A selection of our favorite music submitted by XLR8R+ members last month.
With summer fast approaching, we’re ready to present the next batch of submissions through our portal, coming from our valued members. As we do each month, we’ve listened to everything that you’ve sent in and presented our favorites. April’s roundup is notable for its diversity, and we’re delighted to have heard some exceptional releases from artists we perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise come across. Of particular note are Plasman’s Circles and Circles, a slice of mesmerizing electro from Milan, and Guatemala Dreams, a drum & bass album by mysterious German artist Planetary Secrets. (If you want something a little more upbeat, Jan Janssen’s “Le Tedey” will surely put a smile on your face.) And we’re stoked to have discovered Hidden Element’s broken beats and the little-known Simple Symmetry, a feel-good Russian collaboration with ties to Red Axes. In terms of mixes, the shimmering ambient of Yui Onodera, based in Japan, is as sure to incite emotion as Chloe Lula’s techno mix is to make you want to move. Please, dig in, and we’ll be back with more next month.
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 in fact 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 great 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.
Hidden Element “MindBugs”
Igor Kirilenko began to release tracks as Hidden Element in 2011, firstly as a duo with Nil Tarasov and now as a solo project. Over the years he’s released music on Absys and Pinecone Moonshine, and also created remixes for London Elektricity and Enter Shikari. He also co-runs Kyiv label Thousand Kisses Place along with Sergey Vovk, focusing on “smart breakbeat music,” he says. “MindBugs,” a foggy breakbeat jam reminiscent of the great DjRUM, is a standout from Cycles, a new EP that follows Comparisons and Kontinuum.
Joescho is the alias of Leeds-based producer Joe Schofield, whose influences span deep house, minimal, garage, and jazz, not to mention an interest in space and the great unknown. Earlier this month, he released Hypnosis, a two-tracker on London label Everybody In Return. With its catchy synth stabs and hypnotic vocal samples, the title-track is a keeper, as is “The Terminal” on the flip.
Simple Symmetry “Oh Lord”
Simple Symmetry is the project of Sasha and Sergey Lipsky, DJ-producers from Moscow united by their love for psychedelic sound. They began to play music together when they were kids and performed in various live bands before their interest in synthesizers and machines turned into Simple Symmetry. Over the last few years, the duo have released on Moscoman’s Disco Halal, Jennifer Cardini‘s Correspondant, and Red Axes’ Garzen Records, pushing music with a certain psychedelia and “a touch of weirdness,” they say. “Oh Lord” is the lead single from SORRY! WE DID SOMETHING WRONG, their debut album available now their own New Ears Records label. It features Abramov and Iggor Cavalera.
Together with Deckard, real name Giuseppe Massara, Marco Cassanelli, an Italian producer, focuses on harmonic and experimental techno sounds. “Suspended Time,” a new single of melodic dub techno, is a first taste of OPUS SECTILE, the Italian pair’s upcoming album. Last year, they released Pyramiden, a smooth, immersive live recording extracted from a modular session made while testing a new live setup.
MIRA 新伝統 “Axsys Pandemonium”
MIRA 新伝統 is a collaborative project based in Tokyo, Japan, comprising Raphael Leray and Honami Higuchi. Their first release, Torque, on Austrian label AMEN, was based on the real-life experience of sexual abuse experienced by Higuchi. Later that year, they opened for Yves Tumor in Tokyo. “Axsys Pandemonium” is their latest track, an immersive experimental work from an artist on the rise.
Carlos de Pablos “Watch”
Carlos de Pablos grew up in the Spanish town of Betanzos where he first learned music as a kid. After finishing his piano degree, he moved to London for five years where he explored the city’s club culture as a raver and a DJ, developing his electronic influences. Late last year, he released his debut EP, Tough Call, and “Watch” is the opening track, full of atmospheric and expressive melodies with deep, driving rhythms. Close your eyes and let go.
Miles Ellis “House Of Fun”
Miles Ellis is a rising producer based out of Arizona, whose formative years were heavily influenced by his musician father who played the guitar in a band called Full Thrust. He grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix and Iron Maiden but those tastes have since shifted towards the house of Frankie Knuckles and Kerri Chandler and robust Detroit techno. In April, Ellis returned to Detroit’s Motech Records with four fresh techno tracks, having earlier delivered his popular “Jack The Beat” on Motech’s Consortium Vol. 2 compilation. House of Fun is a blistering EP and the title track is the pick of the bunch.
50,000 Dinar “Snipe”
50,000 Dinar is the alias of Elliot Smith based in Salt Lake City. In March, he put out suizen, a new album of downtempo beats inspired by Buddhist philosophy. He made it all using a laptop computer running Ableton Live 11, Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators, an Artley flute, a nest drum, a Yamaha bass guitar, and a G&L S500 guitar. “Snipe,” a moody jazz cut full of groove, is our pick of the bunch but the album is well worth your time.
Jan Janssen “Le Tedey”
Jan Janssen is a young gun from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and this month he’s submitted his new track, “Le Tedey,” a playful studio jam available now on Barbecue. It’s named after a camp in south-west France where he’s been going every summer, and it captures the feel-good emotions of holidaying, with light blue skies and people having a great time. The release comes with a remix from Naux, based in Lyon, France.
Planetary Secrets “Guatemala Dreams”
Planetary Secrets, a mysterious producer based in Leipzig, Germany, has released a new EP on Loose Fit Records, titled Guatemala Dreams. Created during the pandemic, the release explores different themes of escapism through music and toes the line from nostalgia to fantasy. As Planetary Secrets says in the label notes, it’s rare for him to start a track without a theme, whether that’s a childhood memory or place he wants to visit, and this manifests in an environment in his head that guides the production process. Sonically, the EP presents a propulsive take on the sound of ’90s rave, and it’s filled with snapshots of sounds from the actual jungle which comes to life via a thick barrage of breaks. Listen carefully and there’s a subtle nod to the golden era of drum & bass.
CANVAX, better known as Danny Jeroense, is based in Deventer, the Netherlands. After his Cosmophilia album on the Italian YAY label and a couple of tracks on compilations from BassAgenda and Crobot Music, he’s released Koortsdroom, a new EP on Dutch label Lo Phi Forms. It features five tracks broadly covering electro and ambient, and we’re featuring “Klopjacht,” an encapsulation of Jeroense’s emotive, rough-edged sound.
This month, CAPYAC, a French house duo hailing from Austin, Texas but based in Los Angeles, submitted “Simultaneous,” their latest single. It begins as a light-hearted slice of house, but slowly the sound expands with floating chords and soaring vocals, making it a beautifully transformative piece of work.
Liliane Chlel “Malign/Benign”
With her distinct sound treatment and signature improvised performances, Liliane Chlela, from Beirut, Lebanon, has been pushing the boundaries of experimental electronic music for over a decade now. Malign/Benign, her latest EP, and an evolution from her 2012 album, Lullaby for Monsters, is a four-track experimental dance release with infectious energy and flow. We’re showing the full release here, for no other reason that we couldn’t pick just one track!
Plasman “Underwater Still Life”
Plasman, real name Carlo Vergani, based in Milan, Italy, approaches music through classical studies of the clarinet, and he began his experiments with electronic composition in 1997. Circles and Circles was originally born as a tape-only release for Svbterrean Tapes 2018 and Italian label 51beats has since made it available digitally for the first time. The album is an imaginary journey through the universe and a contemplation of the distant stars and planets, and this results in an extremely psychedelic release. “Underwater Still Life” is a mesmerizing second track.
Yui Onodera “Japanese Ambient Journey”
Yui Onodera is a Tokyo-based musician who uses a broad palette of musical instruments, field recordings, and electronics to craft provocative clouds of blurry, hypnotic sound. He has released works on Kompakt and Room40. In March, he shared 90 minutes of ambient and drone with a delicate mood and texture, featuring tracks from KMRU, Roméo Poirier, and Abul Mogard. It’s carefully engineered to sooth the soul, to be enjoyed quietly at home.
Chloe Lula “The Forgotten CCLX: Chloe Lula Mix”
San Francisco-born, Berlin-based artist Chloe Lula has been involved with electronic music for more than a decade. She started producing her first live sets in 2019, when she completed a month-long artist residency with Drew McDowall of Coil, and the experience ignited her confidence in composition and allowed her to combine her classical cello training with electronics, melding granular synthesis with acoustic riffs and metallic percussion to create an unalloyed brand of droned-out industrial electronica. Many of these jams ended up becoming the tracks on her debut EP, Errant Bodies, with German label aufnahme + wiedergabe. Last month, she put out a new podcast for The Forgotten in Mexico City, exhibiting a brooding techno sound with tracks from Tommy Four Seven, JK Flesh, and Maelstrom.
Adam Rahman “The microminmal takeover – episode 77“
Adam Rahman is a DJ-producer based out of Dubai, known for his work in developing a techno scene in India and across the Middle East. For the 77th edition of the microminimal takeover for Threads, a platform based in Brooklyn, New York, he compiled two hours of stripped-back house and techno. Expect two hours of slick and steamy groove.