In support of XLR8R+ and independent music, we're compiling 10 of our favorite Discogs gems into an easy-to-digest list each month; all submissions come from independent labels. You'll perhaps know some but you're unlikely to know them all—but these are some of the tracks that are on repeat week after week in the XLR8R offices.
XLR8R+ is a monthly subscription service to complement the main XLR8R site. By subscribing, you're helping to allow us to continue doing what we've been doing for over 25 years: finding, curating, and serving the best electronic music out there, without paid influence. Each month, we share three unreleased tracks from three different artists that we feel are pushing the scene forward in inspiring ways. These tracks will be available for download in high-quality WAV format for the duration of one month; subscribers for that particular month will have them. They will not be available anywhere else and there will be no access to archived material—join our movement to keep independent journalism alive. You can find information on the latest edition of here. XLR8Rplus 009 features cuts from DVS1, Vladislav Delay, and Convextion.
Derek Carr is one of the unsung heroes of UK house and techno, and it's a pleasure digging through his back catalog, unearthing gem after gem. "Destiny" was originally self-released before being picked up by Leeds-based label Geek Records in 2003. It's a simple and beautifully effective deep, driving house track. Keep your eyes out for a 17 track LP containing re-issues of Derek's old tracks coming out later this month from the label, For Those That Knoe.
Rodney Hylton Smith (a.k.a Roots Manuva) is a rapper and producer from London. His flow is immediately recognizable, and he combines this with intricate wordplay, mixing the surreal with the everyday. His beats range from dancehall, hip-hop, experimental, electronic, techno, and anything in between. Next Type Of Motion was his first EP, released in 1995 at the age of 23 on London-based hip-hop label Sound Of Money, which also helped the launch the career of Blak Twang. This is the title track.
One of the most elusive characters in electronic music, Convextion is known for his minimalist, futuristic, and timeless records. With only one brief interview to his name, it’s impossible to find anything personal on him, except that his real name is Gerard Hanson, he was born in 1972 in Dallas, Texas, and that he’s been releasing as Convextion and E.R.P. (meaning Event Related Potential) intermittently since the mid-‘90s. His first release, the self-titled Convextion, appeared in 1995 featuring "Untitled AA," a driving electro cut. Convextion has given us a track for the latest edition of XLR8R+, subscribe here to get it.
Mike Millrain (a.k.a D Base) was a huge influence in the garage scene between the late '90s and early 2000s, and was also a member of The Streets up until 2011. He set up his own label Soul Revolution Records in 2014 and continues to release music. "Believe In Yourself" is a jungle and garage hybrid with strong break and vocals.
Born in 1976 in Oulu, Finland, Sasu Ripatti (a.k.a Vladislav Delay) is known for his experimental productions. The composer/producer has marked himself as one of electronic music’s most unique artists with his music transporting you into a deeply cerebral, meditative state. "Lumi" was released in 2007 on the Whistleblower album through Ripatti's own Huume. It's a beautiful ambient track that stands alone, but we recommend finding a comfy spot and listening to his albums all the way through. Vladislav Delay has also just released a track for the latest edition of XLR8R+, which you can download by subscribing here.
The label Oblong has a string of great releases with artists such as 100HZ, Nathan Coles, Stopouts, and many more. The idea behind the imprint started when Lewis Copeland owned a specialist record shop in Soho called Vinyl Junkies. Two To The Power was made up of Lewis Copeland himself and friend Tam Cooper, who is also one-third of Precision Cuts. Released in 2001 in the glory days of early tech-house, "Soul 4 Love" has a groovy bassline with building piano chords, and is a record that any tech house or deep house fan should want to have in their collection.
Legendary DJ-producer and Berghain resident DVS1 (a.k.a Zak Khutoretsky) has been one of the most prominent voices in the preservation of true club culture. He first found international acclaim through his production work, which opened the doors to touring as a DJ. "Black Russian" was released on Ben Klock's Klockworks in 2014 and is an emotive techno floor filler, the type of tracks DVS1 has become known for. Download an exclusive track of his now by subscribing to XLR8R+ to here.
There is a very little known about Fugue (a.k.a Nurmad Jusat.) He had a string of releases from 1993 to 1996 as either Fugue, Nuron, or his own name, and all of them are worth a listen but it's "Contrapoint" that has stayed with us the most, released in 1994 on Likemind Records.
Legendary UK DJ-producer Terry Francis is a name synonymous with house music, and he has been a resident of iconic London club Fabric since 1999. "Bonjour Charles" was released in 2002 on Groove Pleasure, and is a tech house banger, perfect for the club. To hear this on a proper system is something to behold!
Enrico Mantini's name has already been mentioned in this series but his tracks are just too good. One of the founders of the deep house movement, Mantini's longevity is due to the fact that whether you're listening to his tracks from the early '90s or his more recent releases, he has continued to consistently release quality. "What You Want" was released in 1994 on Naples-based label UMM and is a beautiful deep house number with soulful vocals. An uplifting and inspiring masterpiece.