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After Dark

Staff Pick, CL Recommends

Architects of the Atlanta sound

Organized Noize

A decade before this city became the crunk, snap, and trap capital of the world, the sound of Atlanta was defined by the excavated funk »more

Atlanta's longest-running nonstop dance-or-be-damned party

Backstreet Atlanta

For 30 years, Backstreet Atlanta was the city's best-known all-hours nightclub. More than a gay disco, it was a landmark of Atlanta's sanctified underbelly and »more

Atlanta's original avant guardians

Hampton Grease Band

In the beginning, there was the Hampton Grease Band — a gang of oddball Southern blues rockers with one wiry frontman, Bruce Hampton, who stepped »more

Best artist overall

Killer Mike

Killer Mike remembers when he and his friends first heard N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton. "We were waiting for this record we'd heard about that had »more

Best Atlanta-based music blog

Maurice Garland

Name-dropping Southern hip-hop has become something of a hipster commodity on a national level in recent years, but nobody covers the music and the scene »more

Best beatmaker-turned-boss

Mike Will Made It

For 23-year-old producer Mike Will Made It, nothing says success like having Diddy talk mega-shit on your behalf. But after his swaggering introduction on Will's »more

Best blues album

Black Cat Oil

This year, Delta Moon released Black Cat Oil, the Atlanta group's seventh and most transcendent offering in an already respectable catalog. The collision of Tom »more

Best creepy new band

deadCAT

When deadCAT unleashed "Rosie O'Donnell" via Bandcamp last October, the song seemed like the kind of noisy side project that might result from a late »more

Best debut performance

Night Sun

Back in November 2011, Black Lips singer/guitarist Cole Alexander and former Cee Lo Green collaborator Curtis Harding unveiled their spooky, low-fi soul project Night Sun »more

Best DJ for a drunken sing-along

Sofa King Evil

Sofa King Evil's idea of a killer transition: segueing from Lil Wayne's Sir Mix-A-Lot reference in "The Motto" ("Oh my God, Becky/look at her butt") »more

Best dopegirl on the wheels of steel

Speakerfoxxx

When Speakerfoxxx released her sophomore mixtape, Dopegirl Anthems, in March via Yelawolf's Slumerican imprint, she unveiled an hour-long mix of crunk, gangsta, and trap rap, »more

Best electro ghetto technician

heRobust

The synth-laden soundscapes of heRobust have given Atlanta an earful in 2012. The young electronic producer Hayden Kramer merged his soulful glitch with jazzy melodies »more

Best emigrant-turned-essential local DJ

Kid Cedek

After Kid Cedek moved here three years ago, he learned to spin the electro, dubstep, and trap to which Atlantans are accustomed. But he also »more

Best experimental act

Faun and a Pan Flute

Best known for orchestrating layers of winding and bucolic rhythms that evoke equal parts Can's hypnotic rhythms and the Grateful Dead's hippie-dippie ways, Faun and »more

Best hardcore band

Bukkake Boys

It feels wrong to simply label Bukkake Boys a hardcore band — especially at a time when permutations and microgenres have strangled the life out »more

Best industry impresario-slash-big-sis-to-the-stars

Malissa "Mali" Hunter

Rarely does a professional recording studio earn a side rep as a premier comfort food destination. Thanks to Malissa "Mali" Hunter, Tree Sound Studios is »more

Best metal band

Royal Thunder

When Royal Thunder released its eponymous EP in 2009, there was an unmistakable air of something powerful burning within its thick, Zeppelin-esque grooves. Three years »more

Best movement in the making

Two9

If the children are the future, Two9 is a harbinger of hell to pay. And no, that's not a backhanded compliment. Like Los Angeles' Odd »more

Best new advocate for Atlanta's avant-garde

Primitive Patterns

Over the last year Adam Babar has quietly laid the foundation for an experimental musical legacy with his self-run Primitive Patterns label. Whether it be »more

Best new venue

Terminal West

Outside, its bouncers are smiling. Inside, its three bars supply 25 different beers. Terminal West is now Robert Shaw and Alan Sher's dream venue, built »more

Best perennial soul stirrer

DJ Kemit

Based on his output over the course of the last year, it would be hard not to recognize DJ Kemit as one of the city's »more

Best rap reinvention

2 Chainz

As Tity Boi, he clung to parts of his past with a familial nickname-turned-rap moniker — meaning "that momma's boy kind of swag," as he »more

Best secret soul weapon

Algebra Blessett

It's a sad fact that Atlantans sometime take homegrown talent for granted. Case in point: soul singer Algebra Blessett. For more than a decade, Algebra's »more

Best songwriter

Adron

When Adron unveiled Organismo last November, the album boasted her fairy-tale charm and whimsical intonations, but her trademark style had been repurposed with a focused »more

Best soul album

Clementine Sun

In early 2012, bassist/producer Khari Cabral (aka Khari Simmons) stepped away from Jiva, the band he founded in the late 1990s, and released his first »more

Best trap ambassador-at-large

Daniel Disaster

With a bio that boasts, "We're only interested in making music you can fight or strip to," Daniel Disaster, the DJ, producer, and driving force »more

Architects of the Atlanta sound

Organized Noize

A decade before this city became the crunk, snap, and trap capital of the world, the sound of Atlanta was defined by the excavated funk »more

Atlanta's longest-running nonstop dance-or-be-damned party

Backstreet Atlanta

For 30 years, Backstreet Atlanta was the city's best-known all-hours nightclub. More than a gay disco, it was a landmark of Atlanta's sanctified underbelly and »more

Atlanta's original avant guardians

Hampton Grease Band

In the beginning, there was the Hampton Grease Band — a gang of oddball Southern blues rockers with one wiry frontman, Bruce Hampton, who stepped »more

Best artist overall

Killer Mike

Killer Mike remembers when he and his friends first heard N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton. "We were waiting for this record we'd heard about that had »more

Best Atlanta-based music blog

Maurice Garland

Name-dropping Southern hip-hop has become something of a hipster commodity on a national level in recent years, but nobody covers the music and the scene »more

Best beatmaker-turned-boss

Mike Will Made It

For 23-year-old producer Mike Will Made It, nothing says success like having Diddy talk mega-shit on your behalf. But after his swaggering introduction on Will's »more

Best blues album

Black Cat Oil

This year, Delta Moon released Black Cat Oil, the Atlanta group's seventh and most transcendent offering in an already respectable catalog. The collision of Tom »more

Best creepy new band

deadCAT

When deadCAT unleashed "Rosie O'Donnell" via Bandcamp last October, the song seemed like the kind of noisy side project that might result from a late »more

Best debut performance

Night Sun

Back in November 2011, Black Lips singer/guitarist Cole Alexander and former Cee Lo Green collaborator Curtis Harding unveiled their spooky, low-fi soul project Night Sun »more

Best DJ for a drunken sing-along

Sofa King Evil

Sofa King Evil's idea of a killer transition: segueing from Lil Wayne's Sir Mix-A-Lot reference in "The Motto" ("Oh my God, Becky/look at her butt") »more

Best dopegirl on the wheels of steel

Speakerfoxxx

When Speakerfoxxx released her sophomore mixtape, Dopegirl Anthems, in March via Yelawolf's Slumerican imprint, she unveiled an hour-long mix of crunk, gangsta, and trap rap, »more

Best electro ghetto technician

heRobust

The synth-laden soundscapes of heRobust have given Atlanta an earful in 2012. The young electronic producer Hayden Kramer merged his soulful glitch with jazzy melodies »more

Best emigrant-turned-essential local DJ

Kid Cedek

After Kid Cedek moved here three years ago, he learned to spin the electro, dubstep, and trap to which Atlantans are accustomed. But he also »more

Best experimental act

Faun and a Pan Flute

Best known for orchestrating layers of winding and bucolic rhythms that evoke equal parts Can's hypnotic rhythms and the Grateful Dead's hippie-dippie ways, Faun and »more

Best hardcore band

Bukkake Boys

It feels wrong to simply label Bukkake Boys a hardcore band — especially at a time when permutations and microgenres have strangled the life out »more

Best industry impresario-slash-big-sis-to-the-stars

Malissa "Mali" Hunter

Rarely does a professional recording studio earn a side rep as a premier comfort food destination. Thanks to Malissa "Mali" Hunter, Tree Sound Studios is »more

Best metal band

Royal Thunder

When Royal Thunder released its eponymous EP in 2009, there was an unmistakable air of something powerful burning within its thick, Zeppelin-esque grooves. Three years »more

Best movement in the making

Two9

If the children are the future, Two9 is a harbinger of hell to pay. And no, that's not a backhanded compliment. Like Los Angeles' Odd »more

Best new advocate for Atlanta's avant-garde

Primitive Patterns

Over the last year Adam Babar has quietly laid the foundation for an experimental musical legacy with his self-run Primitive Patterns label. Whether it be »more

Best new venue

Terminal West

Outside, its bouncers are smiling. Inside, its three bars supply 25 different beers. Terminal West is now Robert Shaw and Alan Sher's dream venue, built »more

Best perennial soul stirrer

DJ Kemit

Based on his output over the course of the last year, it would be hard not to recognize DJ Kemit as one of the city's »more

Best rap reinvention

2 Chainz

As Tity Boi, he clung to parts of his past with a familial nickname-turned-rap moniker — meaning "that momma's boy kind of swag," as he »more

Best secret soul weapon

Algebra Blessett

It's a sad fact that Atlantans sometime take homegrown talent for granted. Case in point: soul singer Algebra Blessett. For more than a decade, Algebra's »more

Best songwriter

Adron

When Adron unveiled Organismo last November, the album boasted her fairy-tale charm and whimsical intonations, but her trademark style had been repurposed with a focused »more

Best soul album

Clementine Sun

In early 2012, bassist/producer Khari Cabral (aka Khari Simmons) stepped away from Jiva, the band he founded in the late 1990s, and released his first »more

Best trap ambassador-at-large

Daniel Disaster

With a bio that boasts, "We're only interested in making music you can fight or strip to," Daniel Disaster, the DJ, producer, and driving force »more

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