Every year, it's a welcome challenge to dig into Atlanta's rich musical communities. The idea behind the 2013 Music Issue was to cast a wide net — to present a snapshot of the people out there taking to the stages every night in their own corners of the city, from trap to metal to country to hip-hop and beyond. The 10 main artists featured in this issue — Adrian Sosebee, Sadistic Ritual, Featureless Ghost, Methuzulah, Kebbi Williams, Marian Mareba, Julea Thomerson, ForteBowie, Faun And A Pan Flute, and Cheap Art — each stand at the center of a thriving scene.
Interviews with Sosebee on the origins of Atlanta trap, Williams on the city's strong jazz spirit, Mood Rings' William Fussell on the band's melancholy sound, and Methuzulah on the invisible code that binds Atlanta's underground hip-hop, among others, offer insight into the music that surrounds us. We took an in-depth look at the city's young metal scene, a thriving underground that's deviating with a lightning fast fury from the slow drudge that's dominated the last decade. You'll also find lists of the most interesting electronic DJs and producers working right now, essential albums of 2013, and an entire week of Atlanta music in photos.
While delving into these stories, I was particularly struck by just how important the subtle nuances of a sound or a beat can be in distinguishing musical communities, often divvying worlds up into countless subgenres. To say that you are a hip-hop artist, that you make electronic music, or that you play in a metal band means different things to different people. Is it a death metal band? Or maybe power violence or hardcore? Is it trap or dubstep? Distinguishing between such subtleties might not seem important to the untrained ear. But to the people packing out shows every night, it's crucial.
By highlighting such a broad range of artists, I hope we're able to put a shine on many of the working parts that make Atlanta such a complex and indefinable music hub. Because, when placed side-by-side, these musicians offer a much larger view of Atlanta and its seemingly intangible identity. Think of this issue as a jumping off point, a place to start digging into the sounds of Atlanta in 2013. And don't forget, tonight, Thurs., June 20, we're hosting our annual Creative Loafing Throwdown at Terminal West with Distal, Speakerfoxxx, Divine Interface, and the Difference Machine. See you there!
— Chad Radford