In the right corner, weighing in at 192 pounds, ladies and gentlemen, The Aphex Twin! And to my left, the diminutive yet precocious bubble-gum goddess Kylie Minogue! Cue the maniacal wrestling-crowd cheer … An unlikely match-up? Maybe. Yet this “mash-up” battle has gone from idea to form thanks to lightning-quick laptops and widely available mixing software. A growing audience of eager bootleggers has stepped into the ring to poke fun at the corporate pop machine. The concept is simple: Flip vocal track X over backing track Y, stir in your own freakish flair, and bake till the tempos match. Or, layer several elements from familiar sources one upon another. The result is mash-up, a genre that delivers on punk’s DIYRead more.

What’s the sound of media colliding? What color is ambient, industrial and environmental music? The experimental genre has never found it’s way into popular culture because it lies at the edge of what most of us would consider accessible. Just because a song lacks melody or conventional verse/chorus formula shouldn’t preclude it from wider exposure. Reinventing how music is presented and conceived has pushed sub-genres into a myriad of different directions. The little known “Illbient” genre fuses, trip-hop, salsa, and thick ambient textures. The early 80’s industrial movement with bands such as Clan of Xymox and Front line Assembly used machine inspired percussion grooves to create dance tracks. Found sound musicians like Britian’s Mathew Herbert don’t believe in recycling othersRead more.

I’m not one to sing the praises of the overhyped house-music scene, but I gotta say, something interesting is afoot on Prague’s dance floors. What had devolved into a scene dominated by jackhammer techno and bubblegum trance has started evolving again with a return to whimsical lyrics, bootlegged pop turns and nods to the edgier end of ‘70s rock. The latest generation of electronic-music makers is drawing from a much wider array of influences than pre-bundled sample libraries. From the newly legitimized (and lucrative) bastard-pop and mash-up scenes to the top 40 choruses cut and pasted over wicked dance grooves embraced on the fashion runways, the house scene is, at long last, loosening up and lightening up. Hey – it’s danceRead more.