Afrika Bambaataa

It has been 22 years since Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force released "Planet Rock," a seminal hip-hop cut that borrowed its funky electro goodness from the German act Kraftwerk, and Bambaataa is still perfecting the beat, whether it's in hip-hop, breakbeat, or drum and bass form. After releasing several DJ mix CDs (including Electric Funk Breakdown), he presents an album of original material in Dark Matter Moving at the Speed of Light, bringing together several producers (Leftfield's Paul Daley, Überzone) and MCs (King Kamonzi, TC Izlam) for a world party. Songs such as "Metal," which stars two generations of disciples, Gary Numan and MC Chatterbox, best express where he is at: playfully self-referential with a futuristic edge.

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Tamara Palmer