As jungle grew darker and more streamlined, it left behind '93 and '94's cut-up amens, bubblin' basslines and shouts of "Bloodclaat!" from MCs like Top Cat. But a group of dedicated junglists held fast to the old-school formula; by 2003, a whole crop of new, non-UK-based producers had surfaced to update the ragga sound. Read more »
The five-man party that is London's Hot Chip must confound those poor CD-sticker-blurb writers. On their debut album Coming on Strong, the band mixes absurdity and realism, detail and grandeur, boom-bap and hush hush in equal measures, with lyrics that range from literary to Ghostface-ian and beats that recall grime, Scritti Politti, Timbaland and the Postal Service, sometimes all at the same time. Read more »
Disarmed is Jesper Dahlbäck at his most baroque. Synths drift towards heaven like demons toward the soot-darkened spire of an ancient church. Electronically warped and delayed guitars ebb and surge in and out of rich atmospheres that are orchestral in scope but digital in feeling. Cold, sparse and crisp Kraftwerkian techno--a Dahlbäck signature–appears in spades, but it rubs against layered shoegaze textures and the smoldering ashes of minor key melodies to keep warm.
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What's love got to do with music? In the case of Veronica Lipgloss and the Evil Eyes, the primal urgency of love is articulated via their mystical and sometimes absurd performances. A cut above the plethora of mediocre indie-glam bands, Lipgloss takes the heat of early '80s and '90s goth and projects it into their own unique homage to kindred spirits like Lydia Lunch, Siouxsie And The Banshees and The Slits.
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