XLR8R https://www.xlr8r.com Accelerating music & culture Tue, 06 Oct 2015 22:30:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Event Review: Symbiosis Gathering’s 10 Year Re:Union https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/10/event-review-symbiosis-gatherings-10-year-reunion/ https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/10/event-review-symbiosis-gatherings-10-year-reunion/#comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 22:26:00 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104274 Having recently migrated to the West Coast from Boston, the difference between a “Festival” and a “Gathering” was completely lost on me. Eager to understand and hungry for adventure, I traveled upstate from LA with a friend to Symbiosis Gathering's 10 Year Re:Union to get my first taste of the wildly immersive and close-knit cultural setting that is seldom found anywhere else in the world.

Since its inaugural year in 2005, Symbiosis has grown 10 fold, this year celebrating its 10th anniversary while ushering in over 10,000 exuberant participants ready to enjoy an unparalleled demonstration of art and music that is brimming with unique displays of dance, education, experimentation, and connection. Free of any corporate sponsors, and with a strong human element that permeates throughout the setting, Symbiosis gives off a feeling of “here and now” that brings people of all different musical backgrounds together in the spirit of sustainability and physical and emotional well-being.

Taking place at the pristine and isolated Woodward Reserve in Oakdale California, the setting is flanked by a delightful and expansive reservoir. Once getting over the painstaking process of setting up camp and coming to terms with the fact that the dust would be inevitably infiltrating our tastebuds and nasal cavities for the remainder of the weekend, the rest of our experience was carefree, lively, and eye-opening. Walking around, the people of Symbiosis formed a kaleidoscope of vibrant styles with a comfort for nudity and a level of resilient expression that I have never encountered before. Everyone’s radiant attitude made smiles contagious and it became clear that the unsurmountable degree of freedom that was allowed to reign supreme over the reserve was only made possible because of the indisputable level of respect that participants had for their fellow man and the land that surrounded them.

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

The myriad of musical genres represented over the four day event, and with over one-hundred-thirty various artists performing at five different stages scattered throughout the reserve, it was necessary for us to choose our battles accordingly. Colorful performances from the Desert Hearts crew and Gaiser on the night of the opening ceremony ushered in feelings of a positive forecast of sound for the next few days. It was after the first day that I realized this was the first festival I’ve attended where background visuals were nowhere to be seen. I had mixed feelings about this at first but over the coming days came to appreciate how it made such a difference in crowd engagement at each of the various stages.

Max Cooper’s set at “The Grotto” the following day exceeded all previous expectations, dropping a mysterious rendition of Aphex Twin’s “Windowlicker” that had me, and the whole crowd for that matter, spinning. Despite making a noticeable impression, Cooper’s performance was completely eclipsed by Four Tet’s two and a half hour set that followed. Polished, diverse, and tough when it needed to be, Kieren’s set was absolute aces and was further highlighted by his most recent remix of Eric Prydz's “Opus."

The most popular attraction during the day was by far and away the Swimbiosis stage. Featuring performances from the likes of Quantic, Justin Martin, and Esta over a three day period, a rowdy wave of gatherers armed with pool floaties would enthusiastically unclothe without a shred of embarrassment or remorse and hurry to the waterfront to languidly float around and dance the day away.

With a new album having dropped only a day before its performance at Symbiosis, Bob Moses swooned the crowd at the Big Island Stage on Saturday night with its signature groove that strikes a perfect balance between what is considered dancey and emotional. Despite being Symbiosis’ biggest headliner, Nicolas Jaar’s performance was baffling and difficult to wrap my head around. Despite showcasing moments of sheer sonic genius, the performance lacked any form of consistency and was both underwhelming and off-putting at times. The Lydia Lunch monologue that he has been so keen on using in his performances lately seemed too harsh for the setting and took up a large chunk of his set time that could have been better spent catering to a crowd that was eager to listen and dance rather than simply look on in confusion and awe.

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Upon my arrival to the Juke Town stage the following day to see Blond:ish play, I was heartbroken to find that the fun-loving duo was nowhere to be seen. Juke Town, which resembled an old, dusty scene from a western flick, was also the stage that offered the smallest amount of shade during the day. It was hot and the crowd was scarce. Despite this, Eduardo Castillo continued to play well into his allotted time slot and the heat was a small price to pay for the remarkably eloquent and sophisticated sound coming from the speakers. I’m glad I stuck around because I was then treated to a profound set from electronic duo Extrawelt, who left me wide-eyed and shaken.

Due to the fact that Pantha du Prince was a no show (ugh), Blond:ish ended up playing its set later that night at "The Spring" stage during Pantha's set time. Despite the issues in scheduling that arose, and the somewhat frustrating lack of communication, all the participants involved seemed indifferent to the changes and simply went on enjoying the worldly, ancient sounding techno that Blond:ish has so knowingly perfected.

While XLR8R primarily came to Symbiosis Gathering's 10 Year Re:Union for the impressive lineup, it was definitely not the only thing to marvel at. The otherworldly art installations that peppered the reserve, the alchemy village, which dedicated itself to the wellness and nourishment of the gathering’s participants, the Yoga workshops, and “The Hub,” which provided shade and an assortment of informative lectures, were all worthy attractions. Organic food, live painting, tea clinics, healing crystals, vibrant clothing vendors, karaoke, art boats, free range poi, and lessons in permaculture—these things only begin to scratch the surface of what this event has to offer and en masse the experience has ingrained itself into my very being and twisted my worldview. It goes to show that events such as Symbiosis, that prides itself on creating a family oriented and all around amicable community environment, and operating without corporate sponsors, resulted in little to no police action and cultivated a feeling of co-operation, harmony, and acceptance that I’ve never found in my five years of going to festivals.

On August 21 in 2017, Symbiosis will be holding its next gathering in Oregon. The choice of date and location is due to the fact that a total solar eclipse will be stretching across a thin path of the United States and Symbiosis wants to share the celestial experience with all its loyal followers and anyone else who wants to revel in this extraordinary event. You can learn more about the Oregon Eclipse 2017 by going here.

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Cameron Holbrook

Photo: Cameron Holbrook

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg


Photo: Cameron Holbrook

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Jamie Rosenberg

Photo: Cameron Holbrook

Photo: Cameron Holbrook

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Nils Frahm Set to Curate Three-Day Event at the Barbican in London https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/nils-frahm-set-to-curate-three-day-event-at-the-barbican-in-london/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/nils-frahm-set-to-curate-three-day-event-at-the-barbican-in-london/#comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 15:26:28 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104384 Acclaimed neoclassical composer, Nils Frahm, will be curating a three-day event at London's Barbican Centre next year. The event is scheduled to start on July 1, 2016, and last until July 3.

According to RA, the German composer will be "premiering new projects and pieces" during the event. Some of Frahm's peers have also been invited to perform along him in various spaces throughout the centre.

Additional information will be announced soon here.


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Podcast 407: MANIK https://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/10/podcast-407-manik/ https://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/10/podcast-407-manik/#comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 14:14:49 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104279

Considering his adopted nom de musique—enhanced by those capital letters, in case you miss the point—you'd think that the man known as MANIK would be a somewhat frenzied guy. In truth, the DJ-producer, born and bred in New York City, is much more laid-back than his name implies. But his ascendance through the house-music ranks? That's a whole different story, as his rise has been downright delirious. He first hit the scene in 2011—and he signaled his arrival not through a Soundcloud download or self-pressed vinyl, but with a series of releases on the prestigious likes of Hot Creations, Culprit and Ovum that could have just as easily come from the hands of a 20-year vet.

That was enough to garner MANIK a DJ Mag nod as one of that year's "breakout stars"…but he wasn't done yet, soon showing up on the likes of Black Butter and Anjunadeep. More recently, he's released the Tokyo EP on Nice Age,  the imprint run by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs; scored a few of XLR8R' most downloaded tracks of the year, a trio of Janet Jackson bootlegs from his edit series; played at pretty much every credible club in the western world (and a few in the east, as well); and been snapped up by Ellen Allien's BPitch Control label, which is about to put out the excellent NY2LA EP. As you might be able to tell from all that, the producer's sound is pretty wide ranging, moving from deep and creamy, to tough and techy, to soulful and funky. And that's exactly what you get with this mix: the many moods of MANIK. Bonus: You'll also get a preview of one of those BPitch tunes.

01 Inner City “Big Fun” (intro) (KMS)
02 SAD edit 01 (not on label)
03 Gene Farris “Sometimes I Feel Like Larry Heard” (Relief)
04 Downtown Party Network “On Running” (Futureboogie)
05 Gemil & LCS. “Keep Coming” (Deep Down Slam)
06 Juju & Jordash “Coffin Train Getaway” (Golf Channel)
07 DJ Dozia “Pop Culture” (Phil Weeks remix) (Ovum)
08 Mayday “Sinister “(1st mix) (KMS)
09 Cabin Fever “Snapped” (RKDS)
10 Rushmore “Throwback” (Hot Haus Recs)
11 Armand Van Helden “Break Da 80s” (Strictly Rhythm)
12 Serge & Alden Tyrell “Pump-O-Matic” (Clone Jack For Daze Serie_
13 MANIK feat. MC Kew G “House Of Cards” (BPitch Control)
14 MANIK “Buffalo Trace” (Nice Age)
15 Alexis Raphael “Chicken” (Madtech)
16 Till Von Sein “One” (Luke Solomon's Body Mix) (Suol)
17 MANIK “Six Tape” (unknown)
18 Snuff Crew “Thunder” (Basement Jam Mix) (Cosmic Club)
19 Manolo “Night Rhythm” (12'' edit) (Dikso Records)

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Golden Donna "Secrets" https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/10/golden-donna-secrets/ https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/10/golden-donna-secrets/#comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 04:01:35 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104318 Joel Shanahan is no stranger to rocking numerous aliasas when preparing his projects, and with releases spread out across multiple labels like 100% Silk and 1080p, and now a new release on CGI Records as Golden Donna, its no wonder Shanahan keeps a plethora of production names in his pocket. After proudly supplying two of his next-level cuts for one of CGI records earliest split releases, the Golden Donna moniker is back for a full four-track EP called Seedy Approach. The tracks chosen for this release open up listeners and dancers to a deeper and more diverse side of the multi-named producer. Switching things up for the B-side of Seedy Approach, Mr. Donna treats us to a more melodic, reflective side of his palette. "Secrets" is at once cavernous and verdant, quickly evolving and filling the echoscape with lush, dreamy chords and a whispery texture that is both inviting and comforting, all the while in mutant symbiosis with a percolating and undulating percussion.


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Throwing Snow Presents Final Installment in a Trio of EPs, Xema https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/throwing-snow-presents-final-installment-in-a-trio-of-eps-xema/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/throwing-snow-presents-final-installment-in-a-trio-of-eps-xema/#comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 00:28:59 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104290 Highly prolific producer Ross Tones (a.k.a. Throwing Snow) has been relentlessly honing his craft since first releasing music under his Throwing Snow moniker in 2007. While releasing music via his personal imprints, A Future Without and Left Blank, Tones most recently signed to the Fabric's label offshoot, Houndstooth, in 2014. After releasing his debut LP, Mosaic, via Houndstooth, he has continued to work with the label to release a number of EPs, his most recent of which being Xema, which is set to drop on October 9.

While Xema’s predecessors, Lumen and Glower, received a great deal of praise, it is safe to say that Xema will be regarded as the crowning glory of these three releases. Kicking off with a distant, fetching bass riff and an invigorating mirba sound, the title track blossoms into a native, uplifting, and club ready track that is bound to make an impression.

If you find yourself in Amsterdam this month, be sure to catch his performance at ADE as part of the Houndstooth Showcase on October 17. You can pre-order Xema by going here, with its title track also streaming in full below.

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Premiere: Hear Trus'me Remix Alan Fitzpatrick's "Tribe" https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/premiere-hear-trusme-remix-alan-fitzpatricks-tribe/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/premiere-hear-trusme-remix-alan-fitzpatricks-tribe/#comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:54:22 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104236 Alan Fitzpatrick will release his first solo EP for Whistleblower—the label he founded with Reset Robot and Rhymos—on October 12.

Following up hugely successful EPs on Adam Beyer's Drumcode and Scuba’s Hotflush Recordings, and not to mention his 2014 club-storming remix of Trus'me's "I Want You," Fitzpatrick returns with his latest single, "Tribe," a gorgeous and uplifting slice of dancefloor-focused brilliance. Not to stand alone, "Tribe" lands backed by two remixes, one from Portsmouth producer Chips Jack, and the other from Prime Numbers label head, Trus'me, who seems to create a certain magic when collaborating with the UK techno maven. For his rework, Trus'me morphs the more euphoric and synth-led original into a heads-down, tribalistic drum workout. Bookended by its gritty drum loop, the track consistently wobbles forward, propelled further along to its seven-minute finish by a driving and squelchy analogue bassline and synth.

Ahead of the October 12 release date, Trus'me's remix of "Tribe" is streaming in full below.

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Event Review: Todd Terje in Glasgow https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/10/event-review-todd-terje-in-glasgow/ https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/10/event-review-todd-terje-in-glasgow/#comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:31:00 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102831 Glasgow's 400-capacity Sub Club is its most revered and venerable clubbing space, having opened in 1987 and only ever moved premises to allow for reconstruction after a fire at the end of the 1990s. Todd Terje last played there in summer 2012 at Harri and Domenic's Subculture night, which also hosted this September 12 show. The Sub Club was a small venue for Terje back then, and is even more so now that It's Album Time has been a huge success and "Inspector Norse" has reached such levels of public recognition—hearing it belted out by worse-for-wear revellers in a city-center taxi queue wouldn't be a huge shock.

Terje's last engagement in the city was at last year's Optimo (Espacio) Revue at the much larger Barrowland venue, but the respective atmospheres of the two nights were pretty much the same: crammed, sweaty, and very excitable. Terje's live setup on the Sub's small DJ booth-adjacent stage was pared back from the full-band show with Delorean-heavy visuals that's become a familiar sight at festivals in the last year or so. This was a solo performance, with his large red and black Nord Stage 2 keyboard the centerpiece, and only a couple of other pieces of equipment around it. Despite this—and the gapless, DJ set-like way Terje plays these sets—the whole thing had a gig-like feel not often seen in the Sub Club, with a crush at the front and total focus on the artist.

todd terje liveCrowd reactions to more than just Terje's best-known track spoke to the level of success he's attained of late, with “Deloran Dynamite” and “Strandbar” greeted with particular fervor. For me, though, the show's most pleasurable moments came when the pace dropped a little, when Terje's talent for draping shimmering atmospheres behind his intoxicating piano lines came further to the fore. He and Bryan Ferry's cover of Robert Palmer's “Johnny and Mary,” was the most obvious of these moments, but "Swing Star Pt.1" gave a faster-paced iteration of the same luxuriant, soft-focus feel.

The inevitable finale of “Inspector Norse” was greeted with an equally inevitable pogo-crush frenzy, and, as with last year's Barrowland finale, it was an intoxicating sight, whatever your appetite for actually being right in the middle of it. A mini-exodus for the front door immediately followed, many just for a cigarette or some much-needed fresh air, but some, no doubt, to go and belt out the track they'd just heard in a taxi queue. Such is life when your star rises as high as Todd Terje's has.

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Guy J Preps Double LP for Bedrock https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/guy-j-preps-double-lp-for-bedrock/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/guy-j-preps-double-lp-for-bedrock/#comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 18:25:26 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104238 Drawing inspiration from a vast collection of influences with his two previous studio albums, along with consistently blessing DJ booths at clubs and festivals around the world with his tropical-yet-heady style, Guy J has overwhelmingly proved that he has grown from the status of Nick Warren and Hernan Cattaneo's protege, into a well-versed track selector and international DJ.

Next up for the Israeli producer is a recently announced double album on John Digweed’s Bedrock records, titled The Trees, The Sea & The Sun. An intrinsic component of the Bedrock family, Guy J’s previous two LP’s, Esperanza and 1000 Words, were staples in the latest wave of progressive house producers to find their niche on the long-running label.

The 2 x CD and limited 12" vinyl sampler are both available to pre-order now from the Bedrock store, and you can stream "Nirvana" right now on the Bedrock Soundcloud page or below.

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Kassem Mosse Recording Lands on meandyou. https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/kassem-mosse-recording-lands-on-meandyou/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/kassem-mosse-recording-lands-on-meandyou/#comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 10:06:57 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104226 Manchester collective meandyou. is plotting the cassette release of leftfield house and techno specialist Kassem Mosse's first live show in 2009. Set to arrive later this month, the hour-long Kassem Mosse Live at Bookbinders 10.04.2009 features material that would later be released on Mikrodisko and his own Ominira imprint. The idea behind the tape, according to a press release from meandyou., is simply to "materialize the recording of a special meeting that would go onto form the basis of a unique collaborative relationship between the Kleestadt and Schmalkaden-based Workshop label and our own collective." While no teasers are available yet, the show warranted a rave review—and rare 5/5 rating–from Resident Advisor. (via Juno Plus)



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Review: Arturia BeatStep Pro https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/10/arturia-beatstep-pro/ https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/10/arturia-beatstep-pro/#comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 09:00:52 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104110 The BeatStep Pro follows on the heels of last year’s BeatStep, a sequencer and controller that offered a straightforward way to control your synths and drum machines via both MIDI and control voltage. While it was well received, certain limitations eventually became obstacles: The desire of many to step away from the glow of their computer screen, in particular, was limited by the BeatStep’s ability to control just one device at a time. The BeatStep Pro adds a bunch of extra functionality to the original, designed to help liberate users from the clutches of their screens.

How It Looks
With knobs aplenty, 16 sequencer keys, and 16 velocity-sensitive drum pads, the the BeatStep Pro remains a very portable device, and does loads more than the original, to boot—firstly by adding two additional sequencers to its party. This means you’re able to hook up, say, a drum machine and two synthesizers, and have all three sequences play simultaneously; you simply hit a button to arm the pads and controllers to the desired track, and you’re off and running.
Arturia BeatStep ProImportantly, the BeatStep Pro’s array of connectivity options is vast: Along with MIDI In and Out with DIN Sync, it has two dedicated sets of CV/Gate inputs and gate connections, and Clock In and Out, meaning that you’ll be able to connect to most any music machine built in the past several decades. If you’re connecting several devices via MIDI, you can change the channels each sequence transmits on by using the enclosed excellent MIDI Control Center software (though you might need to use an additional MIDI-thru device to do so). The color scheme is a nice change of pace, aesthetically, and practically helps segment the face of the device into its component functions.

How It Plays
With its addition of buttons and LCD screens, the BeatStep Pro is easier than the original BeatStep to immediately jump into. Despite the limited real estate of its screens (precisely three digits apiece), creating sequences is straightforward, in either “real-time” (quantized) or step-sequencing mode; there are controls for randomness, swing and probability, each of which can be applied to the whole project or an individual sequence (you can also transpose your melodies individually, or all together). The device lets you save up to 16 projects, each of which can have 16 patterns of up to 64 steps in each of the three sequencers. You can switch between patterns on the fly, and control your devices without needing to store anything on a computer. There’s even a real-time looper/roller/note repeat touch strip, which is lots of fun.

The encoders also bring touch sensitivity to the table this time around, showing the current of a knob on the LCD display when you rest your finger on them. The display also rather conveniently shows note values when controlling pitch and ranges from positive to negative when controlling timing; it’s a huge boom for a hardware sequencer, when there’s no computer screen to immediately garner such bits of necessary info.

The Bottom Line
We’ve been collectively experiencing the resurgence of synthesizer and drum machine hardware, and it’s generally been a rather wonderful thing. The BeatStep Pro is one of the strongest attempts yet to give those machines something to plug into. Though the workflow can’t quite claim the same depth and UI sophistication as something like Push or Maschine, it somewhat makes up for this in terms of its vast and simple inter-operability possibilities. Whether you want to sequence a modular synthesizer, a piece of retro hardware, or even Ableton Live—or all of the above, simultaneously—it’s an impressively versatile device for doing so.

Arturia BeatStep Pro: Pricing: MSRP: $299; Street: $249

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Marbert Rocel "Unwillingly Close" https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/10/marbert-rocel-unwillingly-close/ https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/10/marbert-rocel-unwillingly-close/#comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 00:48:00 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104158 Having to go through necessary transformations and incarnations is something that most bands have to deal with throughout their career, especially if they want to complete the process of recording multiple albums and survive over eight years of working together in the studio and touring around the world, yet, not all bands come out the other side as shiny and refined as Marbert Rocel. Founded in 2005 by roommates Malik and Panthera Krause in their Erfurt apartment, Marbert Rocel quickly grew into a band that was closely considered to be a jazzy German derivative of Sonic Youth when lead singer Antje Selfarth's voice first broke onto the scene. Back in 2007, this mixture of smooth female vocals and post-electronica-pop arrangements quickly caught the attention of the legendary Munich-based independent label Compost Records. Now, with numerous tours under its belt and its fourth studio album In The Beginning currently set for release on October 9, we are happy to see Marbert Rocel on the other side of a rollercoaster that included multiple releases and remix packages for acts like Pentatones, Marek Hemmann and Clueso. The last time we featured Marbert Rocel, was in 2008 for the track "Tttictictac," and now, the band is back with a new download offering from their latest album with the song "Unwillingly Close." The break-bloop beginnings of the track create a buttery and direct path right to the warmth of Selfarth's lyrics, while the rest of the track is reminiscent of the highly polished uptempo pop- jazz sound that we have come to love from the band. 

You can pre-order the new Marbert Rocel album In The Beginning right now on iTunes, and you can download the track "Unwillingly Close" right here on XLR8R by clicking on the media player below.

Unwillingly Close

You can also check out a teaser video for the album by here:

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Donato Dozzy The Loud Silence https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/10/donato-dozzy-the-loud-silence/ https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/10/donato-dozzy-the-loud-silence/#comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 14:31:54 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104095 Donato Dozzy’s new LP, recorded along the shores of the Mediterranean, is called The Loud Silence—a most appropriate title considering that it's an vaguely uncomfortable, anxiety-filled story laid out within a 38-minute run-time. These eight tracks creative a vast, forest-like memory palace, projecting a psychedelic yet introspective story on throughout its dark corners. And while it's engaging, tantalizing and consistently interesting, it tests the listener by wading through a foliage of field recordings and mouth harps to get to its core, requiring an effort which can potentially get wearying at times.

Thankfully, the most tiring bits start at the beginning of the record. Opener “Personal Rock” leads with more auditory questions than answer; it all shows off the producer’s bag of tricks way too easily. There’s a notable sense of isolation that is paramount to the album's identity, specifically in tracks that take the sounds of a mouth harp surrounded by the sounds of nature. But later cuts, like “The Loud Silence,” “The Net,” and “For Arnaud,” take the approach and create a natural comfort for the listener to accept their environment and blend in with nature—breathe it, hear it, see it and taste all at once.

The last third of the album has its flourishes—with “Downhill to the Sea,” the increasing tempo, along with its peculiar frequencies, may find the listener hoping for a lighthouse near their trip downwards. However, the cut ends just as business picks up and leads to a relief period of sorts. The innocuous penultimate track, “Concert for Snails,” acts as time to catch breath— water drips between the ears, and the creaking of doors signifies that the time has come to enter the memory palace one last time. Finally, “Exit The Acropolis” builds marvelously within its four minutes; evocative of a house crumbling with no one around to see it in a forest—the listener might leave wondering, “Who was there to experience it?” The answer that Dozzy gives us is clearly a personal one, which leaves the listener to choose if they want to pursue getting into his frame of mind or not. Either way, the silence from the end of the record will remain resonant, with each listening finding their own true way to gauge what this record can offer.

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Minimal Effort Announces Complete Lineup for Halloween in Los Angeles https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/minimal-effort-announce-complete-lineup-for-halloween-in-los-angeles/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/minimal-effort-announce-complete-lineup-for-halloween-in-los-angeles/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 23:41:15 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104117 Today, Minimal Effort, the Los Angeles-based event promoters who earlier this year threw an absolutely insane event at Park Plaza in Downtown LA with names like UNER, Butch, and Matador, have released the final names for their upcoming event on Halloween at The Belasco Theater.  The lineup includes Mobilee records boss, Anja Schneider, and Kompakt label heavyweight, Agoria. Minimal Effort have also called on a few fixtures in the global dance music community to host each of their four stages, including Mixmag, Jukely, Deep House Amsterdam, Rollingtuff, and Far Away Records. The event takes place on October 31, and you can purchase pre-sale ticket to this event by clicking here. To find out more information and to join the community of people going to this event, check out the official Facebook event.

Complete lineup by stage:

Theater - Hosted by Jukely and Mixmag
AgoriaMiss KittinHunter/GameJohn WanderHuman ResourcesSaand

Ballroom - Hosted by Deep House Amsterdam
Blond:ishAdana TwinsFinnebassen, Kimou, Adam Auburn, Modus

Mobilee Basement - Hosted by Rollingtuff
Anja SchneiderRodriguez Jr. (Live), Re.You, Sabo, Kevin Anderson B2B Rybo, Out Of Hand

Hosted by - Far Away Records
Sage Caswell, Daniel T, Cooper Saver, MOON, Jen Ferrer, Jake Jenkins, Jonny Mons, Masha & Alison Swing

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Listen to Charles Murdoch's Track "Frogs" feat. Ta-ku, Wafia, and Hak https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/listen-to-charles-murdochs-track-frogs-feat-ta-ku-wafia-and-hak/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/listen-to-charles-murdochs-track-frogs-feat-ta-ku-wafia-and-hak/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 23:04:04 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104133 Recently released on the Future Classic 2015 Sampler (download here), Australian producer Charles Murdoch has blessed us with his latest track, “Frogs,” after a two year hiatus relentlessly working on his debut LP, Point, the release date of which is yet to be announced. “Frogs” is a four way collaboration between Murdoch, vocalist Wafia, NYC-based MC Hak, and fellow Australian beat guru Ta-Ku, whose contribution to the track includes his first ever vocal debut.

The track is a whimsical duet that swells and sways in a calming and leisurely pace, eventually breaking off into a ghostly, filtered hip-hop groove with Hak delivering a brief but striking verse that eventually lends its way back into a bright and fluttering sound that is equally uplifting as it is neck-breaking.

In addition to having a debut LP drop sometime in the near future, Charles Murdoch will be making his US live debut in late October, hitting NYC, San Fransisco, and Los Angeles. Check out his tour dates and the track “Frogs” below, as well as more music from Murdoch by going here.

U.S. Tour Dates:
22nd October - 1015 Folsom - San Francisco
23rd October - Belasco Theatre - Los Angeles
24th October - Good Room - New York

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Premiere: Watch Private Agenda's Live Performance of "Little Bird" https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/premiere-watch-private-agendas-live-performance-of-little-bird/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/premiere-watch-private-agendas-live-performance-of-little-bird/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 22:58:56 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104097 The group known as Private Agenda—which consists of techno producer Nicolas Bougaieff, composer Martin Rowe, and singer Sean Phillips—is an emerging German disco/balearic beat group that has crafted a unique and positive musical vibe with smooth saxophone solos, rich soundscapes, and a profusion of warm latin percussion.

Premiering its debut single, “Deja Vu,” in March of this year (which received a great deal of praise), the trio has been hard at work to put out its follow up release, "Paralyzed," which was released on International Feel on September 18. XLR8R is pleased to bring you an exclusive video premiere of Private Agenda's performance of one of its latests tracks “Little Bird.”

Watch the dreamy and fresh disco performance below and be sure to check out more of Private Agenda’s music by going here.

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Novation Introduces Grid Based Groovebox, Circuit https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/novation-introduces-grid-based-groovebox-circuit/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/novation-introduces-grid-based-groovebox-circuit/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 22:19:12 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104120 Novation has just announced its latest design for portable and efficient production, Circuit. This battery powered, standalone piece of equipment is compact and brimming with an assortment of impressive features.

Circuit is a two-part analogue-modelled synth and four-part drum machine box, complete with step-sequencer, realtime recording capability, and velocity sensitive pads that can help you build ideas quickly and comfortably. With a 4x8 grid, eight macro-controls and no need to hook up to a laptop or speakers, Circuit is perfect for those on-the-go producers who wish to combine “simplicity and experimentation.”

You can watch the promo video for the Novation Circuit below and grab more information about this astounding piece of gear by visiting Novation’s website here.

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Download a New Track from Kenny Glasgow https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/download-a-new-track-from-kenny-glasgow/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/download-a-new-track-from-kenny-glasgow/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 18:47:27 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104013 Ahead of Kenny Glasgow's new album on No. 19, Circus Tales, which is slated to arrive in 2016, the former Art Department member has dropped a new track on No. 19's Soundcloud. The deep and dark "Thinking To Myself" is typically Glasgow; twisted vocals and a repeated, morphing synth line form the basis of the track, backed by running drums and soaring pads, for a dark ride into the depths of clubland.

"Thinking To Myself" is being offered as a free download via the Soundcloud player below, with more information on Circus Tales set to arrive soon.

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Q&A: Jori Hulkkonen https://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/10/qa-jori-hulkonnen/ https://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/10/qa-jori-hulkonnen/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:49:25 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103441

Finnish DJ-producer Jori Hulkkonen is a man of many hats. Ever since he started making music in 1988, Hulkkonen has produced, as a solo artist or in collaboration, under more than 20 different aliases, including Sin Cos Tan, Acid Symphony Orchestra and, most recently, Nuclear Winter Garden. As a DJ, he has been similarly prolific, having regularly played more than 100 gigs per year across the globe. Over recent years, however, Hulkkonen has made the conscious decision to limit his touring schedule in order to spend more time in the studio—an endeavor that has today seen him release Oh But I Am. The new album marks a return to the dancefloor following Nuclear Winter Garden’s self-titled release in March, and his first full-length under his own moniker in over half a decade. To mark the occasion, and to learn more about the inspirations behind the album, XLR8R sat down with Hulkkonen at his home studio in Kemi, Finland.

jori 1400x1400

Reading your discography, it’s been a remarkable career ever since your debut 12-inch back in 1993. Did you ever anticipate success on this scale?
When I first started producing music in the late ‘80s, I wasn’t thinking about having a career as a musician. I didn’t really know anything about music at the time and it’s just been a steady learning process ever since. At some point you realize that people connect with the music you make and labels begin asking to release your tracks. Over time, things just gradually started to happen and some time in the late '90s I had to go to university—but I realized I just didn't have the time to focus on my studies and my music. I had to make a decision and I felt that if I didn’t follow music at that moment, then I would eventually regret it further down the line. I decided to follow it and now here I am, twenty years later.

"I am always trying to push myself as an artist by trying things that I didn’t think I could previously do. I would hate to realise in 10 years that I had been making the same records for the whole of my career."

Do you believe that the fact that you’re a self-taught musician has helped you push the boundaries by encouraging you to experiment with sounds?
I think of myself as a music lover rather than a music maker. I have always been interested in hearing things that are as versatile as they can be—and I think this comes out through my music. With each of my releases, it’s important for me to do something that hasn’t been done before—something that either I haven’t been able to do or haven't even thought about doing before. This can be something quite small that doesn’t even come across to the listener, or something quite avant-garde like the Acid Symphony Orchestra project. I am always trying to push myself as an artist by trying things that I didn’t think I could previously do. I would hate to realize in 10 years that I had been making the same records for the whole of my career.

You say that you must try something different with each record. What is the specific difference with Oh But I Am?
Firstly, I do all the vocals myself. Previously I have used vocals, but only by writing the demo and having someone else come and sing it. For me, it feels a lot more personal because when you have someone come and sing what you’ve done, then it’s a slightly different angle. Although it may be technically better, it feels like you lose something. Secondly, one of the points of this album was also not to write any lyrics. When we were recording, we maybe had this phrase or idea but we did the rest ad-lib. I was trying to adopt this old-fashioned approach to lyrics, like in early house records where the lyrics are about love and don’t go too deep.

Had this idea been in your head for quite a while?
In a way, yes. For the past three or four years, I have been working with so many projects with amazing vocalists, for example the EP with John Foxx, the album with the band Sin Cos Tan and also my work with Tiga. By working with all these people, it became a logical step for me to do a solo album based on house music.

Over the course of your career, you’ve released under more than 20 different monikers. Do you find that this variety is an important source of inspiration?
Definitely, and that is one of the key elements in my progression. Every record I do inspires me to try new things and I think that’s important. I have a lot of friends who have been doing this one project with one style of music for many years, but I would find that very boring. I am continually obsessed with making new stuff and trying new things. It means I can go in the studio and mess around while knowing that I am not restricted to one sound—and I really enjoy this artistic freedom because I can always find some sort of output for my work.

"When you’re never trendy then you never become untrendy. For the past twenty years, I have never been the big headliner and this means there is never really any pressure on me to maintain a certain status."

One of the most interesting things about you is your longevity. Do you put this down to your desire to continually innovate?
I think it’s because I’ve never become that popular. When you’re never trendy, then you never become untrendy. For the past twenty years, I have never been the big headliner, and this means there is never really any pressure on me to maintain a certain status. I’ve seen it happen to lots of artists where they try so hard to maintain something that they achieved—and that pressure is not good for artistic creativity.

Moving on to the new album, it’s been five years since your last LP under your own name. Why the wait?
It wasn’t really intentional. I produced an album for Villa Nah in 2009 and I just clicked with lead singer Juho Paalosmaa, and we decided to set up Sin Cos Tan together. From there, it really took off and we ended up doing three albums in two years. It wasn’t really intentional, but I felt that Sin Cos Tan could be something worth investing it.

But switching back to focus on your own solo material was a conscious decision?
Yes. That came last year following the third Sin Cos Tan album. I thought that in 2015 I wanted to focus on my solo career.

Is there a story behind the Oh But I Am name?
Actually the real story is so boring it’s not really worth telling. I keep writing things down constantly—mainly in the notepad that I carry around—and when I realized that it was the first album I’ve done under my real name in half a decade, I was surprised that it had been such a long a time. I then saw the artwork, which is a photo of me back in the ‘80s, and I wanted a title that was personal and funny. Oh But I Am just worked.


Oh But I Am is very different to the Nuclear Winter Garden album that you put out in March. Do you prefer producing for the dancefloor, or do you prefer producing the more ambient stuff?
That’s been a big question, all throughout my career—and it has always been the case that I try to find the balance. I come from the background of not going to clubs but listening to club music. For me, with club music the focus has always been on the word music rather than the word club. I didn’t really go clubbing until I began playing out myself—and so it has always felt that club music has been a reference rather than the main product. Obviously I have made some records that are made for DJs—and being a DJ has helped me do this—but even today I still have to consciously think whether I want to make something more dancefloor orientated or something more ambient.

So was it your intention to make Oh But I Am dancefloor orientated?
I always wanted the next Jori Hulkkonen album to be more dancefloor-friendly, especially my Sin Cos Tan work has been very pop-orientated over recent years. I felt that as a DJ, I wanted more of my own stuff that I could play.

How long did the new album take to produce?
When I start working on a new album, I always go back to old projects and see if there are any unused bits that I could use now. And there were a few sketches and chord structures that I took—but the main production started last September and ended around April this year. Some of the songs, mainly “Italian Love Affair” and “Ready Player One,” were based on sketches I had produced a little earlier for Sin Cos Tan, but I realised that I wanted this album to have some of the same new wave vibe.

Seven months is a fast turnaround.
That’s true, but it’s just how I have always worked. I think we did all of the Sin Cos Tan albums in the space of just three months. I am very quick in the studio, but I think that comes from experience. The main software I use is Cubase—and I have been using it for 25 years, so the workflow is very fast. I also have my own studio so I don’t get stuck in technical difficulties.

"I try to change the process every now and then just to keep myself fresh. Even just changing the gear in my studio—or even just moving a synth from one wall to another—helps me move forward with my sound."

Have your production processes changed over time, and is this a source of inspiration?
I try to change the process every now and then just to keep myself fresh. Even just changing the gear in my studio—or even just moving a synth from one wall to another—helps me move forward with my sound. It’s a continual process of having the software that I know inside out—that is like the brain—and then having all the hardware that I can work with without having to look at the computer, which allows me to improvise. In the 25 years that I’ve been making records, my processes have changed dramatically because of what I have learned and also due to the development of new technologies.

Would you say that most of your tracks are conceptualized prior to recording, or are they mostly just a result of spontaneous jamming?
It works both ways. There are some songs that I have written at home on the piano and recorded them on my phone before taking them to the studio. On the other hand, some tracks are just made when I begin messing around with a drum machine and have come up with a bassline and a hook, which then inspires me to come up with other ideas. Even if I don’t have any ideas, I come to the studio and turn on the equipment in the hope that something will come.





You’re obviously a big ambassador for hardware production, but has this always been the case?
When I started making music in 1988, that was the only option. You would have a computer that would be just a sequencer, but this would be used with synths and drum machines. You would have to improvise a lot to get the most out of the limited equipment that you had, and that was very good creatively because when you’re limited to what you can do you end of stretching your imagination. These days, with just one piece of software, you can do sonically anything you can think of—and it is very easy to become lazy which leads to a mediocre end result. This is something I try to keep in mind today, and I focus on a small number of key instruments and try to get the most out of them as possible—which I think creates something that you cannot get out of a software emulator.

And do the production processes change from track to track?
Yes. For example the last track on the album, “Exotica Memoirs,” was produced using this old organ in the studio next to mine. I really wanted to use that for one of the tracks and the idea was to sit down with it and produce a more pop-orientated sound, something akin to Metronomy. This was a very different approach to all the other tracks. On the other hand, “Cape Town People” was produced as a homage to the sound of 1995, which was a really important time in my career, and I wanted to get the sound of that time in that track. This was a very technical approach to production, something very different to having an organ and writing a song.

"One of my strengths, if I have any, is that I am good at taking a track to its final destination, and it’s not something I can say out loud because it’s very hard to determine. It’s more of an intuition."

How do you know when a track is done?
I think it comes from trial and error. One of my strengths, if I have any, is that I am good at taking a track to its final destination, and it’s not something I can say out loud because it’s very hard to determine. It’s more of an intuition.

"If it’s 3am and I have an idea, there is no other option but to go to the studio and work on it."

You’re known to spend over 10 hours a day in the studio—but does the production process go around the clock?
Yes, it’s a lifestyle. Whatever I am doing, even when I am jogging, I am always coming up with ideas and I will start humming it to record on my phone. If it’s 3am and I have an idea, there is no other option but to go to the studio and work on it.

What other musical projects have you got coming up?
I have a new EP with Sin Cos Tan next month, and we’ve also started working on our fourth album. We have the songs, but it doesn’t yet feel like an album, and so decided to choose three songs and do an EP of those. There is also a Jori Hulkkonen 12-inch coming out soon, which is two tracks from me and a remix. I am also working on some new ideas for the new Jori Hulkkonen album…because I don’t want it to be five years until the next one.

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Tsunga "Hugo('s) Bo$$" https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/10/tsunga-hugos-bo/ https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/10/tsunga-hugos-bo/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 02:41:21 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103985 After recent, massive contributions to Black Acre's and Trax Couture's respective catalogues, Tsunga is back to flex its versatility and ferociousness yet again, this time courtesy of the forward-thinking Montreal-based electronic label Infinite Machine. On September 25, Tsunga released an EP lovingly dubbed Schlangbanger, an un-earthly record that is comprised of a clangorous, industrial cocktail of outlier musicianship and ordered chaos. The four track EP of deviant dance music finishes with the cut "Hugo('s) Bo$$," that, while less streamlined for the dancefloor, still shows Tsunga's manifold talents for composing acid, infused with electro and rave hardcore alike. The track has all the rave particles you've come to expect from a label like Infinite Machine, while also swirling around a nuclear reaction of heavy bass lines and spiraling hi-hats. You can pick up a copy of Schlangbanger by visiting the Infinite Machine Bandcamp page, and you can find out more about Tsunga by visiting him on Soundcloud.

Hugo('s) Bo$$

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Various Artists Indian Summer: Volume Two https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/10/various-artists-indian-summer-volume-two/ https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/10/various-artists-indian-summer-volume-two/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 01:41:35 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103976 Those lazy, hazy days have come to an end, the sun bids farewell earlier every day, and there’s already a chill in the air. For many, fall is a wistful, romantically melancholy time of year, a season to wonder about what might have been if only you had spent the warmer months more wisely, and a time to shudder at thoughts of the impending gloom to come. (Disregard the above if you’re in southern climes. Wanna change places?) Anyway, it’s the perfect season for the Touch of Class label’s second Indian Summer compilation, a collection of tune that sum up the autumnal vibe, one that alternates between the congenial and the contemplative.

Indian Summer: Volume Two features tracks from some of Touch of Class’s core team (including Tone Of Arc, Signal Flow, Pattern Drama and Navid Izadi), along a string of cuts culled from upcoming projects and ringers—Thugfucker, Ataxia, Berkson & What, and Jonny Cruz’s new Ominous duo among them. As you might expect with such a wide swathe of artists, there’s lots of variety on tap—plenty of which would fit vaguely into the house template, but with a few outliers as well. And some within that second group are among the compilation’s best. Schnitz’s “Hermetic” is pure cosmic electro-funk, with Moog-ish synth lines and Joe Le Groove’s breathy, filtered vocal snippets propelled by drum-machine syncopation; Mavidip & Steinlausky’s “Eyeballin’” is a pseudo-sexy, low-slung R&B tune that treads the line between parody and honest homage; and “Get Back Down,” by KMLN (featuring Myron on vocals) nestles somewhere between slow-groove Prince (albeit a very minimalist Prince) and Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait (The Whisper Song)”

Most of the rest of Indian Summer: Volume Two follow a 4/4 groove, though none of them could exactly be considered peak-time material; these songs are as much about feeling as they are about dancing. There’s a dreamy, pensive ambience to most of them; fitting, given the season. There’s a nostalgic quality, too—none of these tracks are “old-school,” exactly, but there’s some of the same aura that house had in those fertile, late-’80s and early-’90s days, when producers were learning to inject more nuance, musicianship and soul into their machine-made music. (If you think about the vibier tunes on the New Generation label’s old DJ’s on Vinyl EPs, you’ll be close.) “The Force,” from Berkson & What, is a jazzy, low–bpm track boasting a bumping little bassline and gorgeous chords; Moon Unit’s “High on You” wraps its heavenly synth washes around a boogie-tinged rhythm; and "Passing the Lion,” by Tone of Arc, could be a future Balearic classic. The record’s final track, “Colours”—from the dream team of Signal Flow, Pattern Drama, Navid Izadi and Jonny Cruz—sums it all up: ten minutes of muted bliss, with feelings of hope mingling with a faint sense of loss, make for a gorgeous ending to a wonderful set.

NYC’s Kolekti crew celebrates the release of Indian Summer: Volume Two with a party on Saturday, October 3 featuring Metro Area, Wolf + Lamb, Pillow Talk, Tone of Arc, Pattern Drama, Signal Flow and more.

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Premiere: Watch Henry Saiz and Psyk at Stay True Spain https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/premiere-watch-henry-saiz-and-psyk-at-stay-true-spain/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/premiere-watch-henry-saiz-and-psyk-at-stay-true-spain/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 01:26:45 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104029 Following on from Stay True Scotland—as well as stops in Mexico, Chile, Poland, Germany, South Africa, and Russia—Ballantine's and Boiler Room have once again teamed up for the latest in the Stay True series,  this time touching down in Barcelona, Spain.

The series aims, and succeeds, in seeking out and shining a light on authentic and inspiring scenes by pairing both emerging and established artists and throwing a damn good party. Stay True Spain took place last month with a stacked cast of Spanish artists including Henry Saiz, Psyk, Paco Osuna, Coyu, and UNER, and XLR8R is proud to premiere sets from Henry Saiz and Psyk, both of which you can stream in full below.

Henry Saiz Boiler Room & Ballantine's Stay True... by brtvofficial

Psyk Boiler Room & Ballantine's Stay True Spain... by brtvofficial

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Max Loderbauer, Claudio Puntin, and Samuel Rohrer Return as Ambiq https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/max-loderbauer-claudio-puntin-and-samuel-rohrer-return-as-ambiq/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/max-loderbauer-claudio-puntin-and-samuel-rohrer-return-as-ambiq/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 00:06:10 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=104025 Ambiq—the Berlin instrumental trio made up of Max Loderbauer, Claudio Puntin, and Samuel Rohrer—will drop its second LP, Ambiq 2, on November 13 via Arjuna Music.

Ambiq 2 will feature Loderbauer on analog synthesizer and continuum fingerboard; Puntin on clarinets, mini mallets, and electronics; and Rohrer on drums, mini synth, and electronics. According to the accompanying press, the LP pulls from a "deep pool of influences that includes free improv, early electronic music and spaced-out dub," with the trio becoming "more than the sum of its parts, a single organism with its own unique expressive vocabulary and perspective."

Spread across 11 tracks, the LP will be released on 12", CD, and digital formats.


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In The Studio: Rival Consoles https://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/10/qa-rival-consoles/ https://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/10/qa-rival-consoles/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 22:17:56 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103916 The London-based producer-cum-composer Ryan Lee West first came to XLR8R’s attention with 2007’s Vemeer EP. That release—his debut under his Aparatec alias—marked the start of the now-renowned Erased Tapes imprint, home of Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnalds, to name a few. Since then, West has released two albums and a series of beautiful EPs under his new Rival Consoles moniker, most notably 2013’s Odyssey and 2014’s Sonne, both of which were critically acclaimed for their minimal-techno sound, and launched West into a wider global audience. Having seen West perform his bespoke audio-visual live set at this year’s Life and Death party in Barcelona—one of the finest daytime performances XLR8R has seen in many years—we decided to visit West in his South London analog-heavy studio to discuss the dynamic production processes behind Howl, his  new album slated for an October 16 release. West also offered to include streams of isolated elements from each album track and detail the production processes and inspirations behind each one.


As an artist, it’s hard to define you. You’re much more than a producer. How do you introduce yourself?  
I would call it songwriting with an electronic palette of sounds—that is probably the best short description of what I do. There are times when I am more of a producer and there are times when I am much more of a musician.

Have you always wanted to be a professional musician?
I have never wanted to make a career out of the music that I make; I have never tried to make money. You cannot force demand—my goal is simply to make better music as I go on and just learn more. And over the last couple of years it’s started to gather quite a lot of momentum, following the releases of my last two EPs: Odyssey and Sonne. I think that is because I have finally started to refine my practice—and if it now becomes more successful, then that’s great.

Has there ever been a temptation to tweak your sound to make it more commercially viable?
Not really. There must be something more to electronic music than the big paradigms that exist on a commercial level. It’s a very formulaic approach. When it comes to electronic music, there’s a whole lot of garbage out there—and I am talking hideous ideas. But I can’t stop thinking that there must be other approaches that must be just as popular—something that is away from this four-to-the-floor stuff. Once you start trying to make a sound loud, then you turn your back on thousands and thousands of sonic possibilities. One of the best things to do is to start a track with a really quiet, weak sound.

Your music has drifted from ambient drum & bass to more straight-up techno. Do you now feel that you’ve found your sound with the minimalist, emotional techno of Howl?
My sound is definitely becoming more certain of itself. I feel that I’m reaching point where I am just starting to achieve what I want with an electronic palette of sounds. I have gone through load of ideas— some of them interesting some of them not—and now it has reached the point where I can really do what I want to with the sounds.

So you'd say Odyssey and Sonne EPs were key moments in your career?
Yes. Odyssey gave me the confidence to do what I wanted to do with electronic sounds rather than something else. It’s so easy to be seduced by different techniques, but the success of these EPs gave me the belief that I should pursue the music that is personal to me, and not just make a club sound.

Were the production processes different?
Yes. The first two albums were mainly made with digital synths—but these two EPs, and Howl, were made with hardware. That’s not because I am an analog snob—it’s because I wanted a change and I need restraints. Everything is much more fragile because you don’t have the luxury of always being able to change things with computer editing. I don’t think digital production makes me work in the best way because it always sounds uncertain of itself, exploring too many gimmicks, etc.

Do you see all of your earlier works as stepping stones on the way to finding your current sound?
Yes. Some people do have this perfect discography where everything is amazing, either through luck or because they’re a genius—but I think for most people you have to allow failure in your work to get to a certain point. If someone is 18 now and looking to make the perfect record, I think that is quite damaging because it constrains creativity too much.

On reflection, does Howl capture your growth as a composer?
Definitely. But the interesting thing is that I don’t want to just continually refine things and make them really well-crafted to the point that they’re boring. I am a fan of sloppy things and rough things happening in music. I don’t want my compositions to be really immaculate, and so there is a fine line between having a mature composition and something that is just really boring. I think the growth as a composer comes from knowing how to express ideas with sounds.



Do you work on several tracks consecutively or do you normally finish one before starting another?
I am normally working on several tracks at any one given time. Sometimes I do spend a lot of time on one track—like I spent a lot of time on the opening track of "Howl." I wasn’t necessarily changing it because I didn’t want it to sound over-labored—more just listening to it for huge amounts of hours to make sure that the overall momentum felt right. I don’t like to do too much when I am working on stuff; I like to just let it be what it is, and then I will go in and make adjustments. I think this is because you don’t fully understand the strengths and weaknesses of something when you are making it. It takes a certain amount of time to understand the composition, and then you can make the necessary adjustments. Only by giving it some time to breathe and working on other stuff can you come back with fresh eyes and become aware of a new weakness. It’s all about problem solving at the end of the day.

Where do the ideas for tracks come from?
Most of it comes from responding to stuff inside the studio. I am a very reactive person. Sometimes, though, it a very conceptual idea I have, such as "Recovery," where I wanted to create the sense of time contracting and expanding over a pulse. I had this idea before I even made a sound.

"Some of the music that I abandon is very good—but there has to be a “specialness” to something that is happening within a track. There has to be more than one special moment to release it."

When you are composing, how do you determine whether a sound is good or not?
I will listen to it for a month after I’ve composed it, and the test is whether it gives me new ideas or inspires me in some way. Some of the music that I abandon is very good—but there has to be a “specialness” to something that is happening within a track. There has to be more than one special moment to release it.



How do you know when a track is ready?  Are you a perfectionist? 
Compared to the other people on the label, like Ólafur Arnaulds or Nils Frahm, I wouldn’t say so. I am normally quite happy to let go of something. The thing that I am most interested in is the overall composition. I don’t mind having moments in the track that could have been produced a little bit better as long as the overall idea is interesting.

You’ve spoken previously about adding more warmth to your compositions. Is this something you’ve take even further with Howl?
Yes. I am always trying to solve this problem. It’s very easy for synths to sound plastic and sterile—there is no real way to add more warmth to them. There are little tricks but it’s very difficult to make it sound natural—as opposed to recording a cello, which naturally sounds warm. I’ve tried to do so the same in Howl, but it’s challenging not to make it sound over-labored. Basically, I am always trying to overcome the weaknesses in my music and that’s just one example of it.


Sonne EP was named after the German word for sun because you wanted it to be warmer than Odyssey, the previous EP. Is there a similar story behind the name of each piece of your work?
There are reasons behind most of them. The title track of Sonne felt like the sun hitting my face and is hopeful. It’s really warming and powerful with these big major-minor chord progressions. The Odyssey EP, and the title track, are both very grandiose and so the name just worked. "Phillip" is named after Phillip K. Dick, the sci-fi writer, just because it evokes the emotions of his writing (paranoia etc). "Helios" is similarly about the sun and the solar system. The first half of the track is quite standardized, and then I disrupt this by allowing a fizzy, warming chord progression to emerge, like the sun appearing from behind something, but is in actual fact a variation on the opening theme—so while it seems abrupt, it is closely related.

And Howl—what's the reason behind the name of the album?
The album is definitely more emotive than anything I’ve done before.  There are lots of instances where it sounds like the synths are mourning. It feels like a release. In two of the tracks the synths are made from my voice, and this gives it this haunting, meandering set of tones. The album is filled with these moments, so I chose the name that best expressed what the music felt like.

How long did the album take to produce?
It took about a year—except there is one track, "Afterglow," that I have been working on slowly for years. It just fitted perfectly into the album.

How do you feel it differs to your previous albums? 
It is much more emotional, with much more subtle, rendering sounds. Not everything is subtle—there are some up-front and bold moments but there is a more careful treatment of these sounds. I think I am trying to do more with less. With my last album I tried to do too much with each part, which is a sign of insecurity. Over the last two EPs, I’ve learned to slow things down and do something interesting with few ingredients. That’s perhaps the biggest difference between the new album and the previous two. That said, I think the approaches to melody and harmony are actually quite similar. I am sucker for emotive chords, and what you can achieve with them—which I think this is undervalued in a lot of electronic music.


Howl started out as arpeggios of a single note, to create a driving rhythm, always pushing forward, with very rough home record percussion. But it started to really interest me when I began bending the pitch of dark, fuzzy tones over this. I think this synth has a really vocal like quality to it—almost mournful.

Here you can hear very subtle pads, before an eruption of me flicking through octaves as I play C Bm D C. I did this twice, once on the Microkorg and once on the Prophet 8. I love how it opens up the music, like going from a narrow image to IMAX. I think that is an important way to explore music.

I've used guitar with synth a few times. This particular sound on guitar is something I created on Helios—it’s an FFT plugin shifting octaves with delay—not too much effect, though! I love the way the guitar has a broken but sweet sound to it, and it works great with the dull pad sound from the Prophet 08. This kind of contrast is something that runs throughout the record.

I love pulses in music—especially electronic music. I don’t know if I always have or if it is some kind of Steve Reich/Riley influence. They just seem to achieve a lot with little room taken up. Anyway, here I created a very specific pulse, which gives the arpeggios something to harmonize with. It’s like a beacon, that keeps illuminating, and I love that in music.

This is purely influenced by seeing Colin Stetson live. I was just shocked by the absolute slabs of tone that were smashing through the air; it was incredible. I wanted to created a piece that had big monophonic tones like this, hence "walls"’ meaning "walls of sound." It’s no way near as rich as Stetson, but I think I achieved something interested by combining it with very delicate ambient tones. Huge contrast in this piece!

This track is just one repeating chord progression but with subtle harmonies throughout. Here you can hear a fragile melody playing and then I include the main tones, which make it clear what the chords are. Everything is monophonic, building up chords with mono lines is hard work but really powerful, because you listen more to the sound and aren’t so judgmental about chords theory.

"3 Laments"
This ambient improvisation is made up of a very noisy recording of my voice. I just sampled me singing a note and looped it in Ableton Sampler. The clip shows just the note I sang at original pitch, being looped as I hold down a note. This is pretty basic, but for some reason this was really special to me—it just sounds great to play with. I love how sad/mysterious it sounds.

"Morning Vox"
This clip shows some pulses I created: The first two are very open, and the second two are more closed (and this repeats)—even though this seems obvious to anyone, I was amazed how musical this was when I did it. It just has more meaning and really adds something. I’ve included the vocal synth and acoustic guitar, to show how it works with them.

I love trying to create atmosphere—here is the breakdown in the piece, playing the chords C Am E Em. It’s just three layers of different tones; they are not perfectly in time, because I like chords that are a little wonky in time. To me, this creates texture—and texture is often lacking in synths. All the synth tones are slightly bending out of tune and might have a slight rhythmic value to them as well, which makes the chords sound more alive and evolving, but without loads of complex automation/modulation.


All photos: Lenka Rayn H. Fine Art Photography 

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Premiere: Watch a Colorful New Video from Phil Weeks & Peven Everett https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/premiere-watch-a-colorful-new-video-from-phil-weeks-peven-everett/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/premiere-watch-a-colorful-new-video-from-phil-weeks-peven-everett/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 22:17:43 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103981 House music purist Phil Weeks' forthcoming LP, Pimpin' Ain't Easy, will drop on his own Robsoul Recordings on October 23.

The Parisian house head follows up his previous three albums—2003's Yeah I Like That, 2011's Love Affair and 2012's Raw Instrumental—with thirteen raw, hardware-driven house grooves on Pimpin' Ain't Easy. Joining Weeks on the album will be US house legends Peven Everett and Mike Dunn, with additional vocals from Yasmin.

The album's first single, "Funky Music," features Peven Everett and has received a hypercolor video befitting the track perfectly. It's like a gritty version of the video for Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" after it's been sprinkled with LSD and a healthy does of Weeks' and Everett's house magic.

You can watch the full clip for "Funky Music" below, with Pimpin' Ain't Easy available for pre-order here.

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Competition: Win Two Tickets to Autechre in Los Angeles October 15 https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/competition-win-two-tickets-to-autechre-in-los-angeles/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/competition-win-two-tickets-to-autechre-in-los-angeles/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 20:00:13 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=97221 Goldenvoice presents Autechre with Cygnus and Rob Hall (dj) at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, California next Thursday October 15.
The event marks the duo's first visit to Los Angeles in seven years, and XLR8R is offering readers one last chance to win two tickets.

Enter you email below for a chance to win.  Terms and Conditions apply.

Winners will be notified Monday October 12.

Terms and Conditions

  •  Winners will be chosen at random from all valid entries received and verified by XLR8R.
  • 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.
  • XLR8R will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected.
  • Entries into the competition will automatically opt-in email for XLR8R.com weekly email newsletter, The Lowdown. User may unsubscribe at anytime.
  • 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
      • Prize is for 2 tickets to Autechre at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, on October 15th.
      • Winning tickets are non-transferrable and cannot be sold.  Valid ID must be presented.
      • Prize does not include transportation or accommodations, entry only.


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Competition: Win Two Tickets to Doomtree in Los Angeles https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/competition-win-two-tickets-to-doomtree-in-los-angeles/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/competition-win-two-tickets-to-doomtree-in-los-angeles/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:11:30 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103957 Goldenvoice presents Doomtree at the El Rey in Los Angeles, California on Saturday October 17.

To enter for a chance to win the pair of tickets, enter your email below.  Terms and Conditions apply.

Winners will be notified Wednesday October 14!

Terms and Conditions

  •  Winners will be chosen at random from all valid entries received and verified by XLR8R.
  • 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.
  • XLR8R will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected.
  • Entries into the competition will automatically opt-in email for XLR8R.com weekly email newsletter, The Lowdown. User may unsubscribe at anytime.
  • 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
      • Prize is for 2 tickets to Doomtree at the El Rey in Los Angeles, CA on October 17th.
      • Winning tickets are non-transferrable and cannot be sold.  Valid ID must be presented.
      • Prize does not include transportation or accommodations, entry only.


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Moog Music Announces Mother-32 Semi-Modular Synthesizer, Shares Video https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/moog-music-announces-mother-32-semi-modular-synthesizer-shares-video/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/moog-music-announces-mother-32-semi-modular-synthesizer-shares-video/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 18:35:21 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103944 Today, Moog Music announced its first tabletop semi-modular synthesizer, the Mother-32.

The vintage-voiced analog synthesizer features a simple, easy-to-use one knob per-function style interface, a comprehensive voltage-controlled sequencer, and a 32-point analog patchbay. The semi-modular design means that no patching is required to create powerful sound, allowing users of any experience the ability to quickly make music. The patch bay includes an assignable CV output jack, MIDI to CV conversion, external audio input, a second voltage-controlled mixer, sync, and multiple unit expandability.

The unit's sound—which is voiced by a powerful 10-octave analog oscillator with variable pulse width, and an analog white noise generator—is controlled by the 32-step, voltage controlled sequencer, or an external MIDI controller, and then travels through a Moog Ladder Filter with selectable low pass and high pass filter types.

The Mother-32 is available now for $599. You can check out more information on the unit here, with the official demo video below.

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Weekly Selections: As You Like It, Electric Minds, roBOt Festival https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/weekly-selections-as-you-like-it-electric-minds-robot-festival/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/weekly-selections-as-you-like-it-electric-minds-robot-festival/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 16:00:58 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103825 This week for our international event selections we have chosen the five year anniversary and closing event of San Francisco's As You Like It, taking place on Saturday and featuring Michael Mayer, DBX (live), John Tejada, and a Giegling showcase in the second room; also on Saturday, three of The Hydra's favorite producers Levon Vincent, Move D, and Mr G (live) take over Studio Spaces E1 for Electric Minds in London; and finally kicking off next Wednesday in historic Bologna the eight edition of roBOt festival hosts over a 100 live sets, dj sets, screenings, digital installations, and workshops, with acts like Trentemoller, Biosphere, Ben UFO, and John Talabot.

We welcome our readers to submit events for weekly consideration. To find more events in your city or to submit a new event visit our events page.


Audiolism w/ Wovoka, Kevin Osha, Emma & Alkalina
TBA Brooklyn - Brooklyn, NY, US
Puce Mary
Fuse Art Space - Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Flash - Washington, DC, US
The Birthday Bash | Jason Ojeda, Hex Hector and Hector Romero
Cielo - New York, NY, US
INPUT | Rudimental (DJ Set) at Output
Output - Brooklyn, NY, US
Berghain/Panorama Bar - Berlin, Germany
Studio 80 - Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
SymbionProject live in LA @ Oscillator
TBD - Los Angeles, CA, US


Elektra Complex Debuts: Drei Fragezeichen (nd_baumecker & Massimiliano Pagliara)
Dance Tunnel - London, United Kingdom
Konzert - Little Boots
Berghain/Panorama Bar - Berlin, Germany
Flash - Washington, DC, US
Bar Standard - Denver, CO, US
Lex Records :: Clock Strikes 13
The Laundry - Hackney, London, United Kingdom
Vibal | Tedd Patterson + Marques Wyatt
Cielo - New York, NY, US
Framework presents Victor Calderone
Sound Nightclub - Hollywood, CA, US
Patrick Topping/ System of Survival/ Gardens of God at Output
Output - Brooklyn, NY, US
Coda Nightclub - Philadelphia, PA, US
Lee Burridge(All Day I Dream) Presented by: PW/Deep Blue/Pink Mammoth
Public Works SF - San Francisco, CA, US
Studio 80 - Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
FABRICLIVE 2.10 Numbers & Hoya:Hoya w/ Jackmaster, Pepe Bradock, Hunee, Krystal Klear & more
fabric - London, London, United Kingdom
Patterns invites Disco Deviant
Patterns - Brighton, United Kingdom
Code Is Law Showcase
Arena Club - Berlin, Germany
Berghain/Panorama Bar - Berlin, Germany


boxed x local
Boxed x Local Action :: Clock Strikes 13
Corsica Studios - London, United Kingdom
Lau Nau (aka Laura Naukkarinen)
Fuse Art Space - Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Saeed Younan, Alex Eljaiek
Flash - Washington, DC, US
As You Like It 5 Year with Michael Mayer, DBX LIVE, John Tejada and Giegling (Anniversary Closing Party)
Public Works SF - San Francisco, CA, US
TheHundred Presents - Dennis Ferrer
Club Vinyl - Denver, CO, US
The Black Lodge - with Esteban Adame (UR/Ican), Moiety, Nick Tillman, Force Placement & Kosmik at Hyperion Tavern
Hyperion Tavern - Los Angeles, CA, US
Deep Space | François K/ Prosumer/ King Britt at Output and Sean B/ Will Automagic/ Nita Aviance in The Panther Room
The Panther Room - Brooklyn, NY, US
Kaviar Disco Night | Teenage Mutants with Higgins & Beto Cravioto
Cielo - New York, NY, US
Andhim / Subb-an
Verboten - Brooklyn, NY, US
Studio 80 - Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
fabric 3.10 w/ Deetron, Tama Sumo, Surgeon, Marcel Fengler & more
fabric - London, London, United Kingdom
ELECTRIC MINDS: Move D, Levon Vincent, Mr. G, Dolan Bergin
Studio Spaces E1 - London, London, United Kingdom
Roots Before Branches hosts Compost Records 20th Anniversary Party with Rainer Truby
Joshua Brooks - Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Patterns with Lone (Live AV) & Palms Trax
Patterns - Brighton, United Kingdom
Berghain/Panorama Bar - Berlin, Germany


industrial daydream
Industrial Daydream: w/ Marques Wyatt (Deep, LA) Lee Reynolds, SABO B2B Goldcap & MORE
Pier 70 - San Francisco, CA, US
Miss Jennifer/ DJ Hannah/ Viviana Toscanini on The Roof
Output - Brooklyn, NY, US
Christian Smith + Special Guest at Output
Output - Brooklyn, NY, US
Sundays in The Panther Room | Brawther/ Anthony Collins
The Panther Room - Brooklyn, NY, US


Konzert - Nisse
Berghain/Panorama Bar - Berlin, Germany
Monday Social feat. Danny Howells at SOUND
Sound Nightclub - Hollywood, CA, US


Konzert - Faroa
Berghain/Panorama Bar - Berlin, Germany
Extra Dark
Kung Fu Necktie - Philadelphia, US


robot fest
roBOt Festival 2015
Palazzo Re Enzo / Bologna Fiere - Bologna, Italy, Italy
Konzert - Aidan Knight
Berghain/Panorama Bar - Berlin, Germany
Clinic with Sonny Fodera (Suara) & Guests
Couture - Hollywood, CA, US
Studio 80 - Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
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Happy Campers: Seven Takeaways from the Sustain-Release festival https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/10/happy-campers-seven-takeaways-from-the-sustain-release-festival/ https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/2015/10/happy-campers-seven-takeaways-from-the-sustain-release-festival/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 13:00:23 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=102932 When a friend tells you that something is the absolute best thing ever, you have to take it with a grain of salt. Perhaps the enthusiasm comes from self-interest ("Come to my party—it''ll be the most fun ever!"); maybe the fervor is a weird form of self-affirmation ("I just had the best meal ever, and it makes me so cool!); or, possibly, the person is just the over-excitable type, naturally prone to hyperbole. And "best" is subjective, anyway—who's to say that Wayne’Swirled is better than Two Wild & Crazy Pies, anyway? (Though obviously, in this case, it's the former.) So when multiple acquaintances returned from last summer's premier edition of Sustain-Release—the weekend long mini-festival held at Camp Lakota, just outside the rural village of Wurtsboro in New York's Catskills—we were a bit dubious. Sure, the 2014 gathering had a fab, progressive-leaning (in the good sense) lineup that included the likes of Rrose, Xosar, Blondes, Joey Anderson, Mike Servito and Jus-Ed—still, the assumption was that everyone was just on a bit of a post-festival buzz, and once reality set it, you'd start to hear about everything that was wrong with the weekend.

But that never happened, with the exception of a bit of grumbling about the occasional bout of chilly drizzle—and our curiosity was piqued, so on Friday, September 11, we made the two-hour trip to trip north from NYC with a shuttle-busload of (literally) happy campers for a weekend spent with the likes of Anthony Parasole, Bu-Mako Recording's Jenifa Mayanja, Minimal Wave's Veronica Vasicka, Galcher Lustwerk, the Black Madonna, Jamal "Hieroglyphic Being" Moss and Daniel "Ital" Martin-McCormick in their Interplanetary Prophets guise, and returning players like Servito and Jus-Ed. (Peruse the full line-up here.)

Great intentions count for a lot.
Producer and visual artist Aurora Halal (the force behind Mutual Dreaming) and music journalist Zara Wladawsky (who doubles as the house and techno buyer at New York vinyl emporium Halcyon) are the co-creators of Sustain-Release—so who better to weigh in on the aims of the little festi…oh, wait, we'd better not call it that.

Halal: Festival culture is not something I'm influenced by or wanting to create. I'm inspired by what I've been working on with Mutual Dreaming, and by the Music Box, the Loft, Berghain, etc. S-R is really just a fully immersive, site-specific party, where nature plays as much a part as the music does.

Wladawsky: Definitely. I'd also call it a pure music experience, rooted in community and empowerment. Optimo, Süd Electronic and Freerotation were my biggest influences growing up and going out…they were all this and more. Hopefully it inspires people to take some of the positivity they experienced over the weekend and keep it with them in their daily life like my pivotal experiences at parties have.

Both: For the two editions, we weren't concerned with programming for draw. As a guideline, we book exactly what we want to hear/see, and that's all that matters. However we included wider horizons this year, like the dub of Blazer Sound System, disco of Black Madonna, the twisted ambient of 51717 and eclecticism of Matt Werth, and included a peak time performance on the middle of the dancefloor by FlucT.

[Note: We're not normally fans of performance-art/modern-dance interludes in the middle of a techno party…but FlucT were pretty amazing.]

FlucT Photo: Erez Avissar

Photo: Erez Avissar

Both: Friday's main stage was a deep dive into warm grooves, Saturday main stage was a vortex of techno madness, and the Bossa stage was a platform for complementary experimental excursions all weekend.
S-R's Year 2 lineup was again envisioned as an American force to be reckoned with, focusing on and giving a platform to new movements here in the States, rather than tried and true or legacy acts. We also invited some of our favorite artists from further afield like Kassem Mosse and Paula Temple. At the end of day, we, as friends, naturally talk about music that we're into when we hang out so it all falls together naturally. We take such pleasure in booking the artists and making the schedule as a two-day journey. Onwards, Year Three!

Kassem Mosse Photo: Erez Avissar

Kassem Mosse
Photo: Erez Avissar

Smaller is better.
Yes, some people actually do seem to prefer to be packed into a raging crowed of thousands, jostled this way and that as their lower extremities get soaked in beer and Red Bull—but we're not among them. Neither, we suspect, are most of the people who attended Sustain-Release. Last year's installment was limited to about 500 music lovers—we'd guess this year boasted a couple of hundred more invitees. And we say "invitees," we mean it—attendance is pretty much limited to invited guests and their invited guests, which, if nothing else, assured Sustain-Release of a real friends-and-family vibe. Those who didn't know each other soon did—and that includes the artists as well. There was none of the our-gang-versus-everyone-else mentality that can be inherent to large gatherings, and the DJs, small staff and crowd were in it together—at the risk of sounding hippy-dippy, it was all a bit peace-and-love. Which, considering most everyone there was from NYC—not exactly a "Kumbaya" kind of town—was kind of refreshing.

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Holding a festival at a summer camp is a stroke of genius.
Cabins! Trees! Tents! A pool! A lake! A basketball court! An amiably slow mess-hall staff! Camp Lakota is an actual, real-deal summer camp for most of the warmer months, and if you've ever spent time in one while in middle school…well, they haven't changed much at all—it was a bit ramshackle, but utterly charming. Everybody's sleeping quarters were within stumbling distance of each other, and the two stages—the main house-and-techno stage, which looked to be a gym-auditorium combination, and the smaller Bossa Nova Civic Club room, dedicated (with a few exceptions) to more experimental sounds—necessitated a mere five-minute jaunt through a wooded, fairy-light-illuminated pathway. "We didn't intend on it being held at a summer camp," Halal and Wladawsky admit, "but now we couldn't imagine it any other way." Neither can we.

Photo: Erez Avissar

Photo: Erez Avissar

All the DJs and performers were great—but the Black Madonna and Mike Servito are at the top of their respective games.
We've loved the Black Madonna and Mike Servito for a while now—both have long been considered "DJ's DJs"—but judging by their respective sets at Sustain Release, the two have acquired clubland superpowers over the past year or so. Servito's closing set in the Bossa Room was a big, bold and ballsy jackfest—and the Black Madonna? Well, anyone who can squeeze in versions of Devo's "Jocko Homo," Sylvester's ""You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" and A Number Of Names' "Sharevari" into a set is totally okay with us. Ms. Madonna herself has a theory about why both of the spinners have been so good lately: "I was playing a show in New York," she says, "and a friend of mine said that he could tell I had been touring. I asked what he meant. He said it had sharpened me technically to such a degree that he could see and hear a big difference in the way I played over the course of a year. I never really thought about that, but when I saw Mike Servito play at Sustain, I knew exactly what my friend meant. Servito has always been amazing, but the pressure and repetition of touring is sharpening him like a knife. A very, very bad-ass knife."

The Black Madonna Photo: Erez Avissar

The Black Madonna
Photo: Erez Avissar

Rain and Sustain-Release don't really mix. But the combination isn't the end of the world, either.
Saturday afternoon was slated to be spent in the great outdoors, with a basketball tournament, pool party (with Blazer Sound System, Beautiful Swimmers and RVNG's Matt Werth on the decks), and a lakeside billed as the main attractions. Mother Nature had different plans: What started as a gentle noon sprinkle quickly devolved into a full-scale downpour, which quickly put the kibosh on everyone's open-air plans. The DJs did get to play, albeit within the darkened confines of the main room—and frankly, that was nowhere as fun as a poolside bash would have been, though it was nice to hear lots of dubbed-out reggae classics over the more-than-capable system.

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

But what might have been a disaster actually proved to be a great side effect: We (and a lot of other people) basically spent the day sloshing from cabin to tent to tent to cabin, socializing with old pals and making lots of new ones. It was a day of low-key, down-home fun, and was a great set-up to the night that followed. The rain continued well into the evening, which unfortunately meant a bit less traveling between the main stage and the Bossa room. We made the former our home base for the night, which meant we missed sets from the Long Count Cycle, Terekke, and Aurora Halal herself—along with what was, from all reports, a mind-boggling closing session from Galcher Lustwerk. On the plus side, we caught Gunnar Haslam, Veronica Vasicka, Paula Temple and Anthony Parasole (more on that below).

Photo: Erez Avissar

Photo: Erez Avissar

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Hours of great techno can mess with your mind (in a good way).
Admittedly, the long, lazy afternoon and the simple-yet-highly-effective lighting (courtesy of Nitemind) probably had something to do with this—but still, you can't underestimate that power that music holds as a sensory-altering force. We missed Daniele Cosmo's opening set, but were surprised, pleasantly so, to find Gunnar Haslam laying down some rough-and-tumble techno upon our arrival—a much tougher sound than we expected from the artist, who we've always thought of as a more headphone-friendly kind of producer. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!). Next came Vasicka, who's always good for a bit of jacking fun, whether in her synthy Minimal Wave mode or more in line with the Chicago drum-machine attack of her Cititrax style—and on this occasion, we got a bit of each. Then the real fun began— Temple amazed with her set of intense, crunchy floor-manglers (it's not for nothing that she gives her own songs names like "Deathvox" and "Monstro"); we missed her well-received set at this year's Movement festival, but by all accounts, this one was just as majestic. And then it was time for Parasole, who was in full Parasole mode: track after track of driving rhythms, tough as nails but delivered with Brooklyn native's deft touch. And those tracks were working their magic, as this reporter's head was pleasantly swimming (though numerous rum and Club Mates might have played a role in that feeling).

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Finally, as the sun broke through the clouds, Parasole switched gears: We remember St. Germain's "Rose Rouge" and a remix of Blaze's "Lovelee Dae" (we heard that classic a few times over the course of the weekend)—and finally, Prince, Radiohead and Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me To The Moon." (!) The rain had finally ended; the hardier souls among the remaining crowd repaired to the lake, while the less hardcore (i.e., this writer) staggered off to the cabin for a few hours of shuteye, waking up just in time for the bus back to Bushwick. The next few nights were filled with dreams of swirling music and wide smiles. Not to oversell things…but Sustain-Release was probably the best time we've had all summer.

We'll be back next next year.
Well, you would be back, too, wouldn't you? But next time we'll bring better rain boots with us.

Photo: Molly Smith

Photo: Molly Smith

Beautiful Swimmers Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Beautiful Swimmers
Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

FlucT Photo: Erez Avissar

Photo: Erez Avissar

The Black Madonna Photo: Erez Avissar

The Black Madonna
Photo: Erez Avissar

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo" Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo: Erez Avissar

Photo: Erez Avissar

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

Photo: Luis Nieto Dickens

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Stream the Mønic Remix from the New Killawatt EP https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/stream-the-monic-remix-from-the-new-killawatt-ep/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/stream-the-monic-remix-from-the-new-killawatt-ep/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 12:52:43 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103771 Building on the success of the debut LP from Killawatt earlier in the year, Osiris Music has assigned three artists to rework three standout tracks from the album.

Having risen through the ranks of dubstep and UK bass music at an early age, Portsmouth-based producer Killawatt has established himself as a well respected and forward thinking artist within electronic music.


A1 - Killawatt: 'ZiZi (Tommy Four Seven Version)
A2 - Killawatt: 'Spinal Swarm (Eomac Version)
B1 - Killawatt: 'Excessive Hyperbole (Mønic Version)
B2 - Mønic: 'Untitled Textures (Bonus Track)

I advance of the EP's October 26 release, XLR8R spoke with Killawatt (a.k.a.Matthew Watt) and Mønic (a.k.a. Simon Shreeve) to learn more about release, while the Mønic remix is available to stream in full below.

Matt, the new release émigré reworked, revisits cuts from your debut album émigré which was released in April this year. In the aftermath of the album, can you provide us with some thoughts on having released your first full length as well as on the album itself?

Having had a few months to reflect on LP, my initial, and somewhat surprising thought is that I actually quite like it. This is weird for me since I pretty much never end up really liking something I release. I think I was in a pretty good place creatively and I distinctly remember really enjoying the 18 months it took to finish it. As was said in the press release, there was no specific concept or storyline behind it, and it basically just became an exercise in experimentation with a bunch of new bits of hardware and software I acquired over the duration.

The new release holds three reworks of cuts from émigré by Mønic, Tommy Four Seven and Eomac. How did these artists come into the fold for the other two remixes?

Matt: I started talking to Tommy a while back and he wanted to involve me in his new T47 label / events and just support me in general. I just asked if he'd be up for a remix and he said that he was. It's great to have something just a bit different from him too—that's something we always look for on Osiris. it's pretty trippy! I think Si just hit up Ian about a remix swap at some point too. I've been a massive fan of Ian's work for a long time too so I'm super happy to have him on this release.

Simon, at the point of the formation of Osiris Music uk you were already an established artist. What was the motivation to start your own label?

At the time I felt pigeon-holed musically. I wanted to start a label which I could release any style of music I wanted, it really was an experiment which has lasted ten years. The label has given me complete freedom and has made me think outside of the box in terms of my own music and music we have signed.

What does the future hold for Osiris Music uk, for Mønic and for Killawatt?

Matt: Well I've literally just decided, while writing this, that I'm going to start my next album today so that's the near future sorted for me.

Simon: Mainly keeping things positive and interesting for ourselves which in turn, I hope, will be reflected in the releases. In the short term we have signed a Bristol-based act called Dot Product who have just finished their album which is being mastered this week,  which is due for release in March 2016.

In terms of Mønic, I will continue to work closely with Tresor and Osiris Music uk. There is also a collaboration project on the cards but it's a little to early to speak about.

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Stream Snippets from the New Agoria EP https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/stream-snippets-from-the-new-agoria-ep/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/10/stream-snippets-from-the-new-agoria-ep/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 08:52:37 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103913 After sending "S​cala" to Berlin, twirling his "H​élice" in London and colonising "Baptême" i​n Cologne, Agoria declares "I​ndependence" i​n Barcelona.

An anthem that’s been a highlight of the summer for Maceo Plex and Agoria, the date of release for "Independence" has finally being fixed.

Agoria on "Independence":

"​Since I moved to Paris last year, I have had the chance to meet amazing artists including the Russian pianist Mikhail Rudy and the sound designer of the movie Gravity, Nicolas Becker. The three of us are animated by curiosity and the will of playing with our specific boundaries. I guess this is just the first step symbolizing our state of mind: Independence. When I met Eric [Maceo Plex] in Ibiza last year, we instantly connected, we both can play all kinds of music so I thought Ellum was the place to release it."

Agoria’s debut release on Ellum is an equally sinister and experimental affair. Apocalyptic drum crescendos are broken up by warm synths tones and washed against baritone basslines on the title track.

A1 Independence
B1 Independence (Architectural Remix)
B2 Gravity feat. Nicolas Becker
Digital: Independence (Stephan Barnem Remix)

Ahead of the EP's October 30 release, snippets of the title track can be streamed below.

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Iglooghost "Saturn Rice" https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/iglooghost-saturn-rice/ https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/iglooghost-saturn-rice/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 01:47:11 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103883 Only 18 years old and hailing from the UK, the brisk, desultory, grime-infused sound of Iglooghost has been making some significant waves in the world of electronic music. Dynamo DJs and producers such as Mary Ann Hobbs, Kuthmah, and Flying Lotus—who has had a noticeable influence on his sound—have been playing his tracks as of late and this young-in has already begun to headline his own shows in London. The track “Saturn Rice,” which is being presented as an exclusive XLR8R download today, is a two-and-a-half minute, 170-bpm journey featuring an amalgam of splintering synth lines, swift percussion and a smooth saxophone sound that shepherds the track from start to finish. The track is a cut from Fly High Society’s Spacebus Vol. 1, which you can grab a copy of by going here.

Saturn Rice

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Premiere: Hear the Kowton Remix of Lo Shea’s “Root Causes” https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-hear-the-kowton-remix-of-lo-sheas-root-causes/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-hear-the-kowton-remix-of-lo-sheas-root-causes/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 23:39:13 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103793 A driving force behind the burgeoning Sheffield house and techno scene, Hope Works curator, promoter, and resident DJ, Lo Shea, has fused his years of musical experience with a myriad of influences from throughout the city to create a unique sound. Following on from Lo Shea's offerings on Secret Sundaze offshoot label SZE, and Never Learnt in 2015, this 12” for Transit sees him exploring a darker, more immersive brand of techno for his 'Oxygen Lance’ EP.

The record features the title track on the A-side, and the B-side features the track "Root Causes," along with a remix by UK producer and Livity Sound artist, Kowton. With his recent foray into more melodic territory in his 'Glock And Roll' EP for Whities, Kowton brings more of the same in his crunching interpretation of "Root Causes," continuing the evolution of his signature UK-bass influenced sound. The sleeve artwork was created by Alex Sullivan, and the vinyl pressing is limited to 300 copies and housed in a matte printed sleeve.

You can pre-order your copy of "Oxygen Lance" by clicking here.

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Bubblin' Up: Avalon Emerson https://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/09/bubblin-up-avalon-emerson/ https://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/09/bubblin-up-avalon-emerson/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 20:54:42 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103679 It’s a small world. As a 20-year-old, Avalon Emerson, the rising DJ-producer, was an intern at the former XLR8R HQ in San Francisco. Just last week, we sat down in her new base of operations, a beautiful modern apartment in the southern part of Berlin, to hear her story and to learn how she balances her musical endeavors with her full-time day job as a software developer.

It’s been a steady rise for Emerson, a journey that has taken her from Arizona—the place where she purchased her first pair of turntables—to San Francisco, where she began throwing monthly parties with her flat mates at their large warehouse-style flat. It was there, in 2009, that she first started DJing with any regularity—but the foundations for her success can be traced back to her earlier years where she began record collecting and recording in bands. Now, as her touring schedule continues to grow, it is becoming evident that Emerson possesses a rare maturity and natural ability to spot the emotional connection between records.

Outside of the DJ booth, she is also making a name for herself as a producer, following a string of self-releases via her personal Soundcloud page, as well as some physical EPs through small labels including Icee Hot, Spring Theory and Shtum—the latest of which dropped just last week via the latter Dresden-based imprint. Big things are expected to follow, namely more EPs and perhaps, in due course, an LP. But it's clear that Emerson is not getting ahead of herself too quickly.


You’ve now been DJing for about six years, and producing for about four. Do you now feel that your profile as an artist is really starting to grow?
I guess I'm fortunate enough that now I play more peak-time slots, instead of just opening for out-of-town DJs—so from a performance perspective, it’s a different kind of show and medium to play with. As far as my productions go, I still feel that I am exploring and learning what types of sounds and musical medium I like to create in. Turns out to be a lot! So far it doesn't feel like my voice is tied to a specific sound or genre. I make what I like—and I think it still ends up sounding like me, whether or not it makes it harder for promoters to be able to put me into a genre box.

When you do go into the studio, are you able to produce the sound that you have in your head?
Sure! I feel I can do that quite well. Often I will already have an idea of what I want to do—maybe I'll have a melody, rhythm or sound I want to kick around with, or I'll be obsessed with a record from my childhood or something where I really like the abstracted idea or technique—and I will try to explore that idea in the studio by doing it my way. Like I was listening to a lot of Propaganda and Anne Clark for a bit, so I decided to make my own spoken word vocals over a dance track. There are so many different areas to explore with production—I am definitely not bored yet!

"I really like DJing—when it’s good it’s the absolute best feeling on earth, and when it's bad it’s horrible and gets stuck in your head for a week. But with production, it's still something that I just feel like I have to do to stay sane."

Your DJing dates back to 2009 when you moved to San Francisco, but your first physical production was released in 2014, via Icee Hot. How do you think you’ll balance the two going forward?
I really like DJing—when it’s good it’s the absolute best feeling on earth, and when it bad it’s horrible and gets stuck in your head for a week. But with production, it's still something that I just feel like I have to do to stay sane. I still love releasing something into the wild and seeing how people respond to it, whether it be my friends, peer producers, critics, or total strangers on the internet—so I think DJing is fun, but I kind of see more opportunities to grow and explore in actually producing the music.

When you step onto stage for a set, do you still feel nervous, or has that feeling passed?
The shaky legs kind of thing has stopped happening, though I still get a mental sort of performance anxiety. I bet that doesn't ever completely go away.

Like when you played at Panorama Bar recently?
That was probably the most intense DJ-performance pressure I've ever felt. I was doing the closing slot, just after KiNK's live set—who can work a crowd like literally nobody else I’ve ever seen—and it was shoulder to shoulder packed by the time he played his last tune. Once I got through my first few tracks, I sort of realized that I've done this sort of thing before, and I've even been in the crowd quite a lot at Panorama bar. By the time I was a couple hours in, I saw from the DJ's point of view why so many people think it's the best club on earth. I ended up playing for five hours, and not to get too gushy, but the whole thing was magic.

Are you very critical with yourself, both with your productions and your sets?
Yes, both. If five people come up to me after a set and tell me that it was a great show, and then one of my friends said I could have had a cleaner transition here or there, then it's easy for me to think "Oh fuck." It’s honestly kind of a big deal, and I know that as a performance artist, it’s not going to go perfectly every time— but at the same time, I am kind of a perfectionist in a lot of other areas of my life, and I need to learn to let go a little bit and enjoy the journey of learning.

Does this mean that you throw away a lot of sketches or loops?
Yes—but I hope I am at the point where I can recognize that something is worth saving, even if it's the wrong song for that experimental long-tail compression on a hi-hat reverb.

Photo: Jill Bettendorff

Photo: Jill Bettendorff

Photo: Jill Bettendorff

Photo: Jill Bettendorff

Away from music, you also work as a software developer. How do you balance the two? Do you anticipate that music will eventually take over?
I don’t know. As an unwilling citizen in these late-capitalist times, I have to make money. I code. I find that if you are not 100-percent relying on your art for the food on your table and the rent, then it is still an enjoyable release—and it also offers you some creative freedom because you don’t have to take every gig that comes around and you don’t have to do every remix. Of course, the balance can sometimes be really hectic—like when an EP comes around and you do a lot of press, or sometimes you have four weekends in a row where you’re out of town, and then on Monday you go into the office and argue on Git-hub about semicolons or something. It’s a constant struggle to find balance, but I still feel extremely fortunate to have two fulfilling ways to spend my time on this earth.

"I find that if you are not 100-percent relying on your art for the food on your table and the rent, then it is still an enjoyable release—and it also offers you some creative freedom because you don’t have to take every gig that comes around and you don’t have to do every remix."

It sounds quitting the day job is a long way off, in your head at least?
It’s not necessarily the goal right now. When music becomes the day job, you also get the baggage that comes with it. Art is supposed to be the thing that you love to do, and that you don’t do for anyone else. I don’t release music that I don’t like. Ideally, I would love to get to a point where I've built up a momentum and have a studio where I can lock myself away during the week, then play gigs on the weekends—but that’s not where I am right now."

How do you balance the time? Is it software development in the day and then music around that?
It’s a Monday through Friday thing with the coding, then I work on music before, after or on weekends around that. But I'm finding that if I have a finite window in which to be creative, then it's sometimes advantageous for the creative process, because you don’t have infinite amounts of time to bullshit around. I have to formulate my ideas and get them down as fast as I can. I'm obsessed with streamlining by workflow in Ableton so that I'm efficient when I sit down in the studio. I have multiple templates, and my samples have a pretty OCD-level organizational hierarchy.

"I can't help but connect with music emotionally. When you do that, you build a library of musical gems that you can sprinkle around a party."

You began DJing properly in 2009—but when did you actually learn the basic skills?
I bought turntables in college in Arizona. But for me, DJing isn’t about beatmatching—it’s about picking music to play,and identifying emotions that certain tracks give off and that people catch onto, and then pairing them with other songs that compliment that emotion. In that sense, I guess I’ve been practising forever. It came very naturally to me—I can't help but connect with music emotionally. When you do that, you build a library of musical gems that you can sprinkle around a party. That’s just something that I love to do and will explore for a long time.

Photo: Jill Bettendorff

Photo: Jill Bettendorff

Photo: Jill Bettendorff

Photo: Jill Bettendorff

What was behind the move from Arizona to San Francisco in 2009?
I was born there, though I grew up in Arizona. After a tech internship halfway through college, I stayed. Haven't regretted the drop-out quite explicitly yet.

But was last year’s move to Berlin motivated by a desire to push your music?
Yes. That one was motivated by music! I found myself less identifying with what the city had become, and I decided to explore the music more, which would have been really hard to do with my job at the time. My day job now is a bit more flexible—I can work remotely every once in a while and can leave early on a Friday if I have to fly out to a gig.

Moving back to San Francisco, that was when you lived in a warehouse and began throwing parties?
It was more of a big shared house—I mean, we didn’t shower in the kitchen or whatever! It was full of people from all over the world, and I loved being around so many different cultures, especially coming from Arizona which is sometimes quite homogeneous.

How regularly did you throw these parties?
Not so often—once every few months. There was always a theme and we would put together a special flyer, and make a little Google form where you’d have to sign up. If you weren’t on the list then you couldn’t get in. Pay at the door, open bar, everyone in the house contributed, and the vibe was always awesome. In fact, just last summer, the only wedding I've ever DJed at was for my two friends who I met in the warehouse—a girl from Paris and a guy from Bavaria who live in Berlin now.

So even at this time, you weren’t DJing very frequently?
No. We were just having fun building the party and the community of people. DJing was just a part of this—but it was never a means to becoming a DJ. I never had the mindset that I was going to practise, gain a certain number of points in this skill set to climb the ladder. It just sort of happened. My friend, Matthew, who was the one who taught me how to really blend records, and I would play these parties, so that's where I learned to DJ and program for a whole night. That's how the love for producing took over, mainly through editing tracks. When I reached 21, and got to DJ in clubs—like a "real DJ"— finally—I learned how much it sucked having to play bullshit 45 minute sets where my friends had to pay twelve dollars for a drink.

How active are you with collecting records today?
I play a fair amount of vinyl, and I work right next to Hard Wax, which is dangerous—which is also kind of close to the Record Loft, which is even more dangerous. I am also obviously on Discogs quite a lot. I left a bunch of records in San Francisco, and every time I go back I try to bring a little crew of twelves back with me. But at the same time, I don't want to be too much of a hoarder. These little plastic plates are just ethereal beings, passing in and out of our lives. Eventually they'll all get a Club Mate spilled on them, dish on a hot CDJ, or suddenly become something someone wants to pay a hundred dollars for.

"I don’t want to be part of this commodity-party noise-filler sort of scene, where it doesn’t matter what kind of sound is coming out of the speakers as long as the club sells bottles."

Can you remember your first international gig?
Yep—it was in Vancouver. My sister came with me. I only really started touring internationally when I moved to Berlin, and that was a time following my first release in 2014—I signed up with both European and North American booking agencies. By the time I had come to Berlin, I had a two month tour planned for when I returned to the States. That was the first time that I had the kind of crazy schedule where you play Thursday through Sunday and go directly from the club to the airport sort of thing. That was a glimpse into how the future life could possibly be—and that was part of the realisation that I’ve got to keep in mind what I want from life in general, and balance how I want to share my art because it’s an extremely personal thing too. I don’t want to be part of this commodity-party noise-filler sort of scene where it doesn’t matter what kind of sound is coming out of the speakers, as long as the club sells bottles.

So are you very selective with the gigs that you play, as a result of that? 
I think I am still learning this, but I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to taking on shows. I kind of know what I don’t want with gigs, but I still take a lot of gigs just to see what is going on. I haven't played a lot of festivals, and I've had a good time at most of my gigs. Some of the best gigs are in non-major cities—like Freiburg or Calgary—but places like New York or London can actually be pretty tough.

You’re first release, “Warm Up Love,” was uploaded onto your Soundcloud in 2012. Your sound has changed considerably since then—was that intentional? 
No—that’s just how it goes. If I try to consciously make something then it always ends up sub-par, and I will never really do anything with it. That’s why I find it pretty hard to do remixes, where you have a sonic box in which the product must fit.

Did production seem like a natural step, to support your DJing?
Not really—it was sort of the other way around. I’ve been making music for a really long time, from pedal-board noise or dreamy guitar folk when I was young to now. I've been pretty tight with computers since day one, so I'd have the torrent of some multitrack program, and invite my friends into my bedroom to record—with my bed leaned up against the wall—experimenting with microphone placement on their 200-dollar drum kit. It’s always been this thing that I enjoy doing as a creative release, along with feeding my technical desire to learn programs and new synths and techniques. The whole world of sound engineering is extremely interesting to me.

Are you completely self-taught?
I think you can learn just about anything on the Internet—and being around people doing cool things also lets you pick up stuff from them too. But I don't think anyone is totally self-taught. When I was first interning at XLR8R, I met Christopher Willits, who makes gorgeous ambient music. He works with Overlap Studios in the East Bay with Ryan Kleeman. I've gone over there many times to work on mixing down a track or something, and have learned a lot about both the hyper-technical side of the studio, and about life as a professional in this industry.

You’re first physical release was in 2013 via the Icee Hot imprint. How did that come about?
It's kinda funny. I was already sort of going to release “Pressure” as part of a compilation for another label, when I heard Ryan—Ghosts on Tape—play a set at Public Works where he dropped his brand-new track, “No Guestlist.” I loved it, and so I emailed him asking him for it—but felt the need to reciprocate so I gave him some of my new stuff. When I sent him “Pressure”, Shawn and the other Icee Hot guys convinced me to do a whole twelve with them.

And then how did “Quoi” come about?
They asked if I had anything else so I sent them “Quoi” and they liked that one too! It was pretty quick actually.

"The first time I realized that a piece of music that I've done exists in some sort of physical form that could hang around on this earth after I die was pretty crazy."

That must have been a nice moment.
Definitely. The first time I realized that a piece of music that I've done exists in some sort of physical form that could hang around on this earth after I die was pretty crazy.

Has an LP crossed your mind yet?
Yes. An album is definitely something I would like to do—but it has to be the right time. I don’t want to it to be a random hegemony of dancefloor tracks. To me, the LP format is best expressed in single idea, from one period of time. I’ll do it when I create this extra magical day of the week or when I don't have to code 40 hours a week.

Do you have a particular goal in mind or vision of where you want to be further down the line?
An LP and a live show, could be really rewarding. I won’t stop DJing, of course. I think I have different ideas of where I want to explore as far as artistic identity and career go, but I don’t have one clear goal in mind yet—I don't see anyone else's career that I want to model myself after necessarily. Who even knows what the music economy will look like in ten years? I’m just going to keep doing my thing and see where it takes me.

All photos: Jill Bettendorff, jillbettendorff.photography

Projections: Isaac Cohen, cabbibo.com


Avalon will be playing at Simple Things Festival in Bristol on October 23/24.

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Premiere: Hear a Track from the New Schmutz EP https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-hear-a-track-from-the-new-schmutz-ep/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-hear-a-track-from-the-new-schmutz-ep/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 19:16:18 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103780 Schmutz—a duo made up of Irish producers Conor MacParland and Kristian Woods—released its Transgender EP on vinyl on September 14 via Omnidisc, with digital set to land on October 5.

Born from a renowned party series in Northern Ireland—which has hosted house and techno heavyweights such as Midland, Hunee, Leon Vynehall, and John Talabot—Schmutz released its first 12" on Gerd's 4LUX label last year to great acclaim.

Spread across three tracks, Transgender is a raw, analog-driven techno EP splattered with 909s, 808s, and Juno 106 magic. It's late-night club music that is altogether warm, alien, and dance inducing.

You can stream the slamming title cut via the player before, with the EP available for purchase here.

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Q&A: Ron Morelli https://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/09/qa-ron-morelli/ https://www.xlr8r.com/features/2015/09/qa-ron-morelli/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 18:00:36 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103581 Few people are synonymous with their record labels in the same way as Ron Morelli. His brainchild, Long Island Electrical Systems (L.I.E.S.) has been home to the grainy house and techno that’s become synonymous with New York electronic music in the past few years, and heavily draws from Ron’s punk aesthetic and background. He is relentlessly loyal to his artists, and his commitment to a singular artistic vision for his label has been the backbone of L.I.E.S. Having an old-school New Yorker personality, he is either incurably driven or prickly, depending on where you stand. Before he ran L.I.E.S. full-time, he was working at the East Village’s legendary A-1 record store—but as much as he is associated with NYC, Morelli moved to Paris after becoming fed up with a city that showed almost no resemblance to the New York he grew up with.

Ron’s only departure from L.I.E.S. has been his  output on Dominick Ferrow's Hospital Productions label, where he’s just released his latest LP, A Gathering Together. His records increasingly rely on found samples and droning ambience, as opposed to the driving rhythms that L.I.E.S. has become known for. A Gathering Together marks his most ambient-tinged effort yet, with most tracks lacking the sort of rhythmic structure one would associate with the sound he’s helped cultivate; his characteristically dark and gritty sound, however, is still there. Although it doesn’t seem intended for DJ sets in the same way that his earlier releases were—it’s a significant departure in style and structure—sonically speaking, the album still manages to feel very much like the man who made it.

With your name so synonymous with the L.I.E.S. record label, can you talk about the decision to put your LPs out on Hospital?
A couple of years ago, Dom had asked me to do a record for his label, thus I made it my business to finish music I had been working on with a set deadline and present it to him. I enjoy working with Dom and I feel Hospital is actually a perfect fit for my music, as the label is consistently full of surprises, pushing the limits and is without restrictions on any end.

Is part of it to give yourself some distance from always working on L.I.E.S.?
If I were to give myself deadlines to put out my music on my own label the music would most likely never come out.

L.I.E.S-14 Ron morelliHow did your move from New York to Paris affect the way L.I.E.S. operates?
Being in Europe and constantly being on the road gives the label a physically human visibility that couldn’t have achieved staying in New York. Unfortunately, the U.S. doesn't have the infrastructure where one can be on the road every weekend all year. If you’re lucky, you can tour the States once a year. Thus being on the road overseas with other artists on the label makes our presence felt with a much stronger resonance then if we were kicking around the same places in NYC.

Has the move changed the way that you work, or the way you make music?
The move has not changed the way I work or how I make music. The m.o. remains the same as day one.

Was there anything that changed in the way you produced this album as opposed to the last record? Recording equipment, process, etc?
This was the first time I used a heavy dose of samples and combined them with outboard electronics. I also used the samples in an unconventional manner at points; processing them, looping, then resampling again before recording certain parts.

You’re known for having a very raw and unprocessed approach with your own records. Could you talk about the mixing on this album and how you went about it?
The album was presented in a cohesive manner, there were nine tracks with no "extras" so it was what it was. There was no dropping one track to add another or anything like that. It was presented in its final format, thus making it a fully focused effort. I went into my friend's studio for the final mixdown to get all the levels correct, as well as to get it sonically right for maximum punishment.

"Stress is everywhere, in all different forms: mental, physical, emotional, societal."

In the past you’ve described your material as stress music. How does that play out on A Gathering Together?
Stress is everywhere, in all different forms: mental, physical, emotional, societal.… Whether it’s the simple impatience of waiting on line to pay for groceries, being stuck in traffic, or having to pay the government their due taxes, I take it for what it is. The energy can be used in many ways—positive and negative.

There’s a sense of dread or anxiety on most of the tracks. Could you talk about that?
I would say that’s inaccurate. If anything, I think this album pushes and pulls emotions rather than focus on something as singular as "dread" or "anxiety". There is a beginning, middle and end; there is rising action and a resolve. So I would tend to say it’s more full spectrum than dwelling in one place or another; it’s constantly moving.

Can you talk about the relationship between the music you make and the records you release on L.I.E.S.?
They are unrelated, and not influenced or affected by each other. They are clearly separate entities which do no overlap or inform each other. I just happen to be a guy who runs a record label and also makes music—like thousands of others out there.

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Ancestral Voices Announces Debut Album https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/ancestral-voices-announces-debut-album/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/ancestral-voices-announces-debut-album/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:53:48 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103765 Ancestral Voices is the new project from Liam Blackburn / Akkord, on Samurai Music Group's more experimental sub-label Samurai Horo. The birth of the project represents a new path for the established and highly respected producer.

Inevitably a new approach to creating music has developed into a new identity. Stripping back an already unique creative process proved a challenge that has paid off, and Blackburn's evolving sound has no immediate sonic comparison. With distinct resonances of his musical heritage flowing through a more mature filter, there is a mystical atmosphere that resounds through the LP.

October 30 will see the release of an EP sampler including two exclusive tracks that are not included on the LP/CD, which is then scheduled for November 27 release.

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Hear New Release from Tale of Us and Mind Against https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/hear-new-release-from-tale-of-us-and-mind-against/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/hear-new-release-from-tale-of-us-and-mind-against/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:13:42 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103754 Label mates and friends, Tale of Us and Mind Against, have joined together once again to create a work that works, fittingly, well past the summation of its parts. Playing with tension and release, these accomplished artists from the Life and Death team bring us "Astral," a one-track collaboration that is scheduled for October 5 release—as included in Stephan Bodzin's XLR8R podcast this week.

01. Astral

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KX Imprint Announces First Various Artists Compilation https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/kx-imprint-announces-new-various-artists-compilation/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/kx-imprint-announces-new-various-artists-compilation/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 14:49:16 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103739 After building momentum with much-acclaimed releases from seasoned producers and rising stars alike, exclusive mail order imprint KX celebrates its tenth instalment with an action-packed compilation of secret weapons and future classics.

KX is a new label set up by the Kompakt record store and warehouse crew. Do not mistake this as a new sub-label of Kompakt, but as an entity of it's own birthed 'from fans to fans.'

KX is now set to release their first ever compilation in album format, KX 2015, which highlights the year's releases from Reinhard Voigt, Lazaros, Luis Junior, Elijah Simmons, and a massive debut 12" from rising star Jonas Rathsman.


01. Christerk - Snowhaze
02. Roy Rosenfeld & Guy Mantzur - Deeyo
03. Pieter Steijger - Gossip
04. Lazaros - Keto
05. Luis Junior - Numina
06. Elijah Simmons - Sil
07. Jonas Rathsman - New Generation
08. Euripides - the Dreamer
09. Krisztian Dobrocsi - Subwolfer

01. Elijah Simmons - Pisces
02. Termoment - Arcade Gem
03. Kelly Sylvia - Sapphire
04. Luis Junior - La Musica
05. Lazaros - Trigono
06. Reinhard Voigt - Rv 01
08. Euripides - Melancholy Days
08. Gadi Mitrani - Key of Stillness (Original Vocal Mix)

KX will release KX 2015 on November 13.

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Stream the Giorgio Gigli Remix from the New Modern Heads Remix EP https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/dino-sabatinis-outis-music-label-announces-new-ep/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/dino-sabatinis-outis-music-label-announces-new-ep/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 14:18:43 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103728 Dino Sabatini’s Outis Music imprint has announced the upcoming release of the Chapter II (The Beginning) EP, which features remixes of Sabatini and Gianluca Meloni’s collaborative project Modern Heads by their Elettronica Romana peers Donato Dozzy, Claudio PRC and Giorgio Gigli—all reworks of the track “Beginning”.

The original track was featured on last year’s Modern Heads EP Chapter II EP on Outis Music, which marked the return of the project four years after the latest release. Prior to the 2014 EP, the duo had released on—among others—Prologue, Stroboscopic Artefacts (collaboration with Perc) and, of course, Elettronica Romana.

The Chapter II (The Beginning) EP is scheduled for October 12 vinyl release, and November 9 via digital outlets. Ahead of its release, XLR8R spoke to Sabatini to learn more, with the Giorgio Gigli remix exclusively available to stream below.


A1 – Beginning (Claudio PRC Remix)
A2 – Beginning (Giorgio Gigli Remix)
B – Beginning (Donato Dozzy Remix)

Many artists start their own imprints as a way to get their early releases out, but you already had several release by the time you founded Outis Music. What motivated you to start your own label?

I felt the need to create my own space where I could vent my ideas about art and music— and it was also the time to personally manage my discography.

With the new Modern Heads remixes by Donato Dozzy, Claudio PRC and Giorgio Gigli, the release’s roster seems like a little summary of the Elettronica Romana sound. Up until now, Outis Music has been focused on this sound and Italian artists (aside from your collaboration with Edit Select from the UK). And how do you envision the Elettronica Romana sound in the future?

First of all I want to be clear on one thing: I do not decide based on the nationality of the artists, but I decide based on the music and, at the moment, in Italy there are some very talented young people who have grown up with our music—and by 'our' I mean the releases made by the crew of Elettronica Romana.

It has been about seven years since I last collaborated with Gianluca Meloni (Laertes), and after spending the first day in the studio with him, I thought back to the days spent in the studio of Elettronica Romana where we worked as sound engineers—there was a great synergy created among the artists.

So for this release I have chosen Donato Dozzy and Giorgio Gigli, who gave birth to the first Elettronica Romana release "Chiki Disco," and Claudio PRC who was among the newcomers with the "Diving Point" release that made me notice his talent—but also the arrival of the new generation created by the musical style of the old crew of Elettronica Romana.

The future of this sound is in the hands of young people who have taken our message and are reworking in their own ways.

What musical projects are you working on yourself?
I'm currently working on three different types of live sets. The first is the one that will present my new album due out early next year. Then I’m working with Gianluca Meloni on a new Modern Heads live set which we will present for the first time in December at AIR in Tokyo. And finally the live project with the pianist and accordionist Antonello Salis (an icon of Italian Jazz) who has participated on two tracks of my next album, and for whom I have great respect.

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Premiere: Stream the New Jon Gurd EP in Full https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-the-new-jon-gurd-ep-in-full/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-the-new-jon-gurd-ep-in-full/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 13:30:19 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103718 Jon Gurd’s Birth Right EP is the first material from the Portsmouth based techno producer in more than two years, since his ventures on Octopus Recordings, 8 Sided Dice and Quartz. The EP therefore indicates an audible step change, not just in the approach to production but also in the mindset and emotive feeling behind each texture and layer. Having emerged unscathed from a traumatic family drama, Jon communicates a tortuous and re-evaluated life message across all three tracks of the EP, which is dedicated to his brother with a hidden meaning conveying: Tomorrow Is - Promised - To No One.

Dissecting the EP further, the educated are blessed with field recordings, analog rumbling and modular synthesis exiting from almost 24 months of lab-driven experimentation. No real process has been applied and the EP’s success is that it now exudes what Jon 'feels' innately rather than what the industry wants—therefore the journey, endless noise making and experimentation gives a balanced and exciting offering.

Ahead of its October 2 release, XLR8R spoke with Gurd to learn more about the EP, which is available exclusively to stream below.

What was the inspiration behind this EP—there seems to be a strong undertone or message?
The inspiration is pretty vague; it’s the culmination of lots of late nights and noise making in the studio. I had a couple of major incidents happen in my immediate family which has given me a new perspective on life and writing music, and I guess some of the way I was feeling over the past few years is expressed in the music somehow. I read a quote somewhere that said ‘Tomorrow Is Promised To No One,' and it really stuck in my head—hence the name of the tracks within the EP.

What have you been doing production-wise in the last two years? 
It’s great to be writing original tracks again—but I’ve needed the break to realign myself with the reasons as to why I like writing music. I’ve been pretty busy in those two years. I studio engineer for people which takes up a lot of my time. I’ve also been pretty busy with a project called Mister Woo which involves Dave Robertson (who you may know as Reset Robot), Tom Powell and myself. We have a release coming out on Derelicht very soon, including an Alan Fitzpatrick remix, I’m very excited about that.

What's next for Jon Gurd?
I’ll be fully concentrating on my own music for the main part from now on, so you will be seeing a lot more material from myself. There is a possibility of a solo album due to the sheer amount of music that I’ve been working on. That will become more clear in the coming months. I’m sure I’ll be rekindling my production partnership with Alan Fitzpatrick at some point in the future, to follow up our releases on Det Sync & ESD—and of course I’ll be working with Dave and Tom on new Mister Woo material.


A1. Tomorrow Is
A2. Promised
A3. Promised (Dave Clarke)
B1. To No One
B2. To No One (Ancestral Voices)

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Peter Van Hoesen Curates New Compilation https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/peter-van-hoesen-curates-new-compilation/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/peter-van-hoesen-curates-new-compilation/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 12:52:35 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103720 Belgian techno veteran Peter Van Hoesen is behind a forthcoming full-length compilation, Stealth. Slated for release on his own Time to Express label, Resident Advisor reports that the 14-track collection features the likes of Eric Cloutier, Voices from the Lake, Mike Parker, Material Object, Bee Mask, Wata Igarashi, and Van Hoesen himself. While no clips have been shared as of yet, a digital version will arrive on November 9, with a three-part vinyl series to follow. For the moment, a complete tracklist  can be viewed below.

01. Wata Igarashi -Top Secret
02. Yves De Mey - Return For Access (Kempinski Remix)
03. Yotam Avni - Ima - (PVH Stealth Edit)
04. Wata Igarashi - Night
05. Peter Van Hoesen - Prime Symmetry
06. Material Object - Shimmer
07. Mike Parker - Sinuous Mode / Peter Van Hoesen - Stealth PhasePerc
08. Eric Cloutier - Pluviophile
09. Peter Van Hoesen - Breach
10. Voices From The Lake - Zulu Vortex
11. Peter Van Hoesen - Shadows & Concern
12. Peter Van Hoesen - Unicorn
13. Bee Mask: Headband (Peter Van Hoesen Remix)
14. Imaginary Softwoods: Aura Show

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Dresvn Drops New EP on Honest Jon's https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/dresvn-drops-new-ep-on-honest-jons/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/dresvn-drops-new-ep-on-honest-jons/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 12:39:16 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103715 With characteristically little fanfare, Dresvn has delivered a new EP on London imprint Honest Jon's. The collaborative project of cult label heads Dynamo Dreesen (of Acido) and SVN (of Sued), Dresvn specializes in tripped-out, percussive house and is frequently affiliated with Berlin's Sex Tags crew. The new record, entitled First Voyage, includes a remix by DJ Sotofett and continues a strong year for Honest Jon's, following a Sotofett double pack, Laurel Halo EP, and a remix package from Ricardo Villalobos. The record is out now and can be previewed here.

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Benoit & Sergio "Rev 909" https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/benoit-sergio-rev-909/ https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/benoit-sergio-rev-909/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 03:11:12 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103655 If you have ever been to Need I Say More, the annual 7AM party thrown by Seth Troxler and Ryan Crosson in the backyard of a VFW bar called Old Miami in Detroit during Movement, then you know that the party boasts unbelievable secret lineups that are headlined by the likes of Dixon, Tale of Us, and Daniel Bell. Back in 2012, Benoit & Sergio took to the infamous rickety riser to perform a secret live set that absolutely shook the panties off anyone near the grassy knoll that day. For the last three years, dancers and die-hard shazamers have been digging for the Daft Punk inspired track that Benoit & Sergio leveled the pond with that day. A video floated around the internet of the duo playing the track at Old Miami, and ever since then the track has gone down in ketamine lore as the one song that all the fans love, but will never be released. Today marks almost four years of this unbelievable secret weapon being used as a litmus test by Benoit & Sergio to gauge how strong the vibe really is, and now, XLR8R is here to tell you that the wait is over, and that we have "Rev 909" by Benoit & Sergio right here being offered as a free download. To mark this momentous occasion, the boys have two huge new releases coming up that they would like you to know about:

The first is an new release coming out on Leftroom Limited called House With 500 Rooms that will be released on October 16. The second release is an EP called Old Streets, coming out on November 13 on Soul Clap Records, with remix and a dub side produced by Clarian. Benoit & Sergio also have some tour dates lined up, with multiple stops in CA that include Audio Discotech, Wavs, and Transmit Festival in Los Angeles. The duo will also be sharing the stage with Steve Bug and Mathew Jonson at the Geist Showcase at Closure in Amsterdam as part of this year's official ADE program. Enjoy this little bit of legendary history, and listen as it spreads to every hungry dancefloor across the world over the fall. 

02 Oct 2015 / Wavs with Benoit & Sergio at The Wayfarer, Los Angeles
03 Oct 2015 / Boudoir presents Benoit & Sergio at Audio Discotech, San Francisco
04 Oct 2015 / Dirtybird Campout at Oak Canyon Ranch, Los Angeles
09 Oct 2015 / Benoit & Sergio - Secret Location - Houston, Texas
10 Oct 2015 / Transmit feat. Benoit & Sergio, Matthew Dear, NRP, Wankelmut, Droog, Ricoshëi at LA Center Studios, California
16 Oct 2015 / Benoit & Sergio at Opium Rooms, Ireland
17 Oct 2015 / Mathew Jonson Live + Magda + Steve Bug + Benoit & Sergio Live + Clarian (Geist Showcase) at Closure, Amsterdam as part of ADE
23 Oct 2015 / Nacelle House Sessions at The Temple, Giza, Egypt
24 Oct 2015 / Take It Easy, Milan
30 Oct 2015 / Benoit & Sergio - Didi Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia
31 Oct 2015 /  Indigo - Istanbul, Turkey

Rev 909



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Darren Keen "Everybody Funk" https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/darren-keen-everybody-funk/ https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/darren-keen-everybody-funk/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 01:30:55 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103644 In the past 13 years, self-described male model and drug enthusiast, Darren Keen, has been musically characterized as everything from "spazz-punk" to "extinction juke." Through his former aliases and multiple music projects such as The Show is the Rainbow and Touch People, Darren has become known as somewhat of a guru in the Midwest, springing from his fountain numerous derivatives and unmeasurable coat-tail riders. If you were looking for a guidebook to keeping it really fucking weird in the Midwest, you let Darren Keen take you under his stinky wing. Being a leader is tough though, because you have to constantly guide yourself and the people around you into uncomfortable and unknown directions, and most people go kicking and screaming. Thank God this has not detoured Darren in his efforts to continually pursue music styles that fit his personality, and that constantly show his passion for African polyrhythms and footwork. His latest album, He’s Not Real, came out on August 28 on Orange Milk Records, and only further proves that Darren is a top-tier artist in the juke and progressive bass scene. Today, Darren is offering up a free download of "Everybody Funk," a future juke and footwork track that is just as dirty as it is satisfying. If you are not breaking your neck to this track by the time the 1:13 mark rolls around, there won't be much I can do for you because I will already be in a neck halo due to severe spinal cord injury.

Everybody Funk

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Lapa "The Origin" https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/lapa-the-origin/ https://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2015/09/lapa-the-origin/#comments Tue, 29 Sep 2015 23:14:32 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103638 Russia-born, US-based producer and violinist Ilya Goldberg (a.k.a. Lapa) released his beautiful debut album, Meeting Of The Waters, on September 9 via Loci Records. Also known for his work in Emancipator, Goldberg has crafted a truly immersive and worldly sound with the album, combining the body-moving aspects of electronic music with the complexities of classical, and featuring a cast of collaborators such as long-time partner Douglas Appling from Emancipator, 9Theory, Random Rab, and more. In support of the release, Goldberg has passed along "The Origin," a gorgeous, dub-infused cut that shows he is just as in tune with bass weight as he is with soaring melodies. In addition to his solo work, Goldberg is embarking on a huge national tour with Emancipator, the dates of which you can find below. "The Origin" can also be picked up for free by hitting the link below.

The Origin

Tour Dates:

w/ Wax Tailor (Solo Set) & Yppah
09/29/2015 | New Orleans, LA | The Republic
09/30/2015 | Birmingham, AL | Workplay
10/01/2015 | Chattanooga, TN | Track 29
10/02/2015 | The Knoxville, TN | The International
10/03/2015 | Asheville, NC | The Orange Peel
10/06/2015 | Raleigh, NC | The Lincoln Theater
10/07/2015 | Charlotte, NC | Chop Shop
10/08/2015 | Atlanta, GA | Variety Playhouse
10/09/2015 | Athens, GA | The Georgia Theatre
10/10/2015 | Nashville, TN | Marathon Music Works
10/13/2015 | Clifton Park, NY | Upstate Concert Hall
10/14/2015 | Burlington, VT | Higher Ground
10/15/2015 | Boston, MA | Paradise Rock Club
10/16/2015 | Philadelphia, PA | Theatre of Living Arts
10/17/2015 | NYC, NY | Best Buy Theatre
10/18/2015 | Buffalo, NY | Town Ballroom
10/20/2015 | Pittsburgh, PA | Rex Theatre
10/21/2015 | Cleveland, OH | Beachland Ballroom
10/22/2015 | Indianapolis, IN | The Vogue Theatre
10/23/2015 | Grand Rapids, MI | The Intersection
10/24/2015 | Detroit, MI | St. Andrew’s Hall
10/27/2015 | St. Louis, MO | Ready Room
10/28/2015 | Columbia, MO | The Blue Note
10/29/2015 | Madison, WI | Majestic Live
10/30/2015 | Milwaukee, WI | The Miramar Theatre
10/31/2015 | Minneapolis, MN | Mill City Nights
11/01/2015 | Bridgeview, IL | Freaky Deaky

w/ Blockhead & Manatee Commune
11/10/2015 | Bellingham, WA | The Republic
11/11/2015 | Victoria, BC | Sugar Nightclub
11/12/2015 | Vancouver, BC | Commodore Ballroom
11/13/2015 | Portland, OR | Roseland Theatre
11/14/2015 | Seattle, WA | Showbox Market
11/15/2015 | Eugene, OR | Hi-Fi Music Hall
11/17/2015 | Ashland, OR | Ashland Armory
11/18/2015 | Santa Cruz, CA | The Catalyst
11/19/2015 | San Francisco, CA | Regency Ballroom
11/20/2015 | Los Angeles, CA | Regent Theatre
11/21/2015 | Solana Beach, CA | Belly-Up Tavern
11/22/2015 | Pomona, CA | Glasshouse Concert Hall

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Premiere: Stream a Track from the New DEAD CERT. Release https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-a-track-from-the-new-dead-cert-release/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/premiere-stream-a-track-from-the-new-dead-cert-release/#comments Tue, 29 Sep 2015 21:46:26 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103631 Releasing music digitally for over a year now, DEAD CERT. Records—founded by William Welt and Jack! Who?—will now drop its first limited edition vinyl-only release.

Spread across four tracks, the release features two original cuts by both founders, one by Welt himself, and a DJ Spider remix of Welt's "Stalker." The label is linked to the infamous Death Techno mix series, which has featured guests such as Joachim Spieth, Mike Wall and Miss Sunshine, among others, focusing on the darker, deeper side of techno. The murky depths the release delves into is heavily evident in the first of the collaborative tracks, "Creeper," which as the name suggests is a slithering slab of groove-focused deepness, perfect for early morning dancefloor destruction.

DEADCERTBLACK001 will be officially released on October 5, with "Creeper" streaming in full below.

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Podcast 406: Stephan Bodzin https://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/09/podcast-406-stephan-bodzin/ https://www.xlr8r.com/podcasts/2015/09/podcast-406-stephan-bodzin/#comments Tue, 29 Sep 2015 20:29:28 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103465 Following his interview discussing the production processes and motivations behind his latest album, Powers Of Ten, XLR8R invited Stephan Bodzin to show off his mixing skills by contributing to our podcast series. For many years, the Bremen-born musician and label head—widely recognized to be a hugely influential figure in the global techno scene—has been acknowledged for his production work, an endeavor of his that can be traced back to his earliest years where he dabbled in the studio with his father before releasing his critically acclaimed debut album, 2007's Liebe Ist. As for his DJing, it has always been perceived as the secondary part of Bodzin’s artistic repertoire, something that is perhaps understandable given the quality of his production—and the fact he didn’t even get behind the decks until after his 36th birthday, over nine years ago.That said, with a musical ear as good as Bodzin’s, spotting the emotional connection between records comes naturally—and for this week’s podcast, he compiles a techno-orientated selection, many laced with the Moog bass and hissing hats that he has made his own.

For the podcast, did you have a particular idea behind what you wanted to achieve, or did you just head into the studio and let it go? Were you going for a particular mood?
My idea was to mix up tunes from my album with the stuff I'm playing out at the moment, and then topping it up with some unreleased stuff. In this particular case I should mention that this podcast is premiering three unreleased gems.

1. The opener, my remix for Pan-Pot's "Sleepless" from their brand new (and stunning) longplayer, The Other. Thomas and Tassilo were just closing their smashing Boiler Room set with this one last weekend, to be released soon on Second State.

2. The synthapella of my recent Life and Death release, "Singularity". It's a non-beats version, just the synths, no percussions etc. This one, like all 10 synthapellas of my Powers of Ten album, will be released with the upcoming remix-album of Powers of Ten, which includes remixes by Maceo Plex, Pan-Pot, Max Cooper, Extrawelt, Fur Coat, Agents of Time and and and…out January 2016.

3. Luna Semara's superwarm and intense tune, "Mustafa." It's fresh from the studio here in the mix.

How and where was the mix recorded?
It was mixed inside Ableton, last weekend while touring Argentina.

How long did you think about the mix before you actually started recording?
Not too long. I never actually do.

For you, how do you ideas and visions for a preparation for a podcast differ to that for a DJ set?
The folder that I use for a DJ set is far more complex and holds up to about 60-80 tracks, just to be able to react to how the night is going. For the podcast, I had those three key tunes that I mentioned before and built the rest of the set around them.

What else have you got coming up this year?
Ha! I've said it already:
1. Remix of Pan-Pot.
2. Remix album of Powers of Ten (+ including all synthapellas).
3. Working on a remix for Rodriguez Jr at the moment.
4. Preparing a BIG surprise for 2016.

01 Pan-Pot "Sleepless (Stephan Bodzin remix)" (Second State)
02 Marc Romboy "Hypernova (Stephan Bodzin remix" (Systematic)
03 Stephan Bodzin "Lila" (Herzblut)
04 Rework "Acid Control (Fur Coat Remix)" (Yakazi)
05 Hunter/Game "Adaption" (Kompakt)
06 Tale of Us & Mind Against "Astral" (Life and Death)
07 Rafael Cerato "Sekater" (Systematic)
08 Stephan Bodzin "Singualrity (Synthapella)(Herzblut)
09 Luna Semara "Mustafa" (Unsigned)
10  Stephan Bodzin "Wir" (Herzblut)

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Sigur Rós Announces Limited Edition Vinyl Reissue of ( ) and Takk https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/sigur-ros-announce-limited-edition-vinyl-reissue-of-and-takk/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/sigur-ros-announce-limited-edition-vinyl-reissue-of-and-takk/#comments Tue, 29 Sep 2015 19:22:48 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103601 Never a band to disappoint its fans, Sigur Rós announced today that they will be releasing the long awaited vinyl reissue of their critically acclaimed albums, ( ) and Takk, directly from the band's web store( ) is the third full-length album from Icelandic band, first released in October 2002. The album features lyrics sang entirely in "Hopelandic", a language created by Jónsi that consists of onomatopoeia and amphibious words. Takk is the fourth studio album by Sigur Rós, and was released on September 12, 2005. This will be the first time that either album will be available on vinyl since their initial releases.

( ) will come in it's full Grammy-nominated artwork, including die-cut sleeve and spot UV varnish inner bags. The 72-minute 2 x 12" LP will be pressed on limited-edition, 140 gram clear vinyl and includes a CD of the album.

Takk comes pressed on 2 x 12" 180 gram vinyl, along with a one-sided etched 10" vinyl record. The album artwork packaging comes with the original debossed and die-cut sleeve, with printed inner bags, all done to the band's exact specifications.

You can pre-order both of the albums here, with shipping coming directly from the US.

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Native Instruments Releases Full Version of Stems Creator App https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/native-instruments-releases-full-version-of-stems-creator-app/ https://www.xlr8r.com/news/2015/09/native-instruments-releases-full-version-of-stems-creator-app/#comments Tue, 29 Sep 2015 18:01:39 +0000 https://www.xlr8r.com/?p=103584 After a rigorous five-week beta testing period, Native Instruments announced today that the release of the official, full version of Stem Creator is now available for free download via the Stems Music website. The new tool provides a simple way to create high-quality Stem files using a drag-and-drop interface and integrated mastering controls to fine-tune the final mixed Stem file's sound. For example, a Stem file can contain a track split into four musical elements such as a drums stem, a bassline stem, a melody stem, and a vocal stem. Each stem can be controlled independently to create instant new mixes, mashups, instrumentals, acapellas, and more.

Native Instruments also recently introduced Stem file support in Traktor Pro 2, providing instant plug-and-play connectivity with Traktor Kontrol S8, S5, D2, and F1—the world's first Stems-ready DJ controllers. The innovative software manufacturer also recommends using their advanced audio mastering techniques within Stem Creator, which can be used to during the final stages of the master dynamics process. To conclude this massive release, Native Instruments published a video interview with Through My Speakers label artist, NGHT DRPS, on how the Stem Creator software adds flexibility to his sets and how the program is used in the final mastering process.

You can find out more about Stem Creator by visiting the Stems Music website, and you can watch the Native Instruments video interview with NGHT DRPS by clicking on the player below.

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