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TOP 12: DANCE MUSIC BOFFINS

06 April 2012
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TOP 12: DANCE MUSIC BOFFINS

12. Au Revoir Simone’s Heather D’Angelo
The NY trio are currently taking a break from recording while Heather completes her second science degree at Columbia University, including fieldwork trips to Borneo to research her thesis on microbial ecology.

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11. Shonky
Techno genius Olivier Ducreux compares his obsessive interest in mathematics to music. Both “take you to another world” where you can “experience something you can’t see”. Not exactly what we’re thinking at Fabric on a Sunday morning, but each to their own...

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10. David August
Dutch prodigy’s studies to become a tonmeister involve “historic and analytical studies, conducting instrumentation, composition, applied physics and mathematics, calculus, complex numbers, information theory, electronics, the Fourier transform...” [it goes on]

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9. Matthew Dear
The University of Michigan counts seven Nobel and 18 Pulitzer Prize winners among its alumni. But how many of those could straddle genres like another of their famous sons, one-time cultural anthropology student and Ghostly founder Matthew Dear? None.

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8. Rollo from Faithless
The Faithless co-founder and co-producer of Felix’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’ studied Philosophy at The University of York – and is therefore actually capable of demonstrating that ‘God Is A DJ’ with reference to the works of Kierkegaard, Descartes and early 90s rave-ups.

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7. The Chemical Brothers
The story behind how one of dance music’s most iconic pairings met doesn’t start in a nightclub or a party, but at Manchester University, where both Tom and Ed Chemical were studying history, specialising in the medieval period, in their final year. The rest is... well, you know.

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6. Girl Talk
With his sets pervading the hard drive of many a fresher Stateside, it may be unsurprising that Mr Girl Talk boasts an impressive educational background, having studied biomedics and tissue engineering. Which may explain the picture above, but probably not.

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5. Deniz Kurtel
Ms Kurtel studied at Washington DC’s prestigious Georgetown Uni. As if that wasn’t enough, she then furthered her education in similarly illustrious surroundings: NYU and Columbia. Oh, and she studied Masters Degrees at the latter two at the same time, the show-off.

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4. Nicolas Jaar
Fluent in Spanish, English and French, one might be forgiven for thinking Jaar had done enough to make this list. But there’s more in his locker than that. ‘Space is Only Noise’ – Mixmag’s album of 2011 – was produced while he studied at one of the US’s most selective Ivy League Unis, Brown.

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3. Floating Points
Such is the depth of Floating Points’ work, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the Eglo fixture is considered a bit of a boffin by his peers. Currently doing in a PhD in pharmacology, he’s still found time to release some of his best- sounding work to date.

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2. Kode9
The masked man also known to his mother as plain old Steve Goodman is the proud owner of a PhD in philosophy, and also a published author of an almost impenetrable-to-the-layman book: Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear. Ideal bog reading it ain’t.

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And the winner is...
1. Caribou

Dan Snaith might be best known for his work as Caribou, but the producer also known as Daphni obtained a PhD in mathematics from London’s esteemed Imperial College back in 2005. Indeed, life on the road for the Canadian is a little different to usual rock ’n’ roll clichés, with Snaith even telling one newspaper that highlights of his 2010 tour included ‘guest lectures’ from philosophy professors and retired secondary school teachers. Truly the dance music brainbox to beat them all.

TAGS: FEATURE / TOP 12

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