So your dreams of being a music-video choreographer or hot DJ/producer have been crushed by the reality of pushing papers around inside a tiny cubicle. Well, weekend warrior, that's what these new videogames are for. Like Dance Dance Revolution, Dance Factory (Codemasters; PS2/$39.99) is a mat-based game where you high-step and booty bounce in time to the console's predetermined dance steps. Read more »
At an undisclosed location on the left coast, a makeshift craft fashioned with MicroKorgs, MPCs, and an endless cavalcade of blinking LED outboard gear has impacted Earth with the force of an atomic bomb. After years of intercepting radio waves from US hip-hop/R&B stations, its inhabitants have arrived to tweak the algorithms of urban music. Light years ahead of the curve and devoid of factory presets, the result is a new sound that references Parliament/Funkadelic, Kraftwerk, Vanity 6, and Soft Cell all in the same breath. Read more »
Freegums. The name brings to mind the gummy smile of a senior citizen with his dentures out, or a dish of brightly colored Chiclets. It's actually the alias of 25-year-old Peruvian Alvaro Ilizarbe, who's been causing havoc in the streets of Miami, Florida since he was exported from Lima at the age of nine. Flexing a loose, colorful style that incorporates claws, laughing hyenas, palm trees, and clever sayings, Ilizarbe's graphic design work is a smart, tongue-in-cheek reflection of South Florida and its environs.
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If you were to travel back in time to the early '80s, you'd find a vastly different musical landscape. Though the disco era was in full swing and funk's motherlode was still fertile, album-oriented rock ruled the roost. Alternative rock and electronic music were still in their fledgling stages, R&B had settled into a safe, comfortable groove, world music was the province of folk-loving hippies, and hip-hop had yet to explode across mainstream America's consciousness.
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When you take a peek into Jel's Oakland, CA studio, you come to realize that it really doesn't take that much space to create some of the most textured, spatial, and exquisite instrumental hip-hop records of the last couple years. With albums like 10 Seconds (a reference to the extended sample time he achieved by speeding up records) and his latest, Soft Money (Anticon.), he's becoming increasingly known for his drum sounds, whether they be lifted or programmed, but never played live. Read more »
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