Sound
Where Are We Now?

Where Are We Now?

In the week following David Bowie’s death, a period my friend Ann Powers referred to as “sitting shiva”, my social media feed was dominated by content related to his career. Personal reflections on his impact, pieces about his career and countless links to clips testified to his cultural significance. At times, this collective outpouring felt like a desperate attempt to assert that we all still had something in common. More»

Pre-Hipster Metal

Pre-Hipster Metal

There is a kind of literalism that permeates metal culture when it comes to the word ‘metal.’ Metal is hard, unyielding, unbreakable, weaponised, destructive etc etc. Metal is a metaphor that is applied to the music and to its culture; it represents an ideal as much as a description. More»

The Wu-Tang Clan’s Failed Experiment

The Wu-Tang Clan’s Failed Experiment

Last year, the world was treated to an unexpected announcement from one of the most famous acts in hip hop. The Wu-Tang Clan revealed that it had secretly recorded a massive 31-track album that supposedly brought the band back to its roots and the raw, rugged, ominous sounds that made its debut, Enter the 36 Chambers, an instant classic upon its release in 1993. More»

The Dream of the '90s

The Dream of the ’90s

The eldest of the three talented women from Portland that comprise The Ghost Ease might have entered kindergarten in 1991, the year that Nirvana’s mainstream breakthrough album Nevermind was released. More»

The End of Novelty

The End of Novelty

A few months ago, I stumbled onto Deafheaven’s last record, Sunbather. This is a pathetic admission for a guy who spends a large proportion of his free time searching out new music. But in my defense ,the cover of Sunbather is pink, and I must have been thrown by that the first time I saw it among the new black metal releases. More»

Waiting for Lemmy to Die

Waiting for Lemmy to Die

Someday, Lemmy will die. Maybe that day will come soon. For the last couple of years, he hasn’t been a well man. He walks with a stick, slurs his speech and his rapier wit seems diminished. He has even made half-hearted attempts to cut back on the booze and cigarettes. More»

Tale of the Tape

Tale of the Tape

Raz Mesinai garnered international attention in the early ‘90s as half of the duo Sub Dub, in the context of Brooklyn’s so-called “Illbient” scene. But by that time, the Jerusalem-born composer and audio libertine already had over a decade behind him as a bedroom producer, at first busting out b-boy beats for break-dancers before starting to cross more experimental circuits. More»

I Want To Play My Guitar

I Want To Play My Guitar

The Director had ideas for this video. It was called “Qwi Mai Yab”, or ‘Quit My Job’ as might be filtered through the thick Cuban accent of singer-songwriter Jem Marie’s extended familia. The Director was thinking of clever satirical scenarios: perhaps dull office work, or repetitive factory labor, or handling of toxic materials, something static to be upset by the burst of punk energy from the song and its players. More»

The Art of Silas Blak

The Art of Silas Blak

One can break down Seattle hip-hop into four main movements. The first begins in the early ’80s and concludes in 1993, following Sir Mix-a-Lot’s apotheosis and subsequent canonization in hip-hop. The second is between 1994 and 2004, and coincides with the gentrification of the Central District (a transition best captured by Central Intelligence’s 2001’s “Real Estate”). More»

Instrument Meets Radio

Instrument Meets Radio

Probably 80% of DJs/producers use SoundCloud, and have enjoyed using it. I understand the beauty of being able to share your music, but the fact is that it is not regulated fairly for copyright owners. Piracy went from being uncool and illegal to becoming the norm in how we treat the work of rights holders. More»

Vinyl Solution

Vinyl Solution

For nearly four decades, punk was America’s counterculture. The scene was remarkably resilient, replicating itself hundreds of times over, in nearly every part of the country. Punk had a sense of timelessness to it, which made it seem independent of its partnership with pop culture. More»

Doom Metal in Pakistan

Doom Metal in Pakistan

Booming guitars accentuated by a crushing low-end bass reverberate from the speakers. The drums hammer down with monotonous intensity, making every riff take on the form of an unrelenting earthquake. More»