• Brian Reitzell

    How Composer Brian Reitzell Became Hollywood's Recluse Whisperer

    It's a hallucinatory 110 degrees in a parking lot in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Glendale, where Brian Reitzell stands outside of a nondescript recording studio located amid a strip of office spaces, recounting his apocalyptic first recording session here. "I had been at work all day on 30 Days of Night, my first horror film soundtrack and the first thing I worked on in my new studio," says the drummer/composer/music supervisor, pointing with a lit American Spirit to nearby Griffith Park, looming in the distance. "It was a scene in the film where this whole town is on fire. And I walked outside and that whole hill right there was ablaze."Most days, Reitzell has little chance even to feel the Californian sun, putting in long hours that make him one of the most in-demand composers and music supervisors in town. His current run of projects illustrates his range.

  • Jon Hassell

    Jon Hassell Goes Below the Belt, Challenges Phillip Glass to Dance-Off

    With a résumé that begins with the epochal recording of Terry Riley's minimalist zenith In C in 1968 and stretches into the 21st century, trumpeter and composer Jon Hassell's has blazed a trail across five decades of contemporary music. He studied under Karlheinz Stockhausen (alongside future members of Can) before collaborating with Terry Riley and La Monte Young in the late 1960s and early '70s. Heavily influenced by Miles Davis's riotous electric album On the Corner, Hassell's own music fused minimalism to Indian ragas, African tribal field recordings, and African-American funk's heavy low end. "Hassell's was a music I felt I'd been waiting for," Brian Eno once said of his longtime colleague, a clear influence on his own work.

  • Jim Jarmusch and Jozef van Wissem at ATP Iceland, Keflavik, Iceland, June 28, 2014

    Night Time, Anytime: Jim Jarmusch and Jozef van Wissem Discuss 'Only Lovers Left Alive'

    Ever since his 1980 debut feature film, Permanent Vacation, writer/director Jim Jarmusch has deployed his idiosyncratic, underground films to detail the lives of fringe characters, be they hipsters, convicts, slackers, Elvis fans, or sword-wielding hit men. In his 11th feature film, Jarmusch trains his camera on one of cinema's classic fiends: the vampire. Only Lovers Left Alive, which sees wide U.S. release this week, finds Jarmusch at his most romantic, telling the centuries-old love story of blood junkies Adam and Eve, played by Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton.Running counter to the glut of recent pop-cultural vampire fare, Jarmusch's vampires are aesthetes of the highest order.

  • Avey Tare's New Trio Delivers Chills, Thrills on 'Enter the Slasher House'

    Avey Tare's New Trio Delivers Chills, Thrills on 'Enter the Slasher House'

    As half the songwriting force in Animal Collective, Avey Tare is the Trogg to Panda Bear's Beach Boy. In contrast to Panda's dulcet harmonies ("My Girls"), Tare's songs are filled with yips, growls, and strangulated yelps ("Grass," "Peacebone"). This juxtaposition of the serene and the abrasive, the placid and the turbulent, is what gives Animal Collective much of its appeal. Across his solo releases, though (either with ex-wife Kría Brekkan on the inscrutable Pullhair Rubeye or on 2010's Down There), Tare's voice has little to react to, something remedied in part on his new trio's debut, Enter the Slasher House.Buoyed by girlfriend and former Dirty Projector Angel Deradoorian and ex-Ponytail drummer Jeremy Hyman, Tare has plenty to bounce off of here. The opening analog synths of "A Sender" suggest an ominous horror movie atmosphere, but it soon gives way to a near-punk drive.

  • Inventions

    How Explosions in the Sky and Eluvium Became Inventions

    Since 1999, guitarist Mark Smith has been beholden to his post-rock outfit, Explosions in the Sky, applying post-Spiderland dynamics to cinematic grandeur worthy of a three-hour Kurosawa samurai film. Soon after their 2001 breakout album, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever, the band's six-string sturm und drang could be found soundtracking everything from the BBC to CSI, from The Diving Bell and the Butterfly to Friday Night Lights. Meanwhile, fellow Temporary Residence resident Matthew Cooper has used his Eluvium moniker, active since 2003, to meld modern electronic-music biorhythms with post-Eno ambient drifts.In over a decade, Smith has never once ventured beyond the confines of his band, while Cooper has never collaborated with others in the studio.

  • 7 Days of Funk

    Snoop Dogg and Dam-Funk Take the Ol' Mothership for a Lazy Spin on '7 Days of Funk'

    Play a drinking game — or, perhaps, a puffing game — where you take a shot (or a draw) at every utterance of the word "funk" on this collaborative album from Damon G. Riddick and Calvin Broadus, Jr., and you'll catch a buzz from their stage names and the album title alone. From there, dip in anywhere amid these 35 breezy minutes and you'll soon black out, as each track contains between eight and a dozen utterances of the f-word, while sonically indulging funk tropes from '70s P- to '80s B- (that'd be boogie) to '90s G-.But for these two Californians — the famous one hailing from Long Beach, the underground one from Pasadena — whose respective careers were built on being both balls- and knees-deep in the stuff, 7 Days of Funk is a return to form for one, a calling card for the other. Snoop Dogg needs no introduction, but Lord, is he ever in need of some rehabilitation.

  • Sky Ferreira and Cat Power at An Elliott Smith Tribute Show, Brooklyn, New York, October 21, 2013 / Photo by Jolie Ruben

    Cat Power, Sky Ferreira, and More Join Forces for An Elliott Smith Tribute Show in Brooklyn

  • Omar Souleyman at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY, August 2013

    Omar Souleyman: The Wedding Singer

    The New York City heat is getting to Omar Souleyman. It's the last weekend in August and the air on this last-gasp day of summer is woolly, viscous, and smothering. For Souleyman — born and raised in Ras al Ain in northeastern Syria where August temperatures routinely top 133°F on the heat index — to break a sweat now is a testament to New York City's humidity. He sits at a picnic table in the courtyard of the non-profit art space Pioneer Works, a towering red-brick building situated on the Western edge of the Red Hook neighborhood in South Brooklyn.

  • Four Tet Vividly Imagines Future Dance Floors on 'Beautiful Rewind'

    At some point in late 2010 or early 2011, Four Tet's Kieran Hebden found himself in the studio alongside Thom Yorke and Burial for their joint "Ego" / "Mirror" single. Both these collaborators had exemplified how to present music without a middleman: Yorke and Radiohead initially self-released 2007's pay-what-you-like album In Rainbows, while the shadowy entity behind Burial had eschewed a web presence altogether to keep the focus solely on his music.

  • Oneohtrix Point Never / Photo by Timothy Saccenti

    Oneohtrix Point Never and Nicolas Jaar's Darkside Serve Up Noirish, Sensuous Hypnosis

    Oneohtrix Point Never, R Plus Seven (Warp) 8Darkside, Psychic (Other People) 8Though roughly eight years separate them, Dan Lopatin and Nicolas Jaar together epitomize a certain strain of 21st century electronic musicians, or — if you prefer grab-all generational tags —millennials. But it's not as simple and privileged as that. Both men are first-generation Americans who gravitated to the seedier, less condo-friendly corners of Brooklyn. The title of Lopatin's 2009 album Russian Mind (under his Oneohtrix Point Never moniker) was no euphemism; it arose from the grimy underground of basement noise shows.

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