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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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Hood Stays Afloat

Hood is like a ship always tempted to push how far it can safely venture; at times it felt like it was sinking, but the water’s frozen around it and stopped the boat,” laughs Chris Adams of Leeds-based psyche mâché artists Hood, as he metaphorically describes his group’s dynamic. “We started as a speedboat two years ago [following 2001’s critically successful Cold House], then went round the various harbors and took on water; but we’ve been in for repairs and are seaworthy again.”

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Mitsu the Beats: Transnational Soul

Twenty-eight-year-old DJ and producer Mitsu the Beats hails from Japan’s wilder northern climes (Sendai in the Miyagi prefecture)–think snow monkeys and hot springs, not bullet trains and the world’s largest city. Nonetheless, his ruthlessly smooth hip-hop is as metropolitan as it gets. Balancing an ear for hooks reminiscent of ‘93 with the boundless, borderless skills of Japanese MCs and occasional forays into broken beat, Mitsu is fast becoming a global talent.

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