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Live Skull combine new songs with a resurrected 1989 Peel Session on Dangerous Visions

Few recordings transport me directly to a time and place like Dusted, the 1987 album by foundational New York noise-rock band Live Skull. Founded in 1982 by guitarists Tom Paine and Mark C., Live Skull were a buzz saw of guitar-led postpunk that combined art-rocker sensibilities with leather-jacket sneer, almost perfectly encapsulating the early-80s Lower […]

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Chicago hip-hop duo Local Nobodies might need a new name soon

In their hip-hop duo Local Nobodies, Chicago rapper Sulaiman and funk multi-instrumentalist Chris Mathien (who also leads the band Mathien) unlock each other’s debonair charms in song. On their self-released second album, the new See What Happens, they embellish their grooves with sophisticated flair, and Mathien’s smooth, subtle production leaves Sulaiman plenty of room to […]

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DJ Earl demonstrates footwork’s deep roots on Bass + Funk & Soul

Since Chicago footwork producer and Teklife member DJ Earl dropped his breakthrough 2016 debut, Open Your Eyes, he’s traveled far outside the city and branched out into different sounds. In 2017, Earl dropped a genre-splicing dance full-length called 50 Backwoods with in-demand Brooklyn producer Nick Hook, and this year his collaborations have included the hip-hop […]

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Chicago polymath Cam Be melds funk, R&B, and hip-hop to lift up struggling spirits

Chicago composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist Cam Be draws on his community to invigorate his already bold musical ideas. On his new second album, Summer in September (on his own Camovement label), Cam and an ensemble of friends create immediately gratifying fusions of soul, funk, hip-hop, and R&B. Feel-good jam “Fade Away” opens with 16 people […]