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Ghostface: Ghetting Ghost

It's been about a decade since the Wu-Tang's most shadowy warrior revealed his face, turning Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx into a surreal, coke deal-fueled coming out party before staking his claim as the Clan's rawest talent on his solo debut, Ironman. A half-decade later-with hip-hop in a slump and an inventive major label rap record seeming as plausible as Ralph Nader for president-Ghost made the new millennium's first ghetto classic: Supreme Clientele.

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Fantan Mojah: Ghetto Fire

Fantan Mojah is rapidly working his way through the ranks of Jamaica's new battalion of roots reggae soldiers. Selectors from across the globe continue to drop his two biggest hits to date-the socially conscious "Hungry" and the spiritually empowering "Hail To The King"-to a reception of horns, lighter flashing and reload requests. But in a genre where one-hit wonders are idiosyncratic (remember VC's "By His Deeds?"), Fantan has far from secured his place in the reggae elite.

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Remixing War and Race

The thought of talking politics, tech and turntablism with DJ Spooky (a.k.a. Paul D Miller) and Rob Swift sounded like an innocent enough proposition in the formative stages. But as the date for the meeting of the minds crept closer, so did the anniversary of 9/11. Then Hurricane Katrina changed the game even further. Both artists' new works (Swift's War Games audio/DVD release and DJ Spooky's forthcoming Rebirth of a Nation, a sound/image remix of D.W. Read more » 

Vex'd: Being Cross Sounds So Good

Since moving to London from the cheery (if boring) suburbs of Maidenhead, 26-year-olds Jamie and Roly have been pissed off and broke. You might even say Vex'd. Luckily, such conditions are ideal for making sinister grime tunes, the likes of which can be found on their debut album, Degenerate. With horror movie strings and samples, menacing sine wave basslines and chopped breaks that are the equivalent of a baseball bat to the skull, the record makes the ultimate argument for grime as the music of a generation raised on videogames. Read more » 

Ladytron: Spell Bound

Of all the early praise directed at Ladytron for their new record, Witching Hour, the response that resonated most came in the form of tough love from a longtime friend. Upon hearing the album for the first time, Steve Pross, formerly the manager of the quartet's now-defunct label Emperor Norton, took founder Daniel Hunt aside and said, "You are now the band you were pretending to be five years ago." Others might have interpreted this as a backhanded compliment, but Hunt knew exactly what he was trying to say. Read more » 

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