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CX Kidtronik: The Crack Game

Hip-hop might be all about the crack game these days, but CX Kidtronik has an entirely different sort of crack driving him. Spurred by the recent low-rise jeans craze, the Brooklyn beatmaker's debut LP, Krak Attack (Sound-Ink), is an homage to female ass cleavage, punctuated by cover art that features a collage of ample-assed women doing their best plumber impersonations.

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Yuki Chikudate and Neil Halstead

Yuki Chikudate, frontwoman for New York atmospheric rock combo Asobi Seksu, was just a piano-playing teen in Southern California when British singer-guitarist Neil Halstead released his first record with shoegaze heroes Slowdive in 1991. But after a few extracurricular lessons in Sonic Youth and Stereolab, Chikudate traded in classical for a decidedly noisier approach to music. Halstead, now the frontman for country-tinged Mojave3, has quieted down significantly. Read more » 

Get Physical: Electric Company

Every once in a while, a label comes along that we can't stop loving. We fiend for their next release. Their 12"s capture something in eight minutes that entire albums can't capture in over an hour, and we are forced to listen to them over and over. Their anthems define important moments for us, in and out of the club. Over the last two years, that label has been Get Physical. First, they bombarded us with DJ T.'s electrifying Boogie Playground album and massive anthems from Booka Shade ("Mandarine Girl") and M.A.N.D.Y. ("Body Language"). Read more » 

Mr. Dead: Off the Deep End

If MF Doom is hip-hop's vaudeville villain then horror/B-movie makeup artist and MC Mr. Dead is rap music's Vincent Price-or maybe its Peter Sellers.

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Nicolay In the Studio

The Foreign Exchange's Connected was one of 2004's biggest surprises, simply because of how it was produced. The hip-hop record was proof-positive of how far the internet has taken recorded music. Raleigh, NC-based rapper Phonte (of Little Brother) and Dutch DJ/producer Nicolay concocted an entire album without seeing each other in person or even speaking on the telephone. They met through an Okay Player message board and began swapping audio files across the Atlantic via Instant Messenger, eventually piecing together a seamless record. Read more » 

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