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Review: DJ Narrows House of Pain

Label: Octagon Dubs

Two slabs of noir-ish, chugging UK bass, driven by heavy-handed cymbal rides and twisting, warping low-end. Narrows always tells the traditional 2-step sound to fuck right off with his heavy, grimy 4/4s. This is what the term "hard house" should really apply to. Read more » 

Review: Daniel Carter + Reuben Radding Luminescence

Label: Aum Fidelity

Two stellar musicians present a soaring sonic convergence. Carter's countless associations include Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Sonic Youth and William Parker, while Radding has worked with John Zorn and Wayne Horvitz, among others. This duet, however, is a rare and timeless pairing. When bassist Reuben Radding brought multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter to Seattle shortly after 9/11, Carter brought only his alto saxophone, saying that it "helped create a kind of simplicity, focus, and relative quietude." How can a record be so primal and filled with emotion, and yet be so peaceful? Read more » 

Review: Sly Fidelity & Club Foot Positive Information

Label: Sosumi

Two reputedly well-known mystery techno producers unleash this pair of house/breaks hybrids for the non-prolific but on-point Sosumi imprint. Shuffling 4/4 beats, echoing wah chords and a tight soundclash vocal breakdown highlight the title, while the flip's "Cruise Control" is a hardcore, disco-ey, ska-tinged party jam. Fresh for spring. Read more » 

Review: Circle Research Speak & Read

Label: Cartridge Family Records

Toronto DJ/producers Nix, Astro and Chris B check in with three chunky bits. "Speak and Read" runs a tight rhythm under Smooth B-ish rhymes by local Abdominal dueling a Speak 'n' Spell toy. Meanwhile, Psy swallows two million words to little effect on "Psy'd Tracked," but comes through nicer on the T-town posse cut "Fade," featuring eight MCs, including Yushin killin' it in Japanese. Rhyme styles: B+. Beats: A+. Read more » 

Review: Total Science Pop Psychology EP

Label: CIA

Total Science roll on with their CIA label, lacing their third "limited" remix 12 by giving over their emotive "Zanzibar" for a tense remix by Zero Tolerance & Beta 2, while on the flip, Baron injects even more obnoxious buzz into a remix of his own "Meet the Creeper." The real news is TS's "Pop Psychology" EP, which offers four more slices of top-notch soulful roll, touched variously by old-school chord stabs, jazz-funk samples, cyber-brutality and gorgeous editing craft. Still fresh. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists .Ilation

Label: Sonig

This latest compilation from Cologne's eccentric Sonig imprint might well be the experimental party record of the year. From the chopped-up tirade of Wevie de Crepon's opener, "Little Bug Eyed Boy," to Mouse on Mars's devastating, gabba-infused "Violilation," .ilation contains some insanely infectious examples of ebullient, fractured funk. There are certainly less resolutely hyperkinetic moments, as the sonic (play)ground constantly shifts beneath your feet in a pleasurably unnerving fashion. Read more » 

Review: A Hundred Birds Georgia

Label: Wave

Tokyo producer Yoku corrals his reputed 15-piece (!) live group to deliver this year's sleeper summer house jam. With its symphonic strings, Balkan-style vocals and rollicking Afro-Latin-tinged rhythm, "Georgia"'s got some good stew fixins. Will the global house massive bite? Read more » 

Review: Vikter Duplaix Morena (RMX)

Label: Hollywood

This is the best song from the International Affairs album that Mr. Duplaix, international man of leisure, has so elegantly crafted. "Morena" pays homage to the sunkissed, carmel angles that bless the earth. The combinations of rhythms, textures and Vik's vocal stylings makes this the WMC song. This'll warm up those winter nights, brighten up those gloomy days, and make your ass shake. Great one, Vik. Read more » 

Review: Jason Lescalleet Mattresslessness

Label: C

This first full-length from New Englander Jason Lescalleet is a stunning example of sonic shapeshifting. All but one track on this excellent disc is ostensibly an homage to a pair of artists. For example, the grainy, droning opener is dedicated to Portuguese guitarist Rafael Toral and sound artist John Hudak; the static-filled "Underscore" to lowercase adherents Taylor Deupree and Francisco Lopez; the abrasive, ear-cleansing "Straight No Chaser" to noiseniks Ron Lessard and Graham Lambkin, and so forth. Read more » 

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