N.A.S.A., re-cast here as "North America/South America," was an intercontinental, multimedia collaboration centered on two North and South American producers. Los Angeles-based Sam "Squeak E. Clean" Spiegel and Brazilian Zé "DJ Zegon" Gonzales each had respective public reputations/day jobs as being the brother of director Spike Jonze and a skateboarder. In the '00s the two began working on a collaborative music project that involved musicians ranging between David Byrne, Kanye West and Sizzla. Their music was primarily rooted in hip-hop but incorporated the sounds and influences of their collaborators: samba, dancehall, R&B, rock, and so forth.


They released The Spirit Of Apollo in 2009. Notable tracks included the baile funk-inspired "Whachadoin?," which featured Spank Rock, M.I.A. and Santogold, and the dark "Way Down," which featured producer-rapper RZA, singer Barbie Hatch and former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante. The physical album had a visual art component with a series of interchangeable covers designed by contemporary artists, like Sage Vaughan, Shepard Fairey, Mark Gonzales, Marcel Dzama and The Date Farmers. The single "Money," which featured musicians spanning genres and continents (David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge and Z-Trip), was directed by Syd Garon and Paul Griswold, and featured images by Shepard Fairey. ~Dan Nishimoto

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