primer

An Introduction to Arthur Russell’s Weird, Wonderful World

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Disco producer, avant-garde experimentalist, classically trained cellist, visionary: there are few artists who’ve been both as under-appreciated and as influential as Arthur Russell. Over the course of his career, spanning the early ’70s until his AIDS-related death in 1992, Russell’s work encompassed a bewildering variety of projects, many of which never saw the light of day until after his death. With the all-star tribute album Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell out this week (and featuring Robyn, Hot Chip, Phosphorescent, Blood Orange, and many more), it seems like a fine time to look back at the great man’s remarkably diverse and innovative discography. If you’ve always wondered just where to start with Russell, wonder no longer!
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Damon Albarn: The Essential Career-Spanning Playlist

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Things are coming full circle for Damon Albarn this week, as Blur’s Parklife celebrates its 20th anniversary and his first proper solo album, Everyday Robots, makes its way into the world. The sonically eclectic and emotionally wistful album, produced by Albarn and XL Records, makes reference to its creator’s lengthy past, present, and future: Britpop posterboy, puppeteer behind pop’s greatest cartoon band, supergroup collector, world music activist and curator, producer of forgotten legends, soundtrack creep, opera experimenter, rap hook dude, electronic remixer, guy standing in the background playing keyboard on a Gil-Scott Heron record, or really anything you need from him.
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