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Review: Moodswingaz Primetime (Feat. Ace Lover)

Label: Beatz To Go Music

Sure, sampling Bobby McFerrin's theme to the Cosby Show for a song called "Prime Time" might be gimmicky, but it kinda works. While not a club banger, this one will be right at home on mixtapes. The b-side's "Finite Number of Starz" flips a smooth downtempo bassline over which the MCs sound right at home. Read more » 

Review: Hint Portkabin Fever

Label: Hombre/Ninja Tune

Sussex's Hint-a.k.a. Jonathan James-gets well pastoral on his debut album, mixing up lazy breaks with porch-appropriate guitars (including some slide action that wouldn't sound out of place on a Lambchop record) and chirpy, naïve harmonies. Read more » 

Review: Tango & Ratty Steel Fingers

Label: Function

Tango & Ratty return with another heavyweight floor-killer, this time for Digital's Function imprint. "Steel Fingers" lays it down proper, with tough rolling beats and a heart-pounding drop that chugs past haunting atmospherics and that essential bass-pump. The flip's "Snake Style" brings it even harder, inducing the chill before busting things wide open with a bouncing bottom end and infectious hook that'll have them screaming for more. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Colors Sounds: Nordic

Label: Irma Group

The Colors Sounds project is a new series of compilations being produced by Colors magazine (owned by clothing company Benetton) and the first, Nordic, culls tracks from artists in Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Iceland. Though the comp features a number of different styles, there's something genuinely friendly and inviting about the album, emphasizing melody and warm, crackly productions (like Royskøpp, Múm, Jimi Tenor) as well as the colder, more menacing music (Xploding Plastix, Pan Sonic). Read more » 

Review: Infekto Burner

Label: Passenger

The debut cut from Finland's own Infekto proves a dancefloor killer of the highest degree. "Burner" is the standout of the two, slowly layering and unfolding before allowing the darkness to creep in. Hit the flip for the equally precise two-stepper "Black Magic"-a solid groove holds it down with the sweet touch of old-school techno stabs and crowd-roars. It's high-energy dancefloor bounce makes this one an essential purchase. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists [Re:Jazz]

Label: INFRACom!

Some labels reach 100 and uninspiringly raid their back catalog for classic cuts, while other imprints get their artists to supply "exclusive" tracks that don't always do justice to the achievement. Germany's INFRACom! Read more » 

Review: Super Numrei Great Aviaries

Label: Ninja Tune

Super Numeri follows in the line of Funki Porcini and Neotropic-brilliant Ninja Tune groups that likely will remain under the radar because people just won't get it. Super Numeri's particular flavor confronts you on the first few seconds of the album: dreamy, luscious guitar. The execution is as heartfelt as Vini Reilly's muted brazenness, the atmosphere as humid and jazzy as another largely unsung group, 33.3 on Aesthetics. Read more » 

Review: Feenom Circle Days Go By

Label: Melatone Music

Slightly silly names aside, San Fran MCs Rawj, Sidebee and Oatmeal are helping revive the Bay Area's progressive-hop tradition. The title track twinkles with piano and guitar bits over a beat and some humble, just-rhymin'-'bout-life lyrics, while the flip's "Tunnelvision" runs more perspective over beatbox 'n' beats. Hella tight, as the kids say. Read more » 

Review: Deru Pushing Air

Label: Neo Ouija

So, this new Massive Attack album is quite different...oops, this isn't the new Massive Attack. But maybe it should be, as resonantly hip-hop as its beats are, as soupy and atmospheric as its backing textures feel, and with its few wisps of a woman's voice on "Din." Actually, it's one man, LA-based Ben Wynn, and Pushing Air falls into that warm, cozy nook that Neo Ouija's been prepping for the last three or four years, the one that's now draped in the easy rolling melodies of Deru and pillowed with the plush quietude of "Playground" and the rasp of "Soulik" in your ears. Read more » 

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