A selection of our favorite music submitted by XLR8R+ members last month.
Hello! We’re back with another round of submissions, made through our portal. This February, we’re delighted to have welcomed new music from Australia, Mexico, Croatia, France, and Wales, covering dream pop, Italo disco, trip-hop, and even new beat. (Plus the usual house and techno.) There’s also music from Bostock, an exciting British producer, and Radondo who, after a spell on Mufti’s Fucanglong Files, delivers his ear-worm melodies on Berlin label Loose Fit Records. We’d also like to take the opportunity to highlight nola shade, an artist we know nothing about but whose work has touched over deeply over the past few weeks. Go check out 22 silk dubs, their latest album, streaming below. Thank you once again for all your submissions, and we look forward to hearing more soon. And please dig into these.
Editor’s note: we’ve made a point of linking each artist’s Bandcamp 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. There’s also exclusive editorial content, mixes, FREE passes to music festivals and events, playlists, and more. You can find out more here.
Varaz “Baba Yaga“
Varaz has been studying classical music since a young age and, more recently, he’s moved into jazz piano. With a sound that sits somewhere between minimal house and electro with a touch of nostalgia and futurism, he’s put out two releases on Moodfamily, based in Ghent, Belgium. Here, we’re streaming the title-track of the latest EP, released in September, with remixes by Lawrence, Dewalta, and Moodfamily’s own AMyn.
The productions of London-based, Southampton-born DJ-producer Bostock range from emotional deep house to contagious techno, but they’re all geared for the dancefloor and flavoured by his love for UK bass. “Initalize” is the opening track from Unplugged, his latest EP, available now. (We strongly suggest you check out I’m Good, on Paper, Bostock’s earlier EP, too.)
A former bass guitarist and pianist, Loxxe is a Toronto-based artist who took up DJing and producing while living in Osaka, Japan, inspired by the city’s energy and intensity. Her sound is versatile, teetering effortlessly between hard, driving techno and warm, dreamy deep house. She also draws inspiration from retro gaming culture. “Ultra” is a slice of fast-paced melodic techno she uploaded to her Soundcloud towards the end of last year.
Edgar Mondragón “Tensión Hacia Tres“
Edgar Mondragón is an electronic musician based in Mexico City. His sound, which blends ambient, drone, noise, dream pop, and techno, has seen him play across Mexico, United States, Canada, Colombia, and Japan, including at festivals like MUTEK and SXSW. “Tensión Hacia Tres” is a musical piece inspired by the work of Mexican abstract artist Manuel Felguérez. (More recently, he shared “Pluralismo,” inspired by José Chávez Morado, which we recommend too.)
Wandour “Voyage to Afterlife“
“Voyage to Afterlife” is the latest track from Wandour, known for their downtempo and melodic house jams. The track itself starts with a mellow ambient key but, as it progresses with its sweeping pads and floating string bass, it transports your mind and moves your feet. It forms part of an EP of the same name, available now. (“Seventh Heaven,” the flip-side, is also worth your time.)
Acopia “Anything You Want“
Acopia is the collaborative project of Melbourne artists Kate Durman (a.k.a Purient), Lachlan McGeehan (a.k.a Liluzu), and Morgan Wright. Their debut album, Chances, an intimate excursion of dream pop, is a tender and emotional journey, reminiscent of Portishead. “Anything You Want,” a slice of hazy electronica that weaves beneath glassy-edged vocals, is a late summer lullaby and one of the album’s standout moments.
nola shade “browneyes“
We don’t know anything about nola shade. But what we do know is that “browneyes,” a track they submitted to XLR8R this month, forms part of the 22 silk dubs album, available now on the similarly mysterious her face label. What we also know is that’s it’s sublime and beautiful which, we must say, is the same for the album.
Lun Moonatik “Time pt. 2“
Lun Moonatik is a musician from Rijeka, Croatia. After publishing his first EP, Parallel Heat, on Indonesian label Love International, he’s turned to self-publishing via Bandcamp. So, recently, he’s put out two albums, Questions and Manifesto, but “Time pt2” is the closing track from Time, his latest EP, released in February.
Spectateur “Only You“
The sound of Spectateur, an electronic music producer and beat-maker from Nantes, France, is rooted in trip-hop and ambient atmospheres, but with plenty of bass and percussion. Spectateur released his first album, Yateveo, in 2016, before returning with 2017’s Their Dreams, which marked him out as a beat-maker to be reckoned with. “Only You,” an uplifting blend of beats and electronica, forms part of a new EP, available now on Loci Records in Portland, Oregon.
David J Bull “Body Gum“
David J Bull is a Cardiff-based DJ-producer who has been a key player in Welsh electronic music for nealy a decade, co-running the TEAK and Studio 89 parties. For his debut EP, Body & Beat, on DKA Records, he nods towards the new beat sound that “emerged and vanished” between ’88-’90, he tells XLR8R. Across four tracks, Bull pulls together a collage of sound sources and mixes them in with FM synths, bass guitar, and Cheetah drum samples (a budget drum machine made in Cardiff back in the ’80s), resulting in a dark and wacky electronic record ready for an alternative dancefloor. “Body Gum” is the second track.
Dany Rodriguez “Brain Picture”
Dany Rodriguez is a Belgian DJ-producer who runs LINK Audio. To open the label’s catalog for the new year, he’s delivered two cuts that aim to bridge the gap between electro and electronica. While “Spirit 82,” the opener, is a deep and squelching machine-funk track with dark vocal cut-ups, “Brain Picture” features glittering electronics and atmospheric keys. The EP is available now.
Radondo “Dante” (Jex Opolis Remix)
In February, Loose Fit Records, known for its output of Italo disco and electro, released the debut EP from Radondo, an alias for Jimmy Horton. After spells on Mufti’s Fucanglong Files and Slow Motion offshoot Wrong Era, the Berlin artist further showcases his love for ’80s influenced synth work and driving bass excursions. On top of the two original cuts, on the B-side two Italo contemporaries add their own touch: Slow Motion co-founder Franz Scala takes on “Dust,” but our pick comes from Good Timin’ boss Jex Opolis’ playful and joyous Italo house take on the title-track, which is sure to be heard across dancefloors this summer.