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Celluloid Records: Change The Beat

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.


Jel In The Studio

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 » 

Belong: New Orleans Mirrored

Though Michael Jones and Jason Mark (the duo known as Belong) finished their debut album, October Language (Car Park), a year before Hurricane Katrina hit, they can still hear parallels between the New Orleans of the aftermath and the record's sprawling waves of guitar and synth noise, which often threaten to swallow the listener whole. "I agree [that] a fellow New Orleans person can listen to it and be affected [knowing it was] created by people who live in New Orleans," Mark says.


8-Bit: Eight is Enough

8-bit music is something of a moving target, more of a movement than a genre. Even a name can't be agreed upon–the closest to universally accepted terms are "chiptune," "micromusic," and "8-bit," but new variants are being churned out every day, with varying degrees of cleverness ("bitpop," "blip-hop," etc.).


Clubland's Big Brother

Anybody with a healthy nightlife has endured serious (and unnecessary) scrutiny while entering a club, whether it's undergoing a popularity contest to pass through the velvet ropes or the rough security checks at crowded concerts. But a new security system being introduced this year adds a computerized–some would say creepy–edge to the typical screening process.


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