In these excerpts from his lively and meticulous new book, The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America, longtime Reader contributor Michaelangelo Matos chronicles the three-decade ascent of EDM.
Chicago house music is the sound of global pop today. In the 90s, though, it was on life support—until a new wave of producers got its groove back.
Fabric mixes from Craig Richards and Goldie and a DJ-Kicks mix from Motor City Drum Ensemble
David Browne’s new Fire and Rain proposes 1970 as the year the counterculture had to learn to do business
Hotflush, the UK dance label that made dubstep safe for pop fans, divides its future from its past on a new compilation.
Loud Family front man Scott Miller picks his favorites from a half century of pop, and his choices are fun to read about even when they’re hard to agree with.
An insightful box set reconciles disco’s old reputation as a popular plague with its new one as a mystery cult.
Africa: 50 Years of Music: Eighteen CDs full of reasons to stop comparing everything that sounds African to Graceland.
Microhouse–a genre the Village Voice rightly described as minimal techno disguised as house music–has gotten a lot less micro of late. The most common adjustment has been to plant microhouse’s subtle beats and incrementally shifting textures underneath songs that are already popular. Sometimes this tactic fails–Superpitcher released a god-awful cover of “Fever” earlier this year. […]
BLACK KEYS This rust-belt duo’s third album, Rubber Factory (Fat Possum), was recorded in a makeshift studio the guys set up in an old tire plant, which is almost too bad in a way; it’s funnier to imagine deliberately crude rattlebag stuff like this being generated bit by bit in some high-end digital emporium. Probably […]
Pop punk is a pretty ubiquitous commodity these days, but this trio from Durham, North Carolina, delivers it with a controlled urgency. Singer and guitarist Kaia Wilson (formerly of groundbreaking Portland dyke-punk band Team Dresch, as is drummer Melissa York) has a frankly pretty voice that starts high and frays into a squeal when she […]
Troubled Waters (Offshore/Single Cell), the recently released mix by New York’s DJ Clever (ne Brett Cleaver) is the most enjoyable drum ‘n’ bass album I’ve heard in the last five years. That surprises me as much as anyone, since the genre has been mostly barren since the grunting, surly, funkless techstep sound took it hostage […]
Chicago’s Trax Records reissues a treasure trove of early house nuggets.
Trax Records: The 20th Anniversary Collection (Casablanca Trax) Acid Classics (Casablanca Trax) Mayor Daley has officially declared August 25 “Frankie Knuckles Day.” That evening the godfather of house will close SummerDance’s “DJ Wednesdays” series with a set in Grant Park, and earlier in the day Chicago will make his legacy a part of its landscape […]
It’s hard to imagine singer-guitarist Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse changing his outlook too much after more than a decade of relentless pessimism. But it’s equally difficult to imagine earlier albums by the Seattle band featuring a song as guardedly hopeful as “One Chance,” from the new Good News for People Who Love Bad News […]