99 percent of DJs. But how could we compare a young DJ to those who started before he or she was born? If two DJs play the same party, one who’s 23, the other is 50, which one is “today’s DJ?” Experience counts for a lot in this culture, but it’s not everything. For every young hack with 100,000 Facebook fans and laptop full of stolen mp3s, there’s a feckless senior living off what he did during the Reagan administration. Young and old DJs can suck, regardless of age. More importantly, every year a bumper crop of fresh DJs arrives, dedicated masters of their craft, and every year we hear stories of once-bright stars who burned out. Let’s agree that of all the confusing criteria for who is a DJ, age is not a factor.

So far I’ve asked a lot of questions, and maybe the guy who calls himself “Ambivalent” can’t be expected to take a single position in a debate. But why don’t I take a stab at answering them from my own subjective viewpoint. It’ll make for better sensational context-free pull-quotes.

First up: if you’re worried about Paris Hilton, Guetta, or any other mainstream Gollum corrupting your art form, then you’re probably already swimming too close to their boat. Yes, what they do is DJing. No, their version of DJing will never affect what happens in record shops or on Sunday mornings at Berghain. When punk went mainstream, no one confused Blink 182 for Fugazi; the latter cast a longer shadow and far outlived the former. Of course, the money went the opposite direction, so choose wisely.

Next question: what does a DJ use? The only people who should know which gear is used in the booth are the DJ, and the club’s sound technician. I guarantee that the most important information about a DJ set can be ascertained with your eyes closed and your body moving. I’ve always said that DJing is like sex—if you like it, you’re open to every available technique. Some techniques are awkward, others are easy; some are reliable classics, others require devices and tech support…and all are sufficiently documented on the internet. Do your own research, practice at home.

Photo: Lars Borges

Photo: Lars Borges

The next one is stickier, and I’m probably on the edge of getting in trouble here, but fuck it. I think there are two kinds of listeners: those who want what they expect, and those who want what they don’t expect. I am a nerd, and when it comes to entertainment, I’m a masochist. I want a band to play the obscure album cuts, I want a DJ who will make me twist my face like I smelled something awful. I won’t argue with the notion that playing to 10,000 people, threee times a week, 150 nights per year might require a certain streamlining, some smoothing of the edges. Andy Warhol said he loved Coca-Cola because “it tastes the same everywhere you go.” Things worked out well for Coca-Cola, and for Andy. There seems to be a heated contest for becoming the Coca-Cola of techno—everyone’s working on their “brand.” I wish them all success, they understand business in a way I never could, and to the victor go the spoils. I just prefer more surprises.

So to answer the big question—what does a DJ do? While there’s no definitive answer, and everyone’s answer is different, here’s mine:

I want to hear a DJ who loves the music I love and loves the music they play; who plays records I know and records I’ve never heard; who will play an mp3 or a dusty 45 if the moment is right; who cares less about having a “sound” and more about what they hear; who chases records to collect them as much as to use them; who listens to their audience as much as the audience listens to them; who never stops trying to achieve something and never rests on what they’ve achieved; who puts less focus on where they’re from, and more on where they are.

My answer to the question is this: a DJ is someone who plays music beautifully.

And I am pretty sure that can function independently of Coca-Cola.

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FunkinEven Returns as St. Julien http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/funkineven-returns-as-st-julian/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/funkineven-returns-as-st-julian/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:36:06 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89872 Apron label head Steven Julien (better known as FunkinEven) will release a new EP as St. Julien later this spring. Apron started as an outlet for Julian's own productions, but has expanded to include a corps of likeminded artists such as Seven Davis Jr., Lord Tusk, and new signee Brassfoot; it also scored a top spot in XLR8R's roundup of 2014's best labels. As Resident Advisor reports, Julian has recently taken on production work for hip-hop artists like Earl Sweatshirt and Alchemist, following collaborations with Jay Daniel, Delroy Edwards, and Kyle Hall.

Entitled A16, the new record features a joint track with Budgie, who cropped up on Theo Parrish's Wildheart imprint in 2014. Julien is also reportedly at work on a FunkinEven full-length, which should arrive sometime this year. A16 lands on May 18, and until then, a stream of EP cut "Evenbud (feat. Budgie)" can be heard here via RA, while the record's complete tracklist has been posted below.

A1 Institute
A2 Evenbud
B1 Pulse
B2 Luv Triangle

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Akai Professional Launches the MIDImix http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/akai-professional-launches-the-midimix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/akai-professional-launches-the-midimix/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 15:57:32 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89841 The MIDImix is a compact high-performance mixer that has the ability to control virtually any Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) with the press of a single button. The unit features eight individual line faders, each with three performance knobs, and two buttons for arming, recording, and muting the channel, as well as a master fader. It aims to give musicians an unparalleled, portable mixing solution for their projects.

The Akai Professional MIDImix will be available in June for $99.99

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10 Reasons We Loved Amsterdam's DGTL Festival http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/10-reasons-we-loved-amsterdams-dgtl-festival/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/10-reasons-we-loved-amsterdams-dgtl-festival/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 15:56:19 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89785 If there’s one thing that can be said about the Netherlands, it's this: Dutch people really know how to party. And importantly, they understand how to put on a party properly.

Easter weekend saw the great and good of clued-up electronic enthusiasts descend on an abandoned shipyard in north Amsterdam for the country’s first festival of 2015, and things went off with a bang. Spanning Saturday and Sunday, with after-parties each day and a smaller opening bash on Friday night, DGTL was serious about music, production, sustainability, and dystopian aesthetics; at times it felt like Escape From New York: The Rave Cut. We went, saw, heard, enjoyed, and—until a disgustingly early flight home on Monday morning just hours after our last moments on the dancefloor—conquered. After picking up the pieces, here are ten things we feel compelled to write home about.

DGTL P1010127

The location alone is worth visiting.

NDSM Docklands is a stunning setting for techno—of which there was plenty. During the lengthy ten-day set up more than 200 shipping containers were brought to the site, some of which would eventually form venues for the music.

It was industrial to the core—while we’re not always fans of huge warehouses, in this instance these settings worked, and the whole area was cleverly used (not least positioning Red Bull Music Academy Radio at the top of a crane overlooking the entire area). Meanwhile, with those after-parties taking over from 11PM at the same location, if you were powering through until morning it didn’t take long to reach the next destination.

In terms of overall festival experiences, DGTL was hard to fault.

DGTL ranks amongst the most fun we’ve had in the last 12 months–and definitely the most fun we’ve ever had in a place once used for the loading and unloading of goods from boats.

In addition to laughs, of which there were plenty, the execution was impressive. The standard of food was high, with everything from real burgers (i.e., not frozen suggestions of beef) to fresh pizzas available. The sound systems in every area were good, albeit not mind-blowing. The atmosphere from start to finish was truly infectious; smiles, handshakes, hugs and shared medicines. Oh, and thanks to a moneyless payment system involving topping up innovative smart-wristbands, we can’t really remember queueing for very long- whether at the bar or obligatory sausage stand.

 TD-20150405-DGTL-007-5687

Interactive sustainability is a real thing here.

OK, so festivals with an environmentally aware policy are nothing new, or indeed particularly unique. Nevertheless, DGTL’s approach to not causing much of an impact on the environment was impressive.

Billed as DGTL Revolution, the organizers were actively experimenting with a variety of power sources over the course of the weekend to gauge which worked best. These included wind turbines, a hydro-pumping station, solar panels and a human power station whereby passersby could hop on an exercise bike and, using the revolutions of the wheel, generate their own electricity. Meanwhile, the Electric Hotel—basically a place to charge your phone- was similarly running on renewables, and very useful at 10PM.

Happa is a name you should remember.

It’s safe to say we heard some solid sets during the course of our stay, but first prize has to go to the ridiculously enjoyable and refreshingly varied U.K. upstart, Happa. Finishing off the Stereo stage—a.k.a. a wrought iron bunker—on the final day needed something special, and Happa was it.

Following an intense and slightly garish introduction—from both an enthusiastic guy on the microphone and one hell of a huge synth and snare build—Truss's "Brockweir" opened the scoring for some heavy-duty rave-accented techno, riddled with clanging noises and cerated high hats, broken electro drops and bassbin shaking dubstep builders like Tessela’s "Gateway"—concluding with some nifty EQ work, tearing up staccato kicks in a way that left us wanting much, much more.

DGTL P1010129

Michael Mayer and Roman Flugel, minus the sun.

It should have been one of the busiest sets of the weekend- three hours from Kompakt hero Michael Mayer and fellow Germanic heavyweight Roman Flügel. But it didn’t quite work out as planned.

The pair were playing the huge Digital stage, which just 24-hours before had been heaving from front to back. Thanks to the canvass covering, though, and a surprise appearance from the sunshine, we arrived to find it largely empty, with most people standing outside, just in earshot, enjoying the rays. Nevertheless the duo persevered, slowly drawing listeners onto the dancefloor with wonderfully infectious percussive numbers, finishing up with a sizable crowd losing their minds. All good then.

Phono Stage, from start to finish, on Saturday.

Although it’s never a great idea to stay in one fixed spot at a festival boasting six arenas, each with several highlights on their respective bills—not least because it means you can’t go to the bar, or the toilet—we’re always pleased to see a line up that’s so good you could easily choose not to move, if the mood took you. Such was Phono on the first day.

By the time we got there Locked Groove was in charge, and living up to his name with a range of funky but banging tech house stompers that represent the antithesis of the subgenre’s throwaway pap; think Mr. G–in-looped-vocal mode. From there we were treated to Amsterdam's own Steve Rachmad; a live performance from CW/A; the ever impressive Boddika with a set defined by Impact Units’ Tenshin; followed by overall show stealer Makam, who outdid the lot with an array of big-room-yet-heads-down, U.K.–bass-leaning monsters. In short, whoever was responsible for the programming here needs a substantial bonus.

DGTL TD-20150405-DGTL-003-5331

The artistic side of the event was, in a word, mental.

As we already pointed out, DGTL puts an emphasis on aesthetics, and 2015’s edition lived up to our expectations. Which is probably putting it mildly.

Dotted around the site was a perpetual pendulum, known as the Chaosgenerator—created by the winners of the festival’s Kinetic Art Pitch competition, which ran on wind; the Hypercube (pictured), open for anyone to sit in and feel like a character from Tron, and a fire-breathing mechanical dragon that played some pretty weird music. This is in addition to performers using CCTV puppets, the human disco ball Bella Berlin, and more.

Maceo Plex deserved to close his own room.

By the time the Ellum bossman took control of the booth in the arena his organization was hosting, the words "hot," "packed," and "sweaty" best describe the scenario. Although perhaps a little too hectic if you suffer from claustrophobia, enduring the chaos was well worth it.

A combination of notably progressive-leaning house and deep but driving numbers ensured what we saw of his three hours definitely impressed. Stand out moments like Poni Hoax’s Hypercommunication or, with its sparse ambiance and moody vocals, Plex’s own remix of WhoMadeWho’s Heads Above pretty much summarize how it all went down musically. Meanwhile, our damp t-shirts were proof of the energy inside.

dgtl P1010102

Recondite’s apparently effortless live show.

It’s always impressive to see someone playing live properly. Recondite did just that in the Innervisions room (or shipping container) for 60 minutes on Sunday afternoon.

Despite this meaning missing the good weather outside, there could be no complaints. Going at it with a full hardware kit may be the latest way to show people you’re "serious about music," but rather than this being another pointless exercise in knob-twiddling—only achieving what could be done through a laptop anyway—it was a real display of musical pedigree. From space-age synth melodies ringing out on a MIDI keyboard, to drum machines emitting the kind of toughness that can ruin subswoofers, the performance seemed fully impromptu (though in reality it was undoubtedly meticulously planned).

After-parties we wished would never end.

Thanks to the relatively intimate size of DGTL and the huge Scheepsbouwloods after-party venue, carrying things on into the early hours wasn’t a problem. Luckily, anyone who had chosen to ‘camp’ in on-site "chalets" (a generous description for what resembled a prison hut), automatically had entry to the nocturnal events, so you didn’t have to stay in the poky but adequate accommodations for long.

Sunday’s finale saw John Talabot deliver one of the best sets we’ve heard from him, followed by former Trouw resident Job Jobse taking his home crowd on a compelling, peak-time journey, showing why that club's closing earlier this year is such a huge loss for Amsterdam. The only disappointment was  the need to drag ourselves away before the last tune in order to ensure there was enough time to pack before heading to the airport.

Oh, well—you can’t have everything.

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Walrus "Mother Nature" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/walrus-mother-nature/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/walrus-mother-nature/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 15:00:01 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89820 Walrus is a DJ and producer hailing from Brussels who specialises in leftfield club music. He's also one third of the Bepotel project, alongside Sagat and &Apos, which also has a label arm in Bepotel Records. At the end of this month, Walrus will release his latest EP, Club Jonathan, on the Roze Balletten label. The six track EP will be the second release on the Belgium label and is a nice blend of moody house tracks infused with jazzy acid tinged elements. In support of the release, Walrus has offered up his track "Mother Nature," a swinging house cut that gallops along held together by jittering percussion and airy pads. You can download "Mother Nature" for free below ahead of the EP's release at the end of the month.

Mother Nature

 

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Dasha Rush Sleepstep: Sonar Poems for My Sleepless Friends http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/04/dasha-rush-sleepstep-sonar-poems-for-my-sleepless-friends/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/04/dasha-rush-sleepstep-sonar-poems-for-my-sleepless-friends/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:45:48 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89812 In addition to her long-standing relationship with techno, Dasha Rush no stranger to experimental electronic music—and Sleepstep is an impressive and highly conceptual culmination of her various talents and past projects. Its intention is to create a dream-like state that explores the liminal space where the waking world overlaps with sleep (and vice versa). The album's production and sound design is on a level with the likes of Pole as well as Vladislav Delay, Alva Noto, and the rest of Raster-Noton's past and present roster; silence, noise, spatial awareness, and sonic decay are used with a meticulous finesse that brings Rush's slumberous hinterland to life.

More conventional dancefloor-oriented techno is vaguely hinted at on “Abandoned Beauties and Beasts,” but its churning atmospherics never give way to a proper beat. “100 Hearts” also explores minimalist, sci-fi techno sans drum machine; bleeps flicker like distant antennas, or like city lights over breathy pads, as bursts of noise spontaneously clack across the mix like shooting stars. Dub techno and reggae form the backbone of “Scratching Your Surface (Revisited)” and “Antares,” while “Fog, Dogma, and Bread” approaches similar territory, but somewhat ambiguously with a strong ambient bent. “Sleep Ballade” and “Lumiere Avant Midi” draw us further into a semi-lucid state with their melancholic ebb and flow forming a meditative, slow lope.

Dasha Rush's voice shines on “Sail Away To Her,” where it takes the form of operatic drones that anchor the track's softly burbling arpeggios and strings to create one of Sleepstep's best and most emotional moments. On “Dance with Edgar Poe” and “Life Time Poem,” her spoken-word lyrics form the focus of the track, and at times are a bit distracting from all the lovely instrumental elements also occurring, but they never completely overtake and undermine the music. Finally, album closer “Outer Space” leaves us with a suitably celestial wash of mechanical sounds that elongate and fade away into distant nothingness. At last…sleep has arrived.

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Premiere: Hear Sasha B2B Dubfire Live 6 Hour Set http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-hear-sasha-b2b-dubfire-live-6-hour-set/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-hear-sasha-b2b-dubfire-live-6-hour-set/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:42:37 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89833 Late last year, Trade Nightclub hosted Link Miami Rebels for When Pigs Fly, an event in collaboration with New York's Verboten that paired up four very influential electronic music icons and label heads for all night B2B sets. Room one featured the mouth watering match up of Sasha and Dubfire, with room two hosting Carl Craig and Matthew Dear.

We've been presented with the six hour B2B set from Sasha and Dubfire, which traverses all manner of house and techno and encompasses the full range of both artists. You can stream the full set in two parts below.

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Ossie Announces New Release on Meno Records; Hear a Track Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/ossie-announces-new-release-on-meno-records-hear-a-track-now/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/ossie-announces-new-release-on-meno-records-hear-a-track-now/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:36:21 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89818 Following on from his recent stint at Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo, East Londoner Ossie will release his The Buzz EP on the newly formed, and also London based, label Meno Records. As a part of Benji B's Deviation crew, Ossie has built quite a name for his DJing abilities, which also had a hand in the development of the EP. "The Buzz is a track that I've been developing for a while." Ossie says, "It started with me playing around with the central sound effect and wondering if I could get away with it, but as soon as I started dropping it in DJ sets and seeing the reaction it got, I knew it was going to become something special. I felt it just needed another element to take it to that next level and Aleisha Lee was perfect for it.”

The Buzz will be available April 20 through Meno Records and in the meantime you can check out EP the title track, "The Buzz," below.

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Interview: Ben Klock http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/interview-ben-klock/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/04/interview-ben-klock/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:00:11 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89526 Far in the distance and irreconcilably aloof, he stands. The expectant crowd is hypnotized, entranced in the music as they move in unison to the raw and powerful techno beat. And then it comes: another irresistible bassline, another crescendo of elation—but Klock appears unmoved, wide-eyed yet stone-faced as he conjures up the next chapter in his compelling 13-hour narrative. It's an exquisite scene, the very height of hedonism, but one that depicts Klock as nothing more than a ruthless techno machine incapable of sentiment or emotion. Only by sitting down with him at his beautiful Berlin apartment did I discover a softer, human side to Klock’s character, one that is reflected in the deeper and warmer segments of his infamous DJ sets, but so commonly overshadowed and obscured by their relentless nature.

I meet Klock at the headquarters of his label, Klockworks—a small apartment/office building located towards the east of the city in Friedrichshain. He texts to say he’s running a little late, but arrives with enough time to make some quick decisions over the material for the vinyl cases of the label’s upcoming releases. There is a charming modesty to Klock; there is almost no ego, or one that is at least immediately apparent, despite a great pride in the quality of his work and a clear personal recognition of his artistic prowess. He stores all his productions in  a rather grand corner of his similarly spacious modernist apartment, and carefully reviews each and every prototype presented to him before choosing his favorite.

Photo: Stefan Wolf Lucks

Photo: Stefan Wolf Lucks

“I’m starving,” he says. “Let’s grab some breakfast and then we can do the interview.” He leads me out to his black BMW, and opens the boot to reveal a plethora of miscellaneous household objects, before joking about the personalized ‘BEN’ number-plate: “It only cost me 12 euros!” he says, grinning.

Klock’s underlying motivations for DJing are as strong today as ever. There is an insatiable hunger when he talks, an underlying passion that can stem only from a profound love for what he does. He sits up and smiles as he describes the feeling of "goosebumps" when he "drops the right track at the right time’ and forms a "deep connection with the crowd," before pausing to bask in the moment, as if revisiting it in his own head.

“I still see DJing as about 20 percent as a job, but 80 percent as doing what I love—or trying to achieve a vision,” he says. “Of course, there is a business side to it, but I still need to feel the core of it; I still need to feel the passion for it,” he adds, before reflecting on his answer. “If there are times where I don’t really feel the energy then I have to adjust quickly because then my role as a DJ won’t work. I have to have passion for it otherwise I cannot be good.”

But from where does this underlying motivation originate? Where has he drawn the inspiration to play regular eight-hour marathon DJ sets and travel all over the world almost every single weekend for the best part of a decade? Appreciation for his circumstances is certainly a continuous source. Despite the fortune and fame that has come his way over recent years, there remains an endearing humility deeply engrained in his nature, and Klock himself no doubt recognizes the fortunate position in which he finds himself. But looking at his status today, comfortably positioned amongst the best DJs in the world, it's easy to overlook the numerous doubts and difficulties he has had to overcome to find his place in music. “For me, it has not always been easy," he says. "I have struggled a lot and had a lot of different jobs so I have seen a lot of different things—and I think that makes me appreciate it even more.”

“At many points in my life, I thought I would never get anywhere; I just thought success was not for me,”

Klock knew very early on that he wanted to be a musician, but never felt destined for success. “At many points in my life, I thought I would never get anywhere; I just thought success was not for me,” he says, clearly moved as he reflects on quite how far he has come. “I had to fight very hard to get rid of these thoughts,” he says.

Following a period of small-scale success throughout the late ’90s with a series of residencies at Cookies, WMF and Tresor in Berlin, the prominence of house music and the absence of a residency slot saw him lose the love for music and come "very close" to quitting in the early ’00s. “There was a period where I doubted whether DJing was what I had to do,” he says. “I had no connection to music anymore; I didn’t have anything that really made me a DJ, so it was almost a natural process of moving out of it,” he adds, pausing for thought. “But there was always this thing in the back of my mind that I hadn’t found my right surrounding or my right place yet, which was then coming.”

This thing was Berghain, the launching pad for his career, granting him a residency in 2004 and eventually giving Klock the confidence to quit his freelance graphic design position some three years later. “I would normally say I would never have imagined this, because this, what I am doing now, is just crazy, and I never really felt like I could be a success,” he says. “But there was definitely another part of me that really envisaged exactly this—and maybe this was just the stronger part.”

Photo: Riccardo Malberti

Photo: Riccardo Malberti

Innovation and experimentation, too, continue to play a fundamental role in Klock’s relentless march towards techno immortality. “If techno just repeats itself again and again, then at some point this copy-paste music will become uninteresting,” he says. “So it is important that I keep looking for new ideas, inspiring myself without necessarily changing my direction musically.” It's his marathon sessions, at Berghain or beyond, that provide a testing ground for his latest material, pushing him to ‘"come up with something new" with the intimacy of those sessions providing an important source of inspiration that shorter festival sets cannot offer. “[Small club shows] are not about how much money I earn, but more about giving me a connection to a smaller crowd just to keep myself inspired,” he says.

Linked to this is a desire to test himself as an artist and continue spreading his music. “There are some shows I choose because I want to push myself artistically—it’s good to have a side where I do not feel too comfortable,” he says, before specifically referring to Coachella, a festival absent of any preexisting roots in deep and powerful techno. “This side is challenging, but I love this feedback when somebody tells me that they were never into techno but that that night I changed their idea of it,” he says. “At that beginning, they are just standing there and and after half an hour they are all dancing—and I can see their enjoyment in their faces. It’s an amazing feeling being somebody’s first step into this kind of music.”

As the conversation progresses, it becomes apparent that hidden beneath this gentleness is a self-driven and calculated perfectionist completely dedicated to his art. “Being [at the top] is one thing but staying there is hard, so I have to keep working,” he says. “I get super-frustrated if a show does not go so well, and I have to pick it apart from the technical standpoint to figure out which tracks or which transitions didn’t work,” he adds. “But the bigger side is the emotional side—why didn’t I have the energy that night? What bothered me? What are the circumstances that I have to change to be better again?”

Klock’s vision, ever since his early years, has never been in doubt, and driven by this deep-rooted intuition and desire to succeed he has committed his life’s energies to achieving his goal. Gone are the days of hesitation—Klock has evolved into a stalwart of the Berlin techno scene, an influential symbol of direction and self-belief.

“Criticism is far more common today than it used to be, but I have had to learn to deal with it because if you get too much involved in this it drags your attention away from what is important,” he says. “But I do not doubt my ability to be a DJ because I know that I can be amazing; I have had so many amazing shows and special moments, like magic moments—but there will always be times when it doesn’t click.”

Photo: Stefan Wolf Lucks

Photo: Stefan Wolf Lucks

Even today, he continues to work without a manager, a decision based on a desire to retain control of his artistic endeavors. “It is good to have a really good agent and I work with a few people, but I still want to be the guy to make the decisions and to say the direction we are going in,” he says. “Sometimes I just know but sometimes I have a little bit of doubt, and I will ask for feedback from a few trusted people.”

Away from his DJing, Klock has limited his production output to little more than a few sporadic EPs following the release of his critically acclaimed debut album on Ostgut Ton, 2008's One, a stunning piece of contemporary techno that helped him overcome the tragic death of his mother. However, there are now signs that Klock will soon re-enter his "cocoon" of a studio and put an end to this hiatus. “The music production has always been important, and even if I don’t do it for a while, I will always come back to it,” he says.

Klock’s love affair with music production dates back to his early childhood, but his growing reputation as a DJ and a corresponding pressure to re-enter the studio saw this love fade, leading him to focus his energies on DJing. “At that point, I made the conscious decision to make sure that when I did return to the studio, I wanted to be like a beginner again; I just want to go in with no pressure or idea of whether it’s going to be an EP or an album - let’s just see. This studio is now my little bubble and I just want to play around like a kid again,” he says.

"For long periods I have felt much more useful now as a DJ, but now I could be very happy locked in the studio for six months.”

“I have been waiting for the moment until I wanted to go back into the studio. It hasn’t been there for a while, and I didn’t miss it at all, but now it just feels right,” says Klock. “Apart from traveling so much and not having time, I didn’t feel like I had anything new to say.  For long periods I have felt much more useful now as a DJ, but now I could be very happy locked in the studio for six months.”

As I begin to question Klock on his life outside music, he laughs, finding humor in the fact that he doesn’t really have one. “From early morning until late night, music is constantly there,” he says. “I sometimes think that people work nine to five in the week and then they have a weekend—but I don’t have one. In a way, of course I am free and have my own schedule, but I am never really free from that job. I can’t even really watch a movie without being distracted, and this can be hard for me.”

Microphone off and interview over, the conversation continues as Klock describes his love for Berlin and recalls how honored he was that his 75-year-old father once attended his show at Berghain. The character before me is one so undiscovered by the public eye that it is hard to fathom that this is the Ben Klock so infamous for the the aggressive, ferocious nature of his sets.

“There is certainly a hard, powerful side [to my music] but there is also a warm, emotional side to it—and together, this is what gives it a journey,” he says. That description bears equal truth to both his work and the man behind it all.

Ben Klock is currently on tour:

Q Nightclub, Seattle: April 16
Coda, Toronto: April 17
Spy Bar, Chicago: April 18
Coachella: April 19
Crobar, Buenos Aires: May 22
Movement, Detroit: May 24

 

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George FitzGerald Shares Video for "Crystallise Feat. Lawrence Hart" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/george-fitzgerald-shares-video-for-crystallise-feat-lawrence-hart/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/george-fitzgerald-shares-video-for-crystallise-feat-lawrence-hart/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 19:31:41 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89786 "Crystallise Feat. Lawrence Hart" is the second track to be previewed from George FitzGerald's upcoming album on Domino / Double Six, Fading Love. The video was designed and directed by Joe Mortimer and follows one of the major themes of the album, "the exploration into the British acts which energized his affection for dance music - Underworld, Orbital and New Order amongst others."

Fading Love will be released April 28, with a preorder option available here. We also chatted with George for a 20 Questions feature and that can be found here.

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Premiere: Listen to Âme's Remix of a New Track by Howling http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-listen-to-ames-remix-of-a-new-track-by-howling/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-listen-to-ames-remix-of-a-new-track-by-howling/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 19:00:32 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89746 Howling, the vocals-heavy house project of RY X from The Acid and Âme's Frank Wiedemann, is to drop its debut LP in May as a joint release on Modeselektor's Monkeytown imprint and the Ninja Tune sub-label Counter. Ahead of that the pair (pictured above) have shared with us the premiere stream of a remix of album track "Stole The Night" by Wiedemann and Kristian Beyer's own long-standing Âme project. Their rework, a typically airy and propulsive take on the low-slung, bass-heavy original, can be heard on the player below, while the album will be released on May 1 and can be pre-ordered here.

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Iglew "Sleep Lighter VIP" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/iglew-sleep-lighter/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/iglew-sleep-lighter/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 15:09:54 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89729 At the end of this month, London label Gobstopper Records will release the Urban Myth Ep by Leeds based newcomer Iglew. Described as "a result of the belated immersion of an outsider into sound system culture," the four track outing will be the producer's first release on Mr. Mitch's grime-focused label and shows that the young producer has surely found his footing. Being introduced to electronic music through podcasts and headphones rather than raves and soundsystems, Iglew's productions focus heavily on harmony, melody, and texture "as opposed to dancefloor hype." This can be heard on EP cut "Sleep Lighter VIP," a highly atmospheric and textural affair; with sliding synth phrases and Iglew's newly found bass knowledge front and centre. You can download "Sleep Lighter" for free below, with the full EP available for pre-order here.

Sleep Lighter VIP

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Hideout Festival Reveals 2015 Boat Party Schedule http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/hideout-festival-reveals-2015-boat-party-schedule/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/hideout-festival-reveals-2015-boat-party-schedule/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 15:05:35 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89773 Having previously announced a general bill including Scuba, Paul Woolford, and Joy Orbison, Croatia's much-loved Hideout Festival has now announced its full scheudle of boat parties. Billed for the more than two-dozen sea voyages are the likes of Bicep, Citizenn, Dusky, Eats Everything, and Skream. The full line-up can be found below, with passes going onsale from this Thursday via the Hideout website. The festival runs from June 28 to July 2 at Zrce Beach on the island of Pag in Croatia.

June 28
Welcome Boat - People Get Real / The Sonic Emporium / Mike Jones / Grainger
MODA BLACK - Jaymo & Andy George / Tom Trago

June 29
Lobster Boy - Redlight / Mak & Pasteman
Bondax & Friends - Bondax / Starslinger
NoFitState - Simon Baker / Geddes / Matthew Styles
Dusky Presents - Dusky / Citizenn
Kaluki - Patrick Topping / Subb An
Thump - Bicep / Chez Damier

June 30
Street Tracks - Waze & Odyssey / Jonas Rathsman
FRIENDS WITHIN - Friend Within / Jax Jones
20:20 Vision - Ejeca / Ralph Lawson
Temple - Route 94 / Artwork
What Hannah Wants - Hannah Wants / My Nu Leng
I'm A House Gangster - DJ Sneak / PBR Streetgang

July 1
B Traits and Friends - B -Traits / Isaac Tichauer
Metropolis - Wilkinson & MC AD-APT / Dimension
Hypercolour - Huxley / Last Magpie / Ste Roberts
Blase Boys Club - Duke Dumont / Gotsome
SKREAMIZM - Skream / Derrick Carter
Viva Warriors - Steve Lawler / Detlef

July 2
Secondcity Invites - Secondcity / Oliver Dollar / Andrea Oliva
Speakerbox - Sigma / Mistajam / North Base
Monki and Friends - Monki / Mele / MJ Cole
Edible - Eats Everything / Jasper James
Digital Soundboy - Shy FX / Chris Lorenzo
Eton Messy - Blonde / Eton Messy DJs

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KMS to Release Two Volumes of Mid-90s Chez'n'Trent Remixes http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/kms-to-release-two-volumes-of-mid-90s-chezntrent-remixes/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/kms-to-release-two-volumes-of-mid-90s-chezntrent-remixes/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:04:38 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89753 Kevin Saunderson's Detroit-based KMS imprint has knocked out a host of high-quality reissues in recent years, and its latest offerings are to be two volumes of remixes by Chez'n'Trent. The two volumes will collect together a total of eight reworks by Chez (Damier) and (Ron) Trent, pictured above) recorded between 1993 and 1995. The first 12" collects two versions each of "House Of Love" by Sonya Blade and "Its Going To Be Alright" by Miller/Scott Project, while the second features remixes of tracks by Esser'ay, Kreem, Inner City and Naomi Daniel. The packages will appear sometime during the spring (no more precise date is currently available), and ahead of their release the cover of Volume One and full tracklists for both can be found below.

chez n trent 300
Volume One
A1 Sonya Blade - House Of Love (Chez N Trent Vox Remix Dub)
A2.Sonya Blade - House Of Love (Chez N Trent Respect Vox Dub)
B1 Miller/Scott Project - Its Going To Be Alright (Chez N Trent Mix 1)
B2 Miller/Scott Project - Its Going To Be Alright (Chez N Trent Mix 2)

Volume Two
A1 Esser'ay - Forces (Chez-N-Trent Alternative Mix)
A2 Kreem - Now Is The Time (Chez N Trent Club Mix)
B1 Inner City - Share My Life (Chez N Trent Mid Dub)
B2 Naomi Daniel - Feel The Fire (Chez N Trent Dub)

(via Resident Advisor)

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Podcast 382: John Barera and Will Martin http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/04/podcast-382-john-barera-and-will-martin/ http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/04/podcast-382-john-barera-and-will-martin/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 13:31:06 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89714 Some things just go so well together, you almost wonder if they were ever really apart. There’s gin and tonic, for example, or bacon and eggs, or Cheech and Chong, or…well, the list is long. But you can add one more entry to that catalog: Bostonians John Barera and Will Martin. It was just over a year ago that Barera, a cofounder of Supply Records, teamed with Martin for the highly lauded Yen EP on Supply; its two A-side cuts, “Awake” and "Say It Now," both brimmed with luminous house vibes, while the flip, “Unknown Factor,” boasted more of late-night, basement-party feel. All three, though, were obviously the work of two producers who are in love with the ways of classic house. They’ve followed their love (leaving a bit of time for affairs with disco and techno) in the months since, releasing the poised Graceless long-player on Steffi’s Dolly label and, just this month, the fab four-track 1,2,3 (Feels Right) EP on Steve Mizek's Argot. Barera and Martin have also been gracing the decks together on a regular basis, and they’ve just put together this stroll through house-music land (with time out for funky side jaunts from the likes Wally Badarou and Talking Heads) for your listening pleasure. Huzzah!

 

Video: John Barera and Will Martin discuss their XLR8R podcast

01 Aaron Carl "Crucified" (vocal mix) (Millions of Moments)
02 Kai Alce "Be-Bop" (Kolour LTD) 05:42
03 Nu Klass A "The Rhythm" (S Gurley Remix) (Public Demand) 9:13
04 Konstantin Sibold & Telly "I’m In Need" (Oracy’s Ancient Technology Dub) (Mojuba) 14:10
05 Delano Smith "Feel This" (Mixmode Recordings) 19:23
06 Glenn Underground "Afro Gente" (Superb Entertainment Records) 24:13
07 Jon Cutler feat. E-Man "It’s Yours" (Chez Music) 32:25
08 Pig & Dan "Doing It For Yourself" (Soma Quality Recordings) 35:41
09 Nina Kraviz "Taxi Talk" (Urban Tribe Don’t Lie To Nina Remix) (Rekids) 41:58
10 ERP "Vox Automation" (Frustrated Funk) 46:10
11 K15 "The Story Of Her Life" (Wild Oats) 51:45
12 Wally Badarou "One Day, Won’t Give it Away" (Riviera LM Recoding Systems) 1:00:15
13 Moon Runner "Interactive Track" (Toy Tonics) 1:04:46
14 Talking Heads "Pull Up The Roots" (Sire) 1:08:25
15 Kim Ann Foxman "Eye See Me" (Firehouse) 1:11:45
16 Strategy "The Mink" (100% Silk) 1:16:25
17 Ali Berger "Eve" (unreleased) 1:22:43

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XLR8R Podcast 382 John Barera & Will Martin

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FIBER Festival Returns With The Subterranean http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/fiber-festival-returns-with-the-subterranean/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/fiber-festival-returns-with-the-subterranean/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 21:48:19 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89703 After a three year hiatus, Amsterdam's FIBER Festival will return May 15 and 16 with The Subterranean, which aims to act as a meeting point for creators and admirers of audiovisual art, digital design and electronic music. With the theme "The Subterranean: Exploring Networked Tools and Matter", FIBER will investigate the use of digital tools with which automatic technologies and alternative networks are made and manipulated. The festival takes place at two key venues; A Lab (symposium, meet-up, and exhibition) and the industrial club venue RADION (performances and club nights), with RADION featuring AV and music performances by Felix K, London Modular Alliance, John Osborn, and Neel, among others. Also offered are interesting speakers and day courses including workshops on how to build a radio station and use as a data transmitting station, designing entities in an online world, and projecting visual worlds on human bodies.

For more information, including the complete program and tickets, head to the FIBER Festival event page here.

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Kyodai Marea EP http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/04/kyodai-marea-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/04/kyodai-marea-ep/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 18:56:35 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89691 It’s been a busy few years for Kyodai, the Spanish sibling duo that first burst onto the scene via 2011’s Mi Rhumba EP on Freerange. It was a release that established the pair as players to watch—but in reality, it’s been a long trip to get where the pair are today: They spent the ’00s crafting Latin-tinged, jazz-drenched, and occasionally disco- and funk-flecked tunes under the Wagon Cookin’ moniker, with albums popping up on labels like Compost, Om and their own Appetizers. But by the time of the Mi Rhumba, the brothers had settled on deep house as their genre of choice, with the Latin influence manifesting itself more subtly; it was party music, alright, but party music with a exquisitely restrained edge.

Since then, via a steady output of EPs on Poker Flat, the aforementioned Freerange and, especially, Local Talk, the duo has largely continued in that mode—though the percussion-led Latinisms have largely receded, that feeling of restraint has usually held steady, with the occasional burst of sonic energy providing that feeling of beautiful release that deep-house aficionados know and love. But with the title track of Kyodai’s latest, out on Andre Crom’s OFF Recordings (the label's 111th release), the brothers let loose: “Marea” is a tidal wave of a tune, with a driving rhythm, growling minor-key synths runs, and cavernous effects all working to give the cut a relentless, dark, near-epic feel. It’s perhaps the biggest-sounding number we’ve heard yet from Kyodai.

It’s not only a big number, it’s a hot one too—albeit of a sort we don’t usually hear from the producers. As if to reassure their devotees that they haven’t abandoned their deep-house ways, flip-side number “Palma” sees Kyodai reverting to build-release form. It’s still more propulsive than what we’ve come to expect from Kyodai, but while “Marea” grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let got, “Palma” slowly amps the tension, gradually building to a glorious shimmer, then pulling back before hitting its crescendo—twice, for good measure. It’s a gem of a track, one that should satisfy their fans while attracting a few new ones as well.

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20/20 Vision Inaugurates New Look With Premiesku's Latest EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/2020-vision-inaugurates-new-look-with-premeiskus-latest-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/2020-vision-inaugurates-new-look-with-premeiskus-latest-ep/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 16:01:09 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89685 Last year, Ralph Lawson's 20/20 Vision celebrated 20 years in the game. Alway's pushing forward, the label decided it was time for a new look and went through an artistic overhaul, enlisting Leads based agency Golden to update the design, logo and artwork of the label. Kicking off this new look will be Romanian trio Premiesku (Livio & Roby and George G), who turn in a typically groovy EP, which also features remixes from two of house music's hottest acts in French producer Djebali and Argentinean virtuoso Guti.

The Jojoman EP opens with the title track, a chunky bass-driven house affair which has already been on heavy rotation by the likes of Apollonia since their BPM party in January. "Voice Game" ventures into more breakbeat territory with it's low slung groove and playful vocal samples. The full tracklist for the Jojoman EP can be found below, along with the new artwork, and you can catch Premiesku and their 'Analog Sound' live show at the 20/20 Vision showcase at Fabric on April 11 alongside Sven Tasnadi and Ralph Lawson.

PREMIESKU_1000x10002

Tracklist:

A1. Jojoman

A2. Voice Game

B1. Jojoman (Djebali Remix)

B2. Voice Game (Guti Remix)

Life Tool (Digital Exclusive)

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Candide "See You Believe Me" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/candide-see-you-believe-me/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/04/candide-see-you-believe-me/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 15:00:14 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89654 Candide is a project that was conceived by Adam Brodsky and Candice Strongwater on a summer trip to Berlin in 2012. With Candice living in Berlin and Brodsky in Brooklyn, the project turned into an intercontinental affair with the two sending live percussion, stems, and vocal cuts to each other digitally and in turn giving their sound a collaborative life of its own. Their newest EP, Detract, will be self released via the group's Bandcamp page and is the follow up to last years, Don't You Go EP, on French label Zappruder Records. Pulled from the EP is "See You Believe Me," a vocal led production with a solid percussive backbone, sweeping synth phrases, and a deep, modulated bassline. The full EP will be available May 19 here, with "See You Believe Me" available for free download below.

See You Believe Me

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Prefuse 73 Details Forsyth Gardens EP, Shares Track http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/prefuse-73-details-forsyth-gardens-ep-shares-track/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/prefuse-73-details-forsyth-gardens-ep-shares-track/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:02:19 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89669 Nearly four years have elapsed since veteran beatsmith and Warp affiliate Guillermo S. Herren last released under his best-known moniker, Prefuse 73. That's set to change, however, with two EPs and one long-player due out over the next few months via Brooklyn-based imprint Temporary Residence Ltd. "I've come back to hyper focusing, immersing myself in the sounds, rhythms, and formations that created Prefuse 73 in the first place," Herren says. "Recently, I've found a new life in the whole process of refining what I've created over the years as Prefuse. Right now I'm at my most confident and comfortable since '05/'06."

Herren first hinted at the run of new material back in January, and now, full details of the first EP in the series—Forsynth Gardens—have surfaced. Set to arrive on April 28, a press release describes the record, stating: "The prismatic textures that have long been a staple of Prefuse 73 are bound to beats and melodies with the spirit of hip-hop and the subtlety of modern minimalism."

The release of Forsyth Gardens will be followed by the Rivington Não Rio LP on May 12 (complete details here) and the Every Color of Darkness EP on July 14. Until then, the premiere of EP cut "Ages Upon Ages Upon You" can be heard below, where a complete tracklist has also been included.

1. Hustle (Intro)
2. Infrared Remix (feat. Sam Dew)
3. You Are Now Poison
4. Ages Upon Ages Upon You
5. Genderations
6. Still Pretending
7. Sunday Service
8. What They Got?
9. Sará Teflón

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Lnrdcroy Readies New EP for Unthank http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/lnrdcroy-readies-new-ep-for-unthank/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/lnrdcroy-readies-new-ep-for-unthank/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 13:59:44 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89676 Upstart Vancouver producer Lnrdcroy (given name Leon Campbell) is set to debut on Firecracker sublabel Unthank next month with the first of two anticipated EPs. Campbell's inaugural solo effort arrived last year in the form of a cassette long-player for 1080p, and was subsequently picked up for a vinyl reissue by Firecracker. However, apart from a contribution to local imprint Pacific Rhythm's various-artist EP and a couple of split 12"s, Campbell has largely kept quiet until now. His forthcoming 10" comprises three new characteristically diffuse cuts and is expected to arrive in May; previews of the EP can be streamed below. (via Juno Plus)

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Setaoc Mass Inaugurates SK_Eleven Label http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/setaoc-mass-inaugurates-sk_eleven-label/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/setaoc-mass-inaugurates-sk_eleven-label/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 12:37:50 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89681 Manchester-bred, Berlin-based producer Setaoc Mass (a.k.a. Sam Coates) launches the SK_Eleven imprint today with the surprise release of its inaugural record, Codes. Produced by Coates himself, the three-track EP sets the bar for the label's self-described commitment to showcasing "old and new dancefloor techno in its purest trippy form." Coates recently appeared on a compilation EP from the Initial imprint alongside UVB, Patrick Skoog, and Echologist (the project of Brendon Moeller), and has also been sighted on Glaswegian outpost Animal Farm.

Codes is out in both vinyl and digital formats now, and clips for all three EP tracks can be streamed below.

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Voices from the Lake Details Live Album for Editions Mego http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/voices-from-the-lake-details-live-album-for-editions-mego/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/voices-from-the-lake-details-live-album-for-editions-mego/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 12:11:35 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89672 Voices from the Lake—the joint project of Italian techno experimentalists Donato Dozzy and Neel—will release a live recording via the esteemed Editions Mego label this summer. As Resident Advisor reports, the forthcoming Live at Maxxi LP was recorded on October 24, 2014 at the Open Museum Open City exhibition in Rome. While both Dozzy and Neel have appeared on Mego subsidiary Spectrum Spools previously—Neel with 2014's Phobos album; Dozzy most recently in collaboration with vocalist Anna Caragnano and with a collection of Bee Mask remixes—the forthcoming effort marks their collaborative debut on Editions Mego proper.

Ahead of the official release of Live at Maxxi on June 22, LP cut "Max" (which reinterprets Paolo Conte's song of the same name with arrangements from Brando Lupi) can be streamed below, where the album's complete tracklist has also been included.

01. Intro
02. Sonia Danza
03. Dreamscape Generation
04. Richiami e Oscillazioni
05. Orange Steps
06. Scintille
07. Max

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Premiere: Hear Dave DK's "Whitehill Feat. Piper Davis" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-hear-dave-dks-whitehill-feat-piper-davis/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/04/premiere-hear-dave-dks-whitehill-feat-piper-davis/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2015 15:29:14 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=89656 German DJ and producer Dave DK has been on the scene for quite some time now, releasing music for over 15 years on highly regarded labels such as Moodmusic, Pampa, and most recently, Cologne based institution Kompakt. At the end of this month, Dave will release his latest LP, Val Maira, an epic sonic journey traversing styles and genres, from pop-ambient to more tuneful house and techno. The album spans 11 tracks, including the one below titled, "Whitehill," which features the vocals of frequent Stimming collaborator Piper Davis.

"Whitehill" unfolds beautifully across it's 6 minute run, opening with deep, muted rhythms and layers that unroll themselves into more melodic territory. Davis adds her silky vocal touch to top things off, made all the more effective with Dave's deft production touch. You can hear "Whitehill" in full below, with more album info and a pre-order option here, ahead of the April 27 release date.

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