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Alias In the Studio

Ever since crate-digging purists became indie rap's greatest limitation, artists like Anticon's Alias have gone far out of their way to shake up expectations. Shying away from both mainstream rap's fascination with synth gloss and hip-hop traditionalism, Alias' lo-fi experimentation recalls records that never existed, resulting in a dusty combination of garage production and gritty electronics.

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Bitter Bastard: Dance Music Don'ts

Behold! A smattering of the most unnecessary things in club culture, courtesy of your dancefloor watchdog, BJ "Bitter" Bastard.

1. Topless female DJs
We just got sent this email from a dude who represents "topless female DJs" and it didn't even say their DJ names or anything about them as people, except that they played trance, house, and electro. I want to make a joke about this but it's hard to do while I'm barfing in my mouth. One small step for boners, one big giant leap backwards for all humankind.

2. Clubbing awards
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Mihara Yasuhiro: Foot Forward

The last person whose style made an impression on Japanese designer Mihara Yasuhiro was an old lady he spotted in France. "She was walking down the street and her wig was off-center on her head," he explains, via an interpreter. "But somehow, it looked so cool."

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Matthew Dear: Confidence Man

Much ink has been spilled over the way that hip-hop artists are increasingly becoming defined by their entourages. Less discussed is the fact that techno is going the same route. (For proof, reference any photograph of the DJ booth when Richie Hawtin is holding court.) The proliferation of discount airlines and the growing notion of a "clubbing season"–marked by the opening and closing parties of Ibiza's biggest institutions–are turning DJ entourages stateless and nimble, as quick as a flash mob and as ubiquitous as a 4/4 kick.

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FriendsWithYou: Plush Playgrounds

With so many brands trying to insinuate themselves into your daily life, it's easy to be suspicious of an organization that wants to befriend you. But it's hard to stay cynical about Friends With You, an outfit so upfront about their intent that they've made their mission statement their name.

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