Today's enterprising young musicians diversify. Take Ann Arbor's Tadd Mullinix: He records orchestral IDM under his own name, jittery breakbeat techno as James Cotton, ruffneck ragga as SK-1 (with Soundmurderer, AKA Todd Osborn), and futuristic instrumental hiphop as Dabrye; with Osborn, he runs the Rewind label; and (deep breath) he works retail at Encore Records.

So far, Dabrye (pronounced DAB-REE) has garnered the most acclaim. Under that moniker, Mullinix has chiseled a distinctively elegant niche in hiphop's raucous urban jungle, gaining the attention of Scott Herren (Prefuse 73), who issued Dabrye's excellent Instrmntl in 2002 on his Eastern Developments label. The mavericks collaborated for two tracks on Prefuse's wicked One Word Extinguisher, and are also pondering a collaboration for the near future.

With so many guises, does Mullinix have to do any mental gymnastics to get into creative modes for each?

"No," he replies. "I sit down and start whatever I'm in the mood for in most cases. Which alias it will be for is secondary. This way I get the best results." But do Tadd or James ever get jealous at Dabrye's popularity? "No one is jealous. Hopefully, Dabrye's popularity might inspire the others."

You can hear why he's been ushered into the spotlight by checking out Instrmntl, plus One/Three and the Making It Pay EP (both on Ghostly International). Proving you can be scientific and crunk, Dabrye stitches the beautifully smeared textures common to the IDM/glitch brigade to intricate, neck-snapping rhythms Timbaland would be proud to call his own. Add some serious jazz and classical chops to the mix, and you get elusive next-level shit that makes people like Detroit techno star Carl Craig, BBC radio jock Gilles Peterson, and Slum Village producer/MC Jay Dee take heed.

Speaking of Jay Dee, he will appear on "Game Ova" for Dabrye's next Ghostly release, Two/Three (due early 2004). Other rappers, including Phat Kat, will shine, too, potentially opening new avenues for Dabrye. "I've always wanted to make a hiphop album with MCs," Mullinix says, "but have [only] come to know any personally recently."

While Dabrye continues to go stratospheric, a Tadd Mullinix track appears on the new Staedtizism 4 comp (on Stefan "Pole" Betke's ~scape imprint). Have any other labels been clamoring for Mullinix's tracks?

"I have been getting a lot of requests. I wish I could do every one, but, unfortunately, I've created a monster(s): too many aliases. I must keep up with every alias as if [it's] an individual. And since each must tour and keep a steady release schedule, this doesn't leave time for much else." DAVE SEGAL


Dabrye, with Manitoba and Sientific American (live PA) at Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000, 9 pm-2 am, 21+, $10 adv.