Prefuse 73 in the Studio

Both 2001’s Vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives and 2003’s One Word Extinguisher have become classic lessons in instrumental beat making. With the highly anticipated Surrounded by Silence (Warp Record…

Maya Hayuk's Cerebral World

Don’t call Maya Hayuk a perfectionist. “More like an imperfectionist,” she confesses, her keyboard guffawing each time a lithe finger touches down on a little square letter. When Hayuk’s slender digit…

Six Important Industrial Bands

In the recession and strike-addled late ‘70s, UK art terrorist Genesis P-Orridge coined the phrase “industrial music for industrial people” to describe a new blues for the worker–music distilled from …

Our Culture is Our Resistance

In Guatemala, mourning is a privilege, as are the official recognitions of bereavement: a certificate of death, a grave with a marker, a funeral service. Particularly during the early 1980s, Guatemala…

Out Hud: Say Anything

Rumors abound about Out Hud. That they have a drum machine named Phyllis. That they changed their name to !!! when they got signed to Warp Records. Whether it’s their perpetual instrument-swapping or …

Jeff Chang's Hip-Hop History

You may not be able to tell from mainstream media’s bling saturation, but hip-hop was not birthed in the back of a Hummer. It was borne out of urban collapse and draconian cutbacks that reduced much o…

Edan: Psychic Out

Look closely at the cover art of Edan’s Beauty and the Beat–a pastiche of swirling colors with Prince Paul, Flavor Flav, and an assortment of old school hip-hop heads draped under ill-fitting afros an…

Wighnomy Brothers: Moving East

I’m guessing you’ve never heard of Jena, Germany. It’s okay. I hadn’t either, until I discovered the Wighnomy Brothers. But take a moment to locate it on the map–equidistant from Berlin and Frankfurt,…

The Books: Reading Between the Lines

The title of The Books’ third album, Lost and Safe, is the damn truth. Listen: bluegrass melodies on banjo and fiddle contorted into paperclip sculptures; crates of samples seemingly dug by a blindfol…

Macka Diamond: A Girl's Best Friend

After 15 years struggling to bust into the dancehall scene, 2004 saw deejay Macka Diamond reach the number one spot in Jamaica. Riding the Thriller riddim, Diamond dropped the hilarious track “Done A’…

Supersystem's Political Dance Punk

It is debatable whether dance punk is dying, or whether dance punk’s flag is just getting raised. Franz Ferdinand and Interpol are as ubiquitous as the phone bill, and there are many, many imitators p…

Annie: Norway's Electropop Heartthrob

If you find yourself regularly throwing cushions at the TV in protest of the banality of most modern-day pop music, Annie has come to save you. Her sparkling, life-affirming songs may be destined for …

Crazy Titch: A Repeat Offender

“He’s just an arsehole/He’s just an arsehole/He’s Dizzee Rascal/He’s just an arsehole.” The original Taz-produced bassline of Dizzee Rascal’s anthem “Jus’ A Rascal” thunders over Britain’s airwaves wi…

Jazztronik: Piano Samurai

Last year a track from Japan found a home abroad in the playlists of DJs as disparate as Derrick May and Kenny Dope–Jazztronik’s “Samurai,” released on Neil Aline’s Chez imprint. A stunning marriage o…

Ellen Allien: Thrill Seeker

As a kid, Ellen Allien idolized David Bowie. She learned his pop star language–the art of reinvention–early on. More explicitly, he taught her English: “My teacher said we should begin learning Englis…

DJ Hell: Just a Gigalo

“Who’s that gigolo on the street/With his hands in his pockets and his crocodile feet.” –Neneh Cherry It’s 10AM, Brazil time. I’m given the hotel alias of DJ Hell (born Helmut Geier), the mastermind b…

The Living Legends' Hip-Hop Masterpiece

What a long, strange trip it’s been. The Living Legends have grown considerably since 1997, when they germinated in the now-famous San Leandro Avenue “Outhouse” in East Oakland’s Fruitvale District. N…

Sly & Robbie: Real Drum and Bass

Outside Sonic Sounds studio, Robbie Shakespeare is gesticulating wildly as he shouts a string of expletives into a mobile phone. Someone owes him money somewhere, and he’s apparently unhappy about it.…

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