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Pop Art: Guitar Graphics

Were it not for Andy Warhol's interest in the avant-garde, we'd have no Velvet Underground and Nico. Had the art programs at St. Martin's College and Leeds University not churned out more than just painters and sculptors, Brit pop and post-punk wouldn't be the cultural forces that they became. Does art-pop patronage still exist today? But of course! Here we allot 15 minutes to some of our favorite graphic designers' pet projects.

1. UPSO (a.k.a. Dustin Amery Hostetler)
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Karriem Riggins and J Dilla Shine

From learning to operate a turntable while still in diapers in Detroit to recording his second LP in an L.A. hospital bed, James "Jay Dee" Yancey's life was consumed by music. Unsurprisingly, this deep-rooted connection colored the esteemed producer's death as well. Read more » 

7L & Esoteric: Path to Dopeness

In the world of underground hip-hop–where purity is God and progression is often looked upon with scorn–it's quite rare to see artists ditch the formula with which they've made their name. But A New Dope, the fourth LP from Boston-based MC/DJ combo 7L & Esoteric, finds the duo engineering a stylistic switch-up of the highest order.

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The Knife: Dark Times

It's been a while since "faceless techno bollocks" ruled electronic music; aside from a few renegades like Narod Niki and Rex the Dog, most dance-music artists seem to have torn off their masks sometime around the rise of the superstar DJ. But with their new album Silent Shout (Mute), The The Knife has revived the ideology of anonymity, converting themselves from an unsettlingly chirpy electro-pop duo into one of the more darkly intriguing propositions in post-techno.

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Mouse on Mars In The Studio

Jan St. Werner makes electronic music so abstract and overloaded with ideas that it seems "post-everything." In his solo work as Lithops and in collaboration with Andi Toma as Mouse on Mars, he is best known for translating postmodern concepts, dance rhythms, ambient excursions, and digital tomfooler into music that sounds like child's play, as if the sounds are being thrown against walls to see if they break. Read more » 

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