Music Submissions Roundup: November
A selection of our favorite music submitted by XLR8R+ members last month.
Music Submissions Roundup: November
A selection of our favorite music submitted by XLR8R+ members last month.
As the year draws to a close, we’re back to present the latest roundup of submissions through the XLR8R portal. As with previous editions, we’re happy to present music from artists who have featured on XLR8R before, including the ever-colorful WalkPalmer, but November’s list is brimming with new musical talents that we’ve only just discovered. Among the standouts are OWANJ, a collection of three friends who’ve just recored their album in Spain; Lun Moonatik, a rising Croatian artist; and the freakishly funky beats of Rollover DJs. Footwork lovers will likely appreciate the submission from Canada’s HomeSick, and there’s some drum & bass from Sunchase, who should need no introduction for lovers of the genre. In terms of mixes, Blume, from Argentina, has delivered a personal brew of odd melodies and dancefloor-shattering breaks, and there’s plenty more to choose from.
Editor’s 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.
While Shaun Lodestar, better known as HomeSick, is based in Calgary, Canada, he studied in France at the Red Bull Music Academy. When seeking inspiration for his stylings, Lodestar turns to DJ Rashad, Traxman, Yves Tumor, Death Grips, and Throbbing Gristle. As part of his explorations into the artistic applications of machine learning technologies, he’s shared ISOLATION TAPE, which was generated in part by artificial intelligence. We’ve picked “Like This 2020,” a slick juke track with masterful rhythms, to showcase here but we recommend checking out the full-length.
Michael Keever “Fear the Real Virus”
Michael Keever is a vocalist and producer from north London, and his music is inspired by the record digging in charity shops that consumed his youth. He’s recently started to meld samples with his own instrumentation and vocals, and “Fear the Real Virus,” which comically reflects on the ongoing pandemic with a relaxed swagger and lyricism, is one of his latest works.
Sunchase “Step Outside”
Alexander Pavlenko (a.k.a Sunchase), a key figure in the European drum & bass scene of the 2000s, has returned with Timeline, his long-awaited second album. The Ukrainian’s works took their rightful place in catalogs of such legendary labels as Moving Shadow and Metalheadz. Timeline, released earlier this month to open Vera Logdanidi’s Kashtan label, has a melancholic tone, and while drum & bass sits at the core, its sounds go deeper into bass music and dub, and there’s even some IDM. “Step Outside” is XLR8R‘s pick, but check out the entire album.
Rollover DJs “Tequilla Sunrise”
Italy’s Rollover DJs have a passion for house, disco, new wave, ’70s funk, and afro-beat, and all this feeds into everything they do in the studio. They run their own Balearic-inspired edits-only label, Anything Goes, and count the likes of DJ Harvey and James Murphy as supporters of their work. In November, they returned with Power To The People, an EP featuring a remix from Boombass (Cassius’ Hubert Blanc-Francard) and cover artwork by the mysterious Milanese artist TATUAGGI MALE. The EP’s closer, “Tequila Sunrise,” is a more horizontal tune with sunset vibes and lush guitars lighting up the arrangement with subtle funk. It has an eclectic sense of soul that will melt any heart—and drive any dancefloor.
FORM NULL “Relic”
Arthur Song (a.k.a. FORM NULL) is a Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based sound designer, music producer, and teacher. He spent his formative years in Australia, and has been producing for most of his life. He is fascinated with the degradation of sound, and the immersive nature of soundscapes and its ability to transcend both concepts of time and space. He draws his inspiration from brutalist architecture, tape machines, dystopian themes, and the human condition. Song is currently taking a step back from performing and is focusing more on teaching, content creation, and his creative projects. Earlier this month, he released FORM NULL. “Relic,” our pick, plays like a film score, with deep, dark, textures and brooding pads that conjure desolate spaces.
Sickarone is a beatmaker from Turin, Italy who makes music using his worn-out MPC 1000. He began releasing deep dubstep as Sick, but he’s now experimenting with sharp jungle and lo-fi hip-hop. “Callipher,” one of his newest tracks, is a “hardware-made footwork joint,” he says. With its bass-heavy groove and flirting vocal chops, it’s a cut begging to be played on a soundsystem.
Lun Moonatik “Enjoy Wrong”
Lun Moonatik, from Rijeka, Croatia, uses hardware synthesizers to create sonic interpretations of the world around him. His musical choices are selected through “subconscious and spiritual decisions,” he says. “I let the moment guide me while I sail on the waves of inspiration that bounce back and forth between the physical and the metaphysical.” “Enjoy Wrong” is taken from Manifesto, Moonatik’s new album. Like all his music, it’s warm, colorful, and carefree, produced with subtlety and finese.
Basile3 “Ciel Rouge feat. Simili Gum
Basile3‘s music is hard to pin down. Each of his projects points in different directions and explores new sonic palettes. In October, he debuted on InFiné Music with Ciel Rouge, moving through southern US hip-hop, dubstep, house, and various abstract forms of electronic music, imbuing every style he touches with a signature flair. The French artist envisions his music as the soundtrack to unwritten stories, with “imaginary characters and places,” and across the EP, rich textures and complex, angular melodies set a scene of contrasts. On the title track, spiraling synths and thumping bass complement the work of vocalist Simili Gum, resulting in an outsider R&B jam that’s somehow both coldly surreal and hopelessly romantic.
OWANJ is a collection of three friends who share a passion for exploring the world through sound. Their style draws upon a diverse range of influences, from samba grooves and ethereal electronic spaces to folk traditions, whilst pushing into more abstract and haunting visages. The group was seeded in London and brought to life in the coastal mountains of Andalucia, Spain where they recorded their first album, AZUM. The release reflects the group’s experience of lockdown and seeks to offer some solace in a time of uncertainty, and every sound across it was recorded and collected in the local area. On “AMANECER,” the album’s seventh track, you’ll hear steel pans alongside birdsong and serene vocals, which dance upon a dubbed-out groove and sound design that feels alive.
Roam “Old Ties…”
Roam‘s UK-garage-influenced music tackles some of the most prominent themes of millennial life, such as loneliness and mental health. He released his debut album, REMNANTS, in 2018, and now he’s back with The Wraith, a narrative electronic album that navigates the emotions felt as we drift apart from our dearest friends. The title is a metaphor for the memory of the bond you had with someone and how it can haunt you before you move on, to become a wraith yourself, from someone’s past. Musically, it’s influenced by James Blake, Chilly Gonzales, and Moses Sumney, and you can hear that in its delicate pop sensibilities and aching beauty. “Old Ties…” is a sensual slice of introspective 2-step, and it captures the experience of realizing that you’ve become a ghost to someone.
Venture Silk “Escape“
Venture Silk, real name Ruslan Shyshniak, started to make music around 2005, around the time he also learned how to scratch and played as a local DJ in a metal band. He’s always been excited about late ’90s Detroit electro, breakbeat, and bass music, and so since 2009, he’s been playing across Kyiv, Ukraine. “I usually get excited about details which can be a drum sound, a baseline, or an ambient noise,” he says. “Whatever creates a goosebump on my skin is a good indicator to start developing my own idea.” His latest release is The Gateway and it features “Escape,” a dark and dreamy track inspired by Detroit electro. It’s out now on 2064年 Recordings.
Outside Worlds “Hits!“
Outside World is Henry Solomon, whose saxophone playing is featured in his work with HAIM, and Logan Kane, a bassist who has shared the stage with acts such as Joel Ross, Jon Bap, and Chris Potter. Together, the pair sit at the forefront of a young and exciting Los Angeles jazz scene.
“Hits!” is the first single off of Outside World 2, the pair’s debut as Outside World. It’s also the debut single of Good Question, a Brooklyn label that will be focusing on experimental artists across a range of genres. It’s an energetic, hyper-pop-meets-jazz exploration in the vein of Flying Lotus and Kneebody. This single features Louis Cole on drums and Dennis Hamm on keys, both known for their work with powerhouse acts like Thundercat. It’s a mind-bending piece of rhythmic mastery that we can’t get enough of—and lands with a fittingly trippy video by Pedro Bello.
Kmyle “Artifical Body“
After a host of EPs on labels such as Clergy, Mord, and Beard Man, plus an album on Skryptöm, Kmyle is a French techno artist to keep an eye on. “Artificial Body” is the closer of the WASTELAND EP on KMYLE Records, and, with its fragile emotion and aggressive drive, it perfectly encapsulates Kmyle’s work, which is at once hard-hitting and introspective.
WalkPalmer “Standing On Waves”
WalkPalmer, a 27-year-old producer living in Århus, Denmark, was featured on XLR8R in April 2020, with the first single from his awaited new album. Since then, he’s been working hard to finish the LP, titled Changes, which went live in October. The releases displays the works he created during lockdown and so change has been a driving force in its production. The album features various genres and moods, ranging from ambient to deep house and more techno-focused cuts, with inspiration drawn from lo-fi, percussive, and melancholic soundscapes. “Standing On Waves” captures this perfectly with its slo-mo groove and gritty synth work.
One of Them “Tomo.Me”
After releasing on labels like Brooklyn’s Wolf and Lamb, Moodgadget, and Satoshi Tomiie’s Saw, Niko Dalagelis (a.k.a One Of Them) has released his first ambient album, Sithabo, out now on his own Artificial Owl Recordings. Each track represents a moment inspired by Dalagelis’ past three years of touring, and they were all written, produced, and mastered by Dalagelis in New York. “Tomo.Me,” our pick from the LP, is influenced by the end of a panic attack after a night at Contact in Tokyo, Japan, and is an affecting piece of electronics that straddles the emotional divide between paranoia and euphoria. We recommend you check out the album, too.
Rio Kawamoto “Chabu” (V/N Rework)
TEFFEBU テフェブ is a new record label from Buffete that “seeks to unite hemispheres and harmonize societies through a synthesis of art, music, poetry, and theatre,” they explain. The label was inspired by a trip to Japan a few years ago and was created to exclusively collaborate with Japanese artists. The first release on the label is a four-tracker by rising Japanese producer Rio Kawamoto, and we’re featuring the rework of “Chabu” by V/N, which is a project by label heads Variancé & Nathan. The track, much like the rest of the EP, focuses on a dubby groove, with sultry pads and slicing synth work filling things out. It’s a dreamy dancefloor number that keeps us coming back for more.
Daysailer “Bring Me Joy”
Billowing is the latest EP from Daysailer a project by Richmond, Virginia producer and songwriter Charles Taciturn. The release follows three previous albums on Barcelona-based label xenonyms and is a stunning collection of wind-swept ambient—it’s also Tactiturn’s first foray into a more gentle and restrained style of music under the Daysailer moniker. From the release, we’ve chosen “Bring Me Joy,” a five-minute piece of melancholic introspective ambient with a heartbeat-like kick.
Tito Mazzetta “Tales of Sub 131”
Atlanta native Tito Mazzetta has been an obsessive digger for over a decade, and he finds himself threading different genres together, challenging himself to see how far a tangible story can be told through the mixing medium. A staple of Tito’s formula is rinsing fresh finds, old and new, into these sonic stories; from ambient and minimal techno to rare disco and electro, nothing is off the plate when it comes to what he plays. “Tales of Sub 131” is one of his latest studio mixes and is a perfect sumation of what you can expect with a Tito set. With a solid groove at its core, the mix threads together deep house, broken-beat steppahs, Detroit techno, and more than a few hard-to-pin-down gems—all at 131 bpm.
Sam Young ‘One Circle Around The Sun With You [Mixtape]’
Amsterdam’s Kendu Bari (f.k.a. Sam Young) produces an ambitious form of electronic music that came together from styles like breakbeat, drum & bass, and ambient. His compositions are often lengthy, multi-part epics which are composed more like miniature soundtracks than typical club cuts. His latest project is a mixtape called “One Circle Around The Sun With You,” which he made as a celebration of love, and it features all the tracks that have piqued his interest the most of the last years, running through Skee Mask’s breakbeats, head-swirling ambient from Oneohtrix Point Never, and ending on a score-like wonder from Nathan Micay. With this mix he hopes to can “bring some warmth to the people during these grey times,” he says.
Blume “Sleep Oddities”
Blume’s music is a personal brew of odd melodies, dancefloor-shattering breaks, and unconditional devotion for all things acid. She originates from Buenos Aires, Argentina but is now based in Amsterdam. The mixes she performs, records, and releases don’t focus on specific genres but on elements in them that she appreciates, such as the track’s groove, beats, or obscure melodies. She prepared “Sleep Oddities” for Bristol’s Noods Radio in October, and it features tracks from Autechre, Steffi, Global Communication, and Boards of Canada. It’s a wonderfully sourced and compiled mix that has been on repeat in the XLR8R office since it was submitted. Take note, Blume is one to watch in 2021.
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