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Franck Roger: Paris Goes West

Paris really was burning in November...with the real fires of rioting immigrants. But no matter how hot things actually get, Parisian producer and DJ Franck Roger keeps it cool with his own take on deep house. "I grew up with all kinds of music, and I realized that house music is the perfect mix between soul music, disco and Latin jazz," recounted Roger via email the same week that France was filled with unrest. If only everyone would keep their mind as open as Roger's, who even cites Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaria as one of his influences.

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Services: Disruption and Destruction

Tristan Bechet and Christopher Pravdica are Services, a band quite unlike what you might have heard before. Formed out of the ashes of well-known noise rock/wall-of-sound outfit Flux Information Sciences (Young God Records), the duo's staggeringly loud live shows assault the senses with a tower of discordant noise and distorted rhythm. How does a band comprised of only two people produce such a maddening amount of sound? The secret lies in a discovery made one day by Bechet, experimenting in the studio.

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Aloe Blacc: Soothe and Cool

Aloe Blacc, the MC/vocalist legally known as Nathaniel Dawkins, has had a musician's ear since childhood. Raised by Panamanian parents in Southern California, Aloe has always saturated himself with every bit of culture he comes across.

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Eska and Mpho Skeef: Breaking Out

There's a revolutionary energy reverberating through speaker boxes and live music venues across the UK. The polar opposite of the junk food-quick fix of manufactured black pop, this is audio gastronomy that nurtures, energizes and heals, and it's being spearheaded by two very different London vocalists: Mpho Skeef and Eska.

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The Bug: Sound Murderer

It was 1 a.m. on the fifth floor of an abandoned council flat in London. A massive system had been brought in from Bristol and the Heatwave party was living up to its name. A visit from the authorities and the threat of closure hadn't stopped the headliner from taking the decks but all doors and windows had to be shut. Equipment was failing, a technician was under the decks screwing together a powerstrip, the place was packed with people and even at a quarter power the system was still thumping people with bass while MCs spit lyrical daggers. Read more » 

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