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Bonobo In the Studio

The music press has birthed a great deal of corny genre names, but perhaps the daddy of them all is "chill-out." Totally functional, and devoid of personality, chill-out does exactly what it says on the tin. But sometimes these labels serve a necessary purpose, aside from selling compilation albums–they help launch careers. Such was the case for Simon Green (a.k.a. Bonobo), who debuted in 1999 with Animal Magic (Ninja Tune), an album that displayed the kind of chill mastery most journeyman ambient producers spend a lifetime chasing.

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Reinventing the Soundsystem

On October 26, 2006, Detroit's newest contemporary art museum, MOCAD, opened its doors to the public with a show called Meditations in an Emergency. The most compelling part of the exhibition was not Roxy Paine's blob-making or Barry McGee's and Amaze's 30-foot high graffiti pieces–it was a one-man 1960s-style reggae soundsystem.

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Jon Santos: Freebird Story

If you catch Jon Santos busting a jit at a Manhattan warehouse party, then consider yourself lucky. When 32-year-old Santos isn’t holed up in his Chrystie Street studio working on one of a dozen projects, he’s usually traveling the world. Case in point: He’s just come back from Hong Kong, where he was supervising the printing of an art book he curated on the theme of “resurrection,” and Tokyo, where he shocked tastemakers by showing them work he did for Phil Collins’ farewell tour. Read more » 

Klaxons: White Magick

In 1992, Kicks Like a Mule's "The Bouncer" was released on Tribal Bass Records, a label owned by British ragga techno vocalist Rebel MC. It was made by XL Recordings founders Nick Halkes and Richard Russell, who would make The Prodigy a household name before subsequently signing M.I.A. and Basement Jaxx.

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Greenskeepers: Character Study

House music has eccentric artists aplenty, but few can consistently turn out tracks with the twisted humor of Greenskeepers and keep a straight face. A live house outfit from Chicago, started by former golf caddies Nick Maurer and James Curd, the group delivers serious, floor-burning funk amped up with silly and endearing lyrics. Read more » 

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