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Macka Diamond: A Girl's Best Friend

After 15 years struggling to bust into the dancehall scene, 2004 saw deejay Macka Diamond reach the number one spot in Jamaica. Riding the Thriller riddim, Diamond dropped the hilarious track “Done A’ Ready,” a scathing ode to one-minute men. Beside the hit being a great personal achievement, she was the first female artist in four years to get a Jamaican number one.

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Supersystem's Political Dance Punk

It is debatable whether dance punk is dying, or whether dance punk’s flag is just getting raised. Franz Ferdinand and Interpol are as ubiquitous as the phone bill, and there are many, many imitators praying to be floated to golden shores by the nu-disco tide. Then there is Supersystem, who you may remember by their recently retired moniker El Guapo.

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Annie: Norway's Electropop Heartthrob

If you find yourself regularly throwing cushions at the TV in protest of the banality of most modern-day pop music, Annie has come to save you. Her sparkling, life-affirming songs may be destined for the charts but don’t be fooled–they are packed with a knowing cool that comes from the heart of underground Norway.

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Jazztronik: Piano Samurai

Last year a track from Japan found a home abroad in the playlists of DJs as disparate as Derrick May and Kenny Dope–Jazztronik’s “Samurai,” released on Neil Aline’s Chez imprint. A stunning marriage of jazz grand piano and rough broken beats, “Samurai” won the expected fans–like Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide audience–but also unusual acclaim from producers like Jazzy Jeff, who included it in his house mix album for Defected. Not too shabby for a track with decidedly humble origins.

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Crazy Titch: A Repeat Offender

He’s just an arsehole/He’s just an arsehole/He’s Dizzee Rascal/He’s just an arsehole.” The original Taz-produced bassline of Dizzee Rascal’s anthem “Jus’ A Rascal” thunders over Britain’s airwaves with a raucous new vocal from 20-year-old East London MC Crazy Titch. Tim Westwood, the legendary BBC Radio One hip-hop DJ, is giving Crazy Titch’s Dizzee Rascal-dissing dubplate a third reload. “Dizzee man, maybe you should ‘low it with this guy,” says Westwood. “He sounds scary.”

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