XLR8R http://www.xlr8r.com Accelerating music & culture Wed, 04 Feb 2015 00:01:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Roman Flügel Preps New EP for Dial http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/roman-flugel-preps-new-ep-for-dial/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/roman-flugel-preps-new-ep-for-dial/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 22:00:28 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=86019 German producer/DJ Roman Flügel has announced he will release a new EP in March. The three-track Sliced Africa EP is said to find Flügel further exploring the rich brand of stretched-out house music (the record's lead track clocks in at over 11 minutes) that he has made his own in recent years. The record is also set to appear on Dial, the same imprint that released the seasoned producer's sophomore LP, Happiness Is Happening, in September of last year.

The Sliced Africa EP will see its official release on March 2; ahead of its arrival, we've posted the forthcoming record's artwork and tracklist below. While we await the EP's imminent release, Flügel's recent contribution to the XLR8R podcast series can still be streamed and downloaded here.

dial69Cover 300x300
1. Black Towers
2. Sliced Africa
3. Spiritual Enhancer

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T. Williams Launches Label, Shares New Single http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/t-williams-launches-label-shares-new-single/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/t-williams-launches-label-shares-new-single/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 21:17:38 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=86082 London DJ/producer T. Williams (who delivered an XLR8R podcast back in 2011) has revealed plans to launch a new label of his own, Today, Tomorrow. The imprint will kick off with the release of Williams' Acoustic Treatment EP, with the label's second effort to follow shortly thereafter in the form of a vinyl-only outing from grime artist Jon E Cash. Beyond that, the label has stated that it will aim to "seek out innovation and new movements, bridging and bending genre, history and territorial boundaries" as it builds its catalog.

In addition to the label announcement, T. Williams has today shared a new production, "Days End." A rolling, soul-swept club effort which features some smooth guitar licks and sax solos across its five-minute run, "Days End" can be streamed below; full details on T. Williams' forthcoming Acoustic Treatment EP are expected to arrive soon.

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PAN to Reissue 1998 Hip-Hop Mixtape from Spectre http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/pan-to-reissue-1998-hip-hop-mixtape-from-spectre/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/pan-to-reissue-1998-hip-hop-mixtape-from-spectre/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 20:28:32 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=86068 Originally released in 1998 as an extremely limited cassette, WordSound label founder Skiz Fernando Jr.'s (a.k.a. Spectre) Ruff Kutz mixtape will serve as the first release from Bill Kouligas' PAN label in 2015. A 90-minute affair, the mixtape is said to feature "hits and remixes, previously unreleased tracks, and dub-plate specials featuring Sensational, Mr Dead, Bill Laswell, Jungle Brothers, Kevin Martin/Techno Animal, and many more." The collection in many ways serves as a snapshot of the kind of hip-hop experimentation which was taking place in Brooklyn at the time, with Spectre's WordSound label leading the way for the "illbient" scene which combined elements of dub, hip-hop, and ambient together into a unique brand of foggy boom-bap.

PAN's reissue of the Ruff Kutz mixtape will be available as a double-140g vinyl pack, as well as in digital form, beginning March 9. At this time, no audio previews have been made available for the upcoming release.

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RIP Dust La Rock http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/rip-dust-la-rock/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/rip-dust-la-rock/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 19:48:51 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=86061 Word has come that Joshua Prince (a.k.a. Dust La Rock) has unexpectedly passed away at the age of 38. Prince was the co-founder of the Fool's Gold record label and also served as the imprint's creative director and chief designer since its launch in 2007.

"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of original Fool's Gold co-founder and art director Joshua Prince, a.k.a. Dust La Rock," the label writes on its website. "His singular talent and uncompromising vision set a foundation for our label as a beacon for artists. He will be missed dearly by the Fool's Gold family and the creative community at large."

XLR8R spoke with Prince about his design work and artistic inspirations in a 2009 Vis-Ed feature for our print magazine, an article which can still be read here.

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Lando Readies New EP for Myth Music; Preview It Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/lando-readies-new-ep-for-myth-music-preview-it-now/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/lando-readies-new-ep-for-myth-music-preview-it-now/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 18:42:50 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=86034 Late last year, Berlin-based American producer Lando (formerly Lando Kal, pictured above) and Boiler Room's Baron Castle launched the Myth Music label with Lando's own I Can See It in You EP. Now Lando—an alumni of the Hotflush and Rush Hour imprints—has revealed plans to release Myth Music's second record, which is to be known simply as MYTH002 and will find the producer further exploring the primitive, hypnotic grooves with which he is synonymous.

Myth Music will release MYTH002 on March 2; before then, snippets of the record can be streamed below, where we've also included the EP's full tracklist. In addition, around the time of I Can See It in You's original release, Lando graced us with a contribution to the XLR8R podcast series, which can still be streamed and downloaded here.


A1. No Matter (Where You Are)
A2. Posse Form
B1. Insyde
B2. Abaraxas II

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Jon Convex Reveals Upcoming Anger Levels EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/jon-convex-reveals-upcoming-anger-levels-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/jon-convex-reveals-upcoming-anger-levels-ep/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 18:01:26 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=86042 UK producer—and half of the Instra:mental duo alongside Boddika—Damon Kirkham will release a new solo EP under his Jon Convex alias later this month. Entitled Anger Levels, the record will consist of four new productions from the genre-defying, bass-focused artist and will be available as a digital-only collection via the Boys Noize Records label. Set to hit Beatport on February 9, with a full release planned for February 23, the artwork and tracklist for Convex's forthcoming Anger Levels EP can be peeped below.

convexart_020315
1. A Good Woman
2. Disconnect YRSLF
3. Anger Levels
4. Transient

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Grey People "Moonstruck" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/02/grey-people-moonstruck/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/02/grey-people-moonstruck/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 17:30:45 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85986 Atlanta's fledgling CGI label is prepared to continue growing in 2015, with its first release of the year landing this week in the form of the Trench Foot EP from Grey People, an artist raised in Chicago who now calls Nashville, Tennessee home. On his new effort, the artist-born Alex Michalski delivers a helping of raw, machine-made funk, of which the slithering "Moonstruck" is perhaps its catchiest endeavor. Fueled by the stomp of a red-lined drum machine, the track focuses on a new-wave indebted synth sequence which bends and twists as Michalski generously manipulates a slew of background textures. The second of four cuts on Grey People's new release, "Moonstruck" can be downloaded below, where a full stream of the Nashville producer's Trench Foot EP has also been included.

Moonstruck

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Dimensions Festival Announces First Acts of 2015 Line-Up http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/dimensions-festival-announces-first-acts-of-2015-line-up/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/dimensions-festival-announces-first-acts-of-2015-line-up/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 16:34:21 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=86015 Croatia's Dimensions Festival has announced the first tranche of acts who will appear at its upcoming fourth edition, which will take place from August 27 - 30 at Fort Punta Christo in Pula. The standout names on the initial bill include Moodymann, Ben Klock, Motor City Drum Ensemble, John Talabot, Mount Kimbie (DJ set), Rødhåd, Surgeon, Lee Gamble, Lil' Louis, Daniel Avery, Goldie, and Hessle Audio's Ben UFO, Pearson Sound, and Pangaea. Two label showcases have also been announced, with Konstantin, Vril, Edward, and Dustin lined up for the Giegling label's event, while Tenderlonius, Al Dobson Jr, Henry Wu will be on hand for the 22a Records showcase. In addition, an opening concert will take place at the 2000-year old amphitheater in Pula on August 26, with the line-up for that event still yet to be revealed.

The full list of acts announced so far for the 2015 edition of Dimensions can be found on the flier below, while more info on the upcoming festival can be found here.

Dimensions 2015 - flyer 800

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John Carpenter Lost Themes http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/02/john-carpenter-lost-themes/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/02/john-carpenter-lost-themes/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 16:00:06 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85998 Lost Themes is something of a post-modern marvel. After all, John Carpenter is one of America's most beloved filmmakers (amongst a certain cadre of viewer, at least), a figure who's responsible for a spate of the best horror, action, and dark comedy films of the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Essential to his films' success were their soundtracks—sparse, simple, all-synthesizer affairs rife with tension, dread, and drama, all of which were composed by Carpenter himself (occasionally in concert with Alan Howarth, a frequent collaborator). Over the years, these soundtracks have proven to be so effective that they've inspired legions of imitators, including a bevy of electronic musicians who hew so close to the Carpenter blueprint that they blur the line between homage and appropriation (see Umberto, Xander Harris, and Cliff Martinez's soundtrack to Drive for glaring examples). Surfacing after a long period of relative quiet, Lost Themes is Carpenter's first non-soundtrack album, and was written with no accompanying images to score to. It is, essentially, John Carpenter performing as John Carpenter, a slightly surreal situation in which the auteur has become so notorious that he riffs on his own notoriety—a musical .

But that's all somewhat beside the point—is Lost Themes a good record? Yes—with a few reservations. The LP contains nine tracks, averaging about five and a half minutes in length, all of which have evocative one-word titles plucked straight from the Carpenter oeuvre. They're more accurately described as suites or medleys, each one consisting of short pieces stitched together, giving the album a true "soundtrack" feel. The sound palette is classic Carpenter, with some haunting, spooky bits ("Fallen," "Night") and a good deal of gloriously cheesy guitar riffs and rockin' drums during the uptempo pieces ("Domain," "Abyss"). The album is relentlessly cinematic, almost oppressively so, which makes listening to Lost Themes from start to finish a bizarrely visual experience; whereas a great deal of electronic music is remarkably open to interpretation (this being one of the genre's greatest strengths, arguably), it's difficult to listen to Lost Themes without imagining a burly action hero bursting out of a burning building or a masked murderer silently stalking his prey. Granted, this may or may not be to the listener's taste.

The digital edition of the album includes six remixes from a well-selected collection of artists who were clearly influenced by Carpenter: Zola Jesus with Dean Hurley, ohGr, Silent Servant, Blanck Mass (a.k.a. Benjamin John Power, half of Bristol duo Fuck Buttons), J.G. Thirlwell, and PAN boss Bill Kouligas. Their efforts range from good to excellent; Zola Jesus' contribution, in which she lends her searing voice to the throb of "Night," is a standout, as is Blanck Mass's rework of "Fallen," which transforms the original into a slow-burning psychedelic drum track that builds toward an explosive climax.

In the press material accompanying the record, Carpenter says "Lost Themes was all about having fun," and it shows. It's suffused with a particular kind of glee, the kind that comes from having mastered one's craft inside and out. At the same time, that kind of mastery comes with its own kind of limitations—there are no surprises here, for better or worse. Furthermore, the fact that Carpenter's studio has expanded significantly since the Halloween days means that the incisive, cutting simplicity of his early work is nowhere to be found. In the end though, none of this matters too much, because Lost Themes is a still blast to listen to.

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Premiere: Stream a New Track from Danny Daze's Upcoming Collaborative EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/premiere-stream-a-new-track-from-danny-dazes-upcoming-collaborative-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/premiere-stream-a-new-track-from-danny-dazes-upcoming-collaborative-ep/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 15:58:40 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85988 Just before 2014 came to a close, Miami-based DJ/producer and former XLR8R podcast contributor Danny Daze announced that his upcoming Four EP would serve as the newly launched Omnidisc label's inaugural effort when it arrived in February. Featuring four collaborative tracks between Daze and four seperate producers, Daze's effort for the EP alongside Miami newcomer Deroboter, "Drowning," is now streaming in full on XLR8R.

Spanning six minutes, "Drowning" gradually builds into a driving dancefloor effort, one which drapes new-age pads and sharply rising melodic leads over a skeletal rhythmic structure. Set to sit alongside further collaborations with 214 (a.k.a. J.Alvarez), Philipp Gorbachev, and Drvg Cvltvre on the upcoming Four EP (out on February 16), Daze's and Deroboter's "Drowning" can be heard in its entirety via the player below. In addition, Daze also launched a new monthly podcast series, Sunday Morning, earlier this week, the first episode of which can be streamed and downloaded here.

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Podcast 376: Lena Willikens http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/02/podcast-376-lena-willikens/ http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/02/podcast-376-lena-willikens/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 15:00:19 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=86004 Just last month, XLR8R profiled Lena Willikens as part of our annual Bubblin' Up Week series. The article highlighted the Cologne selector's love of unusual sounds, and her ability to make them work on the dancefloor. Her eclectic tastes have most recently been on display via Phantom Delia, Willikens' debut EP, which saw the light of day just a few weeks ago on the Cómeme label. Still, as promising as that record is, it's as a DJ that Willikens really shines; her monthly Sentimental Flashback program, which airs as part of the Radio Cómeme podcast series, continues to be a revelation, and her 2014 mix for Resident Advisor was undoubtedly one of last year's most compelling listens. Given that, we jumped at the chance to have her put together an exclusive XLR8R podcast.

True to form, what Willikens has assembled isn't something for people in search of a polished session of neatly constructed dance music. Her selections come from all over the map—both musically and geographically—as cuts from her Cómeme cohorts sit alongside bizarre slices of post-punk, jagged electro, stripped-down house, and assorted electronic oddities. In truth, it's quite unlike most of the mixes that appear in this space, but the podcast is ultimately as thrilling as it is strange. That being said, a cohesive thread has been woven throughout the mix's nearly 70-minute runtime; its seams might not be taut, but the music's looseness and Willikens' remarkably open-minded outlook is all part of the fun.

01 Louise Huebner ­"The Demons Spell for Energy" (Warner Bros. – ­Seven Arts)
02 I­–F ­"Torment" (Disco B)
03 Red Axes ­"Shin Shim"
04 BWL ­"Coro Delle V3" (BWL)
05 Rumanians "­Vos Sos Dios (Carisma Remix)" (Dengue Dancing)
06 Zombie Zombie "L'Esprit Du Cimetière Part 2 (Thème Principal)" (Versatile)
07 Lucas Croon & Carsten Dämbkes "Ecke Rolandstrasse" (TFGC)
08 Jan Pravda ­"Stompd Galaxy" (DMD)
09 Kotai ­"Luxury" (WMF)
10 Matias Aguayo ­"ELEFANTE ­123 BPM" (Cómeme)
11 Cowboy Rhythmbox ­"Rattle" (Phantasy Sound)
12 Shitcluster "Doop 3" (SD)
13 Acid Arab ­"Zahr" (Versatile)
14 Unit Moebius ­"World Turns Around" (Clone Classic Cuts)
15 Vessel ­"Red Sex" (Tri Angle)
16 Ana Helder ­"Chabond" (Cómeme)
17 Dreamweapon ­"Moonland" (Holger)
18 Christoph Haberer ­"Give My Best to G.!" (Jazz Haus Musik)

Download MP3
Download M4A (iTunes enhanced)
Subscribe to Podcast (RSS)
XLR8R_Podcast_Lena_Willikens_2015_02_03

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Vessels "Echo In" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/02/vessels-echo-in/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/02/vessels-echo-in/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 14:00:18 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85982 After turning in a remix of Rival Consoles' "Recovery" for our Downloads section a few weeks back (a rework which made for one of the site's Top 10 Downloads of January), Vessels returns to XLR8R with "Echo In," a new single from the Leeds-based group's upcoming Dilate LP (artwork above). Scheduled for a release via the Bias label in March, Dilate is set to see the five-piece outfit shedding their roots as a guitar-oriented endeavor in order to fully embrace their electronic side. "Echo In" is a fine example of Vessels' evolving sound—streaked with spiraling synth lines and buzzing chords, the track takes shaped as a fast-moving electronic hybrid, one which is quick to weave live drums in with skittering hats, pulsing melodic samples, and sneaking Moog-like leads. "Echo In" can be downloaded below before Vessels' new full-length record arrives next month; the group's upcoming UK tour dates have also been included below.

March 12 Convergence 2015, Village Underground, London (with Clark, Rival Consoles & Luke Abbott)
March 13 Convergence 2015, St. John At Hackney (DJ set with Kiasmos and Rival Consoles)
March 14 Start The Bus, Bristol
March 15 Rainbow, Birmingham
March 16 Soup Kitchen, Manchester
March 17 Nice n Sleazy, Glasgow
March 18 Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Leeds
April 25 Opium Rooms, Dublin (with Jack J)

Echo In

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Todd Terje Enlists I:Cube and Prins Thomas for New Remix 10"; Hear Both Tracks Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/todd-terje-enlists-icube-and-prins-thomas-for-new-remix-10-hear-both-tracks-now/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/todd-terje-enlists-icube-and-prins-thomas-for-new-remix-10-hear-both-tracks-now/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 23:22:16 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85973 A pair of tracks have been lifted from Todd Terje's (pictured above) excellent It's Album Time LP—a record which easily made it onto our Best Releases of 2014 list—and handed over to I:Cube and Prins Thomas for a 10" remix EP.

The record's a-side features the rework from longstanding French producer I:Cube, who takes "Leisure Suit Preben" into even more cosmic (and slightly darker) dancefloor territory than Terje had originally intended. On the b-side, fellow disco don Prins Thomas gives "Preben Goes to Acapulco" a lively makeover, one which appears enhanced by the presence of additional live instrumentation. Out now in both digital and vinyl formats via Terje's own Olsen label, both reworks from the new Preben Remixed 10" can be streamed in full below.

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Hej Fund Details Debut EP for Sister City Limited; Hear It Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/hej-fund-details-debut-ep-for-sister-city-limited-hear-it-now/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/hej-fund-details-debut-ep-for-sister-city-limited-hear-it-now/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 21:28:41 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85963 Late last year, West Coast artists Eprom, Grenier, and Hej Fund announced the launching of Sister City Limited, a new label endeavor. Following the imprint's inaugural release—a two-track digital single which saw Grenier collaborate with Max Ulis and Sergio Levels—the imprint's second effort will arrive later this month in the form of the debut solo EP from Hej Fund. A self-titled, four-track affair, the productions housed on the record are said to each find "their own place in an after-hours selector's arsenal."

Hej Fund's debut EP will see its official release on February 16, to be followed by Sister City's first fully collaborative effort in March, a record which will see all three label heads working together to craft three new joint productions. In the meantime, the full Hej Fund EP can currently be streamed via the player below.

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Clockwork and Avatism Preview Upcoming EP as CW/A http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/clockwork-and-avatism-preview-upcoming-ep-as-cwa/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/clockwork-and-avatism-preview-upcoming-ep-as-cwa/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 20:19:05 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85956 After originally developing their CW/A collaboration as a live project, Italian producers Clockwork (a recent Bubblin' Up artist) and Avatism debuted together on record last year with the Conducting the Method EP for Vakant. Now, the pair have announced plans to release their sophomore collaborative effort as CW/A next month via Clockwork's own Parachute imprint.

The four-track A Day of Riddance EP will include two new productions from CW/A alongside remixes from seasoned UK techno artist (and former XLR8R podcast contributor) Lucy and Ilian Tape head Dario Zenker. Billed as a "barrier-trashing wall of sound," the production duo's upcoming EP can be previewed below before the record sees an official release on March 2.

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100% Silk Lines Up New Releases from Policy, Cosby, and Potions http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/100-silk-lines-up-new-releases-from-policy-cosby-and-potions/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/100-silk-lines-up-new-releases-from-policy-cosby-and-potions/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 19:21:32 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85948 The 100% Silk label will deliver its first efforts of 2015 next week, with new cassette/digital releases from NYC producer Policy, Chicago's Potions, and DC-based artist Cosby all set to arrive on February 10.

Having issued his Postscript album via 100% Silk in 2013, Policy will return to the label with The Republic, a 10-track effort which is described as an "unbroken 50-minute piece of music." Furthermore, the record is said to have been inspired by a trip to the artist's old childhood neighborhood in the Taiwanese city of Taipei, where his parents briefly settled after fleeing China in 1949, and where "he felt a communion by riding the city’s MRT train through hazily remembered suburbs and landscapes."

Joining the label's catalog alongside Policy's upcoming record will be Cosby's Mirror Box and Potions' Phased cassettes. The former endeavor is said to find Cosby (who also runs the ever-active Car Crash Set label) looking to "an amalgam of real and imagined locations" as the inspiration for its six productions ideal for "playing loud and long after the sun goes down," while the latter effort will see Pretty All Right affiliate Potions using "MIDI technology of decades past" to craft the seven tracks included on his record.

All three releases are set to be available in cassette (each limited to a run of 100) and digital forms beginning next week. In the meantime, a track from each of 100% Silk's three upcoming efforts can be streamed below, where the records' full tracklists have also been included.


Policy The Republic
1. Shipai
2. Mingde
3. Shilin
4. Jiantan
5. Shuanglian
6. Zhongshan
7. Taipei Main Station
8. NTU Hospital
9. Daan Park
10. Taipei 101


Cosby Mirror Box
1. Mirror Box
2. Gold Coast
3. Warehouse Fantasy Club
4. Veil (Club Scene)
5. Veil (Version)
6. Sortida


Potions Phased
1. Space Buick
2. Sway Vacay
3. Rainy Daze
4. Later Night
5. Acid Test
6. Heat Walk
7. Glass Lake (feat. Laura Jane Friedman)

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Legowelt Readies New EP for Unknown to the Unknown; Stream It in Full Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/legowelt-readies-new-ep-for-unknown-to-the-unknown-stream-it-in-full-now/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/legowelt-readies-new-ep-for-unknown-to-the-unknown-stream-it-in-full-now/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 17:54:31 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85919 Tireless Dutch producer Legowelt has revealed plans to issue a new EP via DJ Haus' Unknown to the Unknown label in the coming weeks. Appropriately titled Cosmic Space, the four-track effort will see Legowelt exploring the brand of space-age (and, yes, at times cosmic) dancefloor music the noted synth specialist has often traded in over the years.

Ahead of Cosmic Space's release in the coming weeks (the label says to expect the record to drop "soon"), a full stream of Legowelt's latest outing can be heard below, where a new video for EP cut "Immensity of Cosmic Space" has also been included.

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Stream Sherwood & Pinch's Upcoming Album http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/stream-sherwood-and-pinchs-upcoming-album/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/stream-sherwood-and-pinchs-upcoming-album/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 17:14:59 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85921 Earlier this winter, news surfaced that UK labels On-U and Tectonic would be teaming up to release the debut collaborative full-length from legendary dub producer Sherwood and Tectonics head and dubstep stalwart Pinch. While Late Night Endless isn't officially due out until next week, the album has now been made available to stream in full. Described as "a collision of the (pun intended) tectonic plates of international soundsystem culture," the two producers' newest collaborative effort follows from a pair of previously issued 12"s and is said to link the discursive strands of "post-punk, jungle, dubstep, almighty reggae, techno, Jamaica, Ramsgate, and Bristol" all together.

Late Night Endless lands on February 9; in the meantime, the album's 10 original tracks can be heard below.

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Julio Bashmore Shares New Track http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/julio-bashmore-shares-new-track/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/julio-bashmore-shares-new-track/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 16:55:01 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85928 After sharing two new singles in 2014 ("Simple Love" and "Rhythm of Auld," each of which are said to come from the man's imminent full-length release), Julio Bashmore has now made his first move of 2015, today sharing a full stream of a new single entitled "Kong."

A silky dancefloor effort, "Kong" features a vocalist by the name of Bixby, who laces the full-bodied, chord-fueled track with harmonized layers of effortless soul. Expected to be included on Bashmore's forthcoming debut LP (which is set to arrive sometime later this year via the man's own Broadwalk label), the Bristol artist's newest production can be streamed in full below.

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XLR8R's Top 10 Downloads of January http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/02/xlr8rs-top-10-downloads-of-january/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/02/xlr8rs-top-10-downloads-of-january/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 16:30:13 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85861 Of course we're biased, but we think selection of tracks that landed in XLR8R's Downloads section throughout the course of January have set the bar pretty high for the rest of 2015. Of those, 10 tracks in particular resonated with our readers, with burgeoning outfits such as German pair Grandbrothers, Italy's Indian Wells, and Slovakian producer Embryo all contributing new original productions to the effort, while more seasoned artists like Leeds' five-piece Vessels and Japanese sound artist Yosi Horikawa (pictured above) also delivered some excellent reworks to the month of tracks.

Now, we've crunched the numbers and can present the top 10 most popular XLR8R downloads for the month of January. Each track has been listed below and can be downloaded for free by following their respective link, while all 10 tracks can also be streamed via the playlist below.

1. Grandbrothers "Wuppertal"
2. Indian Wells "Alcantara"
3. Rival Consoles "Recovery (Vessels Remix)"
4. Mike Gao "Just Do You"
5. Julien Mier "Dappled Damp"
6. Unkwon "If We Could Just"
7. Wordlife "Dat Groove (Mak & Pasteman Remix)"
8. Hamacide & ChaCha "Annie Gun (Yosi Horikawa Remix)"
9. Embryo "Don't Need You Around (My Man)"
10. Erosion Flow "Aiir"

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Watch a New Video from Torn Hawk http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/watch-a-new-video-from-torn-hawk/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/watch-a-new-video-from-torn-hawk/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 16:15:05 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85917 Torn Hawk has shared the latest visual component to his recent album for Mexican Summer, Let's Cry and Do Pushups at the Same Time. The artist and producer born Luke Wyatt's (who recently walked XLR8R through his favorite Dire Straits songs as part of our Hi-Five series) latest effort sees him using his signature cut-ups of VHS material—which he has coined "video mulch"—to accompany recent LP cut "There Was a Time." The video features Bruegel's painting "Hunters in the Snow," which reportedly used to hang (in print form) in Wyatt's childhood room, where he created the video.

Wyatt's new video for "There Was a Time" can be watched below, while his recent visual effort for LP cut "Bad Deadlift" (which premiered earlier this month) can be found here.

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Model 500 Digital Solutions http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/02/model-500-digital-solutions/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/02/model-500-digital-solutions/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 16:00:20 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85884 The name Model 500, even when wrested from its context as a legendary pillar of electronic music in Detroit, prompts an inescapable comparison to a car. Juan Atkins' automotive alias is 30 years old now, and, like the silhouette of the saloon that the pseudonym evokes, it has become more iconic over time. A lot of artists who make music for more than three decades tend to shift with the tide as the years roll on, but the Model 500 sound hasn't changed all that much. As a result, it's become something of a design classic—something that's so distinctive, most people wouldn't dare copy it. The music is instantly recognizable, too: prickly melodies found on songs such as "No UFO's" and "The Chase" skitter and dart on top of superheated snares, hi-hats, and many other small but distinguishable pieces. Its chassis is techno and electro, but the moving parts under the hood are pure funk. Most of Atkins' records are also notable—never moreso than now—for their sparing use of bass. Model 500 is, in every sense, a high-end machine.

There's a song on Model 500's latest album, Digital Solutions—which features additional production from Mike Banks of Underground Resistance—that puts this last aspect into stark relief. "Encounter" is, essentially, a dubstep record without the bass—in fact, it's been completely scooped out, and replaced with a gaseous modular facsimile of that unmistakable "womp-womp-womp" sound. It's an unusual track, and recognizably Model 500-ish only for its spindly keys and sharp acid accents. However, it's by no means the only tune-up to Atkins' formula on Digital Solutions. "Storm" is remarkably smoothed-down slice of techno that sounds more like a Hard Wax white label than a Metroplex 12" (Digital Solutions, incidentally, is the first Model 500 album Atkins has released via his Metroplex label); while "Groove," which follows immediately after, has a guitar solo. These are incremental, but noticeable, advances on Atkins' tried-and-tested template.

Do these deviations work? By disgorging it of its low-end frequencies, "Encounter"—if it is intended as a Model 500 take on dubstep—seems to misunderstand the basic principle behind what makes the genre enjoyable. Elsewhere, however, Digital Solutions absorbs its aesthetic updates with ease, refreshing Atkins' signature electro sounds in the process. "Hi NRG," the album's first track, pulls off the neat trick of sounding both generously proportioned and streamlined: processed human voice chords swell in the midsection; junky metal percussion loosely clicks and clacks, mimicking a bongo drum; digital harpsichord notes skip lightly over the top; and a keyboard funk solo oozes through the gaps. Like "Storm," it's a techno record that packs a punch, but the delivery is marked by finesse.

Still, a lot of Digital Solutions echoes classic Model 500 material. "Standing in Tomorrow"'s sweeping synths and compressed vocoder vocal are customary Metroplex sounds, but they glow with a newfound affluence (amplified perhaps by a more elaborate studio set-up than the '80s and '90s allowed); "Control," which first appeared on an R&S EP in 2012, is much the same, and it buttresses Digital Solutions nicely. Elsewhere, some of the album's most charming moments are found in its more barren synth-and-snare stretches. "Electric Night"'s milieu of soft nocturnal bleeps and Atkins' deadpan delivery resembles the ambling atmosphere—but not the downcast mood—of The Other People Place's Lifestyles of the Laptop Cafe. Made of little more than a rubbery oscillating bassline, a few dribbling bleeps, and Atkins' intoning of the song title, "Digital Solutions" is engineered in the same way. Even for an album of electronic music, the track's strange onomatopoeic burps and clicks have a particularly synthetic sheen to them.

Atkins and other Detroit pioneers ensured their place in the electronic music canon years ago, but these sort of comebacks often put notions of legacy and "flawless catalogs" at risk. Despite that, Digital Solutions is worthy of its place in the Model 500 discography. The fact that the LP even exists—and that people are excited to hear it—reinforces the music's enduring power, even if the record largely sets aside aspirations to be innovative. The future Atkins once envisioned more than three decades ago is now here; Digital Solutions is a welcome reminder of that.

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Oknai "Cloud Forest (Pixelord Remix)" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/02/oknai-cloud-forest-pixelord-remix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/02/oknai-cloud-forest-pixelord-remix/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 15:55:19 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85870 Later this month, Oknai will issue the High Tide Remixesd EP, a follow-up to the Slovenian producer's debut album that arrived in June of last year. Amongst the five beatmakers selected to rework cuts from Okani's High Tide LP is Russian producer and former XLR8R podcast contributor Pixelord. Taking on "Cloud Forest," the Moscow-based artist completely reshapes Okani's track into a much darker affair, one propelled by pumping 808 kicks and bursts of neon-colored arpeggios. Set to feature additional remixes from Free the Robots, Borka, Some1Else, and Moz, Oknai's High Tide Remixed EP will see a vinyl and digital release on February 23 via the rx:tx label. Before then, Pixelord's contribution to the effort can be downloaded below.

Cloud Forest (Pixelord Remix)

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Privacy Preps Debut EP for Klasse with Helena Hauff Remix, Shares Previews http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/privacy-preps-debut-ep-for-klasse-with-helena-hauff-remix-shares-previews/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/02/privacy-preps-debut-ep-for-klasse-with-helena-hauff-remix-shares-previews/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 15:19:54 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85905 Newcomer Privacy will debut on Luca Lozano's Klasse label with his first EP of 2015. Set for release midway through this month, Command Pattern finds the Australian-born, Berlin-based producer trading in spacey Detroit electro with widescreen pads and classic drum-machine rhythms. The EP follows from one previous outing on London-based label Lobster Theremin and includes five original tracks; notably, b-side cut "System Voice" is treated to a remix by Golden Pudel's Helena Hauff, who recently detailed a forthcoming full-length cassette release for Handmade Birds. Ahead of Command Pattern's official release, EP previews can be streamed below.

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Artist Tips: Egyptrixx http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/02/artist-tips-egyptrixx/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/02/artist-tips-egyptrixx/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 15:00:48 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85874 For the past several years, the name Egyptrixx (a.k.a. David Psutka) has been closely associated with the Night Slugs camp (after all, the UK label did provide a home for his first two albums, 'Bible Eyes' and 'A/B Til Infinity'), but the Toronto producer has always operated on something of an island. Although he certainly shared some aesthetic traits with his Night Slugs brethren, Psutka's constructions always stood just a bit apart from those of the tightly knit (and largely London-based) crew, and presented a hybridized style that married the sonic palette of grime to a highly architectural brand of techno. He's continued with that vision on his third album, 'Transfer of Energy [Feelings of Power],' which drops next week via Psutka's newly launched Halocline Trance imprint. Between the new LP and his growing production workload with other artists, we know that Psutka has spent a lot of time in the studio as of late, so we asked him to share a few of the techniques that he's picked up along the way.

Over the last few years, I've been working quite a bit as a studio producer with other artists, and I think the essence of the work is preparation and troubleshooting—having clear ideas and quickly dealing with problems as they come up, so work is fluid and artists feel good about their performances. Working on my own stuff isn't much different. Here are some strategies I use when working on records.

Refine ideas outside of the studio.

There is some silent work to be done on any record—decisions about concept, atmosphere, sequencing, lyrics, production/engineering techniques, etc.—and I like to do as much of it outside of the studio as possible so I have a clear understanding of the project and can work quickly without much second-guessing. Also, I find it basically impossible to come up with good ideas while staring at a computer screen; it's such a paralysis device. I prefer airplanes, subways, bars, libraries, whatever… I'll usually sketch out most of a track before I start any kind of recording.

Studios are totally fun places, but they're full of things that can dilute or distract your original idea: cool gear, interesting people, technical problems, drugs/booze, etc. It's good to do as much work as possible on a song before you start recording and arranging. The ideas will probably drift a little (or a lot), but I think it's good to understand your intention before you start.

egyptrixx2

Parameters are an artist's best friend.
Cheap, intuitive computer programs like Ableton and Logic are awesome and totally positive for music—anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is probably an asshole. However, the biggest challenge when working with DAWs, VSTs, and sample packs is to not get distracted. There is basically an infinite number of options at every juncture, and scrolling endlessly through sample pack folders is a total nightmare. I like to figure out a sound palette before starting on a record. If you have access, working with hardware is another good way to narrow your options and focus your process.

I also think it's important to make decisions about general atmosphere and basic production techniques in advance so that when you get tired or frustrated, you can refer back and keep things rolling forward.

Cheap, intuitive computer programs like Ableton and Logic are awesome and totally positive for music—anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is probably an asshole.

Avoid fatigue.

Any song or record is essentially a series of forks in the road; there are dozens, hundreds, thousands of small decisions to be made, and as a songwriter or producer, you're constantly having to decide "left or right." It can be exhausting. Fatigue is an absolute killer in the studio and once it sets in and your ears get tired, the day is done. Minimizing and managing fatigue is totally crucial. I like a rigid schedule with lots of breaks and I try to step out of the studio before I get loopy. If I stay fresh, I'll work longer and get more done over the course of a day. Take breaks; go do emails, read something, go outside, eat, whatever. Make sure you're purposeful and have energy when working—don't overdose on work. Four to five hours of good, productive studio time is better than 12 hours of drudgery.

It's an especially important thing to keep in mind in 2015 because most artists—even rich, famous ones—do some amount of self-production or mixing. This means having to listen to your tracks more and potentially getting sick of them. Know when to walk away and get the hell out of the studio!

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Transfer of Energy [Feelings of Power]

Write with the wrong instrument.
If you have access to instruments and are stuck on a part—or if you're just looking for a fun writing trick—try writing with the wrong instrument. Play a synth line on a guitar, a vocal melody on a piano, a percussion bit on a bass guitar, whatever. There's nothing revelatory here, it's just a silly little trick that can sometimes be useful and produce an interesting result.

When working with vocalists, I like to throw problematic vocal lines into MIDI piano roll and tweak them there—I've definitely gotten out of a few jams with this one.

Also, I think I saw Machinedrum mention once that he taps his parts out on a table while he's writing—I think this is clever and basically the same idea. Understand the parts independently of the gear or instrument (or your relative ability to play them).

Studios are totally fun places, but they're full of things that can dilute or distract your original idea.

Embrace non-musical ideas.

There is a lot of value in non-musical ideas. I spend a lot of time trolling non-musical arenas like movies, industrial design, and obsolete architecture for things I can lift and bring back to music. This process has basically become the mission statement for the Egyptrixx project and definitely comes in handy with others. The ideas might relate to texture, arrangement, concept, structure… whatever really. It's a nice way to generate new ideas and can clarify your understanding of your material.

For example, I've always loved Donald Judd's compositional decision to use crude, industrial materials—concrete and steel—in his work as some kind of celebration or acknowledgement of America's ascension though industrialization. He made high art with massive slabs of low, ugly material. I love this idea and have tried—with debatable success—to bring it into a few songs.

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