Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Nude Beach, 'II' (Other)

    Brooklyn doesn't always breed bands like Nude Beach anymore — bands without DJ nights or vintage synth gear or famous friends or food blogs. But though this power trio(!) calls the big borough home, BK didn't breed them. No, Chuck, Ryan, and Jimmy are Long Island boys, children of a village called Northport, the kind of place that only winds up on the news when enough of its manhole covers are jacked for scrap to make it a national concern. And the kind of place that held onto its Reagan-era heartland rock well into the Clinton age. Which is to say, through the formative years of Misters Betz, Naideau, and Shelto, respectively. The three played Rancid-inspired punk together as teens, but after recording a fun but messy self-titled tape in 2008, they've returned with II, an album that excises the oi!

  • Ice Choir, 'Afar' (Underwater Peoples)

    Pains of Being Pure drummer gorgeously produces retro techno-pop with extra 3-D sheen, Keats-inspired lyric gush.

  • thenewno2, 'thefearofmissingout' (H.O.T. Records West)

    Mutant trip-hop/rock from UK studio rats who can't see past their monitors....RZA cameo can't save you.

  • See Nick Waterhouse's Yours Truly-Shot 'Some Place' Clip

    See Nick Waterhouse's Yours Truly-Shot 'Some Place' Clip

    Soul revival is a tricky thing. Too often, retro-revisionists seem to fall into one of two camps: those who coldly co-opt the past to make a quick buck, and those who make kitsch by parodying the personas of early rock'n'roll. But San Francisco's Nick Waterhouse is a different creature. While he bears a strong resemblance to Buddy Holly — horn rims, short hair, sharp suits — he makes music that transcends tribute. Listen to his recently released debut LP, Time's All Gone, and it's as if disco never happened. Instead, those old rhythm and blues somehow kept pushing forward on their own terms, made it to the year 2012, and planted a flag for kids who still grease their hair, carry switchblades and make out at The Point. It's a cynic-proof effort, one whose doubters need only see Waterhouse and his ace gang of instrumentalists do their thing live.

  • Shawn Lee, 'Synthesizers in Space' (ESL)

    One-man music machine slings psyched funk-soul from the far side of the moon; 1970 arrives at 2001.

  • TNGHT, 'TNGHT EP' (Warp)

    Bass-wielding beatists Lunice and Hudson Mohawke serve up future-rap: wonked synths, 808 kicks, creepy FX, crunk cuts.

  • Grasscut, 'Unearth' (Ninja Tune)

    Sprawl for the fall: Eclectic and glitched, brainy but bright, UK duo sounds like Beta Band remixed by Notwist.

  • Dillon Francis / Photo by Curtis Buchanan

    How EDM Maverick Dillon Francis Went From Dick Artist to Skrillex Signee

    Who: Los Angeles native Dillon Francis, 24, bridges American dubstep’s aggro rumblings and Moombahton’s bright tribalism. And despite indefatigable touring with EDM giants like Nero and Skrillex, he continues to rack up remixes (ranging from Chris Brown to Death Cab for Cutie) and collaborations (A-Trak, Doctor P, Diplo). The son of an entrepreneurial herbalist and Yugoslavian immigrant, Francis attributes his Puritan work ethic to a strict childhood. "I had to watch two hours of Sesame Street and study Hooked on Phonics every day," he says. "I didn’t even know any curse words until I was 15." Humpty Dance: Francis slows the four-four pulse of house music to a sweaty surge — 112 beats per minute, typically — in an effort to approximate the irresistible bump and grind of reggaeton.

  • El-P Slams CNN for Tacking Ads to Batman Shootings News

    El-P Slams CNN for Tacking Ads to Batman Shootings News

    Never one to stay quiet when there's something to get riled up about, El-P hit Twitter over the weekend to voice his discontent with CNN. It seems the indie rap forefather and Killer Mike producer was attempting to watch a news clip about the Aurora, Colorado theater shootings when he was interrupted by a Nike ad. "If I'm trying to watch a news clip about human tragedy and there's some plucky, annoying ad before it, it makes me hate that product," he wrote in his initial tweet before issuing several more, cobbled together (and properly punctuated) here. "But hey, that's just me, I guess. I'm looking at you, @CNN. At Least be semi-civilized and give us the option os skipping the ad, you whores. I can just hear the convo between the guy who sells the ad space and the companies now: 'This is a hot one! 12 confirmed dead!

  • Le1f

    Buzzing New York Rapper Le1f Responds to Homophobia

    From Afrika Bambaataa to André 3000 to Danny Brown, rap has long been full of flamboyance, but no gifted MC has quite flaunted his originality in the manner of New York's Le1f via the just-out video for his bounce-addled track, "Wut." In one scene, wearing high purple daisy dukes, he slides across the floor, working his skinny legs like mechanical cranks edging him closer to the camera. In another, after a brag about "getting light in my loafers," he straddles the knee of a buff male model, fast-rapping with flair. Yes, Le1f is a gay man. His profile has been slowly growing since Greedhead (the label run by Das Racist's Himanshu Suri) dropped the free Dark York mixtape back in April.

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