Music | PLAY BUTTON Sep 23, 2001

Hip-hop takes responsibility

by Suzannah Tartan

Once upon a time, hip-hop reflected -- and reflected upon -- the urban experience: It was another black art form akin to jazz. These days, its purpose appears to be to give suburban white teenagers a vicarious thrill. In the commercially driven dichotomy of ...

Music | PLAY BUTTON Aug 26, 2001

Between Sonic rock and a hard place

by Suzannah Tartan

At first glance, the biggest thing happening in Makuhari last weekend was the sale at the local outlet mall. No banners. No bullhorns. No hype. Just a silent, eerie cityscape of hotels and empty family restaurants. In short, there was nothing to indicate that ...

Music | PLAY BUTTON Jul 22, 2001

Bourbon Street comes to town

by Suzannah Tartan

If seen on the street, minus their sousaphones and trombones, the guys from the Black Bottom Brass Band would look like any of the other slightly hip types that wander around Shibuya or America-mura. A guess about their musical tastes would probably run toward ...

Music | PLAY BUTTON Jun 24, 2001

Singing the body electric

by Suzannah Tartan

The only body parts usually involved in house music are the twirling fingers of the producer, tweaking samples with a twist of knob or dial, or the swaying, sweaty bodies grooving to the finished product on the dance floor. Matthew Herbert kicking house butt This makes ...

Music | PLAY BUTTON Apr 22, 2001

Real block-rocking beats

by Suzannah Tartan

With dance music gaining more of a presence on the charts and more play on many people's CD players, rhythm rather than melody is supreme. Granted, much of it -- from fey pop to dance crossovers -- is soulless. It is mechanical, not just ...

Music | PLAY BUTTON Mar 2, 2001

Dub Squad takes a journey into time

by Suzannah Tartan

Dub is easily identified but difficult to define. Is it a style, a genre, or an approach to sound? Mad scientist Lee "Scratch" Perry practically invented it in his Jamaican laboratory, yet reggae inflections are often absent from the work of modern purveyors. A quick ...

Music | PLAY BUTTON Feb 16, 2001

Keeping it pure and personal

by Suzannah Tartan

There are people who have character and there are people who are characters. Coppe, the coolest musician you've never heard of, is both. To make her trippy hip-hop, Coppe has traveled the world. With her short blond pigtails standing on end from her head like antennas, ...