At the popular NYC nightspot S.O.B.'s, a classic hip-hop moment is underway. Wu-Tang disciple Raekwon is spitting his greatest hits and misses over live, funk-laden interpretations of RZA's soundscapes by funk/soul band El Michels Affair. With the sinewy funk stew cooking on stage, you'd swear they were sho' nuff old school vets. But unless you're hip to the scene, the group's racial composition might jar you. "When Raekwon walked in [rehearsal], he was a little shocked," recalls Truth & Soul Records co-founder/ engineer Jeff Silverman. Read more »
LA-based trio Giant Panda's name alone is peculiar enough to turn heads. Yet as random as it sounds, there is a meaning behind one of the oddest monikers in hip-hop. "It fits us literally, being black and white and from Asia," explains MC/co-producer Newman. "And I feel like we''re bringing something that''s rare or endangered to the table."
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Turntablism has shared a close relationship with avant-garde jazz, classical and experimental music, as deejays have tweaked decks to create expansive compositions that are far from the instrument's hip-hop battle roots. Artists continue to expand the repertoire, from DJ Quest's Live Human band to DJ Radar transcribing scratch notation for orchestras, to turntable experimentalists like Janek Schaefer and Christian Marclay. Read more »
Somewhere in the backwoods of Vermont there is an asylum for kids the '80s forgot: the boy who played so much Qbert he started seeing everything as a series of blocks, the girl who ingested the hair of 100,000 troll dolls, the gay twins who (after huffing too much hot pink tempera paint) turned a McDonald's Hamburglar toy into a fierce killing machine. Read more »
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