Chris Martins



  • 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.

  • A-Trak

    A-Trak Calls EDM Scene 'Hair Metal Soap Opera'

    Considering A-Trak's latter day legacy — go-to DJ to Kanye West, CEO of Fool's Gold Records, one-half of the syrupy disco house duo Duck Sauce — it can be easy to forget that his roots are in the hip-hop underground. Of course, if you do forget, the occasional Huffington Post columnist will remind you with all of the relatable familiarity of Mitt Romney, Total Recall's Douglas Quaid or, say, Mork from Ork. "I come from the most technical tradition of hip hop DJing, known as turntablism," A-Trak explains via "Don't Push My Buttons," an essay inspired, in part, by Deadmau5's Tumblr admission that he's been phoning it in. "I practiced daily for years with monastic discipline, learning and creating intricate patterns of scratching, beat juggling and trick mixing.

  • Preview Deerhoof's 'Breakup Song' LP via 'The Jingletron'

    Preview Deerhoof's 'Breakup Song' LP via 'The Jingletron'

    It's been a good 18 months since San Fran noiseniks Deerhoof delivered one of their patently pop-addled weird-rock albums, so it should be clear to those keeping count (11 LPs in 15 years) that a new one is due any day now. As it turns out, Breakup Song is on the way, due out September 4 via Polyvinyl, and billed by the band as "Cuban-flavored party-noise-energy music." No idea what that would sound like? No problem. By inserting a virtual token into a widget on their website that they've dubbed "The Jingletron," fans can catch snippets of several songs from the new record. Each token seems to get you three plays, delivered at random (so keep dishing out) while an animated avatar of guitarist Ed Rodriguez bops along, album cover in hand. Speaking of, the cover features a lit-up Mack truck.

  • Kanye West / Photo by Retna

    Hear Kanye West and 2 Chainz's Ode to Bday Booty Calls, 'Birthday Song'

    Back in April, rising Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz told MTV that his upcoming LP debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story, would be filled with "concepts, things you can think about ... substance." The second single from that August 14 release dropped today, and while the Kanye West-featuring "Birthday Song" may not be one to mull over, it certainly covers a subject most people (including Rihanna) do think about: getting laid on your birthday. The beat is a collaboration between 21-year-old wunderkind Sonny Digital (Soulja Boy, Rick Ross) and West, who fittingly wind up with a swaggering mashup of high-energy trap precussives and grandiose orchestral notions. Over the track, 2 Chainz has a simple request — "All I want for my birthday is a big booty call!" — while Ye raps from the P.O.V.

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