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Border Crossing: Soul Survivors

It's been nearly three years since Boder Crossing's debut, Ominous, was released in the UK. After their first label, RG, went out of business back in 2004 and the duo-which now consists of DJ/producer Seorais (pronounced "shorus") Graham and turntablist Alex Angol-renegotiated their rights, French imprint Recall picked up the slack and gave Ominous its proper credit. Read more » 

Alden Tyrell: Disco Fried

While gallons of ink have been ceremoniously spilled over the music scenes of Detroit, Berlin, and Chicago, the southern Dutch shipping port of Rotterdam remains a neglected focal point of electronic innovation. But even an accidental tourist in the city would notice the extent to which electronic music permeates life on the Nieuwe Maas river. Open the door of any cab and be bludgeoned by the bellowing sound of 180-beat-per-minute gabber; pass any café with its doors ajar and galloping 808s pour out.

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Vybz Kartel's Favorites

Every few years, some know-it-all music writer (ahem) makes the bold proclamation that dancehall is on the verge of blowing up in the States, but if I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath for the day that Ruth from Duluth bawls out "A here forward!" at her local soundclash.

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Freerange Records: 10 Years Deep

Whether fish or fowl, non-vegetarians know that food tastes better uncaged. Apparently, Jamie Odell also knew this when he began gathering his cast of animals for the Freerange Records label 10 years ago. Starting with releases by his own Jimpster and Audiomontage aliases, Odell followed with singles and albums from Sweden's Stateless, Ohio's Hanna, and the UK's Trevor Loveys. Now the farm has a diverse population that includes Square One's dream-tech, Only Freak's retro house, Shur-I-Kan's intelligent future jazz, and Switch's punchy beats.

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The Streets: Coming Clean

Sitting across from me-barefoot, in an Agnès B suit jacket and diamond pinky ring, and fidgeting mercilessly with the hotel's cordless phone-is 27-year-old Sagittarian Mike Skinner, who, as The Streets, has done quite a bit to elevate the emo bad boy's place in hip-hop. His daytime persona is polite and gracious, and he dabbles in distinctly upper-middle-class pleasures. A Bill Bryson book sits on the end table, a bottle of Dior Homme cologne in the bathroom. Read more » 

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