NPR Music

The Mix: Beyond EDM

Oct 29, 2012

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There's no question about it: EDM has launched electronic music to unprecedented levels of popularity in the United States. Arena Rock has given way to Arena Rave and promoters and DJs are raking in millions of dollars. But those dazzling stage productions and two-story subwoofers didn't just drop out of the sky: Before EDM, there was dubstep; before dubstep, there was electro house; before that there was big beat and so on and so on. Electronic dance music has been picking up speed for more than three decades.

It's 4:30 in the morning in Washington, D.C., and dank pools of sweat are collecting on the dance floor beneath a dripping basement ceiling. I can see Sonny Moore's heart beating through his shirt. The 24-year-old DJ, whose producing alias, Skrillex, is a major keyword for the new wave of American dance music, just wrapped up an intimate surprise show at U Street Music Hall (my local gateway to electronic music and a place where I also DJ from time to time).

Composer Hans Werner Henze Remembered

Oct 29, 2012

Band Of Horses On World Cafe

Oct 29, 2012

Two years after the success of 2010's Grammy-nominated Infinite Arms, the twangy rock group Band of Horses just returned with a new album titled Mirage Rock.

Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos is a fussy sonic craftsman: A keyboardist and singer who started out working solo on his laptop, he now makes fizzily catchy electro-pop that orbits around monster hooks. He's not, in other words, the first musician you'd associate with a stripped-down performance behind NPR Music's Tiny Desk, where Technicolor production tends to give way to unfiltered voices and bare instrumental essentials.

Ask Swedish singer Sarah Assbring, sole member of the moody pop group El Perro del Mar, and she'll tell you these are grim times, but not without a flicker of hope. "In this world, you think you have no reason to believe in love or in anything much," she says. "Then one day, when you least expect it, a light appears on the far horizon. It's a flickering light, begging you to come, telling you to stay away."

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 24, 2010.

'Treme,' Ep. 27: The Fat Man

Oct 29, 2012

Born in 1928, Fats Domino enjoyed the first of his many hits — almost all of which were created in New Orleans — when "The Fat Man" rose up the R&B charts all the way to No. 2. That was in 1950. Which explains all the records on the wall at his house, and the regal status he is afforded.

That, and other musical explainers, are in our latest Treme music recap, with WBGO's Josh Jackson.

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