Top 100 Artists of the Decade: #6 Daedelus


The Top 100 Artists of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one artist and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 artist of the decade!

Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.

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#6 Daedelus

One of the most original characters in electronic music, the dashing young man with the mutton chops, dressed in velvety green Victorian garb is non other than Daedelus. Hailing from sunny Santa Monica, where for years he has been trolling about record shops and thrift stores, collecting dusty vinyl treasures, and soaking up the sea of contrasting styles popping up in the thriving Los Angeles music scene. His wondrously uncompromising sound is a staggering collage of imagery and complexity, incorporating bits and pieces of just about any kind of audio he can get his hands on. Well known for his energetic live performances and trailblazing technique, Daedelus performs around the globe, ripping it up front and center, standing tall at the forefront of the laptop music movement.

Daedelus grew up in a musical home and cites one of his earliest influences as Musique Concrete, the originators of electroacoustic music who manipulated the first reel-to-reel tape recorders to construct abstract sound sculptures from field recordings. He began playing jazz clarinet as a kid but eventually became “disillusioned” with the contemporary jazz movement, and began working at KSCR, the USC campus radio station, where he was exposed to some of the fresh new styles brewing in LA, such as jungle and turntablism.

Daedelus has created a distinctive aesthetic both in his music and his persona, drawing upon more civilized, classical sensibilities. With an endless arsenal of obscure samples from his treasure trove of obsolete vinyl, Daedelus weaves an anachronistic tapestry, a web of ghostly sounds, like apparitions from an antique phonograph. The Daedelus live show is built around the infamous Monome, a much coveted and remarkable custom midi device that allows him to trigger and control samples in real time. This allows him to feel out the crowd and drive the music accordingly. He even tilts the device a bit outward toward the audience so as to let them see what’s happening. His innovative technique and original sound has led to an endless list of collaborations and side projects. He is indeed a busy young man. In this world of cut and paste electronic music clones, Daedelus is a true artist and a true original.

- Michael Charles

[ play ] | [ download mp3 ] Daedelus - Crazy Dancing

[ play ] | [ download mp3 ] Daedelus - Now's The Time

[ play ] | [ download mp3 ] Daedelus - Obama

[ play ] | [ download mp3 ] Daedelus - Hrs Mins Secs

[ play ] | [ download mp3 ] Daedelus - Hrs Mins Secs Remix (Etans Greenwich Mean Report)

[ play ] | [ download mp3 ] Daedelus - Make It So XXX Change Remix

[ play ] | [ download mp3 ] Daedelus - Sundown

Check back tomorrow for the next artist! To see the full list of the Top 100 Artists of the Decade, click here.

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