Michael Krimper

An MPC fiend at work

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC Few producers have pushed forward the aesthetic of West Coast underground hip-hop like Exile. His dynamic production style navigates a certain uneasiness at the heart of Californian reveries: warm pulses of boom-bap ride over blown-out bass lines and dirtied, jazz-strut melodies. Yet among the towering forces of Dr. Dre gangster pulp and Madlib beat tapes ad infinitum, Exile has been something of a submerged anonymity.Read more »

The art of play

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Through the rear window of a nondescript vehicle, three lines of dotted lights stream by in the darkness. The perspective shifts, and you realize you are at the seat of a car, driving through a tortuous tunnel, about to emerge into a skylit, open highway. You're unsure of your location, or even your destination, but slowly, like a detective story, clues help you piece together some semblance of meaning and purpose. You peer into the rear-view mirror, dive into the road flickering behind you, and let your mind wander beyond that concrete past.Read more »

A lost San Francisco saga

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arts@sfbg.com

Part one of "A lost San Francisco saga" ran in the March 17, 2010 issue of the Guardian. It can be found at www.sfbg.com/2010/03/16/lost-san-francisco-saga.Read more »

A lost San Francisco saga

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC "There are great artists and musicians who will never be discovered," says Herman Eberitzsch Jr. III "That's the way it is," he reasons. "There's only so much room at the top."Read more »

Meaning what?

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MUSIC Michael Sempert, frontman of Oakland synth-folk outfit Birds & Batteries, has a talent for avoiding questions. Sitting across from me in a Mission District café near the studio on Cesar Chavez where his band practices, he evades my hardly tactful attempts to adhere a concise creative vision to his efforts as a songwriter, producer, and multiinstrumentalist. "I think that meaning isn't fixed, no matter the intention of the artist," he resolves. "The same song can mean something different even to the same person every time."

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Come to life

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arts@sfbg.com

In the 1970s and early '80s, Gil Scott-Heron sang, spoke, and wrote viscerally of social and spiritual unrest. Few artists could voice acute awareness of the struggles of their time and still touch on glimmers of redemption with such aplomb. Even at his biting bleakest, Scott-Heron always preferred the profundity of hope to cynical withdrawal.Read more »

DJing in the digital age

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC The laptop has become the principal tool for DJ performances. At shows, you can catch a glimpse of the Apple logo glowing almost sentiently to the bass. The DJs' eyes peer back and forth from screen to turntables as she or he manipulates equipment like a robotically engineered Vishnu. Well, unless he's using just a laptop. Much has changed in the DJ world. Read more »

Seattle slew

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Montreal-based turntablist and producer Kid Koala (born Eric San) is the type of artist you can expect to take some formidably playful risks. Known for his virtuoso skills scratching and mixing on the wheels of steel, back in 1996 he was the first musician in North America signed to the U.K.'s boundary-busting label Ninja Tunes. Arriving in the wake of a fantastic mixtape, San's debut hip-hop-jazz-funk crossover Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Ninja Tunes, 2000), featured a video game and a surreal comic book he designed himself. Read more »

Intoxicated rhythms

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An almost mythological speculation inundates many so-assumed drug-inspired recordings, especially those of the psychedelic '60s. Despite my late nights of fuzzy research, I thus advise the reader to measure these drugged-out recordings with the highest dose of skepticism. (Michael Krimper)

Ash Ra Tempel and Timothy Leary — Seven Up (Kosmiche Kuriere, 1973)
While recording, members drink a 7-Up can laced with LSD.
Dr. Read more »