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Review: Various Grounded Sound

Label: Grounded

After a long, dark winter, this first full-length release on Boston's Grounded records is a welcome thing indeed. Full of shimmering melodies and delicate beats, it has an almost vernal feel to it, appropriate for the springtime profusion of flora and fauna. Beginning with the tripped-out buzz and hum of E*Rock's "Ice Museum" through to the slow krautrock groove of Charles Atlas's "Italian Air," this is a beautifully subtle collection of quietly jittery beats and warmly melodic electronics. Read more » 

Review: Matthew Herbert Big Band Goodbye Swingtime

Label: Accidental

According to Duke Ellington, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing. Such a declamatory statement should cause no insomnia for Matthew Herbert or those involved in his latest project. From the deftly brushed snares and lissome brass section of the opening "Turning Pages," the rhythmic fluidity of Herbert's big band is both plain to the ear and plainly pertinent. Herbert's personal beliefs are almost as well-known as his idiosyncratic working practices. Read more » 

Review: The Hacker Danse Industria

Label: Turbo


Review: Caural Blurred July EP

Label: Chocolate Industries

Zachary Mastoon is lost in the cornfields and abandoned factory rows of America's Midwest with only an MPC 3000 as his compass. Like DJ Shadow's early works, these three lush, romantic, deconstructed hip-hop instrumentals and one vocal cut with MC Diverse reach out in the dark, longing for connection with some familiar soul. Reach out for this. Read more » 

Review: J Mage Crazy Heart

Label: Listen Labs

San Francisco keyboardist Jeremy Mage lines up some formidable local talent to bust on some jazzmatic uptempo breakbeat jams. The solid rocks here are drummers Eric Garland, Valentino Pellizzer-Selgado and Marivaldo Dos Santos, who provide the backbone for some cool, seriously horny dubwise arrangements. Read more » 

Review: Julian Marley Systems

Label: Ghetto Youths International

An exceptionally well produced composition. Julian delivers a strong message song complemented by a perfectly rootsy rhythm track. This is a crucial cut that I recommend you look out for. Read more » 

Review: Phase Selector Sound The Sound of Tblclths

Label: Lush

Very adventurous/avantgarde-type dubwise tracks. As the dub sound system movement forwards in America, releases such as this one show that this country contains some authentic talent and originality. Read more » 

Review: Blaze Feat. Amira I Think of You

Label: Slip 'n' Slide

This is what I'm talkin' about. Jersey house legends hand over their 4/4 downtempo soul spotlight with la chanteuse Amira to Phil Asher's Restless Soul project for a funky quiet-storm remix, and Sweden's Redtop for a fierce '80s-soul rub. Magic. When will these guys finally be huge in the US? Read more » 

Review: Quantic Off the Beaten Track (Carmel Rmx)

Label: Tru Thoughts

Holy doody!! The main man that has remixed too many gets some of his own treatment. Forget about giving up cigarettes, this will make you start (again), period. Carmel from Budapest keeps you guessing with his hard beats and cut-up samples. Literally a floor-filler...watch them. Read more » 

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