Tag Archives: Lifetime Achievement

Lifetime Achievement: A Guide to Blackhouse’s Enigmatic Industrial Discography

Lifetime Achievement

“I saw Jesus’s face,” says Brian Ladd of pioneering industrial/power electronics project Blackhouse, recounting an event from his early life in church. He was five years old and bored, when he thought he saw a familiar face in a high window. “I tugged on my dad’s sleeve, and said ‘Hey, I see Jesus up there! I saw Jesus.’ And he said, ‘Oh man, they just do that to fool kids. They have somebody up there with a big picture of Jesus,’ as if it were some kind of joke or a put-on. My dad told me that because he thought I was probably nuts.” Ladd backed away from religion at a young age, but as he matured into a young man able to think for himself, he became more convinced that he had seen the real face of Jesus Christ.

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Lifetime Achievement: ShunGu

ShunGu

“I wouldn’t be making music if it wasn’t for J Dilla,” says ShunGu, a hip-hop producer based in Brussels whose music hooks post-Dilla beats around the head-nodding combination of woozy, melodic synths and thumping drum patterns. “For me, in hip-hop, Dilla’s like what John Coltrane is to jazz. Dilla’s choice of samples, his choice of drums—it all comes from Dilla for me.”

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Lifetime Achievement: Del the Funky Homosapien

Del Funky Homosapien

Del The Funky Homosapien first appeared during hip-hop’s fabled golden age, announcing his talent with a breezy flow and a steady stream of animated lyrics. On his debut, 1991’s I Wish My Brother George Was Here, the Bay Area MC’s style felt like a smart and refreshing counterpoint to the commercially dominant gangsta rap coming out of California. Since then, Del’s racked up one of the most vibrant rap discographies around, including solo releases on major and indie labels, prescient sci-fi concept albums, and frequent collaborations with the Hieroglyphics crew.

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Lifetime Achievement: 14KT’s Sleek & Gritty Hip-Hop

14KT

“I started putting synths in my music after I got inspired by this Dexter Wansel record Life On Mars,” says 14KT, a hip-hop producer with an expansive musical mindset who grew up in Ypsilanti, Michigan, 30 miles outside Detroit. “It’s a Philly soul record that came out in the ’70s, and I was always wary of those records ’cause I thought the early synths could be cheesy. But this one was so soulful.”

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Lifetime Achievement: Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Eternal Reggae/Dub Discography

Lee Scratch Perry

“By throwing stones to stones I start to hear sounds. When the stones clash, I hear the thunder clash, and I hear lightning flash, and I hear words.”

That’s Lee Perry, recounting his discovery of dub music to writer David Katz in the icon’s biography People Funny Boy—a childhood memory, creative origin story, and Old Testament prophecy wrapped up in one. The reverb and boom of those rocks, sounding out in the gully at the hands of a boy in Jamaica, amounted to much more than child’s play. They portended a half-century of some of the most roots-deep, spaced-out sounds in music. Continue reading

Lifetime Achievement: 7 Albums That Show The Many Sides Of Merzbow

Merzbow

Forty years after he first started recording as Merzbow, Masami Akita’s music is no easier to categorize. Though his creations are perennially pigeonholed as noise music, anti-music, and even über-music, the sheer magnitude of his output will always present an obstacle to easy classification. Consider Mike Connelly’s comments in the opening episode of Merzcast, one of two recently launched podcasts attempting to scale Akita’s entire discography—which currently towers at 432 releases and counting: “Like, what is he thinking when he’s doing this?!” Continue reading

Sheet Metal and Spray-Painted Trash: Wolf Eyes’ Deep, Noisy Discography

Wolf Eyes

“A song becoming definitive when an artist decides to hit record isn’t really the case, man,” says Nate Young, founder of noise project Wolf Eyes. “It’s never the definitive version, especially with the kind of music we’re dealing with.” For 23 years, that’s been a guiding principle in Wolf Eyes since it began with Young splicing a found tape loop from an answering machine with Paul Winters’s new age/smooth jazz release Wolf Eyes. He gave one copy to friend, and soon-to-be bandmate, Aaron Dilloway, called it “Wolf Eyes,” and almost immediately began amassing what is now one of underground music’s deepest catalogs.

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Lifetime Achievement: A Guide to Keith Fullerton Whitman’s Intricate Experimental Discography

Keith Fullerton Whitman

Keith Fullerton Whitman’s name is synonymous with some of the most progressive, experimental and inimitable underground electronic music around.  For the last 20 years, he has traversed a variety of genres—drone, ambient, experimental, noise, doom, and drill n’ bass (the last under the moniker of Hrvatski). His works have found homes on diverse labels—Planet Mu, Editions Mego, Kranky, Carpark—as well as his own ventures, such as the snappily titled Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge.

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