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Sly & Robbie: Real Drum and Bass

Outside Sonic Sounds studio, Robbie Shakespeare is gesticulating wildly as he shouts a string of expletives into a mobile phone. Someone owes him money somewhere, and he’s apparently unhappy about it. He’s a big guy with a hefty frame who once served time in a notorious Jamaican prison on a gun charge, so whoever’s on the other end of the line must be sweating. Inside the studio, Sly Dunbar is the essence of calm as he adds some live percussion to a new computer rhythm; once the basic structure is in order, Robbie plugs in his instrument and deeply locks into the groove.

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The Soft Pink Truth: Softcore Hardcore

In his round spectacles and colorful scarf, and with his silver Prius cutting through a typically gloomy San Francisco afternoon, Drew Daniel looks like the PhD student he is. It’s also easy to imagine him as half of his band Matmos, the cerebral duo whose compositions are invested with as much conceptual insanity as they are endlessly tweaked samples and noise. Read more » 

James Murphy: Cracked LCD

Since ditching punk rock in favor of dance music about five years ago, James Murphy’s done his damnedest to help indie kids get reacquainted with their backsides. In addition to comprising the American half of New York’s lauded production group-cum-label DFA (with Brit Tim Goldsworthy), he’s also the brains behind the celebrated LCD Soundsystem, whose vinyl singles “Yeah” and “Beat Connection” have enjoyed residencies on many a dancefloor. Read more » 

The Perceptionists: Triple Play

The vibe in Boston is so good at the moment,” The Perceptionists’ Mr. Lif says of his hometown. “It’s an ill time to be here–the region is just synonymous with excellence right now.”

Lif isn’t talking about the attention the city’s historically ignored hip-hop scene has been receiving lately–he’s referring to the success of the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots, whose recent championships have helped redefine a city often preoccupied with the failure of its sports franchises.

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Tigersushi: Forging Links with the Future

If electroclash represented the needless, and often desperate, repetition of nearly everything we loathed about the plastic ‘80s, another group of artists and labels–who we’ll call by no clever name, thank you very much–took influence from the synthetic decade’s more experimental inclinations. Enter Tigersushi, stage left.

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