You hear it in ads selling cologne, cars and colas. You experience it in cineplexes bringing drama to action flicks. You notice MTV using it to enliven its promo spots. Electronic music pervades popular culture, but most of its creators remain obscure, save for a few exceptions (Moby, Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim). The electronica revolution many pundits predicted and labels hoped for in 1997 never really happened, but in the meantime, electronic music has continued to mutate in several fascinating ways. Below, we spotlight some of the multifaceted electronica scene's finest producers and DJs. Understand that this is the tip of the iceberg: We hope this feature will spur you to discover more of the genre's gems.
Covered: Antipop Consortium, Akufen, Dan The Automater, Boards Of Canada, Caural, Deepsky, Jazzanova, Jel, Kinky, Miss Kitten & The Hacker, Timo Maas, Morel, Recloose, John Selway, Soul Center, Tadd Mullinix, Charles Webster
HEADQUARTERS> Chicago, IL
NOW PLAYING> Stars on My Ceiling (CHOCOLATE INDUSTRIES; www.chocolateindustries.com)
SOUNDS LIKE> An unusual hybrid of instrumental hip-hop and shoegazer rock.
WHY HE MATTERS> You can tell from one listen to Stars on My Ceiling, Caural's debut album, that he has hella fun with the music-making process. Like British producer extraordinaire Luke Vibert, Caural (Zachary Mastoon) loves funk and knows how to make it jiggle with absurd eccentricity. Deepening the quirk quotient is Caural's affinity for shoegazer rock. (If Mo' Wax ca. 1996 merged with Creatin ca. 1991 it would provide the perfect home for Caural's ideosyncratic take on sampledelia.) Stars finds Caural fulfilling the vast potential he showed on last years' Initial Experiments in 3-D album (Töshöklabs) and the Point EP (Chocolate Industries). Expect greater exposure to ensue (Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori has tapped him to remix her work).