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16 Segments




Daft Punk: Accessing Electronic Music's Humanity.

Random Access Memories finds the French duo changing its music-making process in an effort to make its songs sound more human. To that end, Daft Punk enlists guest stars such as Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers.


Ke$ha: A 'Warrior' In Search Of Legitimacy

On her new album, the pop star tries to show she's not just in the business for the money. As critic Ken tucker says, "Like pop stars ranging from Madonna to Chuck Berry, Ke$ha wants it both ways: mass-audience access and artistic acknowledgement."


Hot Chip Brings Romance To The Dance Floor.

Music critic Ken Tucker reviews a refreshingly earnest and seductive new album from British dance act Hot Chip. In it, the group embraces its taste for techno, soul and gospel while also paying homage to the great American songwriters of the '60s and '70s.


Light and Playful Electronica.

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews "Remedy" the first full-length CD released in America by the British duo Basement Jaxx, consisting of the two DJs Simon Ratcliffe & Felix Buxton.


Drum and Bass Music from England.

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the double CD "New Forms" by British artist Roni (Ronny) Size. Size and his group just won England's most prestigious pop-music award, the Mercury Music Prize.


Yo-Yo Ma Plays the Premiere of Tod Machover's New Work.

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reports on cellist Yo-Yo Ma's performance at Tanglewood last week. He played the world premiere of electronic music composer Tod Machover's "Begin Again Again," which was written for the cellist.


Musical Dispatches from Europe with Ed Ward.

We debrief our rock historian Ed Ward about the music he heard during recent trips to Europe. He sat in on a recording session with an underground East Berlin band which is now making its first album, and he also brought back some Polish punk and dance music from Belgium.


A State of the Art Science Fiction Opera.

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a recording of the recent opera Valis, based on Philp K. Dick's novel of the same name. He says much of the music is haunting, but is often repetitive and sentimental. Yet it's still a beguiling piece of wizardry.


Bridging Art and Popular Music

Rather than features songs from the 1970s in the recent Patty Hearst biopic, the filmmakers recruited composer Scott Johnson to write the soundtrack. His dense score combines synthesizers with heavy percussion, but retains the accessibility of pop music.


"Humanizing the Machinery."

Jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album "Nine Below Zero," by the trio of pianist Wayne Horvitz, cornettist Butch Morris and drummer Bobby Previte. Kevin says the album is one of the more successful attempts to humanize the new electronic instruments like synthesizers, drum machines and rhythm boxes.


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