Music Submissions Roundup: June
A selection of our favorite music submitted by XLR8R+ members last month.
Music Submissions Roundup: June
A selection of our favorite music submitted by XLR8R+ members last month.
Welcome back, this time for a roundup of our June submissions. As lockdown lifts in some parts, almost all world’s clubs remain closed meaning that we’re at a loss if we want to go out for dance. But if you want to sit in and dance in our living room, or even your bedroom, this month’s submissions will give you a soundtrack, with three must-hear mixes, one comprising almost exclusively tracks downloaded from XLR8R‘s now-defunct free downloads section, as well as a selection of cuts from the XLR8R+ edition. This month also sees the return of Dawn Razor, who delivers another bass-driven cut, and Nick Stoynoff, who turns in a remix of Thom Yorke and an all-originals live set from 2014. For those who’d prefer something more contemplative, we’ve submissions from Tender Scoundrel, Wicked Expectation, and Darcy Khalid, plus many more that are sure to resonate. Enjoy, and thanks for your continued support.
Editor note: we’ve made a point of linking each artist’s name to their social media page, or a place where you can buy their music, and we encourage our readers to support these independent artists by buying their music. Let’s keep independent culture alive.
For those unfamiliar, XLR8R+ is a member-supported music community and curated music experience. Every month, you will get three exclusive tracks—sometimes more—by a wealth of amazing artists that XLR8R has supported over the years, as well as access to the member’s area where you can submit tracks and DJ mixes to be showcased in this feature series and to the XLR8R+ community, as well as exclusive editorial content, mixes, FREE passes to music festivals and events, playlists, and more. You can find out more here.
Tender Scoundrel “Ringgo“
Tender Scoundrel is the work of Meik de Swaan and Stephan Wever, originally from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, but now based in Los Angeles, California. Earlier this year, de Swaan and Wever, long time collaborators on film projects, decided to combine their love for music and build a fully analog studio in Laurel Canyon. Their debut EP is set to release this summer, and “Ringo,” a light piece of contemplative, melodic electronica available now, is the first single.
Dawn Razor “Sixteen”
Enigmatic Russian artist Dawn Razor has featured on R&S, A R T S, Anemone, and Hypnotic Room to name a few, and we’ve featured his work in our Monthly Selections before with “Be As One 2.” His music comprises broken beat techno, electro, mutated bass, post-trance, and everything in between. “Sixteen” is more subtle than “Be As One 2,” but it’s equally mesmerizing. We’ll repeat what we said earlier. Dawn Razor is one to watch.
Haelium “Feel The Same”
Haelium is a producer from Paris, France whose dreamy electronica is a mix of cinematic textures, ethereal atmospheres, and punchy beats. Influenced by the sounds coming out of labels such as Warp, Brainfeeder, and Erased Tapes, his music is “a place where opposites meet,” and offers a refreshing blend of deep melancholy and childlike optimism. “Feel The Same,” a perfect summation of his style, is taken from Recovery, his new EP, available now.
Puma is a Venezuelan DJ-producer based in Miami, Florida, and a resident DJ at The Electric Pickle. He’s just launched his own label, Miami Analog Jams, with MAJ 001, comprising four original club-oriented tracks that’ll have you dancing around your living room. “J10,” the pick of the bunch, is one we keep coming back to for its rolling, insatiable groove—a sure-fire floor filler.
Edgar Mondragon “Estaba Brava la Luna”
Edgar Mondragón, from Mexico City, is another artist we’ve featured before. His sound blends ambient, drone, noise, dream pop, and techno, and his work has taken him across Latin and North America. He’s about to release his first full-length album, No hay recuerdo que no se apague, and this is the third single. It’s another exquisite slice of score-like ambient, but it’s more moody and contemplative than “Refugio,” his first track, which is available here.
Rollover Milano Records, from Milan, Italy, will present the album release of Ferrari, real name Andrea Ferrari. Born and raised in the outskirts of Milan, the rising producer began playing drums in post-punk bands before swerving into production. Nene, a four-tracker, embodies Ferrari’s early influences: dystopian guitars, dreamy Middle-Eastern flutes, and Norwegian disco basslines. On the A-side, there’s a pair of cosmic, club-ready chuggers, including “Talk,” and on the flip, there’s a remix by Juan MacLean plus “Dopium,” which closes things out in Ferrari’s psychedelic style.
Dujat “With Him” (Piksel Remix)
We’ve featured Piksel‘s music on XLR8R before, covering Some Silver Burns, and now she’s remixed Dujat‘s “With Him.” The track is included on Gongan Remixed, a five-track remix EP available now, and it twists the original into a textured piece of ambient techno of beautiful subtly. Proceeds from the release will be going to Arts Emergency, a UK charity that helps young people from diverse backgrounds access higher education in the arts, and Seed Studios, an arts and wellbeing organization.
Aspetuck “Unknown Future”
Aspetuck had never considered delving into the world of music production until fairly recently. Growing up in sleepy Vermont, without easy access to any inkling of a nightlife scene, the internet was his only form of musical discovery for those formative days. Years later, after living in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles, Aspetuck found himself drawn to the robust nightlife cultures of both cities that was so absent in the rural hills of the northeast. Immersing himself in both music production and photography, two creative outlets that seemingly complement and balance each other, he is quietly chipping away at developing his sound with the help of a broad range of influences to draw from.
After releasing his debut album, Treehouse At Yuma Place, Aspetuck has returned with a brand new EP, Unknown Future, comprising three hopeful yet slightly melancholic tracks. “Unknown Future, taken from the album, is a more straight-forward, groove-focused house track that gushes with emotion. It was made towards the very beginning of the strange times the world is experiencing in early 2020.
Idea Unsound “Be with U”
Idea Unsound, from San Francisco, California, is a left-field hip-hop producer and DJ mixing broken beats, futuristic vocal chops with a melodic, dubstep palette. His musical style is strongly influenced by his classical training, his love for science and technology, and his roots in dance music. “Be With U,” his latest track, is a dark dance heater with futuristic vocal chops awash in glitchy, synth, and deep bass, and it follows April’s “Push Me.”
Darcy Khalid “150,000 Drug Tests, All Across Victoria”
With “150,000 Drug Tests, All Across Victoria,” we’re introduced to Darcy Khalid, an unidentified producer originating in Perth, Australia, where he had been DJing around town under a different name, but now based in Melbourne, Victoria. Upon arriving in Melbourne, he began taking production more seriously, enrolled in a music production course, and began exploring experimental and soundscape-driven music. He waited four years before releasing anything, because he wanted a sound that felt like his own. Drivers Wave At One Another On The Nullarbor, his debut EP, is available now, and on it is “150,000 Drug Tests, All Across Victoria” featuring Hamish McGrath. Expect broken-beats and ambience, overlaid with a sheen of melancholy fuelled by Khalid’s “propensity for brooding introspection,” he tells XLR8R.
Wicked Expectation “Emotional Control”
Wicked Expectation, from Turin, Italy, is a band formed in 2012, and they just released Emotional Control, their new EP. The release’s two tracks surround IDM and broken-beats with atmospheric grooves to create an immersive sound inspired by clubbing culture. The group recorded the release during lockdown, dousing it in melancholy underpinned by the need for escapism. It came out for Italy’s Sideshape Recordings, and we’ve picked the title-track to present here, but check out “Grain of Sand” too.
Thom Yorke “Not The News” (Nick Stoynoff Bootleg)
In our March Selections feature, Nick Stoynoff remixed Albion’s “Air,” an ecstatic, timeless trance track written by Ferry Corsten. Stoynoff, from Chicago, morphed the original into a driving, late-night cut, adding some real punch to the drums without compromising the majesty of the original. Now he’s remixed Thom Yorke’s “Not The News,” from Yorke’s most recent solo album, Anima, turning it into a bass-driven floor-filler.
Lawani is a half-French, half-Beninese techno producer named Alexandre Barbier. He’s been making music since the early days of MySpace but it was only in 2016 that he committed to using his third name, Lawani, which so happens to be his great grandfather’s name. In May, he released May, documenting his first experience of panic attacks. “Kilburn,” a new track, is different from his earlier work, in that it’s infused by grime and garage, and paced at 145 BPM, but it’s no less enjoyable.
The mysterious Anaphase duo met at their neighboring studios in London, while working through the night. They’d hear samples of one another’s music through the walls, and this led them to begin working together, bearing fruit in a string of singles that combined their contrasting musical backgrounds into a blurred-genre electronic sound that’s uniquely their own. Haunting, fragile vocal hooks and cerebral synth melodies characterize their compositions.
Their latest release, “Accordia,” is available now on UNDERHER’s IAMHER imprint, and it’s as beautiful as you’d imagine. “The lyrics are about corruption in the world. It’s about what that does to you on a personal level,” the duo explain. “How we can become tainted and twisted by it if we’re not careful.”
Lostfreqk “(breakin on down) with the midnight drum —>”
Lostfreqk, whose identity remains unknown, is based in California, and their music is inspired by club movements and self-expression. “(breakin on down) with the midnight drum —>,” a wildly eclectic track of singular style, has plenty of bass and quick beats, and it also features Lostfreqk’s own vocals.
KIDSØ “Childhood” (Long Arm Remix)
Moritz Grassinger and Martin Schneider, or KIDSØ, released their latest single, Childhood, in May on Springstoff. It’s the title track from the live-electro duo’s anticipated album, which is slated for release later this year. Here they’ve presented a remix of “Childhood” by Russian producer Georgy Kotunov, or Long Arm, which is as emotive and beautiful as you’d expect from the Munich duo.
PΛRΛ “Sour Bit”
PΛRΛ, sometimes spelled PARA, is a project started in 2018 by Mickey Babalon, who was born in Poland but spent a big part of his childhood in the United Kingdom. He currently resides in China.
Babalon was introduced to electronic music at an early age through The Prodigy and Thunderdome, before a fascination with drum & bass and jungle pushed him towards collecting records, DJing, and producing. PΛRΛ, his lead project, is focused on musical experimentation within various genres of dancefloor-oriented electronics. The first singles, including “Sour Bit,” came through Barcelona label Xenonyms, and present dubstep and techno aesthetics in a rather deconstructive manner.
“While writing the track, I tried to transform all the negative emotions I encountered this year into my fuel for the creative process,” Babalon explains.
It is described by the label as a” soundtrack to a non-existent quarantine party, spinning itself beyond the grim reality, into oblivion, one last time,” and it embodies the darkness of challenges we face today and the hope we hold for the future.
Grey Pantone “Lasers”
Grey Pantone, or Andrés Lloreda, from Berlin, Germany, offered “Lasers,” a new track, for free download via Soundcloud. He’s released it alongside a video, which had been on his mind for some time. He recorded the track one night in his studio, playing with his Moog Mother 32, and with its vocoder vocals and warping bass, it formed the soundtrack for the video. The video evolved and it now features two girls, Paula and Maria, dancing around the washing machines, firing lasers at one another. Watch it here.
Antonio “2020 – 05 – 20 Electronic Birthday”
Antonio Rodriguez, who uses his first name, is a DJ based in Dallas, Texas. His connection with music is “deep,” he says, and he has ambitions of not taking over stages but a radio show instead. He recorded this fun and upbeat set for his birthday, choosing a bunch of his favorite records old and new.
Nick Stoynoff “Live PA @ SOUNDBAR CHICAGO“
Nick Stoynoff, whom we’ve mentioned earlier, warmed up for Hernan Cataneo and Nick Warren in Chicago in July 2014. His live setup for the night was Ableton live with an Akai controller, and a pioneer mixer for additional effects. Expect just under an hour of Stoynoff’s unreleased originals, with a full tracklisting here. It’s world-class deep and emotive house music—played live!
Tima Fei “Downsouth Electronic Soul Transmission“
Tima Fei, a Chicago-trained and Ukrainian-born artist, has compiled a mix dedicated to XLR8R, in that it’s almost entirely compiled of tracks from the downloads section, which is currently on hiatus, and tracks from recent XLR8R+ editions. “My evolution as an artist has been fostered by XLR8R for many years,” he explains. “I moved from Chicago to Atlanta—one music city to another—in 2017, accompanied by your site as though one of my closest friends.” It’s downtempo and wildly eclectic, and described by Tima Fei as “an embodiment of my perception of music and sound during this chapter of growth.”