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Best Of Atlanta 2013 After Dark (large)


After Dark

Shouting out Atlanta's latest and greatest of the after-dark hours in our Best of issue has become an annual litmus test for the city's place on a larger cultural map. From the outside looking in, avant-garde rockers Deerhunter are still riding the wave of their fifth, and possibly career-defining, album Monomania. On the radio, the pep rally bellow of "2 Chainzzz" has become impossible to avoid. But here at home, in the wake of the country's recent economic woes, Atlanta's musical communities have grown tighter, the sounds that bind each one becoming increasingly defined. This year, a homegrown metal scene - best personified by the black-clad headbangers of Disfigurement and their growing fascination with the outlandish, gory aesthetics of a classic '80s sound - became a dominant force. Underground MC Scotty ATL broke adventurous new ground with his F.A.I.T.H. mixtape.

From Mayhem to heRobust to Distal, electronic music pushed the outer limits of club music. Progress and nostalgia found equal footing in Atlanta over the last year. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the ragtime and jittery rock of Cabbagetown songwriter Blair Crimmins' latest album, Sing-a-Longs. Fresh trends are revealing themselves in the likes of young indie rockers Warehouse, drummer Joe Sweat, and rising hip-hop star Rich Homie Quan. Naming the city's best artists is no easy task. We're lucky there's so much incredible talent to choose from.

— Chad Radford, Music Editor


Best local electronic act BOA Award Winner

Ralph and Louie

Best local instrumentalist BOA Award Winner

Jesse Bone

Best local vocalist BOA Award Winner

Sonia Leigh
www.sonialeigh.comhttp://www.sonialeigh.com

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Best local label BOA Award Winner

Freakstep Records
freakstep.com

Best local studio BOA Award Winner

Studio 882
hesmkaexperience.com/tag/studio-882

Best neighborhood for nightlife BOA Award Winner

East Atlanta

Best new thug motivator BOA Award Winner

Rich Homie Quan
Eight long years after Young Jeezy came to motivate the thugs, and Rocko after him, Rich Homie Quan has picked up the motivational speaker mantle for a new generation. His accent is as "Aalanna" as it gets, seemingly rendering his music in a coded language. The infectious glide of his "Type of Way" singlemore...
Eight long years after Young Jeezy came to motivate the thugs, and Rocko after him, Rich Homie Quan has picked up the motivational speaker mantle for a new generation. His accent is as "Aalanna" as it gets, seemingly rendering his music in a coded language. The infectious glide of his "Type of Way" single placed him in his own lane, garnering shout-outs from coast to coast. Here in his hometown, he's shaken off early comparisons to fellow Atlanta rapper Future by writing songs that boast about being "rich" in the spirit - not necessarily in the bank - which makes you want to join in the chant, rather than just rob him. www.twitter.com/RichHomieQuan. less...

Best post-hardcore assault BOA Award Winner

Dead in the Dirt's The Blind Hole
Although terms such as "grindcore," "power violence," and "metal" serve their purpose, as the strains of post-hardcore music are subjected to increasingly grotesque over-genrefication, they also place constraints on both the band and the audience's expectations. Dead in the Dirt's The Blind Hole (Southernmore...
Although terms such as "grindcore," "power violence," and "metal" serve their purpose, as the strains of post-hardcore music are subjected to increasingly grotesque over-genrefication, they also place constraints on both the band and the audience's expectations. Dead in the Dirt's The Blind Hole (Southern Lord Records), could be filed under any one of these subheadings. The record's power lies in its ability to smash through those barriers. Culminating in a storm of 22 songs that whiz by in less than 25 minutes, tempos phase up and down as a pastiche of sonic textures, distortion, and weirdo samples add a fourth dimension to the music. Songs such as "Swelling," "Strength Through Restraint," and "Idiot Bliss" test the limits of traditional hardcore by lumbering along at a grinding pace without losing an ounce of their crushing weight. "Cop" and "No Chain" blend lightning-fast energy with brutal low-end grind that deliver heady blasts of existential angst. All of Dead in the Dirt's music strives to reach into deeper, darker levels of the human condition, transcending whatever it was you thought grindcore, hardcore, and metal were all about. www.deadinthedirt.bandcamp.com. less...

Best punk band BOA Award Winner

WYMYNS PRYSYN
At a time when many of Atlanta's best underground rock bands are sticking with a defined sound, be it metal, noise, or hardcore, WYMYNS PRYSYN remains almost impossible to pin down. It's noisy and obtuse, yet also catchy and melodic. In the past few years, WP's full-volume live assault has improved withmore...
At a time when many of Atlanta's best underground rock bands are sticking with a defined sound, be it metal, noise, or hardcore, WYMYNS PRYSYN remains almost impossible to pin down. It's noisy and obtuse, yet also catchy and melodic. In the past few years, WP's full-volume live assault has improved with each new release, culminating in this year's four-song 7-inch for local label No Breaks. The band's sound, image, and touring practices are all rooted in a strong DIY ethic. After shuffling through a number of drummers, WP settled on the skill and experience of Bobby Michaud (Brain Flannel, Double Negative). Bassist Josh Feigert's artwork is incorporated into every release for a blitz that pummels the eyes as well as the ears. www.wymynsprysyn.bandcamp.com. less...

Best sports bar BOA Award Winner

Taco Mac Virginia Highlands
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best strip club BOA Award Winner

Pink Pony

Best live act BOA Award Winner

The Wheeler Boys
www.thewheelerboys.comhttp://www.thewheelerboys.com/

Best local DJ BOA Award Winner

DJ Snellvillain
soundcloud.com/snellvillain

Best local hip-hop act BOA Award Winner

Tom P.
tomp.bandcamp.comhttp://tomp.bandcamp.com/

Best local overall music act BOA Award Winner

The Wheeler Boys

Best metal band BOA Award Winner

Disfigurement

Best power violence provocateurs BOA Award Winner

Cheap Art
Atlanta's hardcore scene has been on a creative high, with power violence masters Cheap Art leading the charge. In the past year, the band has expanded both its sound and its membership, going from a duo to a four-piece since forming in December of 2011. Cheap Art's DIY commitment to play anywhere atmore...
Atlanta's hardcore scene has been on a creative high, with power violence masters Cheap Art leading the charge. In the past year, the band has expanded both its sound and its membership, going from a duo to a four-piece since forming in December of 2011. Cheap Art's DIY commitment to play anywhere at any time ended up putting the band in contact with two out-of-town hardcore labels that split-released its Desocialized 7-inch this summer. The group is quickly cementing itself as a standard bearer in a thriving hardcore scene. www.cheapart.bandcamp.com. less...

Best rap recording by a visual artist BOA Award Winner

Fahamu Pecou's All Dat Glitters Aint Goals
Who knew that a guy who paints for a living could produce a great hip-hop album? Well, lo and behold, renowned Atlanta-based visual artist Fahamu Pecou did just that when he crafted the All Dat Glitters Aint Goals EP. Based on a series of paintings of the same name, the five-song project features vocalsmore...
Who knew that a guy who paints for a living could produce a great hip-hop album? Well, lo and behold, renowned Atlanta-based visual artist Fahamu Pecou did just that when he crafted the All Dat Glitters Aint Goals EP. Based on a series of paintings of the same name, the five-song project features vocals by Pecou and a bevy of hip-hop luminaries, including Stic.Man of Dead Prez, Boog Brown, Methuzulah, Mike Flo, G.R.E.A.T. Scott, Starchile, Clan Destined, and more. Like his visual art, Pecou's songs explore themes of materialism, black masculinity, and fatherhood - and they do so via creatively crafted lyrics and boom-bap-flavored beats on par with some of Atlanta's best hip-hop releases this year. www.fahamupecouistheshit.bandcamp.com. less...

Winner's Pick - Best Dopegirl on the Wheels of steel BOA Award Winner

DJ Princess Cut
"My favorite Atlanta DJ - the one whom I respect the most right now - is DJ Princess Cut. She used to be Goodie Mob's DJ, and she's the only female on Hoodrich Radio. I've always found her to be an inspiration, both in my personal life and with my career. She's a lady and she's a dope artist whomore...
"My favorite Atlanta DJ - the one whom I respect the most right now - is DJ Princess Cut. She used to be Goodie Mob's DJ, and she's the only female on Hoodrich Radio. I've always found her to be an inspiration, both in my personal life and with my career. She's a lady and she's a dope artist who commands respect every time she steps behind the turntables. I was super excited when she was asked to be a part of Hot 107.9, and her R&B/downtempo mixtape last year, called Early Mornin Tap, was super dope. It came out right around the same time I dropped my sexy/downtempo mixtape "Skin"; we were on the same vibe around the same time, and our mixtapes reflected that. I'm just so proud of everything she has accomplished - she's building a legacy in Atlanta the way the Dungeon Family did." "Speakerfoxxx, 2012 Critics Pick for Best Dope Girl on the Wheels of Steel" less...

Best crossover electronic music maker BOA Award Winner

Distal
Atlanta electronic wunderkind Distal, aka Michael Rathbun, touches on dozens of styles and genres without losing sight of his own sonic identity. Distal's debut full-length, Civilization, issued by Tectonic, the celebrated dubstep label operated by the Bristol-based legend and producer Pinch, receivedmore...
Atlanta electronic wunderkind Distal, aka Michael Rathbun, touches on dozens of styles and genres without losing sight of his own sonic identity. Distal's debut full-length, Civilization, issued by Tectonic, the celebrated dubstep label operated by the Bristol-based legend and producer Pinch, received praise from both fans and critics of the global post-dubstep and bass music communities. Distal's prolific and genre-jumping sound includes nods to future bass, juke, and acid music. No other producer from the city's thriving electronic scene comes close to Distal's ever-rising quality and quantity of sounds. www.soundcloud.com/distal. less...

Best improviser BOA Award Winner

Eric Fontaine
While much of saxophonist/clarinetist Eric Fontaine's musical catalog falls into the category of jazz composition, there is a growing output of his work that can be filed under improvisation. Fontaine's alternately smooth and explosive playing has graced Atlanta's jazz scene for more than a decade. He'smore...
While much of saxophonist/clarinetist Eric Fontaine's musical catalog falls into the category of jazz composition, there is a growing output of his work that can be filed under improvisation. Fontaine's alternately smooth and explosive playing has graced Atlanta's jazz scene for more than a decade. He's played with acts as diverse as the Soulphonics and the 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra, among many others. In his new Living Space Trio, Fontaine joins with cellist/guitarist Benjamin Shirley and percussionist Scotty Bryan for a reflective journey through time and space that can be heard on two different recordings for the local Behip Records label. These days, Fontaine frequents Elliott Street Pub's Tuesday night Kevin Scott jams and the Sounds from the Underground series. Not only has his documentation of the local jazz scene been constant and concise, as evidenced by the treasure trove of clips on his YouTube channel, he's a major contributor to the seismic rumblings that define the raw and esoteric corners of Atlanta's jazz, rock, and experimental music scenes. www.ericfontainejazz.com. less...

Best local electronic act BOA Award Winner

Ralph and Louie

Best local instrumentalist BOA Award Winner

Jesse Bone

Best local vocalist BOA Award Winner

Sonia Leigh
www.sonialeigh.comhttp://www.sonialeigh.com

Best Local DJ BOA Award Winner

Martina McFlyy
She's a lady DJ who isn't afraid to sweat her perm out. And that ain't the half. Since graduating from Scratch DJ Academy two years ago, former Georgia State University Music Management major Martina McFlyy continues to be the choice party rocker among local tastemakers, promoters, and cool kids, bymore...
She's a lady DJ who isn't afraid to sweat her perm out. And that ain't the half. Since graduating from Scratch DJ Academy two years ago, former Georgia State University Music Management major Martina McFlyy continues to be the choice party rocker among local tastemakers, promoters, and cool kids, by bumping everything from Marvin Gaye to Major Lazer. For party-proven tenacity, check out the "TRIPPY" mixtape she put together for Reebok Classic this year. "www.martinamcflyy.com". less...
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