Biography by Marisa Brown
Madvillain is yet another collaboration by Stones Throw big shot Madlib, this time with masked MC MF Doom. Madlib, who had been listening to Doom's Operation: Doomsday (1999), was impressed by the MC's lyrics and beats and contacted Doom to talk about the possibility of working together. Though Doom had never heard of Madlib at that point, as soon as he heard the DJ's work he agreed immediately. The two met up in 2002 at the Stones Throw headquarters in Los Angeles and instantly clicked. Madlib introduced Madvillain to the world in 2002 at the Red Bull Music Academy in Brazil, and in 2004 Madvillainy, the completed record, was released, and was one of the more critically acclaimed albums of the year.
What is western music? Is it the sound of the wide-open plains or a smoky saloon? Tales of taciturn men and long-suffering ladies who cry tears in their beer? Or has that tradition been replaced by something more complicated, where horses have become fast cars and saloons are now strip malls, but even in the most urban setting, there's the restless, rough-and-tumble feel of a frontier town, and everyone still yearns to get the hell out of Dodge sometimes?
Front Line Assembly was the best known of the various electronic music projects undertaken by the prolific Vancouver-based duo of Bill Leeb (vocals, synthesizers) and Rhys Fulber (synthesizers, samplers). After working in the mid-'80s under the pseudonym Wilhelm Schroeder with Skinny Puppy, the Austrian-born Leeb formed the industrial/techno-based Front Line Assembly in 1986 with Fulber -- who initially joined on as a studio assistant -- and synth player Michael Balch. After a handful of compilation appearances and cassette-only releases, Front Line Assembly issued its first three full-length efforts -- The Initial Command, State of Mind, and Corrosion -- on a monthly basis between December 1987 and February 1988. Later in 1988, Corrosion, a subsequent mini-album titled Disorder, and a number of exclusive bonus tracks were compiled and released as Convergence.
Northern Ireland would appear an unlikely location to give birth to a vaudeville-obsessed bohemian singer poet, but try telling that to Lisburn (near Belfast) native Peter Wilson, better known by his stage name Duke Special. The self-proclaimed creator of "hobo chic" -- a reference both to his distinctive dress style and his unusually refined spin on traditional music hall and vaudeville forms -- cuts a striking figure on-stage, often performing alone with only his piano and old, squeaky gramophone for accompaniment.
The Perishers are a Swedish indie rock band formed in 1997 with six members. The lineup since 2001, has consisted of Ola Klüft (vocals, guitar), Martin Gustafson (keyboards, backing vocals), Pehr Åström (bass), and Thomas Hedlund (drums). In 2005, the band was personally handpicked by Sarah McLachlan to open her second leg of the Afterglow tour. Each night of the tour, Sarah McLachlan joined the band and sang background vocals on their song 'Pills'. The live track was released as a promotional CD single and as an online exclusive EP via Tower Records later that year. Additionally, several of their songs have been played in episodes of the American television programs The O.C., One Tree Hill, Greek and Veronica Mars. In Veronica Mars, the ballad "Sway" featured prominently in a climactic episode of the series' second season.
B.C. Camplight is one of Philadelphia’s most beloved indie artists, and for good reason. Since releasing his 2005 debut, Hide, Run Away, and its 2007 follow-up, Blink of a Nihilist, Brian Christinzio has earned critical aclaim from critics both at home and abroad, receiving rave reviews for his ability to craft effervescent pop songs and the music’s contrast with the lyrics’ often dark or twisted subject matter. His success in Europe has earned him an international audience, and even landed Blink in the London Sunday Times with the prestigious designation of Album of the Week.
Super Furry Animals were one of the first post-alternative bands, fusing together a number of disparate musical genres - including power pop, punk rock, techno, and progressive rock - creating a shimmering, melodic, irreverent, and willfully artsy rock & roll.
The electronic one-man project known as Styrofoam, came to life in Antwerp, Belgium, but didn't find its feet until moving to Berlin early on, and immersing itself in the developing rock/electronic hybrid scene in the early years of the 21st century. The sole artist behind the moniker, Arne Van Petegem, quickly built a solid following in his new home, and caught the attention of Morr Music. Styrofoam released its first album for the label, The Point Misser, in 2000, followed by a string of successful releases, including 2001's A Short Album About Murder, 2003's I'm What's There to Show That Something's Missing, and 2004's Nothing's Lost. An EP (Heart Without a Mind) followed the album releases, but it was to be the last for Styrofoam under the guidance of Morr.
As the musical zeitgeist slips further into an obsession with easily digestible singles and online statistics, options become increasingly limited for those in search of deep albums. Originally conceived as a side project of legendary Front Line Assembly in 1987, Delerium has consistently transfixed listeners worldwide with its inimitable blend of sounds. With Bill Leeb (creator/brainchild of Delerium, Front Line Assembly and Skinny Puppy) at the helm, the Vancouver electronic outfit - which includes collaborators Rhys Fulber, Jared Slingerland and Jeremy Inkel - fuses ambient and cinematic production with soaring vocals courtesy of a myriad of guests.
Matt & Kim are a destructive dance punk duo from Brooklyn, New York consisting of Matt Johnson (vocals, keyboards) and Kim Schifino (drums, vocals). Signed to Fader, they released their debut album, the self titled ‘Matt and Kim’, in October 2006 and their sophmore album, Grand, was released in January 2009. Their simple, dance style rhythms and energetic performances have gained them a substantial local following and a formidable online presence through social networking and media sites like YouTube and MySpace. Regulars at festivals such as SXSW and Lollapalooza, they have guest hosted on music shows such as MTV2. Their song Daylight is featured in the latest Bacardi ‘Mojito’ commercial.