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Somewhere: Barcelona, Spain

A debate rages among flamenco purists over whether the flamenco hip-hop of Ojos de Brujo belongs on stage with more traditional artists such as Paco de Lucía or at indie music festivals like South by Southwest, where the group appeared this year. Ojos mixes an array of random styles that hardly seem to go together: traditional flamenco, rumba catalana (the more upbeat, danceable cousin of flamenco), hip-hop, funk, and even beatboxing and scratching. Read more » 

Isan: Mastering the Art of the Dark

Long before Berlin’s Morr Music established itself as the Playmobil to Warp’s Lego, Scotland’s Isan was making pastel-colored, melody-driven electronic music of its own. Comprised of fellow gearheads Robin Saville and Antony Ryan, the duo has been swapping tapes since 1993 and releasing them under the Isan banner since 1997. Read more » 

Daddy Yankee: Super Fina

Daddy Yankee stands in front of a weathered three-story block in the Villa Kennedy area of San Juan, inside the government housing project where he spent his teenage years. Boricuas–the term used by Puerto Ricans to describe their Taino Indian heritage–peer at him from behind brightly painted iron grills. Shoeless kids with long limbs and Bambi eyes zip across the streets staring coyly. Homeboys with immaculate cornrows cruise past, nodding appreciatively from beat-up Chevys. Friends of all ages lean out of trucks to holler “Yankee! Read more » 

The Funk Phenomenon

Forget samba. Funk is the biggest music in the favelas (shanty towns) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Not the James Brown sort of funk, something else. Call it funk carioca, favela funk, or simply funk, like the locals do.

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Prefuse 73 in the Studio

Both 2001’s Vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives and 2003’s One Word Extinguisher have become classic lessons in instrumental beat making. With the highly anticipated Surrounded by Silence (Warp Records) just released, the versatile Scott Herren (a.k.a. Prefuse 73) opened his studio doors to a variety of collaborators. XLR8R took a moment with him to discuss gear, sampling, and how to cooperate with fellow musicians.

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