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El-P Discusses His New Album, Brush With Death

November 7, 2006 1:31 PM ET

Indie hip-hop producer-rapper El-P, who founded the Definitive Jux label (home to Cannibal Ox, RJD2, and Aesop Rock), gave us an exclusive preview of his new album, I'll Sleep When You're Dead, which includes collaborations with a slew of hip heavyweights including Trent Reznor, Cat Power's Chan Marshall and Mars Volta's Cedric Bixler-Zavala. The Mars Volta frontman sings on a track called "Tasmanian Pain Coaster," Marshall appears on "Poisonville Kids," and Reznor's tortured vocals are subtlely mixed into the dense soup of "Flyentology." El-P (Jaime Melone) tells us he wrote the song after a plane engine exploded during a recent flight home from Costa Rica. "Everyone was freaking out, people were praying, some people seemed ready to go," he tells us. "I found myself coming up with my own brand of religion called 'Flyentology.' "

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Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

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