It's enough to make metal purists wail and gnash their teeth. Half of the producer/DJ duo Mixhell, Iggor Cavalera cofounded seminal Brazilian groove-metal act Sepultura when he was just 15 years old. For the next 20 years, he toured the world and sold out stadiums as the band's drummer, until a 2006 epiphany that came unexpectedly, at least to outsiders. He added a g to his name Igor, quit Sepultura, and, apparently, discovered the joys of dance music.
With his wife, Laima, he's since been tweaking the knobs as Mixhell, garnering the support of electrohouse heavies such as Soulwax, Justice, MSTRKRFT, Diplo, James Murphy, and others. And while Mixhell mines plenty of the ass-tastic, funky rhythms of the Cavaleras's home country, everything still grinds with a residual heaviness. Iggor is known to play his drum set live, along with the tracks too, and the most open-minded fans will find a link between his two projects in aggression and low-end rhythm. In fact, I first heard Mixhell spin at a 2008 SXSW showcase between live sets by Napalm Death and Motörhead, and nobody in the black-leathered crowd seemed particularly offended.