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BEST ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN Minneapolis 2002 - Paul Birken

Despite his unpretentious nature, electronica producer (not DJ, mind you) Paul Birken says he has a lot planned for this next year. "Minneapolis WILL be on the map," a confident Birken says, having recently been signed to the Dustraxx artist booking roster and anticipating the release of a full album this July. Having started with his first drum machine at age 13, Birken has been gumming around with electronic gear for 17 years now, and he has toured the world spreading his funked-out bleeps and blips. Most recently, he was invited to play a New Year's electronic-music festival gig in Perth, Australia, with profits benefiting Greenpeace. Having worked with such well-known artists as Frankie Bones, Terry Mullan, Tony Rohr, and our own ESP through his label, Tonewrecker Recordings, Birken has turned himself into a Midwest techno hero. And with tongue-in-cheek singles titled "Big Wheel Turf Wars" and "It's Not a Tumor, It's a Way of Life," Birken reminds us electronica snobs not to take ourselves (and our music) so seriously.

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