XLR8R http://www.xlr8r.com Accelerating music & culture Fri, 03 Jul 2015 01:56:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Premiere: Stream Prins Thomas Remix of New Track from Amirali http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/premiere-stream-a-new-track-from-amirali-ep-on-dark-matters/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/premiere-stream-a-new-track-from-amirali-ep-on-dark-matters/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 01:52:13 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94887 Dark Matters is a record label and visual project created by Amirali. As an unknown songwriter and producer, Amirali first shot to prominence with his inaugural release on Crosstown Rebels. He has since toured the globe promoting his particular concoction of avant-garde electronica, techno and house. An extension of his broad musical palette, the label will be running in conjunction with a series of curated parties beginning in October in London.

The events will centre around a combination of sound and visuals that express the dark and psychedelic concept behind the label. The crowd will be enveloped by installations, each event will be a collaboration between an art collective and or arts students, keeping the ideas and approach at the forefront of London’s creative scene.

Dark Matters kicks off with the Fearful Stay EP from label boss Amirali.

Fearful Stay EP will be released on vinyl on July 6 and digitally on the August 3. The melodic complexities and hypnotic vocals in Amirali’s original mix are re-worked, securing this EP as a confident and stunning debut.

The EP features a re-work from future label mate Aboutface and also a remix from Prins Thomas, which can be streamed in full below.

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Stream Agoria's Full Set from Awakenings 2015 http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/stream-agorias-full-set-from-awakenings-2015/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/stream-agorias-full-set-from-awakenings-2015/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 01:31:18 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94878 Agoria (born Sébastien Devaud) is one of the most widely respected electronic music artists in the world today, revered for both the quality of his productions and ability behind the decks.

His latest set, recorded in Amsterdam at Awakenings 2015, can be streamed in full below.  Included within are upcoming releases from Maceo Plex and himself.

 

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Studio 80 Celebrates 10 Years http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/studio-80-celebrate-10-years/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/studio-80-celebrate-10-years/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 01:23:00 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94877 Kicking off today, Amsterdam's Studio 80 will celebrate 10 years with a 10-day program featuring performances by residents and international guests.

The programming will be a reflection of the past year and a preview of things to come. The 10 year celebration will feature performances by Helena Hauff, Eric Cloutier, Young Marco, Marcel Vogel, Lovefingers, Tevo Howard, Boris Werner, and DeNiro, among others.

You can check out the full program below, which runs until July 11.

FULL PROGRAM

02 - 07 (23:00 - 03:45)
10YEARS80: WKND ALL STARS
w/ BORIS WERNER, BERT JIMMINK, PETE BANDIT & JASON SHAE, TOM RUIJG & EFDÉ, WOUTER DE MOOR
03 - 07 (23:00 - END)
10YEARS80: KNEKELHUIS
w/ CHEE SHIMIZU, HELENA HAUFF, MARK CREMINS, PHUONG-DAN, ROBERT BERGMAN - LIVE, RON VAN DE KERKHOF, SIGE BYTHOS - LIVE & TOULOUSE LOW TRAX - LIVE
04 - 07 (23:00 - END)
10YEARS80: TOMORROW IS NOW, KID!
w/ ALEX SALVADOR, DAAN GROENEVELD, CARLOS VALDES, JAMIE 3:26, LUPE, MAXI MILL, TEVO HOWARD - LIVE
05 - 07 (14:00 - somewhere in the evening)
10YEARS80: SAVOURY SUNDAY
w/ SUNDAY ROAST + DRINKS AT STRUIK

06 + 07 - 07 (11:00 - 11:00) broadcasted via http://radio.studio-80.nl/

10YEARS80: 24 HOUR RADIO
w/ RADIO MAKERS FROM STUDIO 80 RADIO
08 - 07 (21:00 - 03:45)
10YEARS80: LIVE AT STUDIO 80
w/ ANDRAS FOX & OSCAR KEY SUNG - LIVE, KID SUBLIME & SAN PROPER

09 - 07 (23:00 - 03:45)
10YEARS80: STEVE RACHMAD ALL NIGHT LONG
w/ MAX ABYSMAL, STEVE RACHMAD, TIJN BENEDEK & TIM HOEBEN
10 - 07 (23:00 - END)
10YEARS80: JULY 10TH
w/ DAVID VUNK, DOLLKRAUT, LOVEFINGERS, MALAWI, MARCEL VOGEL & YOUNG MARCO
11 - 07 (23:00 - END)
10YEARS80: JULY 11TH
w/ DENIRO, DISPAR VULGO b2b DOKA, ERIC CLOUTIER, GLOOM b2b SHLTR, MILTON BRADLEY

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Premiere: Hear an Exclusive Mix From Truncate http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/premiere-hear-an-exclusive-mix-from-truncate/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/premiere-hear-an-exclusive-mix-from-truncate/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 21:01:58 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94760 LA-based DJ and producer David Flores (a.k.a. Audio Injection) kicked off his Truncate moniker back in 2011 to focus on "the deeper, more raw side of techno," with his releases receiving support from some of techno's biggest artists, including Modeselektor, Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, and Len Faki.

Ahead of his performance at Croatia's Dimensions Festival—where he'll play alongside Juan Atkins, Underground Resistance, Âme, Boddika, and Four Tet—Truncate has supplied us with an exclusive, hour-long mix of hip-hop, house, slamming techno and low-fi oddities, which you can hear in full below.

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TOYS "Golden Line (A Theory Remix)" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/07/toys-golden-line-a-theory-remix/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/07/toys-golden-line-a-theory-remix/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:46:31 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94755 Parisians electronic duo Paul Prier and Bastien Doremus (a.k.a. TOYS) released the Golden Line EP on Fairtrack/Caroline last April. Puling inspiration from Space, Kevin Saunderson, Pink Floyd, and Jay Dee, the pair fuse pop elements with synthesizers, hip-hop and house. Featured on a deluxe edition of the EP is British producer A Theory's remix of "Golden Line." Opening with floating, ethereal pads, A Theory keeps the original vocals front and center, laying them smoothly on top of a bed of deep, throbbing bass and a plethora of synth stabs and muted, loose percussion. You can download A Theory's remix for free below.

Golden Line (A Theory Remix)

 

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DJ EZ, Tom Trago, San Soda, and Marcellus Pittman Finalize HORST Lineup http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/dj-ez-tom-trago-san-soda-and-marcellus-pittman-finalize-horst-lineup/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/dj-ez-tom-trago-san-soda-and-marcellus-pittman-finalize-horst-lineup/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:27:46 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94779 Arts and music festival HORST has announced its final lineup for the 2015 edition, with DJ EZ, Tom Trago, San Soda, Marcellus Pittman, Hashman Deejay, and Innershades joining the already bulging list of artists.

HORST has also added to the bill a list of names to the arts program, including visual artist Filip Durjardin, who creates fictional reconstructions of existing projects; 88888, a collaboration between engineer/architects Karel Burssens (1984) and Jeroen Verrecht (1984); animation artist Alexandra Crouwers; and Trouw's light artist Meeus van Dis.

You can check the full lineup for HORST below, with more information available here.

MUSIC LINEUP

• DJ EZ • Marcellus Pittman • Tom Trago • San Soda • Benji B • Job Jobse • Tama Sumo b2b Lakuti • Palms Trax – Live • Jeremy Underground • Midland • Lapalux - Live • Gerd Janson • Oneman • Drew Lustman aka FaltyDL • Romare – live • Nickodemus • Throwing Snow - live • Sinjin Hawke b2b Zora Jones • Glenn Astro • Hashman Deejay • Innershades • Dayfly • Kiani & His Legion • Exalt b2b Eklektiker • Robbrecht & Daem • Lefto • YellowStraps – live • Sokoto • Poldoore • LTGL

ARTS LINEUP

• GijsVanVaerenbergh (head curator) • Robbrecht & Daem (artists) • Kaspar Hamacher (artist) • Lodewijk Heylen (artist) • Children of the Light (artist) • Filip Dujardin • Alexandra Crouwels • 88888 • Meeus van Dis • Wim Goossens & Arnaud Hendrickx • Koen Sels

 

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Roland Releases Driftbox-R Limited http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/roland-releases-driftbox-r-limited/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/roland-releases-driftbox-r-limited/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:32:49 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94817 Roland has just dropped another synth: the short-run Driftbox-R Limited.

Looking very much in line with the companies AIRA line, the Driftbox-R Limited first surfaced as a small-format synth from Japanese manufacturer Reon (according to Resident Advisor). The Driftbox-R Limited is an updated, limited-edition version of the original Reon Driftbox, with AIRA styling. Features include two VCOs, VCF, Envelope Generator, and CV/Gate I/O, and is available now over at Sweetwater for $499.

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Nina Kraviz Issues Vinyl Re-Press of Pain In The Ass on Rekids http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/nina-kraviz-issues-vinyl-re-press-of-pain-in-the-ass-on-rekids/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/nina-kraviz-issues-vinyl-re-press-of-pain-in-the-ass-on-rekids/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:00:07 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94782 Nina Kraviz has issued a repress of her 2009 tech-house EP, Pain In The Ass, on Radio Slave's UK record label, Rekids. The tracks have the instantly recognizable flavor of Kraviz sexy vocals, with the title track employing a deep and minimal beat with chirping high-hats. The B side is equally rooted in silky vocab, with a driving minimal drum set that taps and pushes towards psychedelic chants and deep house euphoria. With poetry like this, it is easy to see why everyone was paying attention to this record when it first came out.

The cheapest price on Discogs for a "near-mint" condition copy of this record goes for $50.12, but the repress is available today for only $8.78 plus shipping. There was a repress of this record back in 2012, but the stock was instantly off the shelves and actually drove up the resale price on-line, much to the dismay of listeners who waited 3 years for the last repress. With a recent set at Awakenings 2015, and a new Boiler Room set live from Scotland last week, it's probably best to grab this record while it is still available.

To purchase a copy of the EP, you can visit the Juno Records website by clicking here.

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Serge Devant The Way You Move EP http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/07/serge-devant-the-way-you-move-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/07/serge-devant-the-way-you-move-ep/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 13:00:39 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94754 Following up his and Damiano's "Fearing Love" on Jamie Jones and Lee Foss’s new Emerald City label, Serge Devant comes back strong with the hypnotic three-track The Way You Move EP on Crosstown Rebels' Rebellion imprint. The inspiration for this set of songs came from a recent trip the Brooklyn-based Devant made to Thailand, where he captured field recordings ranging from the sounds of a gong meditation ceremony to rainfall in the jungle—those sounds are incorporated throughout much of the release, and find Devant summoning an enchanting vibe. The title track sets a sexy after-hours mood with a dark and slinky rhythm built around a loose 808 work-out and mesmerizing vocal sample; Audiofly offer a tougher take on the track with their remix, while “Intentions” closes out the release with a delicate and sublime groove.

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Q&A: Groove Armada Release Little Black Book http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/07/qa-groove-armada-release-little-black-book/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/07/qa-groove-armada-release-little-black-book/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:44:28 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94718 Eight studio albums, scores of acclaimed EPs, and multiple sold-out world tours: Tom Findlay and Andy Cato have come a long way since they first started producing music together in the mid-'90s. Originally a series of club nights across London, Groove Armada has grown from a project based in Cato’s London studio to one of planet’s leading electronic music acts, a dramatic rise showcased by their 2010 tour which saw them sell out arenas across the globe.

Since then, Findlay and Cato have taken a dramatic change of course. Gone are the live bands and full-length albums, replaced instead with DJ sets, Ibiza residences and smaller EPs, a conscious move founded upon a desire to return to their musical roots of free parties and quality house music.

Up next for the pair is Little Black Book, a two-disc mix-CD/compilation coming out on Jaymo and Andy George’s Moda Black label. While disc one consists only of original music and remixes, including seven exclusive tunes, disc two features remixes of their music by others, including Huxley, PillowTalk and Joris Voorn. In advance of its July 10 release, XLR8R sat down with Cato and Findlay to hear the motivations and processes behind the new release, and reflect on Groove Armada’s remarkable journey to date.

Let’s talk about the new album, Little Black Book. How did it come about, and what were the inspirations behind it?

Flyer from one of Groove Armada's original parties

Flyer from one of Groove Armada's original parties

Andy Cato: The story can be traced back to 2010, which was the last show we played with the live band. We finished off with two nights in Brixton, our spiritual home—and that brought this long 15-year chapter to an end. From that moment, we decided that we wanted to return to our roots, go back to house music and the very basics—because this free-party, house-music ethos is where we came from. It took a while to sort that out because the booking requests we were receiving were quite big-stagey things, which was the wrong context for what we were looking to do. We started to put EPs out in the right places and then, through these more house-orientated releases, we found ourselves with a lot of music and the right kind of gigs.
Following this, the guys at Moda Black approached us with the idea of a mix, and it was initially going to be a kind of retrospective look at all our house stuff, but we just got in a roll in the studio and produced enough material for a new album. The obvious option was to sign with a major, to get the band back and all that stuff, but we were determined to stay true to our roots and stick with house music—and that’s how this release on Moda came about. It’s that simple—there is no bigger agenda than that.

Little Black Book contains seven new Groove Armada tracks. Can you tell us about the production process behind this new material?

Tom Findlay: We went into the studio, thinking it would be easy, but then when we realized something was going to come out of it, we started giving it a much creative focus as we could. We thought we’d go in the studio, just grab some nice tunes we’d done before and mix them together, but you always want to make it the best you can. So when we started focusing on it, we were inspired to write new material and, all of a sudden, we had new song after new song.

Cato: It’s the same with most of our productions. There has been a constant theme in all of our work where we think it’s going to be easy—and then once we unleash the machine, we both have this mad perfectionism which means we won’t let anything lie until the music is perfect, and we’ve been through every bloody photograph to create the booklet. There has always been a complete commitment to our version of quality.
The classic example of this is with the live show. The live show basically took over everything, but a lot of it went unrecorded because the gigs changed all the time—you were there or you weren’t. But before the very last gig, after 15 years of touring, we still called an early sound check in the afternoon and we were tweaking hi-hat levels and everything.

How long did Little Black Book take to produce?

Findlay: It’s been about 18 months from our first conversations together. In the studio, it was all done around November, December, and January— we’ve absolutely churned it out.

You’ve got a nicely eclectic array of remixers involved on the second disc of the album. How did you choose them?

Findlay: We both had a whole bunch of ideas, but for this we’ve got to give credit to Moda— and that’s one of the reasons we’re glad we went ahead and did the project with them. They had strong feelings about how they wanted that side of the album to be, and it sounds great.

Since the releases of Black Light and White Light in 2010, you've released a number of EPs—but this is your first full length release since then. Why the radio silence…and why now, five years on?

Cato: Having finished the live stuff, getting back down to the DJ thing was actually trickier than we thought. We were trapped in the big-stage world and it was difficult to escape. Groove Armada means different things to different people, and it’s taken a while to get back to this point. We’ve always DJed; we’ve been residents at Space Ibiza for 15 years and we’ve always done the house thing, but we'd lost that side of us, and it was a long road to returning to play house music in places where you can play house music.

Can you just explain the reasons why you wanted to return to your house roots?

Findlay: Around the Black Light touring bit, there was a sense that we were always playing on the main stage of a dance tent; we were always doing the same slots, coming on after Laidback Luke or Calvin Harris, and it wasn’t really the scene that we wanted to be part of. At the end, we did the two nights in Brixton and it just felt like that was the right time to close that chapter—it was a great way to end, right at the top. The music was all sounding great, but that big electronic scene was not where our heads were at. Instead, we felt the need to go back to what we had always done—and we decided to go that way, playing nice house sets, having a good time, rather than pushing this large EDM–size stone.

You don’t think you’ll ever return to that scene?

Findlay: The live stuff was amazing and there is definitely a temptation to revisit that—but there is also the sense that, having left it at the peak, we don’t want to go back there. It’s never going to be better than those last two shows at Brixton.

Cato: I think the context has changed. There is a recording of the last night at Brixton and it sounds amazing—we spent 15 years getting it right so it should. But that combination of live music and electronics was pretty unique, and for 12 of the 15 years that we were doing it, there was a tolerance for it on the biggest stages at Coachella and Glastonbury, and on the other big dance stages across the world. However, towards the end of that period, there was a quite rapid shift to where there was no tolerance for a drum kit and bass, etc., with electronic music.

"We were playing great live dance music, and it just wasn’t working. Andy I stood there thinking that if we had three records right now, we could get everyone going mental with their arms in their air."

Findlay: We remember doing a gig at the Winter Music Conference in Miami and that felt like the end of this scene. We were playing great live dance music, and it just wasn’t working. Andy I stood there thinking that if we had three records right now, we could get everyone going mental with their arms in their air—because that’s what they wanted.

Cato: That was the time we realized we had to draw it to a close. Arguably, we could have revved it up and had bigger drops, but we had no interest in that at all.

Considering the length of your discography, it must have been hard to limit the material on the release. How did you approach the album, and how did you determine the final track-listing?

Findlay: We did have a lot—but we knew that all the material we were going to use was going to be post–Black Light. We wanted it to be all new compositions by us from over the past five years, so, there wasn’t a whole load of material.

Cato: We didn’t want it to be a retrospective look of the whole Groove Armada catalog. We wanted it to be all about the now, and the house—already, that was a starting point. However, it did change, because originally we put a playlist together and there was about an hour and a half of post-2010 house music, and we thought about doing a mix of that. But that felt a bit yesterday for us, and in the process of putting it together, we ended up with some new tunes and it just slowly took the form it did. It was very spontaneous.

Where were the original tracks recorded?

Findlay: We actually work separately now. I am based in Stoke Newington, and Andy is in Toulouse, so most of the stuff is mixed in his “cowshed” in the French Pyrenees. We send stuff back and forth, and it just comes together.

Why did you decide to go for a mix format instead of a new LP?

Groove ArmadaFindlay: Looking at what we are doing gig-wise, with the shows we are doing in Ibiza and the residency at Fabric, this is the world we are in now. We want to make music that fits with that, so making little EPs for dance labels and mix albums feels like the right thing to do. I think that if we did ever bring the live band back, then we would have to reimagine it all—but for now this mix format is what works.

Cato: This is house music, and so to have a ten-track house album that goes from beginning to end on Sony would be pointless. But the fact that you can mix it means all kinds of things happen as the tracks blend together—so I don’t think there was really an option to do it any other way. We are not trying to get on Radio 1 or become pop stars; we are trying to put out music that we’re playing that is going off and sounds great.

And that’s why you chose Moda Black, instead of some major label?

Cato: Exactly. When you make music, you want people to listen to it and be into it. By putting it out on Moda Black, the people who are going to hear it are people who are going to like it, so it was a pretty simple decision.

Do you have plans to re-enter the studio to complete a regular full-length LP any time soon?

Findlay: Certainly if we took the live band out again, we would then write music that would be more fitting for a full length LP. We could probably squeeze an EP out, but I think an LP would probably be a bit beyond us.

Cato: I could imagine doing a non-dancefloor album, but right now it seems a long way off. You look at the gigs we have in the diary, and we know that we can go there and play the house music that we’ve always loved. It’s like a huge circle has gone round, from the free parties of the ’90s to where we are now.

Findlay: That’s been the really nice thing of the last five years —the EDM thing is doing its thing, but it is a very specific audience. But the house thing is more widely accepted nowadays: The kids today are getting into it more, and when we’re onstage we don’t feel the need to play any filth. We can just play nice house music—we have to work it a little bit, manufacturing a few more drops to add some energy, but we don’t have to play crap.

Over the years, the sound Groove Armada has evolved a lot—do you feel most comfortable in the house scene?

"Closing the main stage at Glastonbury is an incredible thing to do, and I am happy we did it, but that wasn’t what we envisaged."

Cato: I’m not too sure. On all the vast variety of music that has been made over all the different albums over the years, I think it sounds great—I think we’ve acquitted ourselves well in all of the fields that we’ve gone into. But the way that the cycle has gone, we are now back in a world where this type of house groove is so engrained in us, and we have always spent a lot of time on dance floors and after-parties, so it just feels natural.

Throughout your career, you've blurred the line between the underground and the mainstream, with four studio albums in the Top 50. Was this by intent, or did it just happen?

Findlay: It’s funny, because there is definitely a full circle-ness about it. We really did start off in the music we’re making now, putting records out with labels like Tummy Touch. This feels natural now, what we’re doing today and the rest of it—but what happened in between seems like a big mad dream now. It’s a really great dream, but it was never the plan; the plan was always just two mates getting in the studio making music that we like. That’s still the plan today, but we’re just in different studios. Closing the main stage at Glastonbury is an incredible thing to do, and I am happy we did it, but that wasn’t what we envisaged.

Looking back now, are you surprised by the band’s success?

Findlay: We could never have anticipated that, and I still find it very surprising—just because there are so many people who want to make music for a career, and we did it. Sometimes it feels like someone else’s life.

Do you ever afford yourself the time to look back at all you’ve achieved, or do you try to look forward?

Findlay: I think I give myself more time too look back now…but I wish I could remember more about it. I just don’t have a great memory.

Cato: I think it’s impossible to remember it all. Looking through the photos in the Little Black Book booklet, it stirs up the deeper recesses of the mind, and it’s very saddening that that moment is gone. You can never go back to those moments, and there is this incredible sense of nostalgia now. It’s tough to look back—but that was then, and this is now. We’ve got to move forward because the moment has gone, and the memory is nothing more than a shadow.

Has there ever been a point over the course of your careers where you have struggled for motivation?

Findlay: With the live show, not at all. You are with this group of people who you adore, but all of them are looking at you to bring your best to the show. We used to have late nights and parties, but there was always this obsession to make the gigs as good as they could be. We used to make our sound guys mad, doing four hour sound checks and all that. When you’re putting on a rock band, it’s going to sound okay, even if the sound is a little off—but with the live dance stuff there is no room for error. It’s so important to find that balance.

When did you realize Groove Armada was going to be a success? Was there a specific moment?

Cato: For me, it was the Glastonbury moment. Following the release of "At the River," when Zoë Ball was playing it on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, we got the opportunity to play the Jazz World Stage at 1.30am. We had decided from the very beginning that we wanted to play dance music live, and so we put this band together, thinking that nobody was going to be there. But it was amazing—crowds of people just started to arrive from all over the place to see us. It was just incredible…a real "oh shit" moment.

Findlay: Yes, it was that summer. "I See You Baby" came out, and then Fatboy Slim remixed it. That was when it felt like we had a lot of momentum which we could either ride or go underground. We sort of went with it, and it was absolutely ridiculous.

Cato: We had A&R men coming up to us all the time, asking where the next "I See You Baby" was. To our credit, I don't think we ever did that —we came across other things, like "Superstylin'," but we stopped that agenda. We just wanted to make tunes that we thought sounded great.

Findlay: Even "Superstylin'"came out of us playing in the third room of Fabric, from a real underground house record. It started at 3am in Fabric, and we worked on it and worked on it for six or seven months in this studio, and it got better. But it’s roots were in a 3am session in Fabric.

You mentioned "At the River," which was a pretty big turning point in your career. What impact do you think its 1997 release had on your success?

Cato: When we finished the tune, we were in Yorkshire Dales because we had been told to go away for a week and come back with an album. It felt like a really easy thing to do at the time. We basically had nothing in the studio, and the trombone was recorded using a hi-fi speaker from the country cottage because we had no microphone with us. I had my trombone because I was practicing for some jazz gig—it was a ridiculous coincidence. But when we had that tune finished, when we left to drive back, we both had DAT tapes as a recognition of that tune.

Findlay: When I listen back to it now, it’s a tune that I don’t really associate with me. I don’t remember any part of writing it; it just feels like that song was in my head and I just plucked it. It feels odd; it doesn’t feel part of us, but it was definitely the one that popped. I crashed my car on the way to getting it mastered!

Cato: I remember playing it in the Jazz Cafe, and Zoë [Ball] and Norman [Cook] were there. I dedicated it to her playing it on the breakfast show, and it was terribly fragile era where the stage was full of wires, and the whole thing went down. At the time, it felt like the end of everything.

Groove Armada's path can be traced back to when you guys were introduced by Andy’s wife, right?

Findlay: I went to school with Andy’s now-wife…a long time ago. I had been in bands for a long time, but it was only ever in the enthusiastic kind of way. Even today, it seems ridiculous to me that I am doing this for a living, even now. I used to just go up to Andy’s house and make music. Andy had lots of other stuff going on at the time, but slowly, through a random series of events, it all came together. "At The River" happened, then Rob Da Bank got involved, who was writing for Muzik magazine ‚and through random events, it just grew.

"There has been a common thread of honesty through everything that we’ve done."

Artists come and go, but it seems like your success has been almost never-ending. Do you attribute that to your ability to reinvent your sound?

Cato: Perhaps, but it hasn’t been as conscious as that. It’s easy to sound smug here, but to give you an example: We could have just revved up the band again and taken on six-figure fees, but we didn’t because we didn’t want to. There has been a common thread of honesty through everything that we’ve done, the way our crew has always remained the same, and the way we’ll play a sell-out show to thousands in Australia and then play at someone’s house afterwards.

Findlay: We’ve always had this authenticity. Once you start doing things to make something work, when it doesn’t feel like you, then you’re in trouble. You’ve got to focus on what you want to do.

You talk about making these decisions, and focusing on what you want to do. But do you feel you’ve made any bad decisions over the course of your career?

Findlay: There’s nothing that springs to mind, but one thing I would say is that we’ve always been good at making things out of adversity. I remember doing the album Lovebox, and we had just been abandoned by the label—but out of that album came the festival, and that sort of changed the perception of us. Right at our lowest moment, we came back with our biggest punch.

Cato: At the beginning, there were lots of mistakes, like PR wise. We were hopelessly naive. We were just being honest, without playing games, Ultimately, what we’ve ended up with is fine, so perhaps they weren’t mistakes.

What do you have coming up?

Findlay: There’s going to be a 20-year anniversary soon, which is quite remarkable—so we need to find some sort of appropriate celebration for that. It may just be one messy night out, but who knows? It’s just  amazing to have done two decades in dance!

Little Black Book is out July 10 on Moda Black.

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Project: Mooncircle Set to Release New Nuage EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/projectmooncircle-set-to-release-new-nuage-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/projectmooncircle-set-to-release-new-nuage-ep/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:43:11 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94796 Project:Mooncircle is set the release Neida EP, the beautiful new release from Nuage which features eight floaty, mysterious and elegant songs.

Inspired by a long lost tale from dark and cold northern lands, Neida is the story of a young boy who one day noticed an eerie call, so peculiar and odd that he could not resist but to follow it.

While it resonated through remnants of ancient settlings, the boy had to overcome many obstacles and solve numerous quests, journey through mystical forests, foggy mountains and ghostly villages, battle the forces of nature and lose himself in this adventure. Finally reaching the ocean after an exhausting voyage, a mysterious invisible force drew him closer and closer to it, suddenly entranced in a state between consciousness, floating underwater, lured by the siren of the sea.

Neida comes out worldwide, via limited vinyl (including download code), on August 18.

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Modular Synthesizer Film I Dream Of Wires to be Released at the End of the Month http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/modular-synthesizer-film-i-dream-of-wires-to-be-released-at-the-end-of-the-month/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/modular-synthesizer-film-i-dream-of-wires-to-be-released-at-the-end-of-the-month/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:07:55 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94723 Independent documentary I Dream Of Wires traces the history, demise, and eventually rebirth of one of the most influential machines in electronic music: the modular synthesizer. The film will be released on DVD in July and digitally August—with a world premiere in Berlin on July 28.

I Dream Of Wires explores the early development of modular synthesizers in the '60s, the 1970s heyday, its almost extinction in the '80s, and the phenomenal resurgence in modern day electronic music. Interviewing artists such as Carl Craig, James Holden, Jimmy Edgar, and Trent Reznor, filmmakers Robert Fattinatto and Jason Amm provide great insight into the mindset and studios of some of electronic music's modular masters.

I Dream Of Wires will be released on DVD on July 31 via Cargo Distribution and Amazon, and digitally on August 10 via iTunes and Vimeo On Demand.

I Dream Of Wires 2014 documentary Trailer - Official from I Dream Of Wires on Vimeo.

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Premiere: Hear a Track From Anja Schneider's Latest EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/premiere-hear-a-track-from-anja-schneiders-latest-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/premiere-hear-a-track-from-anja-schneiders-latest-ep/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 18:50:22 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94684 Following an impressive 2014, Mobilee label head, Anja Schneider, will release her first EP of 2015, Circle Culture, on July 10. Alongside Anja's two originals, the EP also includes a remix by Konstantin Sibold & Leif Müller.

The dreamy and hypnotic opening cut, "Circle Culture," has been a highlight in Anja's sets since debuting last month with its spine-tingling breakdowns. Operating on a darker tip, B-side cut "The Squaring" is a deep and rolling techno stomper that expertly plays with tension across its 10-minute run. Closing out the EP is Konstantin Sibold & Leif Müller's peak-time techno rework of "Circle Culture," a fitting end to a great EP.

Circle Culture will be available here on July 10, with "The Squaring" streaming in full below.

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Interview: Frank Wiedemann and RY X Prep for the Sacred Ground Festival http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/07/interview-frank-wiedemann-and-ry-x-prep-for-the-sacred-ground-festival/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/07/interview-frank-wiedemann-and-ry-x-prep-for-the-sacred-ground-festival/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:49:36 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94604 Following the release of their stunning debut album, Sacred Ground, the next step for Howling—Ry "RY X" Cuming and Âme's Frank Wiedemann—is a festival of the same name, co-curated by the two artists and driven by a shared desire to cultivate a sense of artistic community by focusing on intimacy rather than enormity. On July 11, a mere 800 fortunate ticket holders will have gather at the site, a beautiful open-air farmland nestled within the small town of Uckermark, roughly 100 kilometers north of Berlin. The roster of musical acts includes David August, Dauwd and Cuming's partner in the Acid, Adam Freeland, among others—along with Howling, Âme, and, performing solo, RY X. They'll be accompanied by a carefully selected array of artistic installations from around the world; the schedule will be absent of any specific timetable, all designed to enhance human connections and leave space for both collaboration and improvisation. Ahead of the festival’s debut, XLR8R spoke with RY X and Wiedemann to learn more about the underlying motivations and visions behind Sacred Ground, and what attendees can expect this year round.

Curating a festival isn’t easy,  especially with your busy touring schedules. How did the decision to do this come about, and what were the initial motivations behind Sacred Ground?

RY X: It was just the case that we had an idea - and it seemed great and plausible at the time - that has slowly turned into reality. The motivation was very simple: it’s about bringing amazing music, cool experiences in art and a sense of community to people. That idea so often gets lost in festivals nowadays.

Wiedemann: The starting point was just over a year ago, in early 2014, when we figured out that we had four different bands that we’re playing in and we just thought that it would be really nice to have they playing all together in one place at one time. And this is shown in the line-up: We have Howling, Adam Freeland, RY X, and Âme all there, with many more. We wanted to show people the variety that brings us all together.

Besides being the title of Howling’s album, is there anything behind the name of the festival?

Wiedemann: We thought about this a lot, but chose the same name as the album because it just sounded right. "Sacred ground" explains a lot about the album, and how it came together, because it is all about special places where we recorded it—and the festival will be another case where Ry and I will be doing music together in a special place in a special surrounding.

"Sacred objects aren’t sacred inherently—rather, it is the relationship between people and the object that makes them so."

RY X: Sacred objects aren’t sacred inherently—rather, it is the relationship between people and the object that makes them so. We are creating the environment for people to have this relationship, but it is ultimately for them to connect with each other and the music in order to create this sacredness.

You’ve got a very small, but amazing, group of artists playing at Sacred Ground. How did you curate the line-up?

RY X: It’s sort of our hub—it’s that simple. We’ve got so many interesting friends that are playing great music, so we just invited them to come and join in. Each artist who is going to play Sacred Ground is a friend, and shares an artistic connection with us in some way. We didn’t curate it to try and be anything more than us getting our friends to go and play outside of a city, which doesn’t happen that often— and we also wanted something intimate rather than a huge festival ground where the peoples’ experiences can be quite distorted.

On the subject of this intimacy, is this what you think will make Sacred Ground stand out in what is already an overcrowded market for festivals?

David August

David August

RY X: Yes. We really wanted to focus on this intimacy—that’s especially important. The focus is on music and community. To be honest, we don’t really like the word "festival"—it’s more like a gathering of people, because the context is lost when you go to these huge festival sites. Howling, RY X, Âme or David [August] alone could each probably sell out the 800 tickets in Berlin so it’s really nice to think that those who attend this year will have a really special time.
In addition to this, we’re keeping it pretty open. We have plans that RY X will come out and open the festival, as opposed to being later on in the night, and we’ll probably have David close the festival with Frank—but everything in between will be free, because we want to change the idea that artists belong somewhere on a timetable. We want to create this freedom, where timetables don’t exist. Woodstock is a weird reference at this point, but we want to bring this sense of surprise back where people don’t know what is going to happen and when. The concept is to bring everybody together at the start of the festival, and really develop this sense of community. We don’t want people to rock up at 8pm because their favourite artist is playing—we want everyone to be there for the whole time.

Have you intentionally limited the number of ticket sales to create this intimacy?

RY X: Yes. We could probably have four times the amount of people we have attending, but we don’t want this. The tickets are really limited, and everyone requests an invitation via the website. It's an open platform—no hierarchy, and all hearts are welcome. We are trying to create this system where people feel they are going to really be part of something, rather than just getting as many people in this space and selling it out. Everybody involved, in terms of the musicians, is either going to break even or even lose money, so everybody is doing out of the love of their heart. There is no money-making scheme happening—there is no grand plan to grow it or whatever, but this is our first attempt.

Wiedemann: There is a festival in Germany called Nachtdigital, and they limit their tickets to 3,000, which may not sound a lot—but it is this super huge area with two stages. It is one of the nicest places to be because it’s so relaxed—there are no stresses of when to be where to meet friends, and everything is far more peaceful. You can experience every act properly and I think this is the beauty of it. That’s what we’re looking to achieve.

I presume the venue, a small farm north of Berlin, plays a fundamental role in this vision. What you were looking for, and how did you find it?

Dauwd

Dauwd

RY X: There is a guy, Max, who I work with who lives in Berlin. He is a dear friend and a really good creator of spaces, so naturally we were chatting to him about the idea and it just grew from there. He told us about the property which is owned by his family friends, and he suggested that we just keep the festival in the family for now. We didn’t really look too much besides a few small places in Berlin, but we liked the idea of getting people outside of the city to enjoy the experience. We wanted to get people out of the normal context.

Wiedemann: The beautiful part of the place we’ve found is that people are actually living there. They are really excited by it—they’re really looking forward to being part of it. It’s a really cool area that’s full of artists who have moved out of Berlin to focus on developing their skills, and I think this is really special.

Can you tell us a little more about the site itself?

Adam Freeland

Adam Freeland

RY X: It’s just a farm. There is a big barn and a lake about a ten-minute ride away on a bike. It’s in a tiny town, and the camping is on this wide-open field—it is just about removing people from what they’re used to in Berlin. It’s the perfect location for people to get out of the city to spend a few days really connecting with other people, and getting to make their own choices as to how they want to interact with people as opposed to being ushered around at a big festival, completely lost in the hugeness of it all. This small, intimate vibe will develop these human connections.

Aside from the music, the event has a focus on food and other artistic disciplines . What do you have in mind?

RY X: Children of the Light are doing a light installation. They’re from Amsterdam, and they did the visuals for Darkside and for Club Trouw in Amsterdam. We also have the guy that worked with the Acid here in L.A. who does this stuff with lasers, and he is going to bring this 3D laser installation. I’ve also got a couple of guys in Berlin who are involved in the avant-garde performance-art scene, and they might come and do some art installations in the environment.Regarding the food, we are trying to get local and sustainable stuff in the area, as opposed to getting a catering truck up to drive up from Berlin. It’s important to us that the community in the little town are included, and that we source things from local places. We also want it to be cross-platform, with people teaching yoga and musicians getting involved in the food and the art. It’s just important that we create this small, tight community.

Wiedemann: There are even movies in the public spaces!

RY X: As long as the art is good, then it’s in line with what we’re doing. We’re lucky to have a lot of amazing artists around us, so that when one of our friends wants to be involved, I don’t have to be worried about the quality. We don’t have to micromanage—we can allow the artists their freedom and everybody gets to be part of the experience.

"You have to do the same amount of work for something that is 800 people as say 10,000, but we love it."

Has it been much harder to actually put the festival together than you thought it would be?

RY X: You should talk to Max about that! We’ve been pretty blessed to curate the festival and come up with ideas, and that has been amazing—but the administration and technicalities have been insane. You have to do the same amount of work for something that is 800 people as say 10,000, but we love it.

Wiedemann: The hard thing for Max is that both Ry and I are constantly having ideas about what we could do at Sacred Ground. A lot of people, who now know about the festival, are writing to us and wanting to be part of it, and so we are constantly having new input. This is a very beautiful thing, but Max has to channel all that.

It’s still very early days, but what visions do you have for Sacred Ground in the future?

RY X: We still don’t know whether this is an idea that will grow and expand in different places across the globe each year, or whether it is a one-off that never happens again. It would obviously be great to grow it — but this first one is just an experiment.

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Watch Ben Klock And Marcel Dettmann Close Awakenings 2015 http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/watch-ben-klock-and-marcel-dettmann-close-awakenings-2015/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/watch-ben-klock-and-marcel-dettmann-close-awakenings-2015/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:00:09 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94694 Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann are argueably the two of the most respected techno producers in the world right now. Their nine-hour plus sets are demanded by clubs and promoters around the globe, and their DJ sets are sought after by the largest festivals in Europe.

Last weekend on Sunday in Holland, the two Berghain residents played a back-to-back two hour set to proudly close out Awakenings 2015. The festival took place over two days, and included performances by Len Faki, Joseph Capriati, and Dave Clarke.

The sweaty performance was recorded live by BE-AT TV and is available for viewing here.

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Premiere: Hear Redshape Remix Dark Sky's "Voyages" http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/premiere-hear-redshape-remix-dark-skys-voyages/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/premiere-hear-redshape-remix-dark-skys-voyages/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:32:54 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94669 On July 31, Monkeytown Records will release the Voyages remix EP by London-based production trio Dark Sky. Originally released on Dark Sky's LP imagin, "Voyages" now returns with reworks by Francis Inferno Orchestra and Redshape.

Keeping with the moody sci-fi theme, Redshape twists the original's central synth line into a devilishly moaning bassline. The masked artist drives the track along with a hard-hitting, bouncy groove and razor-sharp hi-hats, building tension to a huge crescendo before stripping things back and letting the bassline ride the track out in style.

Voyages can be preordered over at Monkeytown Records, with Redshape's remix streaming in full below.

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Lanark Artefax "The Angel Problem" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/07/lanark-artefacts-the-angel-problem/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/07/lanark-artefacts-the-angel-problem/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:10:51 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94656 Today, 21 year old Glaswegian producer Calum MacRae (a.k.a. Lanark Artefax) released his Windox Rush EP via fledging UK label Cong Burn Waves. MacRae presents three highly rhythmic tracks, interspersed with 2 ambient interlude-like pieces. “I set out to make something that needs to be played loud in a club," MacRae explains, "but then the percussive tracks started to grow into something very melodic.” Pulled from the release is "The Angel Problem," which fuses chunky, dancefloor-focused beats with chord stabs, robotic vocal chops, and breakbeat-like flourishes. You can purchase Windox Rush over at the Cong Burn Waves Bandcamp page, with "The Angel Problem" available as a free download below.

The Angel Problem

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Competition: Win a Pair of Weekend Combi Passes to KRAKE Festival http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/competition-win-a-pair-of-weekend-combi-passes-to-krake-festival/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/competition-win-a-pair-of-weekend-combi-passes-to-krake-festival/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 13:26:11 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94620 KRAKE is an annual Berlin based festival for challenging electronic music brought to you by Killekill. KRAKE means octopus and the festival is organised in a comparable way: reaching out to selected locations during one week presenting the best in electronic music, whatever style it is. KRAKE is a festival for music lovers: It is not huge, not expensive and does not have big sponsoring deals or four different colour area passes.

The over-all set up will be the same as last year: A week starting with an arty night on Monday, the classic Wednesday night at Berghain Kantine, a bomb night of modern techno on Friday at Suicide Circus, and the peak of the festival on the last day, where they combine the area of Urban Spree with that of Suicide Circus to offer a massive festival place right in the center of the city to wander around between six floors full with music and arts.

KRAKE takes place at various locations around Berlin from August 3-8. More information, including details about each day's line up, can be found here. A documentary on last year's event can be seen below.

To be in with a chance of winning in a pair of weekend combi passes, enter your email below. Terms and Conditions apply.

Terms and Conditions:
  1. The promoter is, KRAKE Festival and agent, XLR8R.com whose registered office is at 837 Traction Ave #304, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA.2. Employees of KRAKE Festival l / XLR8R.com or their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the competition or helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition.
  2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  3. Closing date for entry will be Wednesday July 08, 2015 at 11:59PM (PST). After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  4. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  5. The rules of the competition and the prize for each winner are as follows:
    • Only 1 entry per email address accepted
    • Must be 18 years of age or older to enter
    • Giveaway is for 2 pairs of weekend combi passes to the KRAKE Festival in Berlin, Germany (August 7-8, 2015)
    • Winning tickets are non-transferrable and cannot be sold.  Valid ID must be presented.
    • Prize does not include transportation or accommodations, entry only.
  6. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
  7. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
  8. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
  9.  Winners will be chosen at random from all valid entries received and verified by Promoter and or its agents.
  10. The winner will be notified by email within 2 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 2 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
  11. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected.
  12. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  13. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  14. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of US.
  15.  The winner agrees to the use of his/her name in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current US data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
  16. Entries into the competition will automatically opt-in email for XLR8R.com weekly email newsletter, The Lowdown. User may unsubscribe at anytime.
  17. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  18. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to XLR8R.com and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at http://www.xlr8r.com/legal.

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B2B: Carl Craig and Mirko Loko http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/07/b2b-carl-craig-and-mirko-loko/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/07/b2b-carl-craig-and-mirko-loko/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:00:54 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94584 Mirko Loko has had a longstanding relationship with Cadenza and the label's founder, Luciano: Besides sharing a country with Luciano—both call Switzerland home—Loko's debut LP, Seventynine, came out on Cadenza in 2006. Flash forward six years, and the man born Mirko Colicchio has another album out, once again on Cadenza—and much like its predecessor, Comet Plan is another precisely produced, emotion-filled, and downright beautiful set of four-to-the-floor rhythms. Featuring collaborations with pianist Francesco Tristano and dOP's Jaw, it's a work influenced equally by Detroit, Chicago and the producer's own reservoir of creativity.

carlcraig_121814But Loko has an even longer professional relationship with Planet E and that label's prime mover, Carl Craig. Back in 2007, the Motor City techno maestro put out the Pixelgirl EP, the final release from Lazy Fat People, Loko's now-defunct partnership with Ripperton. The Switzerland—Detroit connection continues—check out the Craig remix of the recent album's "Kolor" below—and so we figured it might be a good idea to get Craig to ask Loko about his influences, his inspirations and his love of collaborations.

Carl Craig:Mirko Loko How did working for Swiss radio prepare you or influence you to make your own music and to DJ independently?
Mirko Loko:
Those were great years! Working for the third most important Swiss national radio station helped me a lot. It was free radio, much different than the others, so no commercials would get on the air. I learned how to use postproduction software, and I received training on sound recording, and on how to use mixers, and everything related to radio in general. Moreover, I had the opportunity to work with music lovers who taught me a lot and who contributed considerably to widening my horizon.
I was categorized as a DJ when I started in 1998—and it was not easy, because electronic music was not really welcomed by one part of the radio, who had a rock background. But I worked closely with radio presenters who were experts in their fields, and his immediately enabled me to access lots of interesting things in different musical styles. I worked for hip-hop, world music, and general programs—after that, I became very eclectic. Radio broadcasts also gave me the opportunity to meet incredible artists such as you, Carl, and enjoy a long lasting friendship. They may have been the best years of my life. It was very exciting to be introduced to such a musical environment at such a young age, being only 18 years old. This experience transformed my personal approach to music.

Craig: Does living in a place as beautiful as Switzerland inspire your music at all.
Loko:
Absolutely—Switzerland is a beautiful country! The landscapes are unique, and geographically, we are at the heart of Europe which enable us to quickly access many other countries. The Swiss scenery is very inspiring for me—Lausanne, the town where I live,  in particular. It has an incredible view on the Lac Léman [Lake Geneva] and the mountains, and we can contemplate this amazing sight every time we raise our heads. I am very attached to Lausanne, I feel well there, and it's inspiring to live in such a beautiful setting.
We also benefit from a large internationally-known cultural scene in various fields, such as contemporary dance with the Béjart Ballet or music with the Montreux Jazz Festival, which has hosted all the greatest artists who accompanied me during by my childhood. And our clubbing scene in the '90s gave us the opportunity to listen to avant-garde DJs on a regular basis. All these moments contributed to build my artistic world. Switzerland is very inspiring in terms of creativity—but paradoxically, you cannot live from your art if you do not export yourself.

Craig: Do you feel that your Italian heritage has a major role in your music making?
Mirko Loko:
I don’t think that my Italian origins influence my work. I was born in Switzerland—my grandparents came to live there in the sixties. I am the third generation installed here, and to be honest, I feel much more Swiss than Italian. In Switzerland, you automatically take your parents nationality, and not the citizenship of the country you were born in—so I am technically Italian but my story is Swiss. I studied, grew up and have almost always lived in Switzerland. Nevertheless, I have to recognize that my parents used to listen to a lot of Italian disco and popular Italian music, so it is actually difficult to answer to this question. I would say that the music we listen to as kids does play an important role, but in my case my musical curiosity prevailed.

"I like the idea of musical exchange and collaborations. It is a kind of shared intimacy."

Craig: What made you want to collaborate with other singers and artists  on your new album, Comet Plan?
Loko: I like the idea of musical exchange and collaborations. It is a kind of shared intimacy. I felt like inviting artists with whom I had these affinities and that I respect a lot, and I like the idea of creating long lasting collaborations; over time, the exchanges are more and more tuned and refined. I worked a lot with Jaw, and I absolutely wanted to renew this experience. Voices inspire me, and including them always bring something special; Jaw’s timbre is perfect for that kind of exercise. He came to Lausanne and we recorded those tracks. I also felt like visiting Francesco’s world. He is a great guy—I met him in Detroit in your garden! We immediately got along and we have a good connection. I thought his piano touch could add something more to the 12 tracks of the album. I've enjoyed a lot working with them a lot, so I felt like reproducing this experience.

Craig: You always have quite a large sound—does it make a difference to you if you are making music completely digitally on the computer, or is it necessary to include analog processors in your music?
Loko:
I combine both of them, but I use more and more analog processors. They sound good, but also give a more spontaneous and playful impulse to my work.
When I started producing ten years ago, I used more plugs—but today the trend is clearly reversed. If I have to play live shows, I mostly use hardware. I feel more comfortable in this field now, which was not the case a few years ago. Although digital technology offers lots of high quality of software nowadays, analog technology is irreplaceable to me. I have chosen to orient myself in this direction, especially when it comes to live performances. I don't do lots of live performances, but when I do, I prefer to perform instinctively. It is more risky—but I feel comfortable in such a configuration.

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Ron Trent Next Up on Rawax's Aira EP Series http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/ron-trent-next-up-in-rawaxs-aira-ep-series/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/07/ron-trent-next-up-in-rawaxs-aira-ep-series/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:44:29 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94704 Rawax has lined up Chicago house icon Ron Trent for the second installment in its AIRA EP series. The AIRA line of studio equipment line was developed by Japanese manufacturer Roland last year in an effort to emulate the sounds of staple machines like the TR-808 and 707 and TB-303, and the run of 12"s kicked off in April with a split from Ricardo Villalobos and Oskar Szafraniec. News of Trent's forthcoming contribution arrives not long after Rush Hour announced a retrospective box set for Trent's Prescription label, and the two-tracker is due for release "soon." Fred P will also contribute an EP to the series, although details are still forthcoming. For now, clips for Rawax AIRA Series Vol. 2 can be previewed here via Clone. (via Resident Advisor)

01. Deep In The Stars
02. Rock The Box

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Rødhåd To Make U.S. West Coast Debut In Los Angeles http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/rodhad-to-make-u-s-west-coast-debut-in-los-angeles/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/rodhad-to-make-u-s-west-coast-debut-in-los-angeles/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:57:43 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94624 This holiday weekend, international techno label Droid Behavior will bring Rødhåd to the West Coast and LA for the first time on Friday, July 3rd at Lot 613.

This show marks the start of only two U.S. tour dates, including a 4th of July appearance at Honey Soundsystem in San Francisco. The Dystopian label boss is no stranger to partying with Droid, having just headlined their annual Movement Official Afterparty in Detroit this year and surprising the enormous late night crowd by going back to back with Ben Klock till 9am when the set was billed to end at 6am. His West Coast debut will take place in Downtown LA and the lineup will include sets by DJ Hyperactive and Droid resident selector, Subversive.

Tickets can be purchased by clicking here, and you can find out more information by viewing the event page on XLR8R.

PrototypeLA
613 Imperial St, Los Angeles, California 90021

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P. Morris Releases Free EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/p-morris-releases-free-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/p-morris-releases-free-ep/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:40:47 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94631 Following on from last months POP.MORRIS mix/tapes, LA-based producer P. Morris has released his latest EP, Daydream, for free via his Bandcamp page—as well as a paid CDR option.

The six-track EP is a follow up to 2014's Beloved EP and is drenched in P. Morris' stylistic nuances: "the Western twang of the pedal steel, the amorphous breaks and time signatures of the 'Morris Melts,' the glossiness and sheen present in Debut, and the emotion of soul and R&B spoken through string arrangements."

Daydream is available now over at the Bear Club Music Bancamp page, with the EP's tracklist below; along with a full stream.

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1080p Announces UMFANG Tape http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/1080p-announces-umfang-tape/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/1080p-announces-umfang-tape/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:47:32 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94619 Vancouver imprint 1080p has announced that its next release will be Ok, a 48-minute tape release from NYC producer Emma Olson (a.k.a. UMFANG).

The NYC artist samples old trance records and takes inspiration from Bachata and Cumbia rhythms, with 1080p describing the release as "amorphous, polyrhythmic techno influenced by latin drum patterns, dj breaks and minimal percussion." Ok will be released on tape and digital on August 4, with the tracklisting available below.

Tracklisting:

01. Shant
02. Beta Librae
03. Ok
04. Mica
05. Shockshock
06. Quietly And Softly
07. How To Lie
08. Vast
09. Minus Twenty
10. Six
11. Cygnus

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Paul Woolford "Orbit"/"MDMA" http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/06/paul-woolford-mdmaorbits/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/06/paul-woolford-mdmaorbits/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:08:07 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94575 Over the course of his storied career, we’ve come to expect quality and eclecticism from dance-production mastermind Paul Woolford, the man who's brought us neoclassics like “Erotic Discourse” and more recently, jungle-influenced tunes under his Special Request alias. With his latest two-track release for Hotflush, “MDMA”/“Orbit," Woolford comes through again, utilizing left-field sonics and drum-intensive programming to create forceful songs that will undoubtedly be yielding some special clubland moments.

The title track, “MDMA,” starts off with a sharp flurry of hi-hats before diving into a slamming piano riff punctuated with thunderous drums. Akin to his 2013 Hotflush chart-topper “Untitled”, which packed dancefloors well past the summertime, “MDMA” lumbers into a thick and heavy groove, subtly working in tender female vocal samples between heavy keys and pumping peak-time percussion for a similar blissful experience. “Orbit” closes out the release, keeping the drum-heavy aesthetic but dialing back the tempo and intensity in favor of leaner and more stripped-back atmospherics.

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Premiere: Hear Fort Romeau's Frankfurt Versions in Full http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/premiere-hear-fort-romeaus-frankfurt-versions-in-full/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/premiere-hear-fort-romeaus-frankfurt-versions-in-full/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:28:20 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94566 Following on from the announcement of Fort Romeau's Frankfurt Versions—which will see release on July 6 via Ghostly International—all five cuts are now streaming in full below.

Opening with Roman Flügel's brilliant, densely layered rework of "Insides," the 12" gracefully moves through the two bassline-driven remixes from Robert Jonson regulars Orson Wells and Massimiliano Pagliara—who remix Lately and "All I Want," respectively—to the final two cuts on the record from Tuff City Kids (a.k.a. Gerd Janson and Phillip Lauer), who turn in two mixes of "Cloche": a raw and chunky "Club Mix," and the digital exclusive "Disco Mix."

Frankfurt Versions can be preordered here, with all five remixes streaming below.

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Yard One "Willow" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/06/yard-one-willow/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/06/yard-one-willow/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 15:49:32 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94550 We last heard from Yard One—the duo consisting of London based producer Jordan Bruce and Manchester's Larry Jones—back in April with the Memory Echoes EP. The four-tracker landed on Tact Recordings as a precursor to the forthcoming LP, When Elements Collide—which will also see release via Tact at the start of August. With When Elements Collide, Yard One present 10 eclectic tracks traversing the electronic music realm. In support of the LP, XLR8R has been gifted "Willow," a beautifully atmospheric cut that unfolds gracefully over its six-minute run, introducing melodic flourishes, organic textures, and club-ready percussion along the way. You can grab "Willow" for free below, with When Elements Collide arriving August 3.

Willow

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DARKSIDE Release Live Performance DVD http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/darkside-release-live-performance-dvd/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/darkside-release-live-performance-dvd/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:02:03 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94511 Nico Jaar and Dave Harrington, who make up the The New York experimental and currently on-hiatus band DARKSIDE, are set to release a live DVD titled "Psychic Live" on the Matador Records website.

The performance was recorded on March 21st, 2014 at Stereolux - Nantes and features seven sprawling and unique takes on tracks from their 2013 debut album. The live DVD captures the band on stage at the peak of their touring schedule, and the live audio was captured and meticulously mastered by none other than Joe Lambert. On 17th August 2014, the group announced they were "coming to an end, for now" before they were to play their last show on September 12th at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple. 

The DVD is limited to 1,000 copies physical copies worldwide and is available to purchase now on the Matador Records online store and the official DARKSIDE website. You can also stream the video online via the concert website Quello. Check out the track listing for the DVD and watch the video below to hear more about DARKSIDE.

DVD Track Listing:
1. Freak, Go Home
2. Paper Trails
3. The Only Shine I've Seen
4. Heart
5. Metatron
6. Greek Light
7. Golden Arrow

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Perc Set to Release New Solo EP on Perc Trax http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/stream-a-track-from-percs-new-solo-ep-on-perc-trax/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/stream-a-track-from-percs-new-solo-ep-on-perc-trax/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:44:05 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94539 Following the success of last February's The Power And The Glory LP, Perc returns to Perc Trax with Gob. 

Created during the run up to the recent UK general election, Gob continues the political stance of The Power And The Glory without forgetting that techno is body music, created for and experienced best on the dance floor.

Scheduled for release on August 7, Gob finds Perc more focused than ever with his dance floor instincts sharpened by the two lengthy international tours that followed that album and the 10 years of Perc Trax releases.

Ahead of the EP's release, a clip of title track "Gob" can be streamed below.

Tracklist:

1. Gob
2. Gruel
3. Change To Win

 

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Podcast 393: Alex Smoke http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/06/podcast-393-alex-smoke/ http://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/06/podcast-393-alex-smoke/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:00:41 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94528 With a lineage that runs from Harri and Dominic, the Optimo duo and Slam to the likes Rustie, Hudson Mohawke and the LuckyMe crew, Glasow has seen no shortage of brilliant electronic-music mavens—and Alex Smoke (a.k.a. Alex Menzies) sits comfortably within this category.  An acclaimed label head, remixer, DJ and live artist, Smoke’s catalogue of artistic endeavors has grown steadily ever since he broke onto the scene in 2002 with the Random As EP, a stunning debut release that captured the minimal techno sound for which he has become so widely extolled.

Over a decade later, however, and Smoke today is not the same artist he once was. While his vast musical knowledge and competence, picked up during a childhood which saw him play in a choir and train classically on both the cello and piano, are as in play as ever, his output has seamlessly but steadily drifted from European minimal dance floor beats to a more ambient and experimental sound. With a new studio album in the works, and more projects scheduled before the end of the year, Smoke took to his Glasgow studio to compile this week’s XLR8R podcast, with the results reflecting his artistic transformation and showcasing his spectacular musical talents.

01 Autechre "Melve" (Warp)
02 Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe & Ariel Kalma "Strange Dreams" (RVNG Intl.)
03 Burning Star Core "The Point of Departure" (NoFi)
04 Aphex Twin "Vordhosbn" (Leila cover) (Warp)
05 Oliver Coates "Raimondas Rumsas" (PRAH)
06 Junior Loves "Ignacio's Daydream" (1080)
07 Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd)
08 Alva Noto "Xerrox Isola" (Raster Noton)
09 OOBE "Radiation" (1080)
10 Arca "Wound" (Mute)
11 Alice Coltrane "Yamuna Tira Vihari" (Avatar Book Institute)
12 Damaindeh Bau "Mo-Mo" (Rounder)
13 Der Zyklus "Eigenface (Facial Asymetry)" (Clone)
14 Burning Star Core "I Wanna Make A Supersonic Woman Out Of You" (NoFi)
15 Errorsmith & Mark Fell "Cuica Digitales" (PAN)
16 Yahshu "Somebody Else's Dream" (Rysunku)
17 Alex Menzies "Robots Upbeat 7" (Kathexis)
18 Aphex Twin "rhubarb orc. 19.53 rev" (self-released)
19 Fugue - "Out Of Darkness" (unreleased)

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Otik Preps EP for Infinite Machine, Shares Previews http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/otik-preps-ep-for-infinite-machine-shares-previews/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/otik-preps-ep-for-infinite-machine-shares-previews/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 23:09:59 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94504 Following on from his Emphasis EP on Tessier-Ashpool, East London-based producer Otik will release the Stranglove EP on Infinite Machine July 24.

Stranglove operates "within the framework of 130-ish BPM breaks-led electronic compositions," sitting as a companion piece to Emphasis. The EP features four, dense cuts with highly saturated sound design, razor-sharp percussion, and expertly programmed vocal samples. All four tracks can be previewed via the player below, with the full release available for purchase here on July 24.

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Daedelus Creates Custom Effect Instrument Called "Delaydelus " http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/daedelus-creates-custom-effect-instrument-called-delaydelus/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/daedelus-creates-custom-effect-instrument-called-delaydelus/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:50:59 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94447 Daedelus (a.k.a. Alfred Darlington) has created a new sample and delay instrument called the Delaydelus, manufactured by Austin, TX based technology group, Bleep Labs.

The limited edition product has been strictly available by pre-order for the last month, and purchases for the one-of-a-kind unit will close on July 2. Once pre-orders are finalized, the instrument will no longer be available for direct purchase. The Delaydelus comes fully built and ready to make noise. Only a 9v battery is required.

"I've always aspired to invention, my artist namesake means as much," says Daedelus when speaking with XLR8R about his new hardware project. "With the Delaydelus I've a chance to breakaway from the usual album releasing cycle and instead try to empower other creatives to apprehend, make, and manipulate."

The original idea was created by Darlington, and the code and hardware design was created by John-Mike Reed (a.k.a. Dr. Bleep). Trek Matthews contributed the device’s artwork and Bleep Labs will be doing final assembly and fulfillment in their Austin workshop. After the pre-orders are closed, Bleep Labs will produce the devices and get them ready for shipping in about 5-7 weeks.

The interface was created by taking a small, pedal sized box and incorporating joystick buttons, a patch bay, and three knobs to create a powerful sampler and delay processor. The device was designed using the Teensy 3.1 and can be programmed using the Arduino IDE. The device has 8 permanent banks and 8 user ones. When you record to a “pin”, the default sample is not overwritten and can be switched back to it's original sample. All samples are retained when power is turned off.

The unit includes

– Eight samples designed by Daedelus
– Over a minute of total sample memory
– Beautifully crunchy 12bit, 30kHz audio
– One second delay
– Combine four samples at a time with the unique patch bay
– Through mode to use the delay with an external source
– Sample audio or use it to trigger or modulate
– Optional USB adapter allows you you control the device with MIDI as well as reprogram it

Check out the Bleep Labs website and pre-order the Delaydelus by clicking here and watch the following videos to become more familiar with how the Delaydelus works.

You can also check out Daedelus in the month of July at the following tour dates:

7.2 - Manila - Black Market
7.3 - Seoul - Cakeshop
7.4 - Ho Chi Minh City - The Observatory
7.7 - Beijing - Dada
7.9 - New Delhi - Antisocial
7.10 - Mumbai - Bonobo
7.11 - Bangalore - Humming Tree
7.19 - Tokyo - Sound Vision Museum
7.20 - Osaka - Creative Center
7.24 - Austin - Empire Automotive
7.31 - Honolulu - Swap Meet

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Watch Moog Music's Latest Category 5 Video Featuring Robert Rich http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/watch-moog-musics-latest-category-5-video-featuring-robert-rich/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/watch-moog-musics-latest-category-5-video-featuring-robert-rich/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:34:08 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94495 The latest instalment of Moog Music's Category 5 interview series—which is named after the cables used to enable modern digital communication—features ambient musician and composer Robert Rich. The Category 5 series offers unique insight into key artists in today's creative landscape—as well as offering free EPs by the artists.

In the video, Rich chats, quite deeply, about his earliest musical influences, modular synthesizers, and learning polyrhythm from tree frogs. You can watch the video in full below, with Robert Rich's Hiding In Daylight EP available as a free download.

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Premiere: Stream Aleks' Low Definitions EP http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/premiere-aleks-ulterior-motive/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/premiere-aleks-ulterior-motive/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 17:55:23 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94394 At the end of the month, Netherlands producer Aleks will drop his Low Definitions EP on fledging Manchester-based label Natural Sciences.

The EP will be available on vinyl and digital and lands with four tripped out house and techno excursions that are "built around degraded tape static, distortion peddles, analogue gear and phantom sounds." Filled with fuzzy, rhythmic-like textures, tape hiss, distorted chords, and loose, drum-machine rhythms, EP cut "Ulterior Motive" is streaming in full below.

You can preorder Low Definitions via the Natural Sciences Bandcamp page.

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Watch Kiasmos Entire Live Set From Sonar 2015 http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/watch-kiasmos-entire-live-set-from-sonar-2015/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/watch-kiasmos-entire-live-set-from-sonar-2015/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 16:00:56 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94424 Kiasmos is made up of Icelandic award-winning composer Ólafur Arnalds, known for his unique blend of minimal piano and string compositions with electronic sounds, and Janus Rasmussen from the Faroe Islands, known as the leader of the electro-pop outfit Bloodgroup. Based in Reykjavík, Arnalds used to work as a sound engineer, often for Rasmussen's other projects, where the two musicians discovered their common love for minimal, experimental music. They eventually became best friends, often hanging out in their studio, exploring electronic sounds.

By focusing solely on their self-titled debut album for Erased Tapes, Ólafur and Janus have been able to combine and further develop their unique sound aesthetics to complete an album driven by their mutual love for electronic music. Made in Ólafur’s newly built studio, a majority of the album was recorded using acoustic instruments next to a variety of synthesisers, drum machines and tape delays.

After completing their first US tour with show in Los Angeles earlier this month at Hollywood Forever, Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen made their way to Barcelona to perform live at Sonar 2015.

Check out the hour long performance via FranceTV and Culturebox here:

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Hear Nicolas Jaar's Latest EP, Nymphs III http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/hear-nicolas-jaars-latest-ep-nymphs-iii/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/hear-nicolas-jaars-latest-ep-nymphs-iii/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:44:18 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94473 Last month, Nicolas Jaar released his first new record in four years, the Nymphs II EP. The series' second entry, Nymphs III, is out today and has been made available to stream in full via Jaar's own Other People imprint. Like its predecessor, the EP  was recorded in his home city of New York between 2011 and 2015, and comprises two tracks, "Swim" and "Mistress." It arrives just days after Jaar shared his 20-track score to 1968 Soviet film The Color of Pomegranates for free download, and can be heard in its entirety here.

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Helena Hauff Starts New Label, Return to Disorder http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/helena-hauff-starts-new-label-return-to-disorder/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/helena-hauff-starts-new-label-return-to-disorder/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:06:01 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94469 Last week, Helena Hauff revealed details of her upcoming debut album on Werkdiscs. Now, word has come that the Hamburg-based producer and Golden Pudel resident is starting a new label, Return to Disorder. In an interview with Juno Plus, she says the outlet will bring together “psych rock and techno,” with a self-titled EP from Leicester band Children of Leir serving as the imprint's inaugural release in early July.

"I saw this band Cherry Choke live in Berlin, really enjoyed the gig and kept in touch with them, and when one of them started a new project, Children of Leir, I just really loved their stuff and decided that I wanted to release it,” she explains. Morah will deliver the label’s second release, and some of Hauff’s own material is expected to make an appearance sooner or later. For now, Children of Leir’s “Elixer” can be streamed in full below, where we’ve also included the EP’s complete tracklist.

A1 Shapes Of Sleep
A2 Drowned In Fear
B1 Seed Of Doubt
B2 Elixir

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B2B: Todd Terje and Jaga Jazzist's Lars Horntveth http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/06/b2b-todd-terje-and-jaga-jazzists-lars-horntveth/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/06/b2b-todd-terje-and-jaga-jazzists-lars-horntveth/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:00:41 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94329 Terje Olsen, better known as Todd Terje, is one of the kings of the Norwegian sound, having climbed up Oslo's nu-disco ladder to reach global clubland fame via an array of world-conquering tracks—including, of course, "Inspector Norse," the deceptively bubbly tune that steamrolled the competition to become one of the tunes of 2012. His fellow Oslovian Lars Horntveth, meanwhile, inhabits a somewhat more arcane musical world: He's a founding member of Jaga Jazzist, the experimentally-inclined jazz ensemble that's been plying its wide-screen, post-rock–tinged trade for the past two decades.

jaga jazzist starfireOne might think that Olsen and Horntveth have little in common, other than that they both create music and they both hail from Norway's capital—but one would be wrong. Horntveth serves as a key player in Olsen's live band, and this past May, Olsen returned the favor by reworking the Jaga Jazzist cut "Oban" into something typically Todd Terje–esque, transforming the sprawling, swerving original into a chugger of a track that retains the song's sweeping feel while transforming it into something much more dancefloor-friendly. The song was the lead cut off of Jaga Jazzist's just-released new Ninja Tune album, Starfire, which sees the combo expanding their densely-packed, careening sonic palette by stretching the songs out to epic length and infusing them with a dose of hard-edged electronics. XLR8R caught up with the pair to talk about remixes, monotonous music, and Bryan Ferry.

Before we get into it, I have to say that I love the first paragraph of your new record’s press release.
Horntveth: Oh, what does it say?

It goes like this: “When the biggest stars in our universe begin to burn up and collapse they release neon gas. When electricity is passed through neon gas it glows. When it’s captured within glass we can use it to make colored light. When that glass is shaped into the outline of a naked girl it can be hung outside a strip club.”
Horntveth: [laughs]
Olsen: That’s so funny.

It kind of fits Starfire's music, which you could say is both cosmic and carnal.
Horntveth: Well, you know—whatever makes people happy.

How long have you two known each other?
Horntveth: Not that long, really. But I’ve played with Terje’s brother since I was about 15, I think.

And now you play in Terje’s live band, where the music is perhaps a bit more linear and direct than Jaga Jazzist’s sound. Is that a refreshing change for you?
Horntveth: Maybe a bit. But I actually make it difficult for myself in his band by playing bass and guitar, and sax and flute…and vibraphone.

Jeez, you do make it difficult.
Horntveth: But there are two or three songs where I just stand there and play a bassline for like five minutes. I love that.

How is Terje as a bandleader? Is he a tyrant?
Horntveth: Absolutely!
Olsen: What?
Horntveth: No, he’s very chill.
Olsen: I have the music arranged for a live situation ahead of time, so I think it’s pretty easy, really.

Was getting Terje to do a remix of “Oban” a way of getting a bit of payback for playing in his live band?
Horntveth: Well, not exactly. I first started becoming familiar with Terje’s music about the same time that I started writing this album. I think the first one I really heard was “Spiral,” which I don’t think Terje even likes that much.
Olsen: That’s right. [laughs]
Horntveth: I had just gotten my license, so I was driving a lot and listening to a lot of his music. I just liked the way his music would slowly build up—and that was sort of the genesis of the songwriting on Starfire. He had a lot of these 15-minute songs. I wanted to try something similar to that—stretching things out and not having everything piled on top of each other all the time—but in our own way.

The music isn’t exactly club music—but besides the length and the relative sparseness of the tracks, there are also more electronic elements than usual for Jaga Jazzist. What was the reasoning behind that?
Horntveth: It’s was just to try something differently, really. But I don’t think many people will actually dance to this music [laughs]. Maybe we’ll be surprised.

People have probably been dancing to the "Oban" remix, though. Terje, when you are remixing for somebody that you know and work with, does that put any additional pressure on you?
Olsen: No, I don’t think so. I actually have really wanted to remix Jaga Jazzist before, but I didn’t have the time. This time, it all worked out. But since we’ve gotten to know each other…I really don’t think that changed how I approached the remix. I was interested to hear how Lars approached the long-track format on the album—and what I ended up doing was to take the original song’s highly concentrated mass of music, and then washing it out to something that DJs can play. DJs don’t normally very much stuff happening in their music, I don’t think; it’s easier for people to grasp a piece of music if there aren’t too many ideas to grasp within the song, and that also makes it easier for DJs to use as a tool. If there’s too much, it’s difficult to remember everything that happens in a track! That boring thing where you count bars—that’s very helpful for DJs. They need to be able to expect what’s going to happen at the next turn.

You’re speaking from experience, of course.
Olsen: Of course. I’ve been a DJ for so long that it’s very much affected how I make long tracks. And what a DJ needs is very different than what Lars does, or really what any music producer who isn’t a dance-music producer does. It’s really two different worlds.

Do you find it more challenging to remix a song that wasn’t originally made as a dance track?
ToddTerje_byChristianBelgaux2800Olsen: Well, in general when remixing, there are two ways to go: Make things simpler, or make things more complicated. If I had gotten some track to remix that was really, really monotonous and didn’t contain much music, I would probably have to bring out my vibraphone or something, [laughs] But when you have something as musically complex as a Jaga Jazzist track, you just have to concentrate on one piece and really focus on that.

One thing that you focused on with your remix of “Oban” was the melody, which you pretty much kept intact.
Olsen: Yeah, it’s actually a fairly respectful remix. But there were many parts that I really liked that I didn’t include, simply because I felt that it wouldn’t be…symmetric, I guess. I think mathematically about music, I suppose. Which I suppose can sometimes result in boring songs, but that’s how I approach music.
Hornthveth: I love the remix. For me, that track’s sound brings me back to the really early ‘90s; it almost makes me think of bands like the Happy Mondays or something like that! It reminds of early English club music. And I love the way Terje used the melodies. Remixes will often just use a snippet of the original track, something that’s almost unrecognizable, and makes an entirely new song. Which can be supercool, of course, but I’m more a fan of the old maxi-single style of remixing, where they actually use the melody, but maybe stretch the song out and strip it down a little.

Photo: Anthony P. Huus

Photo: Anthony P. Huus

Was this a planned effort to expand Jaga Jazzist’s audience by getting dance-music fans to hear your music?
Horntveth: I guess that is always part of why you do remixes. You want to get something unexpected, but you also want to reach out and get different people to hear your music. But in this case, that wasn’t the main thing at all—I’m inspired by Terje’s music, and once I started playing in his band, we started talking about this. As Terje said, we've actually been talking about have Terje remix something for a while, but it didn’t happen until now.

Bryan Ferry

Bryan Ferry

On a whole other subject, I have to ask you about having Bryan Ferry sing “Johnny & Mary” live with you last year at Coachella and Oslo’s Oya Festival. I’m such a huge fan of him—what was that like? [Note: Ferry performs with Olsen and the band at the 44-minute mark in the above Oya Festival video.]
Olsen: It was nice! I think he enjoyed it quite a lot. He’s a very nice guy.
Horntveth: When we were here in Oslo with him, we played the song once for him, we were all happy—and he said, “Is it okay if I just stay here for the rest of the rehearsal?” We were like, “Sure..…” He stayed for like an hour. He was actually kind of nerdy, checking out guitar pedals and stuff.
Olsen: And then he asked my brother, Olaf, if Olaf would be his drummer! Unfortunately, he wasn’t able. Too bad for Olaf!

Jaga Jazzist performs in Montreal, Canada on June 29, and Ottawa, Canada on June 30.

 

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Adventures in Daydreams "The Man Who Loved Only Numbers" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/06/adventures-in-daydreams-the-man-who-only-loved-numbers/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/06/adventures-in-daydreams-the-man-who-only-loved-numbers/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 15:00:46 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94369 On July 6, Leeds-based techno duo Adventures in Daydreams will return to Richard Fletcher and Jordan Bruce's Tact Recordings for its sixth appearance on the label with The Man Who Loved Only Numbers EP. Composed of four deep and spacious techno cuts, the EP melds crisp 808 drums with floaty pads, melodic flourishes, and rolling rhythms. The title cut opens the EP with deep, didgeridoo-like textures before a chugging groove lands, locking the track in for the eight-minute ride ahead. You can download "The Man Who Only Loved Numbers" for free below, with he full EP available July 6.

The Man Who Loved Only Numbers

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Om Unit Announces 2015 US Tour Dates http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/om-unit-announces-2015-u-s-tour-dates/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/om-unit-announces-2015-u-s-tour-dates/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 01:39:00 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94334 UK jungle enthusiast and Cosmic Bridge label boss, Om Unit, will tour the US and Canada next month in support of his latest release Torchlight Vol. 1.

The tour kicks off with a date in Boston at Phoenix Landing, and goes all the way to Merritt, BC, Canada as a part of the absolutely stacked Bass Coast Festival lineup. The tour will come to a close with a huge string of shows on the west coast, including a four day bender that starts on Thursday in Los Angeles for Respect, and eventually comes back to CA for a nightcap at Stamina Sundays in San Francisco. All of the shows are in support of Om Unit's new releases scheduled to come out on his label, Cosmic Bridge.

Torchlight Vol. 1 is scheduled to be released July 31 on limited edition 12” vinyl and digital download via the Cosmic Bridge Bandcamp page.

Om Unit US Tour Dates:

09-Jul-2015: Boston, USA Phoenix Landing (Elements)
11-Jul-2015: British Columbia, Canada Basscoast Festival
16-Jul-2015: Washington DC, USA Zeba Bar w/ DJ Earl
17-Jul-2015: Edmonton, Canada Pawn Shop Live (Future Roots) w/ Sam Binga
18-Jul-2015: Houston, USA Gritsy w/ DJ Madd + Tunnidge
19-Jul-2015: Austin, USA Barcelona (Mad Classy)
23-Jul-2015: Los Angeles, USA The Dragonfly (Respect DNB)
24-Jul-2015: San Diego, USA Kava Lounge
25-Jul-2015: British Columbia, Canada Motion Notion Festival
26-Jul-2015: San Francisco, USA F8 (Stamina Sundays)

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Premiere: Stream a Track From NAP's Debut Release on 1080P http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/premiere-stream-a-track-from-naps-debut-release-on-1080p/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/premiere-stream-a-track-from-naps-debut-release-on-1080p/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 00:17:08 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94307 Early next month, Colombian-born, Vancouver-based Daniel Rincon (a.k.a. NAP) will release his debut album, Uncharted, via 1080p.

The nine-track outing finds Rincon exploring "proto IDM and rhizomatic house and techno" with the same fervour and warm touch he applied to his previous guitar-based noise projects. With the production help of Jesse Creed (The Passenger) and Sophie Sweetland (D. Tiffany), Uncharted playfully traverses through a range of left-field electronic spaces, taking in lo-fi house, slowed-down machine-like funk, and rhythmic ambient explorations. With his weapons of choice being the cheapest guitar pedals, grooveboxes, and synths he could find, Rincon has crafted a hazy, smoke-filled sonic space that invites continued exploration.

Ahead of the July 7 release date, you can stream fragile opening cut "Urban Fare" in full below, with Uncharted available for preorder here. Additionally, NAP will be performing at a handful of European tour dates, which you can also find below.

Tour Dates:
July 18 F Lille - Le Rouge
July 20 B Brussels - Bal National
July 24 DE Frankfurt - Café Koz
July 25 DE Kassel - Magic Garden
July 30 DE Dresden - tba

July 31 DE Chemnitz - tba
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Howling Launch Sacred Ground Album Tour http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/howling-launch-sacred-ground-album-tour/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/howling-launch-sacred-ground-album-tour/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 23:33:44 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94288 After successfully releasing its debut album, Sacred Ground, in May, Howling will now plunge into an international tour with shows in Germany, London, and North America. The tour runs though July and August, with their U.S. debut taking place in New York at Output at the end of July.

The live duo consists of The Acid's frontman, Ry X, and Âme's Frank Wiedemann. The act quickly exploded onto the scene when Dixon closed his Boiler Room set with the original version of their self-titled song "Howling." Though the track was hardly past the demo stage at that time, the combination of beautifully hypnotic vocals from Ry X, mixed with the flowing soundscapes provided by Wiedemann, turned out to be a powerful and unexpected happenstance.

"It’s a very intuitive process where we fall in love with one element of the song or one element of a thought, and we follow that until both of those ideas have been met.” – Ry X

After bringing its captivating live show to Europe for festival performances at Nuits Sonores in France and Berlin Festival in 2015, the band performed at a number of infamous ‘Lost in a Moment’ parties hosted by Innervisions. Howling is now set to make its North American debut with dates at Output in New York, and at local Los Angeles art warehouse, Lot 613.

You can purchase tickets to the show in LA by clicking here, and you can get tickets to the show at Output via ticketfly by visiting their website.

Sacred Ground Album Tour Dates:

7.11: Sacred Ground Festival - Brussow, Germany
7.14: Take it Easy - Milan, Italy
7.16: The Cann - Stuttgart, Germany
7.18:  Lovebox Festival - London, UK
7.19: MELT! Festival - Ferropolis, Germany
7.29: Output - New York, NY
7.31: Lot 613 - Los Angeles, CA
8.20: Schoener Alfred Essen, Germany
8.21: Lowlands Festival - Holland
8.22: Pukkelpop - Belgium

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Premiere: Stream the New Sawf EP in Full http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/premiere-stream-the-new-sawf-ep-in-full/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/premiere-stream-the-new-sawf-ep-in-full/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 16:42:49 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94368 Greek producer Sawf, a core member of the Modal Analysis roster, is scheduled to release his latest work, the Sonic EP. The Sonic EP is a stunning four-tracker with a clear intention to interpret an industrial-noise aesthetic from a techno perspective.

"Sonic#1" is a cut from the intro of Sawf’s live set, offering a powerful combo of processed vocals and distorted soundscapes. "Sonic#2" comes as a long and stepping beast that creates the uncomfortable feeling of a horror movie soundtrack. On the B side, "Sonic#3" blends blurry vocals with rhythmic industrial elements on a breath-taking bass-line, while "Sonic#4" presents Sawf’s charisma on impro-noise compositions.

Connected to the release, on July 17 Athens—based event series π will cross the Greek border and travel to Berlin for its first night at Arena Club. π09 is the 9th edition of the series, which comes as a collaboration event between ‘π’ and Samsara Sessions, a London founded party which debuted at Corsica Studios, London in 2014. Featured artists will include Ancient Methods, Sawf, Lower Order Ethics and Modeo. The night will also be supported by 3.14, co-owner of the Modal Analysis label and team co-ordinator of the ‘π’ events.

More information on the event can be found here.

Ahead of the its July release, the Sonic EP can be streamed in full below.

Tracklisting:

A1: Sonic#1 (Original)

A2: Sonic#2 (Original)

B1: Sonic#3 (Original)

B2: Sonic#4 (Original)

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Dopplereffekt, Roedelius, and Vessel Head up Semibreve Festival http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/dopplereffekt-roedelius-and-vessel-head-up-semibreve-festival/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/dopplereffekt-roedelius-and-vessel-head-up-semibreve-festival/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 16:24:06 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94295 Back for its 5th edition at the end of October, Semibreve festival has announced its first wave of artists.

Heading up the bill will be pioneering electro duo Dopplereffekt, and electronic music veteran Roedelius—who will celebrate his 80th birthday with a performance featuring Portuguese musicians and a visual artist. The lineup will also include performances by Tri-angle artist Vessel, Heatsick, Klara Lewis, and more.

Focused on creating unique audio/visual experiences, Semibreve will take place at the historically grand Theatro Circo, the modern and cutting-edge arts complex GNRation, and a heritage building Casa Rolão—which was constructed by well-know Portuguese architect André Soares in the 1700's.

For more information, including tickets, head to the Semibreve website.

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Marcel Dettmann and Sasha Head up Electric Island http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/marcel-dettmann-and-sasha-head-up-electric-island/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/marcel-dettmann-and-sasha-head-up-electric-island/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:10:07 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94326 Following on from the success of the season opener—which featured sets by Tuskegee (Seth Troxler B2B Martinez Brothers), Pan-Pot, Steve Lawler and Tom Trago—Electric Island has announced its lineup for the Canada Day Edition with Marcel Dettmann, Sasha, Dennis Ferrer, and Lee Foss confirmed.

You can purchase tickets to Electric Island here, with the full schedule and more information available here.

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Only Now "Needs" http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/06/only-now-needs/ http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/06/only-now-needs/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:00:46 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94319 Fusing tribal percussion, haunting textures, and coarse, tuned metal, Kush Arora's recently launched Only Now project has carved out a jarring, apocalyptic self-titled album that's available now digitally, and on cassette next month via Record Label Records. Pulled from the album is the ritualistic "Needs," a highly atmospheric cut with dense, otherworldly sound design, echoing chants, dub-tinged flourishes, and trance-inducing rhythms that bring to mind the kuduro dance which the project was heavily influenced by. You can purchase Only Now over at the Only Now Bandcamp page, with the limited edition cassette arriving June 2 and "Needs" available as a free download below.

Needs

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DJ Koze, Ben UFO, and Voices From The Lake Confirmed for MUTEK.MX http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/dj-koze-ben-ufo-and-voices-from-the-lake-confirmed-for-mutek-mx/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/dj-koze-ben-ufo-and-voices-from-the-lake-confirmed-for-mutek-mx/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 20:13:47 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94290 Taking place October 21 to October 25 in Mexico City, MUTEK.MX  has announced its first wave of artists for the 2015 edition.

Following the UN's proclamation that 2015 would be the International Year of Light and Light-based Technnology, MUTEK.MX has decided to focus this years edition on "artistic presentations, educational activities and intense experiences will revolve around the physical phenomena of Light." So far, the list of confirmed artists include DJ Koze, Voices From The Lake, Ben UFO, Alessandro Cortini, AR-P, Lotic, Atom & Tobias, Robert Henke presents Lumiére 2.0, and Vatican Shadow, among others.

Early bird tickets will go on sale tomorrow, with more information available here.

MUTEK.MX 2015 from MUTEK Mexico on Vimeo.

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Jackie's House: The Black Madonna and Doc Sleep http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/06/jackies-house-the-black-madonna-and-doc-sleep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/06/jackies-house-the-black-madonna-and-doc-sleep/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:53:09 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94120 Jackie House (a.k.a. Honey Soundsystem co-founder Jacob Sperber) is someone who, besides throwing some of the San Francisco's best parties, can always be counted upon to deliver whip-smart (and often hilarious) commentary about the electronic music sphere without relying upon the stuffy sensibilities and bland dialogue that often governs such discourse. As such, we felt she'd be the perfect addition to the XLR8R team, and are proud to present a semi-regular column, 'Jackie's House,' in which she can banter with artists in her own unique way.

When Mike Servito forced himself into a 7-Eleven taquito coma the Saturday night of Movement weekend 2015 and slept through his assignment to report on a new after-party, XLR8R was shit out of luck. Good thing I am the one they call when they need someone to buy toilet paper.

Club Towelette, a collaboration between the loudest homosexuals in dance-music—Honcho, Macho City, and Wrecked—poo-miered itself onto this year's Movement festival's unofficial after-party circuit. Aside from providing a safe space and pop-up for GLBTQ amateur pharmacologists, the much talked-about romp was to take place in a famous (famous like: try our Famous Cheese Fries or World Famous Gold's Gym) gay bar called the New Menjo's Complex. For many queens, Movement weekend is their yearly "return to the D" (Motor City Pride isn't much the to-doo-doo for ex-ravers) and the thought of being able to do a dance in one of the last standing relics of "a gayer time" pushed the hype off this after-potty.

Club Towelette boasted a nine-person line-up of the who's-who-of-who? of homosexualist boompty, including Detroit hometown hero Michael Trombley, Los Angeles underground queen-pin Chris Cruise, and a ton of other bottoms. But, like every great gay-ish party, the sex rises to the top, and someone has to pay attention to the music. For that job? Doc Sleep and the Black Madonna. Two of America's hardest working women in dance music and the kind of gworls who can handle (or thrive around) the smell of shit and poppers. Being potentially the only reliable sources of information from that night, I set out to interview them both for their take on bio-femming the "Machoncho-muchachos" and the highs and lows of being so celebrated with the gays.

Doc Sleep, the founder of San Fran–based label Jacktone Records, techno producer and decades long waxslinger, met me for a Skype with the needs-no-introduction Black Madonna, who was literally getting her hair done when we called. Excuse me…did—was getting her hair did right when we called...

Jackie House: Hieeeee.
Doc Sleep: Hieeeeeeee.

The Black Madonna: Hieeeeeeeeeee! I'm getting my hair did. I am sitting here stepping into my inner blonde ambition as we speak.

Doc Sleep: Oh my god, I love it. Like platinum blonde? Have you done that before?

The Black Madonna: Oh gosh, yes. I was quite blonde all through the '90s. I was paper-white until like '97.

Jackie House: Literally going back to your roots?

(collective moan)

Jackie House: Just a preface—if anything I ask you two makes you uncomfortable, we can stop at anytime. Or if your roots start burning, Marea.…

The Black Madonna: Oh, honey, I took a Xanax and have a glass of wine.

Jackie House: Ok, well, let's let it loose, so to speak. Set the stage for us, pre–Club Towelette.

The Black Madonna: Well, to give you an idea of where this venue is—at 4am, we had to take the world’s most expensive ride out to Menjos, which of course is in the middle of bum-fuck Egypt. The driver had a look in the rear-view the whole time like "What kind of straight-white people are going out to Menjos at this time of night?" While I was thinking:,who the hell is going to take a 5 -times surge Uber out here with as little energy as the party kids had at that point? To my surprise, we pull up to the Coney Island Dog (the only one open 24 hours) at the end of the universe—and across the street is Menjos, with people everywhere.

Doc Sleep

Doc Sleep

Doc Sleep: I arrived quite early and was fresh as a daisy. I road-tripped to Detroit by way of Chicago with the Honey Soundsystem guys earlier that day. On our way there we did make an extended pit stop so Josh Cheon [of Dark Entries Records] could purchase a sparkly pink hat...a statement piec, in leather fringe and a leather hat. Anyway, I got there around 11, and watched it all unfold. There was no one...and then [claps hands] there were hundreds of people. You could tell by the shape people were in that this was definitely the last stop on their party choo-choo.

The Black Madonna: Yeah, there were some people in some very fine shape.

Jackie House: So the club was based around a theme and we know how much gays love a theme—or a statement cap. It was called Club Towelette.

The Black Madonna: It was not called Towelette.…

Jackie House: It was called Club Towelette, referencing the little known trend that gay men keep moist towelettes in their back pockets for both hygiene and because when you sniff them you can get a temporary head high. You guys have played a lot of gay parties, but maybe you weren't aware of the towelette scene? I mean, were you guys in on the joke?

Doc Sleep: I was kind of hip to it when I started to see guys wearing graphic t-shirts out at clubs. I can't remember what brand of towelette it was but, the t-shirt graphic was in the style of those Rush poppers shirts?

The Black Madonna: Wait, this is literally not a joke?

Jackie House: I mean, I am sure you guys have read or heard the oddball traditions from clubs past, where discos would put moist towelettes in the fog machine, or the club-kid trend of waving your towelette when they loved a track that was playing. You didn't see any of that at the party?

The Black Madonna: Girl, you couldn't see anything because the booth was not even connected to the dancefloor. All I was told was that a lot of straight boys took off their shirts while I was playing—and that really impressed Ryan Smith.

Doc Sleep: I think the moistest towelette moment during my set was from Carlos Souffront, when I dropped “Work It to the Bone”—even in our dark corner booth you could see that towel.

Jackie House: So he was flagging his towelette for you? That's getting pretty big right now, too.

Doc Sleep: Ha ha—sure, Jackie. But Marea is right—it was hard to see because we were cloistered away up in that DJ booth, but I thought the setup was amazing. The dancers were very focused in the other direction, which coincidentally was like witnessing this very talked-about concern in underground dance, for the crowds to "stop staring at the djs."

Jackie House: Edgy! Do you think since the night was so much about breaking conventions that dancers also came with the intention to decentralize the focus and push energy on this symbolically empty stage?

Doc Sleep: That—or they thought drag queens were going to come out onto the stage.

Jackie House: Were there any drag queens in attendance at Club Towelette?

Doc Sleep: I saw some kaftans and heels but I think that is as far as it went.

Jackie House: In fact did you see any drag queens at all Movement weekend?

Doc Sleep: Uh,  just some kids in pink fuzzy boots—RuPaul was busy. And now that I think about it, I am not sure how safe it was for heels at Towelette. It was a skating rink in there.

Jackie House: Explain!

Doc Sleep: Between the transferring of fluids and dripping sweat, the floor was a fantastic hot mess—there must've been towelettes covering all the vents, obstructing the circulation of air.

The Black Madonna: It was the wettest club. At some point, I was sitting against the wall and water was dripping down my back. And as far as the air, there was this “je ne sais poppers.” Something that was everywhere Movement weekend. 2015 will go down as the year that straight kids discovered that poppers rock, and that daddies are hot.

Jackie House: Amen. I mean, other then maybe picking up poppers here and there, it seems as though you two still must get to join in on some very otherwise closed-to-straight-people activities.

The Black Madonna: My favorite thing about playing in these hyper-male gay spaces is that freedom, freedom knowing no one is going to try to grab my tits, and knowing all that other bullshit that happens in clubs is less likely. I luxuriate in the freedom of virtually no one wanting to fuck me when I am DJ’ng these parties. The last time I played in Laboratory, I played without a shirt on—I mean with a bra, but you know I wouldn't do that anywhere else.

Doc Sleep: Aside from the moments a drunk bear hits on me because he thinks I am a dude, as a queer woman in that space I can get away with a lot. The shenanigans get pretty entertaining, especially because they aren't paying attention to me like they are the boys on the floor, or in the booth. There was one night at Honey Soundsystem when it was still at the Holy Cow, and someone told me Peaches was coming, and I thought it would be funny to run with that rumor and within a half hour we had convinced the entire club Peaches was somewhere on the Holy Cow patio, and we had a search party going and everything—a lot of “oops, you just missed her” or “oh, there she goes!” pointing at the back of someone’s head as they walked away into the night—and then, I think a few drinks later, I actually believed my own lies and thought she was really there. But definitely—the Honey Soundsystem shenanigans were in full force at Towelette as well, I’d say.

The Black Madonna: You gotta look out for those Honey Soundsystem shenanigans.

Jackie House: Oh god, they're happening right now.… Speaking of shenanigans, what is the dumbest thing a gay guy has said to you in at a gay club you were headlining at?

Doc Sleep: I was playing in Shanghai and there was this group of British queens, and one of them kept coming up to the booth and saying “Will you play Madonna? Will you play Madonna?” and I kept answering “no, sorry I don’t have that with me.” He was getting really agitated and kept coming up and asking and finally I just said, “Dude I am sorry, I am just not going to play Madonna.” To that he replied: “Oh, well—what are you going to play then…Melissa Etheridge?” and threw his head back, and cackled so loudly you could hear the cackling echo over the sound system. I couldn’t even be mad at him because it was so well-executed—quite a read, quite a cackle.

The Black Madonna

The Black Madonna

The Black Madonna: Probably my favorite moment like that was when I was playing at Snax. The only few women allowed to be in Snax that night I think were like me and Steffi, because as you know, it is a men-only event. After playing one of my sets, my husband and I were in line in the men's room… yes, I took my husband on a date to Snax—and my husband went into a stall and I was now standing alone in line for the men’s stalls in Berghain. This guy comes out of a toilet and walks up to me, sort of wide eyed and very surprised and he said, “Are yoooou ooooooookaaaaaaay?” And I said, “Yeah, I am okay,” and he goes “What is it that you dooo here?” and I said “I am DJing” and he yelled a bit with concern “there are women in this building?” and he was very shocked. We ended up having a very sweet interaction, but it was one of the more interesting collisions for a woman in a safe space for queer men.

Jackie House: I dunno if I would call Snax a “space safe” for anyone.

The Black Madonna: It was safe enough for me.

Jackie House: Well, what may seem to come naturally to you guys is probably not to most women. Similarly, I am sure you guys have done your fair share of adapting to the sometimes-extreme gay environments—becoming comfortable with the colloquialisms and mannerisms of these men. How about this whole “gurl” thing—gay men referring to everyone, gender aside, as “gurl?” I have seen plenty a time where someone taking that, or saying that, in the wrong context has backfired. I can tell you plenty of times I said “gurl” to the wrong guy—even a gay man—and it lit the room on fire.

Doc Sleep: I do my fair share of being “one of the boys,” but there have been times when the language used feels problematic. I was hanging out with a gay guy one time and he kept referring to a trans acquaintance of mine as “gurrrrl.” I finally said to him, “You know, he just went through a lengthy transition and now uses the “he” pronoun.” He basically brushed it off and responded: “Oh gurl! I call everyone gurllll.” Ok, werq, I guess.

Jackie House: I mean it gets even more complicated when a straight man is calling everyone “gurl.”

The Black Madonna: Agh! that one gets me!

Jackie House: Responding to RuPaul-related memes, having to learn new queer terminology and be able to stealthily use it in comments, and potentially purchasing themed outfits or even safety gear for hazardous situations. Let’s talk about this rumor that some artists are asking for more fees ahead of gay events because the exhausting Facebook interaction that is required just to play at one of these events. Oh, and poppers—buying poppers.

The Black Madonna: I’m pretty sure that is a rumor, but anyone who wants to give me money for poppers…they can.

Doc Sleep: I do up my fee when I’m asked to include the hashtag “beardsofinstagram.”.Also, I think the Club Towelette event page on Facebook came close to shutting down the Internet. It was a toilet meme job well done.

The Black Madonna: There was some was some excellent Internet work done by people on this event. There was even a little bit of rivalry between someone who previously threw a toilet-themed party. I’ve never seen more photos, posts, GIFSs in an event page in my entire life.

Jackie House: Well, in the end hopefully, not all of the secrets and fun had by all will end up back on the Internet. Why don’t we end with some thoughts how Movement changed IRL this year?

The Black Madonna: I will tell you one thing, this was the Movement that was all about the after-parties. You saw the same people moving through different kind of events and different kinds of spaces and working together on that. This party was in the middle of nowhere and slamming at 6am, and was a perfect example of that. Jokes aside, the DJ booth at Towelette not centered and people interacting with each other made the party more about the music—and that is exactly how it should be. That is an awesome thing that happened—and, similarly, in many places around Movement that weekend.

Doc Sleep: Our scene in the States is popping off right now, and the after-parties really highlighted it. You can feel the excitement around these parties in Detroit, but, also as you talk to each person about what’s happening in their own city. I also think the fact that Club Towelette was so successful in its first year is not only a testament to the hard work and pull of each of the promoters and DJs in their individual scenes, but also that the gays have momentum, they have respect, and they are throwing parties that people want to go to—not just for drugs, not just to cruise, but, for the music.

The Black Madonna: I gotta go—hair is tingling—I will send you guy pictures of my hair at the end of the night. And don’t publish this without letting me read it.

 

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Civil Duty Release Debut Album On The Corner http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/civil-duty-release-debut-album-on-the-corner/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/civil-duty-release-debut-album-on-the-corner/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 18:36:20 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94032 Anthony Parasole continues to stand strong as not only a respected DJ and techno producer, but as a label manager and music taste-maker. Recently, Parasole's been smashing through multiple hour closing sets at Sonar with Marcel Dettmann and other MDR crew, yet he is still finding the time to perfect his craft as the head of prestigious labels like Deconstruct and The Corner. The latest release on The Corner has Beau Wanzer and Shawn O'Sullivan teaming up again for a self-titled album as Civil Duty.

The release is available as a two 12" LP vinyl release, as well as a digital download. Both producers have put in work during the last two years, including a full list of releases by Wanzer, and an untitled release by O'Sullivan on the Brothers label that included a collaboration with Hound Scales (a.k.a. Nico Jacobsen). The new Civil Duty album is undeniably a raw techno journey all the way through, and the upfront tempos and track formation reveal that the duo wield the ability to create a fluid album that holds nothing back. The nine tracks on the album clearly express Civil Duty's desire for constant change and an ability to squeeze new sounds from old forms.

You can purchase digital versions of individual tracks, or grab the entire album over at Hardwax website by clicking here. The vinyl will also be available via Juno Records by clicking here.

Tracklisting:

A1 No Dexterity
A2 Microtome Massacre
B1 Belial's Night In
B2 Mindhives
C1 Pure Tums
C2 Spiderbites
C3 Fischkopf
D1  Two Door Civic
D2  Pro Emetic

 

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Velvit Be So Cruel EP http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/06/velvit-be-so-cruel-ep/ http://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/06/velvit-be-so-cruel-ep/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 18:14:33 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94036 Best known for his work as drum-and-bass don dBridge, decade-spanning producer Darren White has made his long-awaited debut on Dusky and Christian Piers’ label 17 Steps with the dark and soulful three-track EP Be So Cruel, donning his house and techno moniker Velvit for the release. The EP’s title track retains the technical heavy-hitting elements of White’s early productions, but translates them beautifully into a soulful four-to-the-floor hummer, even featuring vocals from White himself.

The track builds a dark groove with thumping kicks and a reverberating bass-line before quickly relenting shortly, returning with light rolling percussion and White's crooning: “You used to say you wanted me, that I was the only one for you.” There’s poignancy in White’s voice as he continues and repeats the chorus of the track, “How could you be so cruel?” with synths swirling above as the track dives ahead. Rounding out the release are tracks "No Excuses," featuring vocals from White's brother Steve Spacek, and "South of Your Soul," with dark electro vibes.

Since being prominently featured in Dusky’s Resident Advisor mix last year, “Be So Cruel” has garnered much buzz and anticipation for the veteran producer, as well as for the young imprint. White justifies the hype and maintains the momentum of prior releases from label bosses Dusky and Piers, offering a fresh contrast to current club sounds with a dark and groove-laden track that is no doubt earning spins on dancefloors across the world.

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Exclusive Interview: Petar Dundov Set to Release New EP on Music Man Records http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/exclusive-interview-petar-dundov-set-to-release-new-ep-on-music-man-records/ http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/06/exclusive-interview-petar-dundov-set-to-release-new-ep-on-music-man-records/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 17:18:44 +0000 http://www.xlr8r.com/?p=94265 Itʼs been almost two years since Music Man released Petar Dundov's third album Sailing Off The Grid on CD and limited 4LP. Heʼs been so busy touring and remixing that after last yearʼs single "Origins/Rise", the two tracks on this latest EP are only the first two new Dundov tracks since the album. Laced with Petar's melodic signature sound, his latest release is a must-have for all fans out there.

Ahead of the EP's release on July 6, XLR8R spoke with Dundov about his lengthy hiatus and how touring feeds his creativity. Snippets of his latest EP are available to stream below.

image002Q:

Over the years, you've managed to build a strong relationship with one of the most enduring techno labels out there. From a creative standpoint, do you feel this was a positive for you? 

A:

I have been working with many labels in the past, under many aliases - for me it was all part of growing up as musician. I always liked various aspects of electronic music and I never restrained myself in trying different things.

During my earlier years, I learned so much about myself and music in general - and as time progressed I slowly started to focus on a particular sound. Sometime during that period, I met people from Music Man and we started releasing records under my real name. We didn't know where it is going to lead us; this was 13 years ago and I was still unknown artist - but they believed in my music and this gave me much needed self-confidence to proceed in my inner exploration. I had complete freedom and this was everything I was looking for.

For me the most important thing was to be able to stay in studio working late hours, focusing on writing good songs, knowing that after it was done, it would find its way to the audience. The label is the bridge between musicians and the listeners, and having one place where they can find you makes it all easier to follow.

Q:

Over recent years, your touring schedule has restricted your output to only one solo EP in two years. Is playing live or DJing something that restricts or feeds your creativity in the studio?

A:

I've been constantly on the road for the past two years, playing live or DJing. I did two albums in two years and practically jumped from one tour to another. I did discuss with my publisher as to whether we should do so many releases in quick succession, but I just wanted to put this songs out as they were part of same opus.

Last year I was forced to start to think how to find a way to manage my studio sessions because time became so fragmented. Being able to perform good shows is very important and usually on a trip home I have all this energy from people and my mind starts firing like crazy. I quickly write couple of phrases on my laptop and that is enough for me for to be able to continue where I left off. I have a collection of compositions for the next album but the production process is lengthy because I tend to use complex arrangements. I decided to slow things down with shows to be able to finish the album. In the mean time I did lots of remixes because I could do those in a couple of days during week.

Q:
Is there a relationship (sounds, composition or process-wise) between LPs and EPs or do you see them as two completely independent entities?

A:
There is an overlap but these two formats have steadily been becoming more independent for a number of reasons. Firstly, we tend to release albums with a couple of songs that we could repress as separate singles. That is all over now with the introduction of digital distribution. What makes more sense is to take songs from the album and have couple of artists to remix them and then release it as 12". When I am doing EPs I try to think how it will sound in a club or a radio. In this way, songs for singles need to have at least some compatibility with the current stream of music that DJs are playing, otherwise they were not be able to introduce them in their mixes. As a consequence of this, for albums, it is not necessary anymore to structure them around singles. Format gained more space for more narrative, stories could develop a deeper meaning. In a way, this is a positive change.

 

Tracklist:

A / 1. Synchrotonic

B / 2. Holiday In Singularity

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