Brandon Soderberg



  • Deadmau5, '>album title goes here<' (mau5trap/Ultra)

    Deadmau5, the Toronto EDM producer and slyly self-confessed we-just-press-"play" DJ, doesn't arrange and append disparate sounds and genres to conjure up the shock of the new like, say, Skrillex, this generation’s po-mo Fatboy Slim. Nor is he unabashedly enthralled with the hokey healing powers of towering synths and beats like David Guetta, that dreamboat messiah of the Electric Daisy Carnival. No, instead, the man born Joel Thomas Zimmerman is often maddeningly, sometimes impressively, down-the-middle.Snarkily, too. His latest full-length is called >album title goes here<, which continues a tradition of similarly smarmy, one-quarter-amusing names like Random Album Title and For Lack of a Better Name. The giant mouse head he wears onstage lacks the immersive properties of Daft Punk's robot helmets, which were carefully designed to sell their Logan's Run-as-a-rave world-building.


    Before dubstep became an Americanized behemoth, it was British, bass-heavy, flirted with ambient atmosphere, and took its sweet time with build-ups and breakdowns. This was all best exemplified by Burial's 2007 album Archangel, which coated doleful dubstep in rainy synths and foggy drums. He emphasized the dub more than the step, and, like Lee "Scratch" Perry, picked up good vibes music and dropped it into more menacing territory. When an AnCo show oscillates wildly between fun and fear, it owes a bit to this mysterious U.K. producer. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Can


    A North Carolina kid with an acute ear for East Coast boom-bap, a stuffy traditionalist who bounced Pete Rock's analog precision into a cheapo computer program Fruity Loops — producer 9th Wonder thrives on contradictions. His beats gain much of their power from a hypnotic tension: robotic loops interacting with warm, glowing grooves of old soul. It's that pressure that built the first two Little Brother albums, Jay-Z's "Threat," Destiny's Child's "Girl," and much more — and this battle is no different than the avant-motorik vs. jam-band binaries that keep AnCo's peculiar pulse going. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Alice Deejay – "Better Off Alone"


    Daft Punk's music — a harder, better, faster, stronger, wittier take on space disco — may just be the most important sound of the 2000s. But it was the duo's bigger-than-music approach to performing that solidified their reputation. Live shows leaned heavily on visuals like a giant pyramid, giving the show a feeling more akin to a gathering than concert. Think: A Dead show for millennials just learning to shake their butts, which hey, also describes an Animal Collective show. Not to mention AnCo's ODDSAC wouldn't exist without Daft Punk's experimental full-length films, Interstellar 5555 and Electroma paving the way. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Dettinger


    The late J Dilla's final project Donuts, created while the Detroit producer was in the hospital, is a beat tape turned into head-on confrontation with life and death. Slickly sliced soul samples do the talking ("You're gonna want me back, in your arms," Dionne Warwick sings) and its existential thematics are filtered through modest, low-stakes imagery — the circle of life manifested by way of Homer Simpson's favorite treat — which just makes the thing even more devastating. Some samples ride out, while others are cruelly cut short, as if Dilla was trying to tweak time itself. Panda Bear: I didn't like it at first. It sounded really dense. I couldn't find away into because it was so dense and it moved so fast. But then after listening to it a couple times, the speed of it? Once I got into that, anything slower than that seemed less stimulating.


    Rhode Island-bred full-contact producer Abraham Orellana started out making screeching, treble-filled street bangers for Dipset when their major label money started to dwindle. Slowly though, this Heatmakerz-on-a-budget beatmaker proved himself to be an MPC drum machine virtuoso, feverishly firing out shards of samples at an inhuman rate of speed. The studio rat now blurs the borders between instrumental hip-hop, transcendent EDM cheese, and glitching, trap-rap-flecked noise, with the push of a button, building drum machine jams in front of packed, slack-jawed festival crowds. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Khaira Arby

  • DJ Rashad / Photo by Ashes 57

    DJ Rashad: Footwork's Bright Star Bends Genres and Brains

    Who: DJ Rashad, a producer from Chicago's thriving footwork dance scene whose stuttering, chaotic tweaks of other local styles like juke and house has helped create a manic, experimental type of global party music. In June, on his label Lit City Trax, Rashad released Teklife Vol. 1: Welcome to the Chi, the scene's most cohesive and imaginative release yet. "I wanted [Teklife Vol. 1] to be raw, fun, fresh, footwork-ish, juke-ish, a little ghetto-tech-ish, a little jungle-ish, you know?" Rashad says excitedly.

  • Woop woop!

    Insane Clown Posse, 'The Mighty Death Pop!' (Psychopathic)

    Despite their reputation as violent, sexist, mind-corrupting cracker rappers from the mean trailer parks of Detroit — and for the moment, putting aside the very real and very weird fact that the freaking F.B.I. has labeled their fans (infamously known as "Juggalos") a gang — the Insane Clown Posse should be feared only because of their unwavering, intimidating sincerity. Their Gathering of the Juggalos, a massive, fan-friendly, money-losing weekend get-together going 13 years strong — with the latest installment finding room for both the roast-chicken-skinned wrestling legend Ric Flair and Skrillex-haired rapper Danny Brown — is one big celebration of seriously giving a shit. When "Miracles," off 2009's Bang! Pow!

  • 8Ball, 'Life's Quest' (E1)

    2 Chainz and KRIT assist the aging Orange Mound O.G.; it's hard out there for a pimp with a stellar discography.

  • Joe Moses, 'The Streets' (Thump)

    After ratchet-music fallout, Brick Squad's bench goes west for this versatile, fist-pumping Cali MC.

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