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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 1st, 2015 | Andrew Mason | Articles
Nu-Shooze-splash

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 30th, 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 25th, 2015 | Michael Gonzales | Articles
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 15th, 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 11th, 2015 | Wax Poetics | Articles
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 26th, 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 12th, 2015 | Alice Price-Styles | Articles
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…

April 30th, 2015 | 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 22nd, 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 20th, 2015 | Allen Thayer | Articles
Al Green

Al Green strives for perfection

“Since I can remember, women have wanted to get next to me, and when I sing, it’s like they’ve received…

April 13th, 2015 | Wax Poetics | Articles
Collage of Music Box regulars. Courtesy of Robert Williams.

Ron Hardy’s radical Music Box mixes and edits defined a new sound in dance music

  When the universally appointed “Godfather of House” Frankie Knuckles left Chicago’s Warehouse club in 1983 to start a residency…

March 16th, 2015 | Wax Poetics | Articles
Daniele Baldelli Afro Cosmic Disco

Italian DJ Daniele Baldelli created the Afro Cosmic disco scene

  Imagine circling the planet in a spaceship—weightless, far from home, listening to music on your gravity-modified iPod. Or imagine…

February 18th, 2015 | Wax Poetics | Articles
Shabazz Palaces

Ishmael Butler’s Shabazz Palaces is a heavy yet fleeting Afro-celestial experience

We spoke to Ishmael Butler in 2012 after the release of his first Shabazz Palaces long player on Sub Pop, Black…

February 5th, 2015 | Jon Kirby | Articles
Bohannon

Bohannon set the stage for house and modern dance music by keeping four on the floor

“As some folks say, I helped create the disco music, the house music, and a lot of other different things.” –Bohannon…

January 28th, 2015 | Ronnie Reese | Articles
The-Carnations

An interview with Heather Augustyn, author of Songbirds – Pioneering Women in Jamaican Music

  Coming from small-town Indiana and growing up in the ’80s, author Heather Augustyn wouldn’t say she had privileged access…

January 15th, 2015 | Seb Carayol | Articles
Luisa Maita by Joao Wainer

São Paulo singer Luísa Maita rises to become pride of Brazil

  Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Ana Luiza” courses smoothly through my headphones on a warm spring day. Claus Ogerman’s bittersweet string…

January 14th, 2015 | Wax Poetics | Articles
Turquoise Summers (Omega Supreme Records)

Turquoise Summers continues the modern-funk tradition for Omega Supreme Records

 In 2009, Los Angeles based interplanetary funk doctor, Dam-Funk dropped his debut album, Toeachizown, a monumental five-LP boxed set on…

December 19th, 2014 | Wax Poetics | Articles
Terry Reid

Terry Reid passed on Led Zeppelin to follow his own path

Terry Reid passed on the opportunity to become the front man of Led Zeppelin—instead introducing Robert Plant to Jimmy Page. His choice to carry on as a solo act never paid off with the heights of fame and fortune of his musical pals, yet he recorded two soulful folk-rock masterpieces and has become known as an artist’s artist, championed by many of the greats as the genuine article.

December 8th, 2014 | Wax Poetics | Articles
Apollo Brown and Ras Kass

Detroit producer Apollo Brown talks about his new album Blasphemy with Ras Kass

Apollo Brown is a producer with a rep. When you check out an Apollo Brown album, you know what you…

December 5th, 2014 | Chris Pattinson | Articles
Biz Markie

Nobody Beats Biz Markie

In the classic 1986 Dutch documentary film, Big Fun in the Big Town, director Bram Van Splunteren captures New York…

December 5th, 2014 | David Ma | Articles
Jean Seberg in the film 'Kill!'

The insidious tale of actress Jean Seberg, FBI’s COINTELPRO, and the film Kill!

The scene was tragic. A casket covered with lilies, daisies, and yellow roses. A stunned and muted crowd of hundreds…

November 21st, 2014 | David Thrussell | Articles
The Peterson Brothers

Texas guitar prodigies the Peterson Brothers fuse the blues with soul, funk, and disco

Trying to fit in sessions with Bootsy Collins can be tough when you’re still in high school.

November 20th, 2014 | Greg Lemen | Articles
Stand! Sly and the Family Stone

Freddy Stone discusses Sly and the Family Stone’s Stand! on its 45th anniversary

By the end of the 1960s, Sylvester “Sly Stone” Stewart, Frederick “Freddie Stone” Stewart, Rosemary “Rose Stone” Stewart, Cynthia Robinson,…

November 14th, 2014 | Chris Williams | Articles