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Lifting the Lid - UK Duo Akkord Peels Back the Layers of Mystery Surrounding Its Music and Identity

Electronic music undoubtedly has more than its fair share of enigmas. Within the sphere of underground dance music, anonymity has become a cliché to the extent that, more often than not, the facadé of mystery is even less exciting than the unremarkable reality it usually shrouds. What sets British electronic outfit Akkord apart from this morass of faceless musicians, however, is that as the veil of anonymity has been slowly peeled away, the process has, at times, seemed to pose more questions than it's answered. Read more » 

Press Play: Disclosure, Breach, Om Unit, Boys Noize, and More

Seeing as how we've got some fresh record streams, music videos, unexpected remixes, DJ sets, and more from artists like Disclosure, Deetron, Boys Noize, Breach, Prins Thomas, Fatima, Visionist, and Sei A, among others, the latest edition of Press Play is simply an offering of music that can't be missed. Read more » 

Cult of Personalities - 10 Things You Need to Know About James T. Cotton

No matter how much one knows about James T. Cotton, it's a safe bet that they only know a fraction of the story. Born Tadd Mullinix and also known as Dabrye, the Michigan-based artist has been subdividing himself into some of the coolest, most distinctive projects on the planet since the late 1990s. This week, he's releasing a new, three-track EP as JTC, Valley Road (We Are 1), via Spectral Sound, so it feels like the perfect time to recall the work and play of this unique and versatile talent. After all, discerning heads have been raving about (and raving to) Mullinix's music for well over a decade, but somehow, he's remained quietly productive while happily flying underneath the mainstream radar. Read more » 

Bubblin' Up: John Heckle

The easiest way to pigeonhole John Heckle is to talk about how "raw" his productions are, but the term means less and less in the context of house and techno with every passing day. In 2013, releasing hardware-only live jams is hugely trendy, and the "raw" or "rough" descriptor is applied to virtually anything that isn't dazzlingly polished. Barring his early work as Hek, the young producer from Liverpool has always tended toward the overdriven, but it seems a little reductive to place him in this context. Naturally, his relationship to hardware and, more importantly, somewhat reckless EQing, comes up repeatedly in conversation. Read more » 

Hi-Five - MK Shares Five of His Favorite '90s House Tracks… That He Didn't Make Himself

House veteran MK (a.k.a. Marc Kinchen) is having himself a good November. At the beginning of the month, his remix of Storm Queen's "Look Right Through" surprisingly hit number one on the UK pop charts (oddly enough, more than three years after the original song was first released). Next week, he'll be following that up with the reissue of "Always," his 1992 classic with vocalist Alana, via the Defected label. Of course, Kinchen's influence has loomed large over the current explosion of '90s (and '90s-reminiscent) house and garage sounds, particularly in the UK, so we figured it would be interesting to ask the man himself to put together a list of some of his favorite cuts from that era, with one caveat: he wouldn't be allowed to select any music that he had a hand in making himself. Though he didn't follow our instructions to the letter—he slipped in a couple of tunes that actually dropped in the '80s—his selections do include some undeniable anthems; better yet, they provide a small window into what music (other than his own) got Kinchen excited back in the day. Read more » 

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