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Tauba Auerbach: Magical Powers

For many people, language is an afterthought–to Tauba Auerbach, it's everything. Her work centers on the power of words and alphabets, bestowing a rather mystic quality on the tools of everyday communication. Using elaborate calligraphy, reconfigured typewriters, and painstakingly rendered ink drawings that often resemble rebus puzzles, Auerbach's pieces are at first achingly simple, then ponderously complex as they force one to muse on the shortcomings of language.

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Kool Keith: Doctor Who?

If you are Keith Thornton, sometimes even an interview is an exercise in role-playing. At least this is the impression I get on the phone with the man who’s rapped under a variety of assumed names over the past two decades, including Dr. Dooom and Dr. Octagon, but most frequently Kool Keith. As he rambles on for close to an hour about aliens and government conspiracies, the division between the real man and his various sci-fi hip-hop personas melts further and further away–an ambiguity Thornton cultivates and willingly exploits.

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Jeff Mills: For Whom the Bells Toll

Rumor has it that when Jeff Mills plays "The Bells," crowds recognize the track within .37 seconds. If that's true, then playing the chiming anthem is probably quicker and more effective than waving.

"It's something I can use to say hello to the people," concurs the techno founder about his signature track. Made in 1994, it was not until spring of 1996 that "The Bells" saw official release on Mills' Purpose Maker imprint. (Before that, Mills played it from a custom 13" record.) He claims he's played the record every time he's DJed since he created it, and that it has never not worked.

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Holy Fuck: Dance Agitation

Holy Fuck, as founder Brian Borcherdt likes to say, is all about "chaos." The noise/dance outfit's mission statement involves "no songwriting" and no practicing, and if someone can't make a gig, they'd rather recruit a new band member than cancel a show. The four core members come from rock backgrounds–Borcherdt was in party rockers By Divine Right, Kevin Lynn in the dubby King Cobb Steelie–but they consciously stay away from guitars and avoid anything that resembles pop. Read more » 

Barbara Morgenstern: The Wanderer

The living room has always been an integral facet of Barbara Morgenstern's aesthetic, both literally and figuratively. The Berlin-based electronic singer-songwriter-producer–known for her hushed and huddled organ tones and crisply sequenced wisps–emerged as part of the mid-'90s DIY Wohnzimmer ("living room") movement, where artists hosted informal concerts throughout the diffused squats of the former East Berlin. Read more » 

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