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Hive
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First gaining underground recognition during his high school years as a guitar player for the D.C. band Backlash, Hive would eventually jump from playing hardcore punk to composing drum'n'bass hip-hop mixes upon his move to Los Angeles in 1992. But it wasn't until 1997 when Hive (also known as Michael Petrie) would release his first full-length, Working With Sound, on his own Mandala Recordings after five years of spinning and producing various hip-hop projects in L.A. Not only would this release sell out the first pressing of 500 copies, but it also received underground critical acclaim from both sides of the coast (courtesy of its smooth jazz tracks layered with drum, bass, and jungle overtones). A major-label bidding war would soon follow in 1998, resulting in a contract with London Recordings. During that same year, the apocalyptic sounds of Devious Methods were soon released under the non-musical inspirations of the William Coopers conspiracy novel Behold a Pale Horse and UFO propaganda. Accompanied with the messages of a paranoid America and the dark side of human nature, the sounds of Hive's second full-length don't stem too far from his earlier efforts of jazz, hip-hop, and jungle; only this time you're hit with a fusion of some of his hardcore punk roots. The most obvious inspirations from his high school days are seen off of his single "Ultra Sonic Sound," where he samples the Bad Brains classic "Re-Ignition." Hive returned a year later with Working With Sound (1999), another full-length studio album, and subsequently released several singles in the interim before returning in 2002 with his next full-length, Bedlam, an 18-track mix album released by Rockwell. Mike DaRonco

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