XLR8R http://www.xlr8r.com Accelerating music & culture Tue, 27 Jan 2015 21:38:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Mark E to Release New 12" via ESP Institute; Preview It Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/mark-e-to-release-new-12-via-esp-institute-shares-preview/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/mark-e-to-release-new-12-via-esp-institute-shares-preview/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 21:36:27 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85546 Following an LP and an EP in 2014 for Ghostly's Spectral Sound label, Birmingham DJ/producer (and former XLR8R podcast contributor) Mark E will next land on the ESP Institute outpost with the two-track Emergency 12". Set to arrive on February 16, the record will serve as Mark E's debut for the label, who were also responsible for one of 2014's most memorable releases, having issued Young Marco's elegant Biology LP in June of last year.

On Emergency's a-side cut, "Laurentian Abyss," Mark E is said to "trudge through an array of rhythmic pulses, percussion, and arpeggiation that resemble the inner workings of a grandfather clock, based on a disorienting 5/4 timing yet culminating in a singular stroke, " while the flipside offering "begins with the formula for which we know Mark E best, the ultimate tease winding us up for the big payoff." Ahead of the record's release next month, we have been treated to a preview of Mark E's new pair of productions, with clips of both "Laurentian Abyss" and "Emergency" currently available to stream below.

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LuckyMe Drops New EP from DJ Paypal http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/luckyme-drops-new-ep-from-dj-paypal/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/luckyme-drops-new-ep-from-dj-paypal/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:38:22 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85538 A somewhat enigmatic producer whose discography includes a 30-track package of Drake edits, DJ Paypal has today dropped his vinyl debut via the LuckyMe label. Entitled Buy Now, the six-track affair is said to find the producer "flipping obscure disco tracks into pummeling footwork tracks," a feat that can be heard in action via the record's preview stream included below.

DJ Paypal's cleverly titled, vinyl-only Buy Now EP starting today via LuckyMe (and the artist's own website). Along with the aforementioned EP preview stream, Buy Now's full tracklist has also been included below.

1. I'm Ready
2. You Got Me
3. Sonnade
4. Don't Stop
5. bEbay
6. Fire

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Dan Lissvik Signs to Smalltown Supersound, Announces Upcoming 12" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/dan-lissvik-signs-to-smalltown-supersound-announces-upcoming-12/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/dan-lissvik-signs-to-smalltown-supersound-announces-upcoming-12/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 19:37:02 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85532 A former member of the Studio production outfit, Dan Lissvik has signed to Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound for a string of releases which will begin next month with the Shuvit! 12".

Said to be the first of an ongoing 12" series which will culminate with the release of a solo LP from Lissvik in late 2015, the three-track Shuvit! effort appears to find the Swedish producer crafting somewhat oddball disco hybrids where the line between programmed audio and live instrumentation is pleasantly blurred. "Airwalk" serves as our first example of such, a seven-plus-minute voyage into spacey, understated funk which presents an array of bright and airy melodies across its elongated run. The track can be streamed in full below before Lissvik's Shuvit! 12" officially lands on February 10.

1. Intro
2. Airwalk
3. Shuvit!

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Hercules & Love Affair's Andy Butler Readies Debut Solo EP; Listen to a Track Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/hercules-listen-to-a-track-now/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/hercules-listen-to-a-track-now/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 19:11:51 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85494 Andy Butler, the creator and musical driving force behind Hercules & Love Affair, has announced that he will release his debut solo EP via his own mr.intl label next month. Ahead of the two-tracker's full release, Butler has shared the record's a-side cut, "You Can Shine", which features a soulful vocal from New York singer Richard Kennedy (that will sound stylistically familiar to HALA fans) paired with a croaky, pounding techno backing. On the b-side will be "Personality Track," a production which is billed as "a whiplashing techy instrumental pounder."

Butler's "You Can Shine" can be heard in full on via player below before the artist's first solo EP sees a vinyl release on February 23, with a digital release to follow in March.

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Benoît Pioulard Preps New LP for Kranky http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/benoit-pioulard-preps-new-lp-for-kranky/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/benoit-pioulard-preps-new-lp-for-kranky/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 18:57:04 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85480 US singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Thomas Meluch (a.k.a. Benoît Pioulard) has announced his latest in a long line of albums for Chicago's Kranky imprint. Meluch explains that the basis for his upcoming fifth long-player, Sonnet, is "a series of field recordings of tones and unintentional harmonies that I made in the summer and fall of 2013—whistling industrial air conditioners, bird songs, locust drones, washing machines—that I mimicked or interpreted on the guitar, making loops that developed into fuller compositions." In addition, the album originally had a fairly heavy vocal element that Meluch eventually stripped away, leaving behind a spare, pastoral atmosphere in which only what he felt was "absolutely essential" was kept.

A teaser video for Sonnet has been included below, where a stream of LP cut "So Etched in Memory" and the album's full tracklist can also be found ahead of the record's official release on March 30.

1. With No Advantage
2. The Gilded Fear That Guides the Flow
3. Of Everything That Rhymes
4. Is in Its Clearest Form
5. An Image Apart from Ourselves
6. Whose Palms Create
7. As Would a Weaver
8. A Shade of Celadon
9. So Etched in Memory
10. Upon the Break Arch
11. That Wounded Weathered
12. Shut-ins on Sunday See
13. The Very Edge of Its Flame
14. And Relent

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Shlohmo Announces Upcoming LP for True Panther/Wedidit; Hear the Lead Single Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/shlohmo-announces-upcoming-lp-for-true-pantherwedidit-hear-the-lead-single-now/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/shlohmo-announces-upcoming-lp-for-true-pantherwedidit-hear-the-lead-single-now/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 18:07:07 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85458 After first announcing his new partnership with NYC label True Panther with the release of last year's "Emerge from Smoke" single, Los Angeles beatmaker Henry Laufer (a.k.a. Shlohmo) has announced the details of his forthcoming second full-length record, Dark Red, which will drop via the imprint in April. A co-release with Laufer's own Wedidit collective/label, the 11-track record is said to find Shlohmo continuing to craft gloomy, textured productions with shades of "'90s IDM, R&B, cassette-tape Jungle, and, in an unexpected turn, sludge metal."

"It sounds like if Electric Wizard tried to make an R&B record," Laufer himself explains in a press release, "or Boards of Canada meets Burzum by the River Styx." Laufer goes on to further explain that he began recording the record after returning to Los Angeles and setting up a small studio in his apartment which was mostly stocked with an arsenal of '80s-era gear originally owned by his father. Furthermore, Laufer was in a particular mental state during the recording of the album, saying, "I had just lost some people close to me and was dealing with another loved one's health issues. I was all over the place mentally, and I think it reflects in this record whether I like it or not." In the press release, the SoCal artist goes to explain that his one aim going into the record was to make it "loud... and not just loud but really really fucking loud. I wanted the sound of the thing to be devastating and violent."

Helping us make sense of that description is "Buried," the record's lead single which sees wobbly melodies, scattered drums, and distorted, hand-played basslines rise from a bed of electronic noise. The seven-minute production can be streamed in full below, where the complete tracklist for Shlohmo's Dark Red LP (out on April 7) has also been included; the man's updated list of upcoming live tour dates can also be found below.

1. Ten Days of Falling
2. Meet Ur Maker
3. Buried
4. Emerge From Smoke
5. Slow Descent
6. Apathy
7. Relentless
8. Ditch
9. Remains
10. Fading
11. Beams


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Download a Free EP from Clark http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/download-a-free-ep-from-clark/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/download-a-free-ep-from-clark/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:09:02 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85508 Following a resoundingly successful 2014, which saw Clark return to the Warp label with an excellent self-titled LP (a record that landed in our Top Releases of 2014 list), the seasoned UK producer has started off the new year with the release of a free EP, Winter Boots (Part 1).

Spanning three tracks, Winter Boots (Part 1) finds Clark sprinkling familiar accapellas over a trio of his trademark dense, melodically complex productions. The full EP can be streamed below and downloaded for free here. Furthermore, our recent In the Studio feature with the accomplished UK sound sculptor can be read here.

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Èbony "Sunshine" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/ebony-sunshine/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/ebony-sunshine/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:00:35 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85454 Èbony is the guise of Toronto-based producers Sylvermayne and Jordan Gardner, who together have built a catalog of tracks for just over a year now. Described by the pair itself as landing between "the futurist perspective of Detroit techno and the soulful melodies of Yoruba house," Èbony's sound seeks to balance dancefloor appeal with a rewarding listening experience, as can be heard in "Sunshine," the pair's latest track offered here. Anchored by the bounce of stuttered kicks, the production gradually builds layers of gloomy atmosphere that encircle the tune's intricate percussion patterns and recurring swells of melodic synth sequences, ultimately rendering "Sunshine" a somewhat deceiving title for this quality outing from the budding Canadian pair.


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Locked Groove and Mind Against Team Up on New EP; Preview It Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/locked-groove-and-mind-against-team-up-on-new-ep-preview-it-now/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/locked-groove-and-mind-against-team-up-on-new-ep-preview-it-now/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:35:56 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85474 Scuba's Hotflush label has today announced that it will release Elysium/Pulsar, the first collaborative effort between Belgian label mainstay Locked Groove and ascendant Italian pair Mind Against (who up to now have released exclusively through the Life & Death imprint). The forthcoming two-track release looks to be a skillful melding of Locked Groove's floor dynamics and Mind Against's soaring atmospheres, with its lead track appearing to have sufficiently impressed Tale of Us enough for the outfit to feature "Elysium" prominently in its debut BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix over the weekend.

The first collaboration from former XLR8R podcast contributor Locked Groove and the Mind Against duo, Elysium/Pulsar, is set to land via Hotflush on February 9; both tracks can currently be previewed using the player below.

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Preview Hodge's Forthcoming Double 12" for Hemlock http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/preview-hodges-forthcoming-double-12-for-hemlock/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/preview-hodges-forthcoming-double-12-for-hemlock/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:14:43 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85487 Having previously appeared on Tempa, Punch Drunk, Livity Sound and several other like-minded, bass-focused labels (in fact, he's released no less than nine EPs and singles over the past two years), Bristol producer Hodge's first outing of 2015 will see him lend his considerable talents to a four-track double 12" for Untold's Hemlock imprint. Containing "four heavyweight tracks"—one of which, "Recall," made an appearance in fellow Bristol artist Kowton's recent XLR8R podcast—Hodge's HEK025 EP will see its official release on February 23, serving as his debut for Untold's label. Before then, preview clips of all four EP cuts can be heard using the player below.

A. Blood Moon
B. I Don't Recognise You Lately
C. Recall
D. Tail of the Snake

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Vril Portal http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/01/vril-portal/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/01/vril-portal/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:00:02 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85156 It's appealing to think of Vril's second album, Portal, as a doorway into a set of discrete rooms. The titles of these tracks—"Portal 1," "Portal 2," "Portal 3," and so on—invite the listener to consider the album in this way. This is probably Vril's intention; by presenting this record—to paraphrase the press release—as a series of moments recalled from another dimension (hence the name of the LP), Vril neatly sidesteps the labor of having to make an "album." Portal, which is arriving via the Delsin label, would rather present itself as a mosaic of moods, a collection of pieces in various shapes and colors that occupy the same surface area, placed beside each other at awkward angles.

When inspecting this mosaic more closely, its superficial flaws are a little more off-putting than they should be. Portal is sequenced in a somewhat ungainly manner, and there are moments when it judders quite inelegantly. "Portal 1," with its simple, elongated fade into the proceedings, eases gently into its smoky melodies and pulley-driven chords; after a few minutes, it dissipates in another prolonged fade-out. In contrast, "Portal 2" is a quite sudden jolt into fourth gear—the transition would benefit from more finesse. Meanwhile, a burst of overdriven white noise introduces "Portal 3" which, fleeting though it is, just sounds a bit unpleasant. Though these issues are ultimately minor—these moments only take up a few seconds of a 47-minute-long record—it conveys a slight lack of care.

The same can't be said for the tracks themselves, which, once they get going, show a producer well versed in the finer details. Vril's EPs—especially the trio he released via Giegling—are full of pliable techno tracks with an aqueous quality about them. They're neither fragile nor unyielding. "Portal 5" offers a fine example of this fomula: there's something quite Fengler-esque about its bouncing chords (and there's a stab that specifically recalls a pastel-y take on the Berghain resident's monstrous "Friction"), but Vril places the claps and kicks in a much airier space. Only on "Portal 4" do these elements stick together and form something much denser. It's full of unruly belches and burps laid over tension-building two-note chords, looping more or less every eight bars; on paper, that sounds especially repetitive, but the detail in each loop is endlessly immersive.

On occasions where Vril lets these loops unfurl, the results are dazzling. "Portal 7" is a thrilling peak-time denouement with a billowing chord sequence and hi-hats that crash against the track's sides like ocean spray. As with most of these tracks, "Portal 7" pulses and thrums in all the right places. But, returning to Portal's apocryphal inspiration, the idea of of the album was to present tracks from another world. Portal is a solid techno album, but its promise of the exotic and otherworldly doesn't quite reflect the reality. There's little here that one would call truly experimental ("Portal 8," a noise outro, is an afterthought in this respect), and the album's strongest moments err on territory Vril is already comfortable with. Portal is a decent record—and there's plenty here to enjoy—but the implied novelty of its title is something of a misnomer, because the LP is presenting a world we've already visited before.

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Podcast 375: Anthony Parasole http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/01/podcast-375-anthony-parasole/ http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/01/podcast-375-anthony-parasole/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:00:38 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85348 New York City's techno scene has been something of a cause célèbre over the past few years, with intriguing new artists and labels seemingly popping up on a daily basis. However, it's not just fresh-faced transplants that are getting into the act; a few died-in-the wool New Yorkers have also been making some serious waves, and Anthony Parasole is right at the top of that list. The Brooklyn native has been DJing since his teen years, and came up alongside guys like Levon Vincent, with whom he would later run the Deconstruct label. These days, however, most of his focus is on his own imprint, The Corner, along with the fabled Ostgut Ton. The Berlin outpost issued his most recent record, the My Block EP, and has gotten to know Parasole quite well in recent years, as he holds down a residency at Berghain and spends what seems to be an increasing amount of time in the German capital. Back home in New York, he's also been made a resident at Output, which means that he's become a staple DJ at highly esteemed clubs on both sides of the Atlantic. He seems poised for a major breakthrough in 2015, which leads us to believe that now is the perfect time to have him put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series.

In the DJ booth, Parasole is probably best known for his ability to serve up a hard-charging techno assault, but those who have seen him play know that he's capable of so much more. He certainly flexes his diversity here, as the 73-minute session moves between long patches of foreboading, almost beatless soundscapes and a thudding techno pulse. Parasole also throws in the occasional musical curveball, which explains how a mix that's largely centered around techno could begin with Black Sabbath and end with Flying Lotus. It's an unusual combination, but it unquestionably works, and results in a podcast that's perhaps just as suitable for relaxed home listening as it is for even an imagined wild night on the dancefloor. Admittedly, those two poles sit quite far apart on the musical spectrum, yet Parasole appears to have mastered them both.

01 Black Sabbath "Planet Caravan" (Vertigo)
02 Lukid "Manchester" (Werkdiscs)
03 Shackleton "Shortwave" (Skull Disco)
04 Muslimgauze "Bazoft Rope" (Soleilmoon)
05 Bruce "Not Stochastic" (Hessle Audio)
06 Fluxion "You Don't Know (Joey Anderson Remix)" (Echocord)
07 Anthony Parasole "Bizarre" (Ostgut Ton)
08 Throwing Shade "Chancer (Kowton Remix)" (Happy Skull)
09 Surgeon "Atol" (SRX)
10 Markus Suckut "MS1987 A" (MS1987)
11 Rod "RSPCT" (MDR)
12 Sigha "Loop 6" (Avian)
13 Phil Moffa "Ignition" (The Corner)
14 Echoplex "The Relapse" (Index Marcel Fengler)
15 Blue Hour "Introspective 3" (Blue Hour)
16 Flying Lotus feat. Kendrick Lamar "Never Catch Me" (Warp)

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

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Rekord 61 "Sverh (Radio Slave F.Y.M Remix 3)" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/rekord-61-sverh-radio-slave-f-y-m-remix-3/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/rekord-61-sverh-radio-slave-f-y-m-remix-3/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:00:37 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85450 Earlier this month, Moscow producer Rekord 61 released the Sverh EP via his own Konstruktiv label, a record which included three Rekord 61 original tracks from the artist alongside not one, not two, but three remixes courtesy of longstanding techno craftsman Radio Slave. Here we have the third version of the German producer's take on "Sverh," which strips the driving techno affair down to an even more efficient form, draping the tune's pulsing kicks in a distant bed of noise while enhancing its bounce with new bits of razor-sharp percussion, resulting in a rework that is as unapologetically focused on the dancefloor as most everything Radio Slave has crafted in his accomplished career as a producer. The man's so-called "F.Y.M Remix 3" take on Rekord 61's tune can be downloaded below, where a preview stream of the full Sverh EP has also been included.

Sverh (Radio Slave F.Y.M Remix 3)

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Roland Unveils Hybrid Digital/Analog JD-Xi Synth http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/roland-unveils-hybrid-digitalanalog-jd-xi-synth/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/roland-unveils-hybrid-digitalanalog-jd-xi-synth/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 21:32:12 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85444 In addition to introducing the latest member of its AIRA line at NAMM last week, Roland has shared details of the JD-Xi, a new hybrid digital/analog synth.

Billed as a "tiny, mighty, and affordable" keyboard, the JD-Xi includes a monophonic analog synthsizer for warm bass and lead lines, while a polyphonic PCM sound engine is intended to provide the means to create rich pads, strings, and brass sounds. The unit also boasts a four-track pattern sequencer (which can utilize the JD-Xi's included rhythm sounds) and on-board vocoder and auto-pitch functions which can be used in conjunction with the keyboard's included gooseneck microphone.

The demo video below sees Austrian producer and noted keyboardist Dorian Concept showing the JD-Xi in action, while the forthcoming unit's full list of features and specifications can be found here. No exact release date has been shared yet for the JD-Xi, but the keyboard is expected to retail for around $500 once it begins hitting stores in the coming months.

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Vin Sol Shares New Dance Mania Tribute Mix http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/vin-sol-shares-new-dance-mania-tribute-mix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/vin-sol-shares-new-dance-mania-tribute-mix/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:37:50 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85437 With EPs for Clone Jack for Daze and Icee Hot currently in the pipeline, West Coast DJ/producer and Soo Wavey co-head Vin Sol has shared a new hour-long mix which focuses on the "creep side" of Dance Mania Records. The new collection of tracks is a follow-up of sorts to the selector's 2013 tribute to the Chicago label, The Dark Side of Dance Mania, which is still available to stream here.

Though we can't say what exactly makes the selections featured here land on the "creep" side of the ghetto house spectrum (maybe its the heavy emphasis on percussion, the occasional raunchy lyrics, or the string of slinking basslines contained within), Vin Sol's new Dance Mania-focused set can be streamed in full below; currently there is no tracklist to accompany the mix.

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Hivern Discs Preps New EP from Herzel Featuring Remixes by Palms Trax; Preview It Now http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/hivern-discs-preps-new-ep-from-herzel-featuring-remixes-by-palms-trax-preview-it-now/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/hivern-discs-preps-new-ep-from-herzel-featuring-remixes-by-palms-trax-preview-it-now/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 19:22:04 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85429 John Talabot's Hivern Discs label has tapped Berlin-based Macendonian artist Herzel (pictured above) to deliver its first effort of 2015, the five-track Shades EP. The record appears to be Herzel's first official solo outing, though—as Juno Plus reports—the producer has appeared in the past with collaborative efforts for the Other Heights label as well as Dubwax (an offshoot of Rawax). In addition to the three original productions included on Shades, the record will also feature two remixes from Berlin-based UK artist Palms Trax, who has been tasked with reworking the EP's lead effort, "Daydreamer."

Herzel's Shades EP is slated to arrive on February 16. In the meantime, the aforementioned "Daydreamer" production and Palms Trax's "Backroom Office Tool" version of the tune can be streamed in full below.

1. Daydreamer
2. Daydreamer (Palms Trax Backroom Office Tool)
3. Daydreamer (Palms Trax Nothing But A Dreamer Mix))
4. Closure
5. Shades

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The Phantom "Complex City" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/the-phantom-complex-city/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/the-phantom-complex-city/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 18:35:23 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85379 Some may recognize Polish producer Bartosz Kruczynski from our recent Bubblin' Up Week 2015's 10 More Artists to Watch list, where Kruczynski's Ptaki project (for which he serves as half of the production pair) was featured. Before new Ptaki material arrives this year though, Kruczynski has elected to deliver a new full-length via his solo alias The Phantom. Simply titled LP2, the nine-track record is a follow-up to last year's LP1 album for the Silverback label, and finds Kruczynski eschewing the silky disco style of his Ptaki project for more angular club hybrids, such as "Complex City," an LP cut that makes use of space-age percussion and an active lead theme which moves through buzzing bass synths, to MIDI flutes, and much more. Kruczynski's "Complex City" production can be downloaded below, or as part of his free-to-download LP2 album, which can be picked up in its entirety via the Silverback label here.

Complex City

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Dave Smith Instruments Introduces Prophet-6 Analog Synth http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/dave-smith-instruments-introduces-prophet-6-analog-synth/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/dave-smith-instruments-introduces-prophet-6-analog-synth/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:56:09 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85421 Over the weekend at NAMM, San Francisco synth designer Dave Smith Instruments introduced the Prophet-6, a modern update of the legendary Prophet-5 analog synth designed by Dave Smith for Sequential Circuits in the late '70s. The six-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer is said to be more than a simple reissue of the vintage unit, with Smith himself describing his latest creation as "the result of our effort to build the most awesome-sounding, modern analog poly synth possible."

To that end, the Prophet-6 will contain two discrete voltage-controlled oscillators (plus sub-oscillator) per voice, as well as two discrete filters per voice (a four-pole, resonant, and low-pass inspired by the original Prophet-5 filter, and a two-pole, resonant, high-pass filter). Furthermore, each Prophet-6 voice will follow a completely all-analog signal path. Additionally, the synth will include a number of updated features such as studio-quality reverbs, delays (standard and BBD), chorus, and phase shifter effects (these are digital, but a "true bypass" allows the unit to still maintain a full analog signal path), a 100% analog distortion effect, a polyphonic step sequencer, and an on-board arpeggiator.

No exact release date or price point has been shared for the Prophet-6, though Create Digital Music reports hearing that the new analog synth will likely cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2800. For now, more information on the Prophet-6 can be found here, while an introductory video for the keyboard can be watched below.

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Torn Hawk and Willie Burns Collaborate on Upcoming EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/torn-hawk-and-willie-burns-collaborate-on-upcoming-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/torn-hawk-and-willie-burns-collaborate-on-upcoming-ep/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:06:09 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85412 Berlin-via-Brooklyn producer Luke Wyatt (a.k.a. Torn Hawk, pictured above) and Wille Burns (a former XLR8R podcast contributor) have revealed plans to release a collaborative 12" in February via Hawk's own Valcrond Video imprint. Having appeared on a split 12" for L.I.E.S. together in 2013 (which found Burns operating under his Black Deer alias) and worked together as part of the Circuit, Burns, and Hawk trio in the past, Torn Hawk and Willie Burns have combined their talents again for the three-track Becoming Nice EP. Appearing simply under the artist name Burns & Hawk, the record is said to find the pair "step back into the halls of justice to convince a jury of their peers that openly emotive music is not something to be scared of."

Official out on February 9 via Valcrond Video, the artwork and tracklist for Hawk's and Burn's forthcoming collaborative outing have been included below, while preview clips of the record can currently be heard here.

1. Becoming Nice
2. Janice Will Deal with It
3. Cement Truck with Pretty Eyelashes

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Nina Kraviz DJ-Kicks http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/01/nina-kraviz-dj-kicks/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/01/nina-kraviz-dj-kicks/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:00:35 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85369 For those who came to Nina Kraviz via the wild media circus that follows her every move, rather than as a result of their own musical enquiries, it could be easy to write her off. But that would be wrong. The constant coverage she elicits—intentionally or not—on lifestyle websites, thanks in part to her Hugo Boss photo shoots, the drawn-out bathgate saga, and her non-stop tour of the world’s biggest clubs and festivals, can easily make her seem like another vacuous, big-name tech-house DJ. But the former "cosmonaut teeth fixer" has never been anything like that, and surely never will.

Flicking through Kraviz’s back catalog, it’s clear that she has a real musical persona that is hugely idiosyncratic. Her music is as intimate and insecure as it is deeply personal, and her earliest wares on Underground Quality and Rekids have stood the test of time as she herself has grown ever more prominent around the world. Ratter than abandoning her ideals, Kraviz has honed them further, growing into as accomplished and stylized of a DJ as she is a producer. Her penchant for Dance Mania is well documented, as is her love of acid, and those things, together with her own isolated sense of groove—which perhaps comes from growing up in the Siberian wilderness, tuned into far-off musical words via distant radio frequencies—now permeates her every set.

And that is exactly the case with her entry into the hallowed DJ-Kicks mix series. Where many producers use such an opportunity to showcase their breadth of musical knowledge, Kraviz’s mix feels much more like a showcase of her DJ style (though her own label does feature heavily). Instead of chucking in as many different sounds, scenes, and styles as she can into an ultimately disjointed trip, Kraviz takes her time in nailing a perfectly arcing techno groove from start to finish. So much so, in fact, that the for the first 10 minutes she will not be hurried, and remains resolutely focused on setting a perfectly bleak atmosphere with small, rolling kicks and depth-charged sonar pulses. It's a patient but captivating start.

From there, the layering and subtle gear changes begin: this is most definitely not a 29-track megamix. The kicks become more flat-footed and insistent, Kraviz’s own curious whispers bleed into the mix, and percussive patterns being to flail more widely. In time, there is acid, minimalism, and even some lovely posh trance, with each new twist more engaging and energetic than the last. Amongst records from Population One, DJ Bone, and Armando are lesser-known treasures from artists on her own трип label, not to mention selections from drum & bass and IDM folklore (Goldie and Aphex Twin), but teasing them all apart is a tough job. Every transition here is smooth as silk. Nothing feels hurried and the whole mix has a great sense of pace and control to it so that, come the end, listeners will feel as though they have been lost in Kraviz’s seductive grooves for much longer than an hour.

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Planetary Assault Systems Preps New EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/planetary-assault-systems-preps-new-ep-2/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/planetary-assault-systems-preps-new-ep-2/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:34:59 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85404 Luke Slater has a new EP as Planetary Assault Systems on the way. Over the years, the UK techno mainstay (who also produces as L.B. Dub Corp) has built an expansive discography of releases on highly regarded outlets such as Ostgut Ton, Mute, and Peacefrog, in addition to his own Mote-Evolver imprint, which will oversee the release of this latest effort, The Eyes Themselves. The three-track offering is said to showcase Slater's skill at creating "tools for stimulating both intellectual and physical energy," and is officially due out on February 23. No previews have been shared as of yet, but the EP's artwork and tracklist can be viewed below.


A1. The Eyes Themselves
A2. Strange Attractor
B. Arc

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20 Questions: John Carpenter http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/01/20-questions-john-carpenter/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/01/20-questions-john-carpenter/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:00:18 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85296 John Carpenter is a whole lot of things. At the age of 67, he's an accomplished and highly influential filmmaker, a pioneering soundtrack composer, a writer, a musician, a father, a godfather, an Academy Award winner, and a world-renowned authority on the horror and science-fiction genres, just to name a handful of titles. So maybe that all goes to explain the one thing he isn't: a man with something to prove. Following a prolific career that all but dwindled away after 2001's Ghosts of Mars (save for a one-off TV episode and 2010 film The Ward), Carpenter has spent a major portion of the past 15 years out of the spotlight, and few would have expected him to make a return, especially not with something he's never done before. But Lost Themes is precisely that, a nine-song record which marks the auteur's first release of non-soundtrack music. It's an exciting album for Carpenter's cult following, as the hallmarks of his synth-centric compositions are all accounted for in the shadowy and propulsive instrumentals, and is hopefully an effort that will spark new avenues of expression from the veteran artist.

Ask him about it, though, and he'll likely deliver a less-than-enthusiastic response. Like we said, Carpenter is a certified legend with nothing to prove, and as it turns out, he's also not particularly fond of interviews. We rang him up at his Southern California home to run some questions by him, and though he was willing to oblige, well... let's just say he played it very close to the chest. All of which is to say that this may be one of the shorter installments of 20 Questions, but it is nonetheless coming from an unquestionably important figure in worlds of film and music. Thankfully, Carpenter does let us know about some of his earliest inspirations, what his key to being a successful filmmaker is, why he prefered writing and recording Lost Themes to scoring movies, how much it would take for him to perform his new album live, and plenty of other trivia tidbits.

1. Where were you born and raised?
Carthage, New York. I was raised someplace else: Bowling Green, Kentucky.

2. Do you come from a very creative family?
Yes, my father was a music professor and an accomplished violinist from the Eastman School of Music. That's where I got my musical background.

3. Were you ever formally trained in music and composition?
Yes, my father taught me how to play the violin and began teaching me how to play the piano. So I was trained, yeah. Not very well: I had no talent at the violin. But I was trained at home, and I took individual tutorship training from teachers.

4. How did you get into making music with synthesizers?
It was a form of necessity early on in my career. When you're making a low-budget film, you don't have the money to hire a composer and an orchestra, so I had the ability to do it myself. All I needed was a computer, a synthesizer, to make keyboards sound bigger.

5. What are some of your favorite synthesizers you've owned?
My favorite synthesizer is a Korg Triton. I've had that for the last 15 years.


6. Which was your first love, film or music?
Film. I would go to the movies when I was really young. My mother would take me, she was a movie fanatic. One of the earliest memories of mine was seeing The African Queen with her. I forget what year that was, but I was all of four years old.

7. Did you ever want to do anything besides make movies?
Not really. In 1956, I saw a movie that transformed me, called Forbidden Planet, which coincidentally had the first totally synthesized score. It was not an orchestral score. That movie made me want to be a movie director.

8. What initially drew you to action and horror films?
I didn't initially go to them, they came to me. I made one that was successful, and then I got typecast. I was fine with it, though, because I grew up loving horror and science fiction.

9. What key lessons did you learn during your early years of filmmaking?
Well, the biggest lesson that I learned from film school was to try to get and maintain, if possible, final cut. Creative control is the essence of having the ability to make your own movie, and not someone else's.

10. Which bands and musicians do you remember being influential to your film scores?
The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Procol Harum...


11. Lost Themes will be your first musical release that isn't a soundtrack. Why is now the right time for you to make a record like this?
It all happened because of luck. It's the right time because it just happened. My son and I improvised most of this music, and my godson and I improvised the rest of it. We had it sent to a record company, and they wanted to release it.

12. Unlike your soundtracks, the music of Lost Themes is said to have been composed without referencing any imagery. Were there any obstacles in working that way?
No, it was an absolute joy.

13. Did you prefer it to working on soundtracks?
Hell, yes! There were no deadlines, no one looking over your shoulder, nobody telling you, "Well, that doesn't work."

14. Have you found yourself creating your own narrative or visuals for the album?
Some images come to mind when I listen to the music, sure, but I can't tell you [what they are].

15. Aside from its creative process, how is the music of Lost Themes different from your soundtrack work?
That's a hard question to answer. Lost Themes, in some places, is a bit more complex than some of the stuff I've done before. It happens when you evolve as a musician.

16. Is there a film of yours that Lost Themes reminds you of the most?

17. Do you have plans for any live performances of Lost Themes?
We would love to play live! All you have to provide is a million dollars. Because it would be hard to [make it] sound like the album. You can't do it cheaply. There's a lot of instrumentation, and a lot of technical work. Or we could reinvent the album as rock & roll, and play it with a four- or five-piece group.

18. Have you enjoyed any new films lately?
Several, yeah. In the past few years, I've enjoyed a lot. In 2008, there was a horror film called Let the Right One In that I thought was excellent. I liked World War Z a lot. I liked Gravity a lot. I haven't finished seeing all of this year's movies yet.

19. Any recent film composers or scores you're particularly fond of?
I love the work of Hans Zimmer. I think Trent Reznor has done some nice stuff in the kind of avant-garde area.

20. What's the first thing you'll do after answering these questions?
I'm sitting here in beautiful Hollywood, California, drinking my coffee and watching a press conference with President Obama and David Cameron. When we're finished talking, I'll finish my coffee and continue to watch the press conference.

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Download New Mixes from DJ Bone, Torn Hawk, and Solar http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/download-new-mixes-from-dj-bone-torn-hawk-and-solar/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/download-new-mixes-from-dj-bone-torn-hawk-and-solar/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:40:18 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85395 To start off the week, three new mixes from DJ Bone vs. Differ-Ent (pictured above), Torn Hawk, and Solar have been made available to stream and download.

First up is Detroit techno veteran Eric Dulan, operating under both his longstanding DJ Bone alias and a new alter-ego, Differ-Ent, which he debuts on his most recent record for Don't Be Afraid. "I started with a straightforward but funky vibe (DJ Bone style), weaving in and out of melodies, keeping it danceable but with a lot of soul and emotion," he explains. "Then I took it to a more aggressive, structured sound (Differ-Ent) with a darker essence. The majority of the last half of the mix is where I employ a lot of three-deck mixing." His entry into Resident Advisor's podcast series, along with a brief Q&A, is available here.

Next up is Torn Hawk, the arguably best-known alias of producer and video artist Luke Wyatt. His FACT mix is said to demonstrate "the same blurring of time, place, and source" as both his musical and visual output, seen most recently on his album Let's Cry and Do Pushups at the Same Time on Mexican Summer. "These are all original sounds I created," he says. "A small portion of the tracks compiled have been half-heard elsewhere. All material is now put to work supporting the larger story presented here." The 67-minute session can be streamed and downloaded below.

Rounding out the trio is Solar, who provides the second installment of Dekmantel's new podcast series (last week's was excerpted from Marcel Dettmann's 2015 New Year's set at Berghain). Based out of San Francisco and active as a house and techno DJ for over 15 years, Solar came to international attention last year, when Dixon caught a set of one of Solar's West Coast Sunset Parties and invited him to tour with the Innervisions crew. No tracklist is on offer, but Solar's nearly 70-minute session can be streamed and downloaded below.

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Nocow "Zathdax" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/nocow-zathdax/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/01/nocow-zathdax/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:00:24 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85374 St. Petersburg collective (and monthly party five years running) Roots United will launch a new label effort in the coming weeks. In charge of delivering the imprint's inaugural release is the crew's own Nocow, a local producer who has served as one of St. Petersburg's most consistently intriguing musical exports over the past few years—his excellent Ruins Tape album (which saw a proper vinyl re-release in 2012) solidifying his reputation as one of Russia's most quality producers. Never one to remain entrenched in a single musical aesthetic, Nocow's forthcoming Zathdax EP sees the artist moving towards the more rough and rugged ends of the techno spectrum, its title track (offered for download here) burying a series of sci-fi synth sequences and chopped syllables beneath a steady stream of static-laden, machine-made rhythms. Nowcow's "Zathdax" production can be downloaded below before his EP of the same title (which is also streaming in full below) launches the label arm of St. Petersburg's Roots United collective on February 2.


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Stream John Carpenter's 'Lost Themes' LP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/stream-john-carpenters-lost-themes-lp/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/01/stream-john-carpenters-lost-themes-lp/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:57:16 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=85390 A week ahead of its official release on Sacred Bones, John Carpenter's Lost Themes album has been made available to stream. The iconic director/composer is renowned for creating the scores for numerous horror film projects over the years, but Lost Themes (which he made with help from his son Cody Carpenter of Ludrium and Daniel Davies, who scored I, Frankenstein) marks his inaugural album attempt.

"t can be both great and bad to score over images, which is what I'm used to," said Carpenter. "Here there were no pressures. No actors asking me what they're supposed to do. No crew waiting. No cutting room to go to. No release pending. It's just fun."

Lost Themes arrives on February 3 via Sacred Bones and can be streamed in full here courtesy of NPR. A deluxe version version of the album, featuring remixes from Zola Jesus and Dean Hurley, ohGr of Skinny Puppy, Silent Servant, Blanck Mass, composer JG Thirwell, and PAN label head Bill Kouligas, is due out the same day.

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