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DMX Krew

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While many acts in the continuing electro-funk revival of the late '90s hid behind aliases and updated the sound considerably, Ed Upton's DMX Krew made few concessions — for better or worse — to music or graphic technology developed later than 1985. Turned on to electro in 1983 after buying a Kraftwerk seven-inch as a teenager, Upton began recording as DMX Krew in the mid-'90s, with his first album The Sound of the Street appearing in 1996 on Rephlex Records. Tracks like "Rock to the Beat," "Move My Body" and "Dance to the Beat" were rough but effective pastiches of spare street-level electro from the glory days, while the high-profile status of Rephlex (the label founded by Aphex Twin) guaranteed Upton a degree of exposure. Rephlex's commitment to electro (as witnessed by its retrospective of electro-bass pioneers Dynamix II) resulted in several additional DMX Krew albums, including 1997's Ffressshh! and the following year's Nu Romantix. We Are DMX followed in 1999. Upton also remixed an electro classic (Herbie Hancock's "Rockit") for Sony, recorded an EP of Kraftwerk covers and released tracks by Bass Junkie, Mandroid and Biochip C on his own label, Breakin' Records.

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