XLR8R http://www.xlr8r.com Accelerating music & culture Thu, 29 Jan 2015 20:39:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Ableton Introduces OSCiLLOT Modular Synthesis Device for Live http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/ableton-introduces-the-oscillot-modular-synthesis-device-for-live/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/ableton-introduces-the-oscillot-modular-synthesis-device-for-live/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 20:30:34 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85753 Today Ableton has released OSCiLLOT, a Max for Live device which brings modular synthesis to the Live realm. Designed by Max for Cats, the OSCiLLOT offers 100 patchable modules (including oscillators, filters, processors, mixers, modulators, amplifiers, shapers, sequencers, utilities, and more) which can freely connected together to build custom signal paths to create and manipulate sounds. Furthermore, the virtual modular device boasts six-voice polyphony, a rarity in real-world/hardware modular systems.

A detailed explanation of the functions and uses of the OSCiLLOT device can be found in the video below, while the virtual instrument's full list of features and specifications can be read here; the OSCiLLOT is available now from Ableton's web store for $99.

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Uffe Announces Upcoming Debut LP; Preview It Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/uffe-announces-upcoming-debut-lp-preview-it-now/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/uffe-announces-upcoming-debut-lp-preview-it-now/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 20:15:55 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85761 A Danish producer currently based in Amsterdam, Uffe Christensen (who produces simply under the name Uffe) will release his debut long-player, Radio Days, in March. Marking his return to the Tartelet label (who issued Uffe's Straess! EP in 2012), the forthcoming album appears set to find the producer expanding a bit on the jazz-strewn house constructions with which he has built his existing catalog, as a press release for the LP explains, "On Radio Days, you'll hear shades of hip-hop (Uffe's first musical love, he says), smoky soul, generations of jazz styles and, of course, a distinctly Detroit strain of grooving house music."

A 15-minute preview stream of snippets from the LP accompanies the record's announcement, and seems to signal that Uffe has taken his craft in a number of simultaneous directions on Radio Days, taking his focus off the dancefloor from time to time while also incorporating some of his own vocals into a handful of productions. The album preview can be heard below ahead of Radio Days' official release on March 23; the full tracklist for Uffe's forthcoming debut album has also been included below.

A1. A1. A1. Curtains
A2. Die For You (I Won't)
A3. My Luv Was Reel
A4. Space Loop
A5. I Can Show You High
B1. Your Reality
B2. Saw You Laughing
B3. Lemon Nights
B4. Those Insecure Designers (Skit)
B5. For A While
I Can Show You High (Fernet dub) (Digital Bonus Track)
Saw You Laughing (Instrumental) (Digital Bonus Track)

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Premiere: Listen to a New Remix from Fort Romeau http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/premiere-listen-to-a-new-remix-from-fort-romeau/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/premiere-listen-to-a-new-remix-from-fort-romeau/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 18:15:23 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85748 After revealing the details of his forthcoming debut LP for Ghostly earlier this month, Fort Romeau has now turned in a new remix of London vocalist Andreya Triana'a "Gold" single.

A soulful track steeped in classic R&B traditions, "Gold" (which stems from Triana's upcoming Giants LP for Counter Records) is transformed into a subdued house affair in the hands of Fort Romeau. At the base of his rework, the London producer makes use of a procession of foggy chords, which are cut by a bouncing four-on-the-floor and a driving synth bass. From there, the rework builds in gradual steps—extra hats and claps fly in the from the sides, echoed chords rise to the top, and snippets of Triana's vocals are sprinkled throughout.

Fort Romeau's floor-minded rework of "Gold" is premiering below, while the first single from his upcoming debut LP, Insides, can be heard here.

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BNJMN and Best Available Technology Prep Collaborative LP for Astro:Dynamics http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/bnjmn-best-available-technology-prep-collaborative-lp-for-astrodynamics/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/bnjmn-best-available-technology-prep-collaborative-lp-for-astrodynamics/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:32:23 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85736 Berlin-based UK producer BNJMN and Portland artist Best Available Technology (who has previously released with labels such as Opal Tapes and Left_Blank) will together issue a collaborative LP, De/Re-Contructions, via Astro:Dynamics next month. The 11-track record is said to be "a document of a musical dialogue between the two artists that has been ongoing for a number of years... the passing back and forth of ideas and snippets in the pursuit of feedback gradually grew into a body of work that eloquently moulds each artist's sonic palettes and approaches."

Our first glimpse into the musical world BNJMN and Best Available Technology have together created is beatless LP cut "022," which dives into a stream of dubby chords, pulsing static, and scattered electronic spurts that intensify across the track's two-plus-minute run. The video for "022" can be watched below, where the complete tracklist for De/Re-Contructions has also been included ahead of the album's official release on February 23.


1. Wired
2. Things Go
3. Ghosting
4. 022
5. Tred
6. Raw Idler
7. Bolt
8. Bed Cult
9. Rift
10. Slake
11. Lair

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Premiere: Hear a New Track from Helena Hauff's Upcoming Cassette http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/premiere-hear-a-new-track-from-helena-hauffs-upcoming-cassette/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/premiere-hear-a-new-track-from-helena-hauffs-upcoming-cassette/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:06:48 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85733 Just last week, Helena Hauff revealed that her first release of 2015 would take the form of a 60-minute cassette for Texas label Handmade Birds. And while the Hamburg-based techno producer and Golden Pudel resident's A Tape won't see an official release until February 24, the effort's b-side opener, "tape 7," can now be streamed in full on XLR8R.

True to form, the nearly nine-minute track finds Hauff trading in the sort of extended, acidic hardware jams found previously on releases for Lux, Solar One, Panzerkreuz, and PAN (as one half of Black Sites). Further details of Hauff's forthcoming A Tape can be found here, while the stream of "tape 7" can be heard below.

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J. Albert "Intimate Setting" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/j-albert-intimate-setting/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/j-albert-intimate-setting/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:00:35 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85685 Fledgling Australian label Cult Trip has enlisted Brooklyn producer J. Albert to deliver the second record in its discography, the Vertigo Contracto EP. The upcoming two-track effort will also serve as Albert's official debut outing, and from the sound of the previews included below, it appears set to be an impressive one. Further bolstering that statement is "Intimate Setting," a bonus cut Albert has sent along to serve as an additional preview to his upcoming debut. Spanning over nine minutes, the track is a forceful expedition into hardware techno, as the production's gritty rhythms and brooding synth lines are sent through a stream of cycling phasers and saturated manipulation. "Intimate Setting" can be downloaded below before the NYC artist's debut EP lands via Cult Trip on February 2.

Intimate Setting

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Various Artists Dance Mania: Ghetto Madness http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/01/various-artists-dance-mania-ghetto-madness/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/01/various-artists-dance-mania-ghetto-madness/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:00:29 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85706 With a back catalog spanning 30 years and more than 300 releases, Dance Mania is a label with few peers. Beginning in Chicago back in 1985, it began as an answer to the sleek, polished sound that ruled the Windy City at the time. Dance Mania aimed to offer an alternative, and eventually became known for its frequent pairing of raw sounds with unforgettably filthy and humorous lyrics. 808 kicks and outrageously infectious hooks also became a key part of the label's signature aesthetic, and once the Dance Mania release schedule slowed in the '00s, its records quickly became collectors' items.

Of course, there's a good chance that even semi-serious fans of dance music already know this history. Even those who weren't around (or simply weren't paying attention) during Dance Mania's peak output period in the '90s have likely heard the folklore, and present-day artists such as Jackmaster and Nina Kraviz have spoken extensively about the label's influence on their DJing.

Given the label's rich history, it's natural to wonder exactly how its essence can be properly captured in a compilation. The task becomes especially difficult when one recalls that Ghetto Madness is the second Dance Mania collection to arrive via Strut Records in less than a year, which means that many of the label's most recognizable tracks have already been covered (e.g. "House Nation," "7 Ways," "Feel My M.F. Bass," "Hit It from the Back," and "Video Clash" all featured on last year's Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1995.) That being said, Ghetto Madness ultimately proves that there was still plenty of ground left to cover.

In truth, this second installment delivers almost as strongly as the first, with the pitched vocal of DJ Milton's "House-O-Matic" losing none of its hypnotic traits and the piercing claps of DJ Funk's "Computer Sex" still ringing with the same effect as when it first dropped in 1994. Over the course of the compilation, label heavyweights like DJ Deeon, Parris Mitchell, Tyree, and Paul Johnson all make an appearance, but it might be Jammin' Gerald who steals the show—anybody whose face doesn't break out into a daft grin upon hearing either of his offerings here is a liar.

Still, the real charm of this compilation lies in the fact that it offers something for almost everyone. Newer fans will be exposed to lesser-known tracks, while seasoned listeners will have the chance to fill any Discogs-pricing-war-shaped gaps in their collection with something other than a YouTube playlist. Ghetto Madness is an expertly constructed effort showcasing one of the most energetic and recognizable outputs in dance music, and after hearing it, we wouldn't be surprised—or disappointed—if a third Dance Mania compilation was already in the works.

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Hear Actress Remix Wiley on Upcoming 12" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/hear-actress-remix-wiley-on-an-upcoming-12/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/hear-actress-remix-wiley-on-an-upcoming-12/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:23:01 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85727 Actress (a.k.a. Darren Cunningham) has remixed a track from grime statesman Wiley's recent Snakes and Ladders album. "From the Outside – Actress' Generation 4 Constellation Mix" is due out as a limited-edition white label 12" on Big Dada—the Ninja Tune offshoot responsible for releasing four Wiley LPs to date—and while no official release date has been shared, the record can be pre-ordered here with an expected delivery date midway through March. Cunningham's rework features ominous bass, hissing, alien electronics, and distorted vocal snippets and can be streamed here courtesy of The Wire. (via FACT)

In other news, Wiley has also been included in the first round of names announced today for Outlook Festival 2015 in Croatia; more info on the event can be found here.

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Get Familiar: John Daly http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/01/get-familiar-john-daly/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/01/get-familiar-john-daly/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:00:03 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85689 The ocean has always been there for John Daly. "The house I grew up in, our first house, was literally 100 meters from the ocean. Our door, the street, and the beach," he says. Growing up in a small town in Ireland, it was the main source of entertainment for him and his friends as teenagers. "Only for one year, when I lived in London, it wasn't there. I was definitely an edgier person—I wasn't myself," he adds. To this day, the sea is a constant presence in the life of the Irish producer, a place he returns to multiple times everyday with his dog in Galway, Ireland.

Its influence can be heard in his music. The chords and pads in his house tracks—whose titles regularly reference water—are often calming, as they hypnotically wash over listeners like endless tides. Sumptuous synth tones evoke mental imagery of deep bodies of azure water, the ripples on the surface echoed in the delay and reverb effects Daly applies to his various sonic elements. There are more aggressive moments as well, with synth progressions churning and crashing in ways that delight dancers and DJs alike.

Daly's musical education began in local pubs, where his father performed in amateur folk bands. Perhaps in response, his youth was spent binging on heavy metal. But as house tunes like 2 Unlimited's "Get Ready for This" found their way onto Irish radio and dance-adjacent rock bands like Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays received praise in the pages of NME, Daly's tastes widened as a teenager. "I remember buying [The Orb's] UFOrb, The Prodigy's Experience, and The Charlatans' "Up to Our Hips" in the same weekend with my Christmas money," he recalls. In college, the music of Super Furry Animals and Grandaddy inspired him to incorporate synthesizers and a sampler into his musical repertoire, opening the door toward purely electronic music.

Daly spent the next eight years honing his craft, working through a hip-hop phase but keeping the genre's love of sampling at the core of his sound. "All my drums are samples, always have been," he attests. "There's something about taking a sample and pushing and pulling it until it sounds right. When you work with samples, you have less of a preconceived idea of where the music's going to go. There's only so much you can do with a drum machine."

johndaly2

After a few attempts to shop his tracks to record labels went nowhere, Daly and a friend decided to start their own label, Feel Music. His first release, Birds, arrived in 2006. Cooking at a local restaurant to pay the bills—which he still does today—Daly spent much of his time in the studio exploring the possibilities of his sound, writing four albums and more than 30 singles and EPs to date. He's recorded for a who's who of the world's top house and techno labels, with multiple releases on Secretsundaze, Drumpoet Community, International Records Recordings, Plak Records, and Wave Music, and has also penned notable outings for Mule Musiq, Further Records, and Tanstaafl Planets.

However, Feel Music and Daly's more recently launched imprint, One Track Records, continue to be the most consistent homes for his music. The latter, which started after Feel Music went dormant due to creative differences between Daly and his label partner, showcases multiple versions of a single track. "I really like it because it forces me to stretch my creativity," Daly enthuses. "I could spend three-four months working on the a-side, but I could have the b-side done in an afternoon. The other versions are often better than the original!" Daly also intends to reboot Feel Music this year, and already has a clutch of new records scheduled for release in the months ahead.

In the midst of issuing all of this music over the past several years, Daly has naturally evolved as an artist, gradually expanding the boundaries of his sound. After finishing his Sunburst album for Drumpoet Community in late 2011, making more house music wasn't as appealing. "[I was telling myself], 'This is shit, this is formulaic.' I'd just had an overdose," he says. "So I decided to lash down the tempo and see what'd come out of it." This was the birth of his new alias, The Smoke Clears. "These tracks just came together incredibly quickly because I was having so much fun with them."

shine Running the musical gamut from pensive downtempo to eccentric IDM and gorgeous ambience, and drawing upon Manuel Göttsching's kosmiche explorations and Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works as influences, the tracks eventually became the album Listen for Further Records. "I have a second The Smoke Clears album sketched out, demo-ed. I'm not really ready to go back to it yet," Daly notes.

Nevertheless, Daly's forthcoming releases do suggest that he continues to enjoy getting out of his comfort zone. The 11 51 26 41 2 EP for Running Back contains five 135-plus bpm techno tracks, while an as-yet-untitled One Track Records single offers both hip-hop and banging techno mixes. But as the Shine EP, which dropped this week via the Love Fever label, reminds us, Daly has no plans to leave deeper house behind. Like the ocean, these timeless sounds will likely be with him always.

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Maribel Tafur "Summer Dreams" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/maribel-tafur-summer-dreams/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/maribel-tafur-summer-dreams/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:00:32 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85680 Hailing from Lima, Peru, Maribel Tafur is a budding beatmaker who struck out on her own as a producer in 2013 with the Mysteries of Love EP. Having spent the last year performing live and further honing her production skills, Tafur is set to issue her next official release in April, but before then has elected to drop off a new beat, "Summer Dreams." An appropriately sun-swept affair, "Summer Dreams" makes effective use of a warm guitar sample, running it through a handful of filters, tweaking, and rearranging its relaxed, watery strums across the effort's entire five-minute run. Adding a few light melodies as the tune progresses, "Summer Dreams" may make use of a rather simple beatmaking formula, but in hands of Tafur, it is clearly still an effective one.

Summer Dreams

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Stream New Music from Kode9 and DVA http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/stream-new-music-from-kode9-and-dva/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/stream-new-music-from-kode9-and-dva/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:19:28 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85717 Italian festival Club to Club (which XLR8R named "Italy's Best Festival" last year) has again partnered with the British Council and Hyperdub founder Kode9 on the latest edition of A Great Symphony for Torino: an "augmented reality soundtrack" dedicated to the festival's home city. As the project's artistic director, Kode9 enlisted label fixture DVA, Italian producer Vaghe Stelle, and other local artists to compose six tracks inspired by different city landmarks, using only sounds from those locations. (He also created a seventh track that composites all six original contributions.) The so-called "symphony" can be heard by scanning QR codes on the billboards in the respective areas in Torino, and is also available to stream on the project's website and SoundCloud page.

A second phase of the project invites listeners to create their own remix of A Great Symphony for Torino tracks using stems from each production; the winner, selected by Club to Club, will compose a track for the next edition of the project. Full details of the competition, which closes on February 15, are available here, and the 2014 edition of A Great Symphony for Torino can be heard below.

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DJ EZ, Goldie, Mumdance, and More Billed for Outlook Festival 2015 http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/dj-ez-goldie-mumdance-and-more-billed-for-outlook-festival-2015/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/dj-ez-goldie-mumdance-and-more-billed-for-outlook-festival-2015/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:42:04 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85711 Croatian festival Outlook has announced the first wave of acts set to appear at this year's gathering in September. Dubstep figureheads Mala and Coki return as Digital Mystikz, alongside Mount Kimbie, UK producer Kevin Martin (a.k.a. The Bug), Mumdance, Exit label founder dBridge, longstanding UK garage DJ EZ, Om Unit, newly formed bass duo Sherwood & Pinch, and drum & bass veteran Goldie, among others.

Outlook—which identifies as "celebration of bass music and soundsystem culture"—takes place from September 2 through 6 at Fort Punta Christo in Pula, and additions to the line-up will be revealed in the forthcoming months. In the meantime, the current bill can be viewed here via the festival's website, and a promo video has also been posted below.

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Mano Le Tough, DJ Tennis, and Marcus Worgull Remix Vermont on Upcoming EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/mano-le-tough-dj-tennis-and-marcus-worgull-remix-vermont-on-upcoming-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/mano-le-tough-dj-tennis-and-marcus-worgull-remix-vermont-on-upcoming-ep/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 21:38:28 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85670 Having already spawned a remix EP overseen entirely by Prins Thomas, the Vermont pair's self-titled debut LP for Kompakt (a record which we deemed one of 2014's best) will again be the subject of a forthcoming collection of reworks. For The Other Versions EP, Mano Le Tough (pictured above) and DJ Tennis have been brought in to rework two separate album cuts, while Vermont member—alongside Danilo Plessow (a.k.a. Motor City Drum Ensemble)—Marcus Worgull has taken it upon himself to rework LP standout "Übersprung."

Set to arrive on February 16 via Kompakt in both vinyl and digital forms, the tracklist and artwork for the upcoming Other Versions remix collection have been included below.

vermontart_012815
1. Übersprung (Mano LeTough Mix)
2. Übersprung (Marcus Worgull Edit)
3. Majestät (DJ Tennis Edit)

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John Frusciante to Debut New Project on Acid Test; Hear a Track Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/john-frusciante-to-debut-new-project-on-acid-test-hear-a-track-now/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/john-frusciante-to-debut-new-project-on-acid-test-hear-a-track-now/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:36:06 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85646 After a long run of solo guitar records, John Frusciante (a former member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) has made the surprising announcement that he will launch a new acid project called Trickfinger, which will release a full-length record via the Absurd label's Acid Test imprint this spring. About five years ago, Frusciante is said to have begun experimenting with electronic hardware, "immersing himself in the unique musical language of Roland's classic techno machines." According to the celebrated rock musician, "I found that the languages machines forced programmers to think in had caused them to discover a new musical vocabulary," and so he spent a number of years attempting to learn that vocabulary, which he believes has "introduced many new principles of rhythm, melody, and harmony" to music.

Along with the announcement, Frusciante has shared the stripped-down opener from his upcoming LP, "After Below", which evokes vintage acid with a tweaked 303 standing at the forefront. The production can be streamed in full below before Trickfinger sees its release on April 6.


1. After Below
2. Before Above
3. Rainover
4. Sain
5. Exlam
6. 85h
7. 4:30
8. Phurip

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Floorplan, Ben UFO, Nina Kraviz, Clark, Marcel Dettmann, and More Billed for Movement 2015 http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/floorplan-ben-ufo-nina-kraviz-clark-marcel-dettmann-and-more-billed-for-movement-2015/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/floorplan-ben-ufo-nina-kraviz-clark-marcel-dettmann-and-more-billed-for-movement-2015/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:40:35 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85644 The initial line-up for the upcoming 2015 edition of Detroit's Movement Festival has been revealed. Among the artists listed are a clutch of internationally respected DJs including the likes of Ben UFO, Nina Kraviz (who turned in an excellent DJ-Kicks mix album this week and is pictured above) Floorplan (a.k.a. Robert Hood), Marcel Dettmann, Carl Craig, Maya Jane Coles, Ben Klock, Dixon, Richie Hawtin, Midland, Steffi, Matrixxman, and this week's XLR8R podcast contributor Anthony Parasole, among others. In addition, a number of live acts have also been billed for this year's festivities, with Clark, Shigeto, KiNK, Recondite, Osborne, and Kangding Ray all set to perform live during the course of the three-day event.

Taking place from May 23 - 25, the full list for Movement's first wave of artist announcements can be peeped on the flier below, while more information on the fesival can be found here.

movementflier_012815

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Guido Preps New EP for State of Joy http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/guido-preps-new-ep-for-state-of-joy/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/guido-preps-new-ep-for-state-of-joy/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:05:59 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85628 After remaining largely silent following the release of his Moods of Future Joy LP via Tectonic in 2013, Bristol beatmaker Guido will return in February with a new effort for his own State of Joy imprint. Built around "Moment"—an "addictive, up-beat" track which features the vocals of Emma-Lou—the upcoming EP will offer an original version and a "Joy Mix" of the track, with both productions coming accompanied by their respective instrumentals. Said to be a hook-laden affair, the original version of the track focuses on building patterns from horn and piano stabs, in addition to Emma-Lou's soulful vocal efforts, while the "Joy Mix" is said to come with "a unique dance-floor appeal...[featuring] low subs, and bubbly, cutting rhythms."

The Moment/Joy Mix EP is set to arrive on February 23; in the meantime, the artwork and complete tracklist for Guido's upcoming record have been included below.

guidoart_012815
1. Moment (feat. Emma-Lou)
2. Moment (Instrumental)
3. Moment (Joy Mix)
4. Moment (Joy Mix Instrumental)

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Torvvo "Light Traveling Beneath Me (Reduced Mix)" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/torvvo-light-traveling-beneath-me-reduced-mix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/torvvo-light-traveling-beneath-me-reduced-mix/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:00:25 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85568 The latest effort to land on Seattle's fast-growing Hush Hush label is the Light Traveling Beneath Me EP, a new outing from 22-year-old, Pittsburgh-based artist Tom Holroyd (a.k.a. Torvvo). The focus of the record (which dropped earlier this week) is Torvvo's "Light Traveling Beneath Me" production, which appears in its original form and gets the remix treatment from the likes of Hanssen, Secret School, Faades, USF, and others in the course of the EP. Here, we have Holroyd's own "Reduced Mix" version of the track, which strips the tune down to more efficient form, while putting an extra focus on the track's overlapping patterns of bouncing chords and cascading melodic layers. Torvvo's "Reduced Mix" can be downloaded below, where the producer's original version of "Light Traveling Beneath Me" is also available to stream in full.

Light Traveling Beneath Me (Torvvo Reduced Mix)

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Lotic Announces Debut EP for Tri Angle http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/lotic-announces-debut-ep-for-tri-angle/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/lotic-announces-debut-ep-for-tri-angle/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:57:13 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85632 Originally from Texas, J'Kerian Morgan (a.k.a. Lotic) cut his teeth as a member of Berlin's Janus collective, which also features experimental musicians M.E.S.H. (a recent XLR8R podcast contributor) and KaBlam. Following last year's Damsel in Distress mixtape, the rising producer has now announced plans to drop the five-song Heterocetera EP, which will serve as his debut release on New York's Tri Angle label. To celebrate the announcement, Morgan has shared a stream the EP's anxious title track, which pairs harsh textural loops with hip-hop and grime-indebted rhythms. Until Heterocetera drops on March 3, the record's title cut can be heard below, where the upcoming EP's complete tracklist can also be found.


1. Suspension
2. Heterocetera
3. Slay
4. Phlegm
5. Underneath

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Sónar Expands 2015 Festival Line-Up http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/sonar-expands-2015-festival-lineup/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/sonar-expands-2015-festival-lineup/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:53:05 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85600 Spain's preeminent music festival, Sónar, has announced a second round of artists for its upcoming 22nd edition. 38 new names have been released, including beloved LA beatmaker Flying Lotus, recent Björk collaborator Arca, UK producer Jamie xx, FKA twigs, Siriusmodeselektor (a.k.a. Siriusmo and Modeselektor), and German icon Roman Flügel. Finally, '80s pop legends Duran Duran will headline the summer festival, held at the Fira Montjuic (Sónar By Day) and Fira Gran Via (Sónar By Night) venues.

Passes are still available for the three-day event, which takes place from June 18 to 20 and will feature more than 130 performances. Previously announced acts include Autechre, Sophie, Vessel, Lee Gamble, Holly Herndon, Dorian Concept, Randomer, and the Chemical Brothers. The full Sónar lineup can be found here.

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Flako Details Upcoming Debut LP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/flako-details-upcoming-debut-lp/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/flako-details-upcoming-debut-lp/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:49:27 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85609 Over the past five years, London-based musician Dario Rojo Guerra (a.k.a. Flako) has had an impressive run of releases for labels like Project: Mooncircle, R&S's Apollo imprint, and East London's Five Easy Pieces, who will do the honor of releasing Flako's long-gestating debut LP this spring. Inspired by classic jazz, formative South American styles, and synth work from the likes of Greek composer Vangelis, Natureboy pulls from global influences that showcase the natural world. Featuring Guerra's voice throughout, it marks a break from his past hip-hop-focused output, with string contributions from composer Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and a guest vocal from London artist Dirg Gerner included in the course of the record.

Until Natureboy drops on March 23, a new video fro the record's lead single, "Kuku" (a stream of which first appeared earlier this month), can be watched below, where the forthcoming record's artwork and tracklist can also be found below.

Flakoartwork
1. The Opening / Purple Trees
2. Shipibo Icaro
3. Gelis
4. Spice Melange
5. Kuku
6. Solo for Chloë
7. Shape of Things to Come
8. Som Da Aura
9. Twelve O'Clock Shadow (feat. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson)
10. Lyrebird
11. Golden High
12. Payaso
13. Who Do You Think You Are
14. For You (Reprise)
15. With Me Now (feat. Dirg Gerner)
16. The Odd & Beautiful

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Virginia My Fantasy http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/01/virginia-my-fantasy/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/01/virginia-my-fantasy/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:00:03 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85171 For many of us, Virginia first emerged in the last couple of years as a vocalist, contributing impassioned verses to some of Ostgut Ton labelmate Steffi’s most standout hits. Her turns on "Reasons," "Yours," and, more recently, "Treasure Seeking," all proved that house music can, in the right hands, offer us more emotional sustenance than the usual cursory cries of "ooh baby" or "Detroit." Despite that, though, and ahead of an album pencilled in for later this year, Virginia’s first proper solo EP (after 2013’s Loch & Hill, which featured additional production from Steffi) finds her pretty much abandoning vocals all together.

"There wasn’t any intention behind the use of very few voices on this 12"," says the German producer, who far from being the relative newbie she might seem, has actually been DJing since the '90s and even held a residency at Sven Vath’s Frankfurt club Cocoon, amongst other locales. However, rather in defiance of her deep-rooted techno influences, Virginia’s sound is, in no uncertain terms, resolutely indebted to Chicago house, particularly the dreamy, misty-eyed stuff of the late '80s and early '90s, and producers like Dream 2 Science.

As such, it's not entirely surprising that the My Fantasy EP is a slavishly crafted, neo-classical ode that perhaps remains a bit too studious for its own good. Sure, Virginia hasn't just hit go on a load of sample pack loops; this is no plastic pastiche, and there is real definition and character in the sounds, but that alone only goes so far. First cut "Fictional" features a globular bassline, swirling, far-sighted pads, and prickly hi-hats that sound just like a lost cut from Steffi's 2011 debut album, but over the course of seven minutes they do little more than politely undulate. As a result, it feels like something is missing—a vocal perhaps, or a breakdown, or some sort of defining feature that would make it stand out from the crowd.

"My Fantasy" is similar in that it lands just about fully formed and rolls on from there, with little in the way of twists or turns. On a late-night, tripped-out, and half-tired dancefloor this may well work fine, but it likely won't be the tune that clubbers remember most the next morning, despite the heavily effected vocal coos that shimmer deep down below. Lastly, "Never Enough" toys with a more kinetic electro bassline and some carefully smeared and perfectly doleful chords. It's the most engaging cut of the lot; however, like everything here, it has all the ingredients of a great track, but somehow leaves you wanting more. It seems, then, like Virginia is still working to develop a production voice that's as compelling as her singing voice. Based upon this EP, she's not far off, and there is enough here to suggest that when she really finds herself, the results will be well worth hearing.

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Lapalux Announces New LP for Brainfeeder http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/lapalux-announces-new-lp-for-brainfeeder/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/lapalux-announces-new-lp-for-brainfeeder/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:57:55 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85598 After garnering the attention of Flying Lotus in 2010, Stuart Howard (a.k.a. Lapalux) signed with the LA icon's Brainfeeder label and released a series of sensual, mildly experimental hip-hop EPs. His dreamlike and collage-heavy style quickly found a wider audience, culminating with the well-received debut album, Nostalchic, in 2013. Now, Lapalux has revealed plans to return with his second full-length record, Lustmore, an effort "loosely based on the idea of hypnagogia, a kind of limbo consciousness between being awake and asleep." Furthermore, the record is said to have been inspired by film soundtracks in the vein of Blade Runner and 2001: A Space Odyssey. "I really focused on making this album an imaginary visual experience," Howard explains in a press release. "You can almost see these imaginary movies play in your head when you listen."

Alongside the announcement, Howard has shared the melancholic lead single "Closure," a slow-burning, R&B-streaked showcase of his production talent and London artist Szjerdene's arresting, sultry vocals. Lustmore arrives on April 7; in the meantime a full stream of "Closure" can be found below, along with the upcoming LP's complete tracklist.


1. U Never Know (feat. Andreya Triana)
2. Sum Body
3. Closure (feat. Szjerdene)
4. Midnight Peelers
5. Push N' Spun
6. We Lost
7. Autumn (Tape Interlude)
8. Puzzle (feat. Andreya Triana)
9. Bud
10. Don't Mean A Thing
11. 1004
12. Make Money
13. Funny Games

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Sequencers, Synths, and Terrible Tattoos: 16 Things That Caught Our Eye at NAMM 2015 http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/01/sequencers-synths-terrible-tattoos-16-things-that-caught-our-eye-at-namm-2015/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/01/sequencers-synths-terrible-tattoos-16-things-that-caught-our-eye-at-namm-2015/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:00:45 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85570 If someone were to simply read the list of big hitters on display at this year's NAMM show without any additional context, they might be left wondering exactly what year we were living in. After all, the 2015 edition of the massive conference and exhibition—which sets up shop in Orange County every January and provides a platform for music-related gear and software companies to show off their new products—was essentially dominated by nostalgia-inducing throwbacks. Korg's Arp Odyssey and Moog's full-size System 55 were just a couple of the retro pieces making waves, but thankfully, there was plenty more on offer for DJs and electronic music producers to get excited about. Describing everything we saw while wandering the halls of the Anaheim Convention Center would be impossible, but we have compiled a list of things—good, bad, and outright weird—that caught our eye.

beatstep_012815

Arturia BeatStep Pro
Released last year, Arturia's $99 BeatStep USB MIDI controller serves as a simple, handy-as-heck hardware step sequencer, particularly with its CV and MIDI outputs. BeatStep Pro ups the game significantly by combining two melodic sequencers with one drum sequencer and allowing the user run them independently. Changes to the sequences can be linked, or independent of one another, and displays help with navigation and precision. There are now touch-sensitive knobs, plus a Randomizer to mix up patterns, and a real-time looper/roller touch strip. Priced at $299, the BeatStep Pro is slated to arrive in April.

moog_012815

Moog Modular Synths
This news has already been all over the web, but Moog was showing the limited-edition remakes of its 1970s modular beasts: the System 35, System 55, and Model 15. Only 55 units of the System 55 will be offered, and each one will cost $35,000; Moog will also make 35 copies of the System 35, for $22,000 a pop, and 150 of the Model 15, each one priced at $10,000. Some optional extras are also being built to go along with these modular classics: a five-octave duophonic keyboard, a sequencer extension cabinet, and a dual 960 Sequential Controller for the System 35 and System 55.

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Korg SQ-1
The SQ-1, Korg's new, super-compact step sequencer, is a spiritual successor to the SQ-10 that's roughly the size of a Korg Volca. It'll keep synths and drum machines in sync by sending clock, and also allows users to make various rhythmic or melodic patterns to send to them. Even better, it should connect to almost anything: with dual CV trigger and gate, analog 1/8" sync, a specific connection for Korg's own littleBits, a three-pin MIDI connection, and a USB port for MIDI connection to a computer, the proof is in the portage. The SQ-1 will be priced at $99 when it ships in the coming months.

teenage_012815

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators
Some of the biggest news out of this year's NAMM came in its smallest packages: Teenage Engineering's trio of Pocket Operators, which include the Factory melodic synth, Sub bass synth, and Rhythm drum machine. Each one uses a 16-step grid of 16 sounds (with layers of parameters for each), and the synthesized output sounds outrageously good. There's a second minijack that allows users to chain and synchronize tempo between units, as well as some other machines. All three models have various effects and tweakable parameters. Plus, they look great, whether they're in the nude or placed inside the optional rubberized case. The Pocket Operators are all available now for $59 a piece.

quiccosound_012815

Quicco Sound Mi.1
Merging analog hardware with digital software can be difficult, but the Quicco Sound Mi.1 (which was funded via Indiegogo) does it—effortlessly and wirelessly. The tiny device can simply be plugged into the MIDI in and out ports of a synth (or any other MIDI instrument), and it will make said device wireless over Bluetooth LE. Once an iOS device or Mac is fired up with an app that can make the other end of the Bluetooth connection, the user is good to go. There are dozens of great iPad sequencers and arpeggiators out there, meaning that the Mi.1 provides loads of cool new ways to control hardware, wirelessly. It's shipping now for $45.

arp_012815

Korg Arp Odyssey
Another remake from Japanese legend Korg, the Arp Odyssey is being designed with authentic Arp circuitry. The original Arp shipped with different filters at different times, but Korg is now allowing customers to choose, as circuits from each generation are being included. The case has been trimmed down, as the new Odyssey is just 86% of the size of the original, and it's being sold in three different colorways. There's even a Drive switch for analog overdrive distortion. Availability is TBA, but an MSRP of $1400 has been announced.

prophet6_012815

Dave Smith Sequential Circuits Prophet-6
The Prophet-6 is Dave Smith's homage to the legendary polysynth that started it all, the Sequential Prophet-5. The Prophet-6 takes the best qualities of the original Prophet-5—true voltage-controlled oscillators, filters, and amplifiers—and adds enhancements, including high-quality effects, a polyphonic step sequencer, an arpeggiator, and much more. The Prophet-6 will be out in the second quarter of 2015 for $2799.

logic_012815

Logic Pro X 10.1
The latest wave of interest in electronic music has not escaped Apple's notice, and Logic Pro X 10.1 is the company's answer to the craze. The free update is aimed at the electronic music producer, with 10 new "beat programmers" added to its AI-driven Drummer feature. As with the acoustic players, users can direct the program to play different patterns based on the position of the XY slider, and further customize once they find something they're happy with. The new Drum Machine Designer makes it so each individual drum sound can be tweaked, as pitch, length, envelope, distortion, body, presence, pan, and volume can all be adjusted. Furthermore, Logic now offers new Note Repeat and Spot Erase features—and plenty more. The software's latest version is available now.

mx1_012815

Roland Aira MX-1
Following the release of the AIRA TR-8 and SYSTEM-1, the MX-1 is Roland's attempt to rethink the mixer. It functions as an audio interface for a computer (up to 18 channels of audio come via USB), and users can plug in Roland AIRA devices via USB as well, over the same USB cable. There are traditional analog inputs for other hardware, and a single coax digital jack that's either an input or output. The mixer is designed for live use: scenes can be set up, and there are loads of tempo-synced step-sequencer effects, along with a cue feature for previewing a track before taking it to the masses. Pricing and availability on this one are TBA.

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Elektron Overbridge
Elektron's Overbridge was announced last year, and was finally up and running at this year's NAMM. It's a technology that allows newer Elektron instruments—Analog Four, Analog Rytm, and Analog Keys—to transmit their audio and MIDI over USB, into a host plug-in that will run inside a host DAW (Ableton Live and Logic, for now). Users can route discrete inputs and outputs, as well as MIDI, and the ability to automate the machines' parameters inside a sequencer is a godsend in terms of usability. It'll be free to all users when it's released in the first quarter of 2015.

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Novation Launchpad Pro
Designed for live performance, Novation's Launchpad Pro is the most desirable model to date of the ubiquitous grid controller. New RGB pads light up to match the color of the user's clips in Ableton Live, and its Push-like Note Mode automatically switches the layout for drum or instrument devices (for drums, all sounds are available, and with instruments, the grid illuminates as a chromatic keyboard). Unlike Push, the Launchpad Pro can also be used with any of the user's music software and external hardware in Standalone Mode. It will be available in Spring 2015 for $299.

rane_012815

Rane MP2015
Rane is describing its new MP2015 rotary mixer as a "no-compromise music-mixing performance instrument," and at a price of $3,500, that only seems fair. It features gorgeous design, including laser-etched wood side panels, classic spun-aluminum knob caps, 16-segment level peak-hold meters, and backlit push switches. The internals are similarly lust-worthy, with Audio 4 Pro delta-sigma modulator converters by AKM.

geometry_012815

Downstairs Modular
NAMM's basement was once again populated by various small stringed instruments, obscure Chinese gear manufacturers, and a turnt-as-hell modular synthesizer community. Highlights included booths by big hitters like Make Noise and Muff Wiggler, as well as newcomers like Lysandre Follet (a.k.a. Minigorille) whose CV Graphic Module and GeometrySynth (pictured here) continue to push the boundaries of what modern-day modular synthesizers are capable of.

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Pioneer vs. Ghostbusters
Pioneer never fails to impress with its flights of turntable fancy. This (working) Ghostbusters CDJ was designed by artist Jesse Graves.

jesus_012815

God Hates Gear Nerds
Apparently?

hollywood_012815

Hollywood Gordon
Because NAMM.

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Humans "Follow (Phil Moffa Remix) http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/humans-follow-phil-moffa-remix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/humans-follow-phil-moffa-remix/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:00:38 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85560 An artist who has highlighted during the course of our recent Bubblin' Up Week of content (and a frequent collaborator of XLR8R's most recent podcast contributor, Anthony Parasole), NYC producer/engineer Phil Moffa has turned in a new remix for free download. Here, Moffa has taken on "Follow," a cut from Vancouver duo Humans' upcoming NOONTIDE LP, turning the active production into a much more subdued piece of techno. Dark and dense, Moffa's rework stretches ambient textures and a bouncing delay sequence across a chugging six minutes, which methodically build steam as additional cymbals and chopped snippets of the original track are added to the procession. Phil Moffa's remix of "Follow" can be downloaded below before Humans' NOONTIDE LP lands via the Hybridity label on February 24.

Follow (Phil Moffa Remix)

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Premiere: Stream Juan Atkins' Upcoming LP as Model 500 http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/premiere-stream-juan-atkins-upcoming-lp-as-model-500/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/premiere-stream-juan-atkins-upcoming-lp-as-model-500/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:00:05 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85553 2015 marks the 35th year in the accomplished career of pioneering Detroit producer and DJ Juan Atkins. To mark this milestone, Atkins has returned to his own Metroplex label—a dance music institution whose own catalog reaches back three decades—to deliver a new full-length album as Model 500, one of his earliest solo aliases. Set to officially drop next week, Model 500's upcoming Digital Solutions LP can now be streamed in full exclusively on XLR8R.

Spanning nine tracks, Digital Solutions is made from much of the same DNA as Model 500's first productions, making use of both electro and more straight four-on-the-floor rhythms to propel Atkins' space-age synth sequences and fractured slices of Motor City soul. An adventurous effort with its fair share of left turns, the album may partially serve as a means to reflect on Atkins' accomplishments of the past 35 years, but the LP seems to signal that Atkins is also still an artist who is utterly fascinated with the sounds of the future.

Digital Solutions, Juan Atkins' first full-length effort as Model 500 in 16 years, can be streamed in its entirety below before the record lands on February 2 via Metroplex.

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