Philip Sherburne




    Few artists have done more to break out of dubstep's strictures than the reclusive London producer known simply as Zomby. Like Zorro, he signals his fondness for sparring right there in the zigzagging first letter of his name: over skunked-out dub, erratic arpeggios tapping into a secret world of vectors and folded space; half-step skanking like a game of Chutes and Ladders designed by M.C. Escher. Dubbed "wonky," "aquacrunk," or (per Joker) "purple wow sound," his hyper-colored moiré music sounds like a synesthetic translation of Merriweather Post Pavilion's mushroom-popping Op Art sleeve. Back to the Centipedia glossary


    New Jersey house producer Todd Edwards lives by Duke Ellington's maxim, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing" — no other dance music producer has ever come up with a slinkier, swingier sound. In some corners, his swing is, in fact, the be-all and end-all: U.K. garage and early French house would be unthinkable without Edwards' effervescent vocal edits and syncopated wiggle. Worshipped by DJs and clubbers as "Todd the God," Edwards, a devout Christian, is outspoken about the fact that he answers to a higher calling; the uplift in his music serves as a model for the ecstatic, devotional component of Animal Collective's own music and swinging gait of songs like "Summertime Clothes." Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: The Everly Brothers

  • OMAR-S

    In a city known for strong personalities, Omar-S stands out: The Detroit techno producer's 2011 album was titled It Can Be Done But Only I Can Do It, a succinct summation of the philosophy behind his 2009 mix CD for Fabric, comprising only his own productions. (Responding to comments that minimal-techno icon Ricardo Villalobos had taken a similar tack with his own Fabric mix, Omar-S snapped, "I don't even know who Ricardo Willalobo is….Who the fuck is that?") Undaunted, Animal Collective booked the DJ and FXHE label head as the sole American house/techno DJ for their edition of All Tomorrow's Parties in 2011. Only he can do it, indeed. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Oneohtrix Point Never


    Alongside Prins Thomas and Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, Todd Terje is one third of the Holy Trinity of Norwegian disco. His colleagues may be slightly better known in indiedom, but it's Terje that has ruled European dance floors for the past two summers — first with "Ragysh" and "Snooze 4 Love," a complementary pair of springy synth workouts — and now a third with the ridiculously catchy "Inspector Norse." "Myggsommer," off his 2012 It's The Arps EP, is a theremin-soaked tribute to Jean-Jacques Perrey's space age lounge music. It nestles quirkily between songs by Thomas Bangalter and Panda Bear in Panda's Animal Collective Radio Transmission DJ set, and a sound in tune with Centipede Hz's retrofuture bounce. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre


    As fundamental to the history of techno as their name would suggest, Basic Channel are the Berlin duo of Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus. Beginning in the early 1990s, they united sleek, Detroit-inspired beats with wispy dub voodoo gleaned from Jamaica's Studio 1 label and launched a small empire in the process. Their many labels (Chain Reaction, Main Street, Rhythm & Sound, among others) span ambient music, deep house, and dub reggae; and their record store, Hard Wax, remains an essential pilgrimage for techno tourists worldwide. "We're huge Basic Channel fans," Geologist said in 2009; though the proof is right there in the opening rush of Merriweather Post Pavilion, which pays homage to the Berlin icons' blurry delirium. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: The BBC Radiophonic Workshop


    With his debut single, 2009's gossamer "Hyph Mngo," Joy Orbison was greeted as dubstep's golden boy: The guy who introduced house beats to the wub kids. But the man who could've been the next Burial has dedicated his subsequent discography to screwing with our expectations, gradually muting his gleaming keys and infusing sullen beats with equal parts doubt and menace. And also sex: His recent co-productions with Boddika have been as sensual, in their twisted way, as anything in bass music, although black bile lurks beneath every quickened breath. He's the rave-culture counterpart to Animal Collective's balance of dulcet melodies with delirious overload. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: King Tubby – The Roots of Dub


    If you were anywhere in Europe in 1999, there's a good chance you were treated to the exceptionally perky strains of Alice Deejay's "Better Off Alone," which ruled commercial dance clubs, youth hostels, and the subwoofers on every passing import tuner. Even in dance-phobic America, the trance-fueled Eurodance hit went to No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100. In truth, there was no Alice and no DJ: Judith Pronk served as singer and beard for five Dutch producer/songwriters. Witch-housers Salem rescued the single from ringtone purgatory with a dirge-like cover version in 2011. Geologist: I worked in a parrot store on Greenwich Avenue.


    Finland's Sasu Ripatti has explored every nook and cranny of electronic music through his various aliases — Vladislav Delay, Luomo, Sistol, Uusitalo. Recorded under his glitchiest and sparsest pen name, 2000's Multila captured the former jazz drummer's most muddled years, a tumble of druggy loops and ghost rhythms that he barely remembers making. As ephemeral as the Aurora Borealis, as cryptic as the Numbers Stations, it was far out even for the Chain Reaction label. Panda Bear: We'd gotten into electronic music but this sounded…vague. Everything was so vague and muted. Geologist: It wasn't sharp and in-your-face, it wasn't tape music that sounded old. Avey Tare: It would almost start like it wouldn’t be anything at all.

  • Dave Aju / Photo by Shauna Regan

    Hear the Homespun House of Dave Aju's 'Listen to Your Heartbeat'

    Matthew Herbert's Accidental label, per its owner's own off-kilter sensibilities, has always gravitated towards the fringes of electronic pop and dance music. So Accidental's newest signing, San Francisco's Dave Aju (Marc Barrite), must feel right at home: After all, his debut EP was called The Unorthodoctor. For nearly a decade now, Aju has been crafting gooey, funk-infused tracks that might be termed "house by another means." In the process, he has proven himself one of the more rigorous disciples of Herbert's own conceptualist ethos.

  • Forrests / Photo by Sarah Doyle

    Hear Forrests' Sublime, Beta-Unblocking 'Tarifa'

    Currently in talks with a couple of U.K. independent labels, Dublin's Forrests describe their style as "beta-unblocking electronic music." That sounds about right: Beta blockers inhibit the human fight or flight response, and Forrests' music is all about flight — the soaring-in-air kind. The duo's hardware-centric approach and heavy-lidded bliss suggest a kinship with bands like Blondes, Fuck Buttons and Teengirl Fantasy, with throbbing synthesizers, tribal drum loops, and pneumatic vocals tracing Spirograph shapes against a pastel sky. The unreleased "Tarifa," below, channels the Who's "Baba O'Riley" and Power Corruption & Lies-Era New Order into a dreamy house cut in the emotive vein of John Talabot or Pantha du Prince; springy arpeggios and wordless voices weave a net for catching found sounds and thundering drum breaks.

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