Music can teleport you to far-off lands and spark nostalgia for distant times. It might elicit lost memories or even summon illusions. You may have never visited Istanbul or São Paulo or lived in the 1960s, but music infects the imagination with a visceral experience of the unknown. The effect is uncanny, mesmerizing, beautiful, and even therapeutic.
But what happens when music pushes its ability to displace to an extreme? When music annihilates your familiar sense of space and warp holes your usual expectations of time? Can listening to music transform you? Read more »
CULT MOVIES ONLINE I remember sitting on the floor of a scrappy Las Vegas hotel room, my five-year-old eyes glued to the television. A fuzzy film played from a far-gone era, filled with uncensored violence, sex, and drugged out debauchery. I was horrified, but possessed euphorically by that horror, unable to turn away from the moving screen. To this day I am still looking for that movie's title. And nearly every film freak who shares a similar story of initiation still seeks out some unknown title. Read more »
PREVIEW A delicate secret lies behind electronic producer Jason Chung's musical alias, Nosaj Thing. I'll break it down quickly. Invert Jason from front to back so that the sound rolls off the tongue in an ephemeral two-step hop from palate to teeth. Supplement that spacious beginning with a full-bodied surname, and the paradoxical nature of "Nosaj Thing" is complete. Corporeal sensuality whisked away in nebulous lightness. Might there be such an impossible thing? Read more »
In the dead of last winter, the enigmatic and bombastically-titled "The Very Best" Mixtape (Ghettopop) cracked the frozen-over music blogosphere, thanks to its barrage of blasts straight from the center of an African sun. Self-baptized as The Very Best, European production/DJ duo Radioclit (another unfortunate name) teamed up with the Malawian born, London-based singer Esau Mwamwaya. Read more »
A young musician's sojourn after a successful debut album is often a grueling lesson about the fickleness of fans. But U.K. producer, DJ, and multiinstrumentalist Bonobo also called by his more earthly moniker Simon Green has transcended expectations and narrow definitions since his first full-length LP Animal Magic (Tru Thoughts, 2001). Read more »
PREVIEW A small portion of music nurtures body, mind, and soul. A minuscule subsect does so by ripping you magnificently out of your familiar musical safety zones with unpredictable and compellingly fresh organizations of sound. Some have baptized the songs that fall under this rarefied territory of music "face-melters," and for good reason. Assiduously dissolving toughened aural skin, face-melting music inspires knowledge of the outer galactic and inner expansive reaches of the embodied mind. Read more »
Understanding music through the kaleidoscopic lens of jazz is daunting. But it's a challenge made for virtuoso drummer, multiinstrumentalist, rapper, and arranger Karriem Riggins.
Riggins allows jazz's free-flowing aesthetic to guide his quest to study genres, explore amorphous coagulations of sound, and synthesize diverse sonic influences and life experiences. His muse opens an expansive universe of musical possibilities. "I feel like I'm one with music," he says, during a recent phone interview. Read more »
PREVIEW Matthew Africa jumpstarts his new mixtape The Best of DJ Quik with a young Quik's ambitious plans to be "America's Most Complete Artist." What follows is an expertly mixed collage of rapid-fire blunted rhythms and gangsta blues that captures the zeitgeist of Los Angeles' illustrious G-Funk era. Read more »