Tuxedo by Piper Ferguson

As Tuxedo, Mayer Hawthorne and producer Jake One draw on G-funk and ’80s boogie to make you dance

    “Every time we got together and worked, it felt like summer camp,” recalls Seattle producer Jake One, half…

September 30th, 2015 | | Articles
Mr. Bongo Africa 45

Dave “Mr Bongo” Buttle discusses his new Africa 45s series featuring rare-groove Afro classics

Dave “Mr Bongo” Buttle has long been a distinguished part of the British music scene, keeping some of the country’s…

August 25th, 2015 | | Articles
Rocky Dawuni

Ghana-born, L.A.-based singer Rocky Dawuni spreads his positive message through Afro-roots music

An unusual Southern California overcast day, clouds pregnant with a much-needed rain blanket the Pacific Ocean. Though, muttering “April Showers…

August 24th, 2015 | | Articles

New Zealand duo Electric Wire Hustle recalibrate electronic R&B

Straight out of Wellington, New Zealand, hails the type of steam-sexed soul we all thought died in the ashtray of…

August 13th, 2015 | | Articles
Janelle Monae by Marc Baptiste

The mysterious Janelle Monáe would rather talk about her android alter ego

  The Myth Janelle Monáe is an electron; she is the Sphinx; she is Mona Lisa’s smile; she is something…

August 11th, 2015 | | Articles
Photo by Henry Diltz

Ned Doheny went from the folky Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter scene to R&B heights

After an album on Asylum failed to make waves, Ned Doheny wrote a couple songs with Average White Band’s Hamish Stuart that would find great success in the R&B world. Teaming with Steve Cropper, Doheny embraced this new funky direction and recorded two albums that made him a star in England and Japan.

August 8th, 2015 | | Articles

Newcleus was at the center of the electro cosmos

  In the early 1980s, hip-hop was going through a change. With advancements in electronic music-making technology too tempting to…

August 4th, 2015 | | Articles
Bad Brains, H.R., Photo by Frank White © 1987

Band in D.C.:
Out of the nation’s capital,
Bad Brains came with extraordinary positivity

“What we discovered was PMA was really the Great Spirit,” says bassist and Bad Brains founding member Darryl Jenifer. “The…

July 28th, 2015 | | Articles
Swamp Dogg

Little Jerry Williams reinvented himself as Swamp Dogg, using Southern soul to tackle social issues, comedic parables, and once-taboo subjects

Jerry Williams Jr.’s life is the stuff of legend, yet he never became a legend. He hung out with Louis…

July 24th, 2015 | | Articles

Kon’s Star Time label delivers stellar disco edits

“In 1978, my mother was pretty much a disco diva—a little queen—and would take me to the club on Saturdays,”…

July 17th, 2015 | | Articles
Ghostface Killah

In an arena where MCs seldom have longevity, Ghostface Killah has been a pillar of hip-hop since 1993’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

  See this rap shit?  Came at a time that  was accurate.  Twenty years later,  I mastered it. –“In tha…

July 17th, 2015 | | Articles

Obscure, jazzy R&B band Nu Shooz took a cue from Portland’s local new-wave scene and morphed into synth-pop stars

Obscure, jazzy R&B band Nu Shooz took a cue from Portland’s local new-wave scene and morphed into a successful synth-pop outfit, crafting the mega-hit “I Can’t Wait” in the process.

June 30th, 2015 | | Articles
Nina Simone

Natural Fact: The Nina Simone Story

Nina Simone had no filter. She spoke with candor about civil rights when many in her position didn’t dare. She sang about uncomfortable subjects and made sure her audiences understood what those songs were really about. Whether due to the demons that haunted her or the overpowering desire for social justice that burned deep in her heart, Simone always told the goddam truth.

June 25th, 2015 | | Articles
DJ Cash Money

The incredibly insane collection of DJ Cash Money

DJ Cash Money’s legacy as a turntable heavyweight began in 1988 when he won the DMC World Supremacy battle. After…

June 15th, 2015 | | Articles
Ornette Coleman

Jazz experimenter Ornette Coleman finds the eternal

I’d finally done it. Somehow I managed to scrape together the loot, eighty-some bucks to buy the Ornette Coleman box…

June 11th, 2015 | | Articles
Patrick Adams at the piano. Photos by Terry Adams.

Disco futurist Patrick Adams found his voice through the synthesizer

  By 1975, disco pioneer Patrick Adams had left his job as a songwriter, arranger, and producer at Perception Records…

May 26th, 2015 | | Articles
Bishop Nehru

New York phenom Bishop Nehru is the new Golden Child of hip-hop

  “I have a lot of books. Right now, back home, I have The Kybalion and I have Stellar Man;…

May 12th, 2015 | | Articles
Rod Lee, Baltimore club

An oral history of Baltimore club

  For more than a decade, Baltimore club has been the soundtrack to the city’s weekend. From the car to…

April 30th, 2015 | | Articles
Brian Ellis Reflectionz

Voltaire Records is the synthesized sound of San Francisco

Voltaire Records is a modern-day synthesizer label birthed in the eucalyptus-scented air and mild sunshine of Northern California. It is…

April 22nd, 2015 | | Articles
Lincoln Olivetti

Brazilian producer Lincoln Olivetti remembered by friend and colleague Kassin

Just months away from completing his first solo album in decades, the prolific arranger, producer, synthesizer pioneer and Brazilian “studio…

April 20th, 2015 | | Articles
Al Green

Al Green strives for perfection

“Since I can remember, women have wanted to get next to me, and when I sing, it’s like they’ve received…

April 13th, 2015 | | Articles
Collage of Music Box regulars. Courtesy of Robert Williams.

Ron Hardy’s radical Music Box mixes and edits defined a new sound in dance music

  When the universally appointed “Godfather of House” Frankie Knuckles left Chicago’s Warehouse club in 1983 to start a residency…

March 16th, 2015 | | Articles
Daniele Baldelli Afro Cosmic Disco

Italian DJ Daniele Baldelli created the Afro Cosmic disco scene

  Imagine circling the planet in a spaceship—weightless, far from home, listening to music on your gravity-modified iPod. Or imagine…

February 18th, 2015 | | Articles
Shabazz Palaces

Ishmael Butler’s Shabazz Palaces is a heavy yet fleeting Afro-celestial experience

We spoke to Ishmael Butler in 2012 after the release of his first Shabazz Palaces long player on Sub Pop, Black…

February 5th, 2015 | | Articles