Editors' pick

Arthur Baker


Editorial Review

Arthur Baker is one of the most important names in the history of dance music, taking a love for the live DJ mix and trying to re-create it in the studio. His melding of hip-hop and electro on Afrika Bambaataa's groundbreaking "Planet Rock" - with Bambaataa rapping over Kraftwerk-inspired synths and a Roland 808 drum machine - helped launch house and techno music. His production work on New Order's hit "Confusion" helped cement the band's popularity in the United States, giving them a second hit after "Blue Monday." (Oh, and Baker, a Boston native, was responsible for getting New Edition to sign for Tommy Boy.) His '80s output is full of originals (Rockers Revenge) and remixes for Diana Ross and Bruce Springsteen, but outside of work with soul singer Al Green, Baker has been relatively quiet in recent years. So what will you hear when the London resident takes to the DJ booth at U Street Music Hall? We're betting it will be the most original DJ set of the year. (And since you get in free when you RSVP on Facebook by 6 p.m. Wednesday, you have nothing to lose.)

-- Fritz Hahn (July 12, 2010)