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Amina: Whisper To A Scream

Amina has already discretely seduced their way into hearts and record collections via collaborations with Efterklang and The Album Leaf, and, most famously, as the string section for Sigur Rós. Read more » 

Jammer: Jammed Frequencies

A menacing string B-line kicks in as a budget camera shot pans around a shabby street in London's East End. Viewers prepare themselves for the kind of gritty, voyeuristic journey around a UK hood that is synonymous with grime and then... blam! A 5' 6" dreadlocked super hero–resplendent in a purple, black, and green homemade one-piece, facemask and cape–ricochets into the shot, Karate Kid-style.

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Oliver Wang: Crate Digging

San Francisco writer/DJ Oliver Wang has always had his taste-making hands in every pot on the stove–from contributing to NPR and Vibe to maintaining blogs for MSN, Napster, and his own critically vaunted Soul Sides audioblog–so it was only a matter of time before he got into the compilation-curating game. Wang culled down a list of 50 dust-covered soul gems to arrive at the 14 beautiful slabs on his first compilation, Soul Sides Volume One. Here he tells XLR8R about some of the jams that made the cut--and one that got away.

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Stereo Total: Utopian Lounge-Punks

"It wasn't love at first sight, musically," says Brezel Göring of his first forays into music-making with girlfriend and Stereo Total co-conspirator Françoise Cactus. Eventually, the pair struck upon a way to combine Göring's background in the Neue Deutsche Welle ("German New Wave") scene with Cactus' love for French chansons and '60s garage rock. Read more » 

The Gossip: Soulful Rebellion

Somewhere out there, Etta James and Iggy Pop are scratching their heads and asking, "How in Christ's name does The Gossip come up with this shit?" This Portland-by-way-of-Arkansas three-piece crushes their garage rock crescendo with more soul than BET and more angst than a pack of small-town teenagers. The band's latest offering, Standing in the Way of Control, is a potent blend of R&B and spasmodic rock that's got asses bouncing and bodies crashing from coast to coast. Lead singer Beth Ditto explains it all while hanging curtain rods.


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