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In order to ease you in to the beginnings and ordeals of a new week, here’s the exquisite mix that Spanish producer Pional recently did for XLR8R.

!…his mix is largely a collection of melody-driven, slow-burning house, but several tracks include catchy synth riffs and vocal passages. It’s tempting to call it “indie,” but it’s more that Pional is simply an artist who’s balancing his passion for the dancefloor with his love of a good pop song. It’s a tricky balancing act to pull off, but at least for now, he’s walking the line very effectively.”

XLR8R Podcast 361: Pional (direct download link)

L.A based producer/dj Jerome LOL is gearing up for the release of his new EP “Deleted/Fool” next week on the Friends Of Friends label, he made this absolutely amazing mix for XLR8R which will undoubtedly be soundtracking our daily grind here at Discobelle HQ.

“A simple glance at the tracklist reveals that this is not the average XLR8R mix, as it’s safe to say that we’ve never had an artist throwing down tracks from 50 Cent, Adele, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, and Usher before. However, what’s truly impressive is that Jerome LOL has managed to utilize these pop-chart anthems in a way that doesn’t seem cheap or ridiculous. There’s absolutely a method to his madness, as the mix reveals a real talent for identifying and blending sounds, irrespective of whatever cultural baggage their source material may carry. Over the course of more than an hour, there’s a continual emphasis on synthesized melodies, unobtrusive (but effective) rhythms, processed vocals, and the oddly beautiful inhumanity of modern production techniques. Even when he digs deep into his archives, there’s something familiar, even comforting, about the music on offer, not to mention a real sense of continuity from one song to the next. Jerome LOL clearly understands the dynamics of today’s pop music, but he’s also quite diligent about tracing its various elements back through history; in this way, he’s something of a musical archaeologist, and perhaps that’s what makes him such a compelling figure. After all, we’re not usually big fans of international pop smashes, but in the context of Jerome LOL, we’ve found that they go down quite smooth.”

XLR8R Podcast 328: Jerome LOL (direct link)

“Hey luvs

This mix was originally posted last year on Clash Magazine as part of their podcast series. A mix for celebrating fun in da sun.

Here’s my description on Clash from fall 2012 :
This mix is a soundtrack to your Indian summer, if you’re having one right now, or a mix for those people that are in need of a lil’ sunshine. It’s a very summery/sunny mix to bring you out of your fall funk. Lots of juke/footwork and a lil’ jungle thrown in for good measure. There’s some jokes in there too. I went for the more soulful style of footwork instead of the colder minimal tunes meant more for the dancefloor. I played this exact set at the XLR8R boat party at Dimensions festival in Croatia this summer.”

Being heralded as the face of an international movement must be kinda tough. Such is the perilous-but-also-probably-effing-awesome position that Michael Cox, known to many more as MikeQ finds himself in.

Increasingly being dubbed reigning king of the HA, soundtrack to the international vogue / ballroom / house scene by such folks as Vanity Fair and XLR8R, MikeQ’s debut release on Fade To Mind is another landmark in a year that’s held many.

Fresh off tearing up Tokyo alongside Koppi Mizrahi, (who’s hugely responsible for the emergence of the scene in Japan) and a relentlessly powerful Mixpak FM 90 minute vogue mix filled with track names like “10,000 Screaming Faggots” and “Gurk That Shit”, the Fade To Mind release can be seen as an introduction of sorts to ballroom beats, featuring collaborations with legends Jay Karan and Vjuan Allure, and remixes by rising young stars of the Jersey Club scene Nadus and DJ Sliink.

But vogue’s reputation for primarily soundtracking clubs where queer, transgendered folks of all ethnicities went to dance brings up lots of issues about representation, and more personally, fears about the vogue sound being co-opted without recognition or support for the scene that birthed it.

This year saw Boddika and Joy O sampling Robbie Tronco’s “Walk For Me” into the much sought after “Swims”, but not before Tronco threatened them with a lawsuit for unauthorized sampling. Because this release is still listed as forthcoming on Swamp81, it appears this has been resolved, but the original implication was that Tronco did not take kindly to his source material being reworked.

Also gaining popularity is a selection of what’s been dubbed by some as ‘hetero-HA’- music that takes on the vogue vernacular without giving any other part of the gendered or social environment surrounding the creation of the scene much thought.

So to clarify, maybe it’s not MikeQ who’s in a perilous position, but dance music’s relationship with mining scenes for their authenticity and then repeating the idea in progessively less interesting rehashes. I’m not suggesting that MikeQ invented vogue, but of course, neither did Madonna.

Anyway, even if you think the social/political/sexual politics behind genres is fucking boring, all you really need to hear is the infectious scat improvisation of Kevin JZ Prodigy on “Feels Like” to understand why this is hot. Further showcasing the energy behind the music, this video of MikeQ and Kevin JZ Prodigy live at the Fade To Mind LA release party is just madness.

Below, “NuCunt” stretches out Kevin’s vocal words into a splice-and-dice snare workout that’s sure to work some reverberating magic on pansexual dancefloors ‘cross the nation.

Most important tho – The new MikeQ EP is out on Fade To Mind NOW on iTunes. GRAB IT!

DJ MikeQ, “NuCunt” by The FADER

Mysterious Barcelona based producer John Talabot with a summery blessed mix/podcast done for XLR8R, filled with his precious brand of discohouse.

“This week, Talabot released another batch of new music, the “Families EP”, via Young Turks. To commemorate the occasion, Talabot has put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series, an offering that finds the mysterious auteur hazily winding his way through sun-soaked house, spacey disco, washy techno, and all points in between.”

XLR8R Podcast 197: John Talabot (link to XLR8R)

Tracklist after the jump.

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