Live and Direct | XLR8R
With the exception of a fleeting interest in electronica giants like Orbital and the Prodigy in high school, I didn't truly come to love the mechanized world of dance music until I reached college. There, in the rave-heavy town of Madison, Wisconsin, my interest in house, techno, drum 'n' bass and downtempo flourished. I had a newfound stream of cash from waiting tables in my pocket and thus, I became a fixture at the local record store. It was there that I discovered XLR8R. Sure, I flipped through my fair share of URBs and BPMs, but like their three-letter names, these did not have the substance or indepth coverage of the underground that I found myself gravitating toward. XLR8R did. It still does.
As readers of Dialogue Incorporated, I'm sure you know that while we do cover the big dogs—Steve Aoki, Pete Tong, 12th Planet—our passion truly lies in the movers and shakers just below the surface. In this regard, XLR8R remains our kindred spirit. It was also the place that gave me my start in dance music journalism. I wrote for the magazine between 2005 and 2007, covering deep house, broken beat and nujazz. You can peruse those archival nuggets here: XLR8R | Contributors. I also owe those pages a debt of gratitude for helping me get my current position with Time Out Chicago.
And now, in a grand coming of the full circle, I'm pleased to announce that I am once again contributing to those pages, now exclusively available in digital form. My first review showed up online on Friday (see below) and we've got many more wonderful features in the works. Stay tuned.
—Joshua P. Ferguson