Joey Negro picks five Chic soundalikes and releases new compilation

Chic, the disco group led by guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards, were so influential, both through their own…

November 10, 2015 | Andrew Mason | Record Rundown
Lee "Scratch" Perry

Going bananas for Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Super Ape

  Aside from his eccentricities, such as burning down his own Black Ark Studio to rid it of vampires and…

November 9, 2015 | Wax Poetics | Guest Blog
Ennio Morricone - Controfase cover 1

The bizarre, mythical, lost album of Ennio Morricone

Hidden deep within Ennio Morricone’s vast discography, far from his overground cinematic successes and accomplished pop dalliances, far from the…

November 6, 2015 | Wax Poetics | Guest Blog
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 30, 2015 | Eric Luecking | 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 25, 2015 | Andrew Mason | 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 24, 2015 | Wax Poetics | 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 13, 2015 | Tamara P. Carter | 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 11, 2015 | Travis Atria | 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 8, 2015 | Allen Thayer | 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 4, 2015 | Wax Poetics | 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 28, 2015 | Jon Kirby | 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 24, 2015 | Travis Atria | 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 17, 2015 | Alexander Speetzen | 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…

| David Ma | Articles
Ratatat by Timothy Saccenti

Melody Maestros: As Ratatat, Mike Stroud and Evan Mast have a penchant for making catchy yet cerebral instrumentals, featuring smart interplay between guitar, synthesizers, and crisp beats

“I was so into [Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass]. I had all of his records,” says multi-instrumentalist/producer Evan Mast,…

July 8, 2015 | Allen Thayer | Features
Debbie Harry by Chris Stein

Blondie rose to stardom out of New York City’s burgeoning downtown scene of punk rock and new wave

In 1970s New York City, photography student Chris Stein found his muse in singer Deborah Harry. The two became romantically…

July 1, 2015 | Andrew Mason | Features

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 30, 2015 | Wax Poetics | 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 25, 2015 | Michael Gonzales | Articles
The Expanders

Reggae revivalists the Expanders choose five classic faves

  It’s a good time for fans of the classic ’70s reggae sound. In addition to a steady stream of…

June 23, 2015 | Wax Poetics | Record Rundown
Leon Bridges

Up-and-coming soul singer-songwriter Leon Bridges on his musical influences and style choices

  For the past year or so, young Texan soul singer Leon Bridges has been receiving a lot of praise…

June 16, 2015 | Wax Poetics | Guest Blog
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 15, 2015 | Paul Sullivan | 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 11, 2015 | Wax Poetics | Articles

Obscure Italian film La Gatta in Calore spawns rare soundtrack

Cinema often functions as an incisive social and cultural barometer. At the tumultuous nexus of numerous popular, sexual and political…

June 9, 2015 | David Thrussell | Guest Blog
ZeddCD036 Opolopo - Superconductor

Swedish producer Opolopo chooses five boogie faves

When the promo of Opolopo’s Kick and Bass Rerub of vocalist Gregory Porter’s “1960 What?” landed in November of 2011,…

June 2, 2015 | Andrew Mason | Record Rundown
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 26, 2015 | Wax Poetics | 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 12, 2015 | Alice Price-Styles | Articles
LL Cool J Mama Said Knock You Out (Lenticular)

Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, and the most memorable boxing entrances

Floyd Mayweather stood prancing in his dressing room at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, long after his cue to…

April 30, 2015 | Ericka Blount Danois | Guest Blog
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…

| Wax Poetics | 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 22, 2015 | Alexander Speetzen | 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 20, 2015 | Allen Thayer | Articles