Archives for posts with tag: XLR8R

 

Ok first off, this mix is trippy as hell. Om Unit grabs fast paced rhythms by the balls, creating a smooth and murky existence. I’ve tested it out in various locations; in the bathtub, driving from Seattle to Portland, washing dishes at work..and I’ll say that it’s very enjoyable and a distinct journey through and through. I love when something showcases a wide range of emotions, and this mix does it so well. You’ll hear Om Unit’s rad rollers VIP mix of Machinedrum’s “Gunshotta”, and some absolutely wild tracks from Ital Tek’s Planet Mu album release, Control.

Some of you who caught my recent set opening for DJ Rashad & DJ Spinn may remember this track from Om Unit’s debut album on Civil Music, Threads. The first time I heard this, I froze. It goes to chilling depths. I felt like I jumped outside of my body and watched my life unfold in slow motion. Awe-inspiring production really.

 

Other thoughts on Threads

– Similar to the way his RA began, “Folding Shadows” opens the album with instant immersion. It walks slow and steady, with eerie emotion and a funky strut.

– The dense rain atmosphere in “Healing Rain” is intriguing and soothing, naturally.

– “Drift Interlude” – Same reaction I got hearing “The Road” .. encapsulates my life right now and observations of some relationships.

– “Reverse Logic” – Reading the name, it’s easy for me to imagine this track as an entity constantly moving backwards. It’s a great visual to a sophisticated beat.


– Seeing photos of underwater pyramids and structures found in places like Bermuda and Japan after hearing “Deep Sea Pyramid”, perfect. It’s got a dark curiosity to it, and a restless sense of adventure.

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Hopefully that mix and these tracks have you needing more. Om Unit aka Jim Coles has been producing a diverse discography for over ten years; crafting works under the names 2Tall, Nyquist, Philip D Dick and Dream Continuum with Machinedrum. To take in more from Jim, see RBMA’s July 2013 interview and/or his more recent XLR8R interview alongside DJ Rashad.

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omunit.com

– Jimi Jaxon

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Graze is extremely effective at creating a journey with its productions, and this recent live set is no exception. The debut of this live show happened at Mutek 2013 in Montreal, and received significant recognition at the festival and in reviews. XI (Christian Andersan) and Adam Marshall (head of New Kanada, a personal label favorite) know how to demand motion and imaginative thought. While still being immersive with a wide spectrum of emotion, their tracks as Graze can have this dirty sassiness with the rhythms, and I absolutely love their execution. I’ve listened to this mix at work; washing dishes and cleaning tabletops, as well as at home cleaning my room. These can feel like mundane tasks, but as their live set sound tracked my actions I was immediately taken to another place, a placed dreamed up and translated by this duo. I hope to see Graze live in the near future, their fluidity with performance is of very high quality. I’m happy that this live session is available for download via XLR8R. Fine job with the eq’ing and/or mastering of the mix, ultra crisp. So many mixes I hear are missing that final touch, and I think it can do a disservice to the collection of tracks. 

 

I adored their self-titled debut EP. I wrote multiple blog features on the release, and played out several tracks such as “On Board” and “Ques”. After hearing that an album was fast approaching, I had no doubts that it would be major. I believe it will further show that Graze makes consistently strong statements about musical quality and graphic design. This new track “Skip/Crush” is a sonic triumph, pleasing on headphones and blasting out a club sound system. The video’s design demonstrates that Graze is just as strong with visuals and they are with beats. It astounds and inspires me that all the graphic design for Graze, including this new video and all the graphic productions for the New Kanada label are done by Adam Marshall. A one man machine, I see such talent in his able to create cohesion, making art pieces with lasting potential. This visual element of New Kanada deserves it’s own feature, but for now I want to give Adam credit for such mastery of the eye.

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Today marks the eve of the ‘Edges’ release, Graze’s debut album. They’ve built it up very well, with all signs pointing towards a very strong presentation. I hope that it brings listeners together from many walks of life; from techno heads to dubsteppers, bass music fanatics to ambient chill people’s and everyone in between. The walls between genres are being broken down and mutated once again. Graze are a perfect example of two people coming from different ends of a landscape, and through mutual respect, creating distinct common ground.

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You can now stream the entire album, with commentary from Graze via Self-Titled Mag.

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– Jimi Jaxon

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Clark, Clark, motherfuckin’ Clark. It’s surreal to say that just last year I played alongside this revolutionary producer for Decibel Festival 2012. Alongside Jimmy Edgar and Machinedrum, we represented the Warp Records Showcase. I tried with all my might to create a mix that would compliment these awe-inspiring artists, and the experience helped my art evolve to new heights in a very short period.

 

Fresh off the press, I was so excited to see Clark in charge of the latest XLR8R podcast. I’m always curious about what this dude is up to, and now I have new insight. It’s a bizarre, adventurous mix, demonstrating Clark’s wonderfully twisted perspective that I’ve come to love dearly.

 

For those of you living in the Seattle area, Decibel will be bringing Clark back towards the end of November. Jon Hopkins headlines with support from Nathan Fake. No way in hell I’m missin’ this.

 

Clark – Twitter Facebook

– Jimi Jaxon

When I first saw the lineup for Decibel Festival 2012, Actress stood out as my #1 artist to see. I insist you attend the XLR8R Presents showcase, where Actress will headline live (tix available here). His music transports my mind to bizarre and new places. Mixing techno, house, dubstep and experimental music with an other-worldly perspective, his music constantly challenges me. Genre boxes seem so limiting to what he does, and I encourage you to push off from these reference points as you listen. His album’s “R.I.P.” and “Splazsh” are distinct entities, and it would benefit you to also hear his “Hazyville” lp.  He’s an enigma of sorts; laying out a sonic environment that few come near.

 

 

I saw Teengirl Fantasy here in Seattle a little while ago at The Vera Project and was delightfully impressed. This 2-piece group from the U.S. performs live with no laptops or backing tracks. I remember being amazed at their ability to effortlessly produce their dance floor intended songs on the spot. Their off-kilter reflection of house music took me a second to get used to, but after more listens I’ve come to respect their aesthetic.

 

 

Gulls from Portland, Oregon will be opening the show. He runs Boomarm Nation; a collective of artists putting out “experimental sound system music”. Feels like a fitting way to round out this lineup. 

 

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– Jimi Jaxon

Released this month, XI presents his Joy/Fear EP on New Kanada. As you’ll see in this interview, I’m quite fond of this guy’s style, and had a fun time getting to know him.

 

 

DD Welcome, XI. You’ve easily become one of my favorite artists to feature on Disco Droppings. How’s it goin’?

XI Maxin’ and relaxin’ all cool, just shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school.

DD Before I read into some of your past interviews, I listened to your music and noted a similar reaction with Actress. In both instances, I get the feeling that I’m in some alternate, almost alien environment, and I like it. If you’ve heard Actress’s R.I.P album, how has it impacted you?

XI I take that as a massive compliment because I don’t try to parallel my own productions with his, but I find his music massively inspiring and consider him probably my most favourite electronic music artist of all time. R.I.P was one of the albums I was eagerly awaiting this year and the circumstance under which I heard it for the first time was as wonderful as the album itself. His is some of the only stuff these days that puts me into an alpha state, much like you are describing. The divergent reality effect. Since 2006 his music has been the soundtrack to much of my life. Current favourites off the record are title-track “R.I.P”, “Tree of Knowledge”, “Uriel’s Black Harp”, and “Ascending”.

 

DD What video games have the best soundtracks, in your opinion?

XI There are many classic soundtracks that spring to mind, one that sticks out (due to the emphasis on the music itself being part of the package) is Quake 2, another is EVE Online (which I’m open to admit playing semi-regularly). Video game music is a unique breed that sits somewhere between movie scoring and just free writing. Games like Katamari have soundtracks with music that simply wouldn’t go outside of the game environment. Some classic NES titles (some of which I have sampled) that I love are games like Shadowgate, Mega Man, and of course the Final Fantasy series (Jenova boss music ftfw).

 

DD What would a game, with a soundtrack by XI, look like?

XI I think I would do best scoring a future-fantasy epic. Something that takes forever to finish with a twisting story line, probably to do with the origins of the universe and involving some bit where the main character is in some extra dimensional plane contemplating the nature of reality. I’m talking plate worlds, sub orbital strongholds, loads of spacecraft, innumerable star faring races, plenty of chronicled inter-galactic lore, large-scale wars. Oh yeah, and it would also have to primarily be a love story. But the main character doesn’t get the girl at the end and the bad guys win.

 

DD Your new “Joy/Fear” EP on New Kanada has an incredibly distinct atmosphere. The track, “Nightlif” creates such a confident mood, very deep and emotional. What was the most rewarding thing about making this release?

XI Putting out this latest record was great. I was really happy with the tracks and could feel that they really suited where I’m at artistically and express exactly what’s going on in my mind currently. Working with Adam Marshall has been a great experience, and all the tracks on this record have been directly inspired by my new found life here in Berlin. Over the last year the way I make music, the way I think about it and how it actually ends up sounding has changed drastically, so I’m glad to have some of this new stuff see the light of day AND be received so well across the board. Even the free promotional give-away track Glythe was something I was really excited to get out there.

DD Going way back to a release you did in 2008, Smoke Signal/Strategy on Off Road Recordings..”Smoke Signal” is a mammoth track dude! Wow, was not expecting a track like that. Was your mindset much  different back then, or is this just a different approach to making beats?

XI Back then, comparatively, I had no idea what I was doing. So long as it had complex rolling drums and a huge baseline I was satisfied. In ’08 I was primarily concerned with writing tracks for my DJ sets that would get people moving and work out the sound systems. I am still cognizant of sound system workouts in my new stuff, but I’m personally getting more satisfaction out of making more expressive music, some might say I’m moving more into listener territory these days, and whether or not that is true, one thing I can say is that I’m much happier with my output lately than I have ever been.

 

 
DD Where do you plan to take XI in the rest of 2012?

XI Live set, longer records, more story telling, more trance inducing melodic sojourns, more Bill Withers appropriation, getting slower and slower, and taking over the world by sword or subterfuge.

 

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– Jimi Jaxon