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Review: Kaskade It's You't's Me

Label: Om

The rolling doo-da-doos on "What I Say" should be enough to sell you on this Chicago-born producer's debut. Vocalist Rob Wannamaker's high-pitched soul takes Kaskade in different directions from the deeper, soothing songs with female vocals. "What I Say" is the album's catchiest, but a thick synth on "Get Busy" and '80s-ish drumming on "Call Me Wise" heighten the pleasure-pain in Wannamaker's voice. Broken beats spice up "This Rhythm," "Tonight" and "My Time," while dubby interludes "Mak Mop" and "Charlie's Plight" echo with chill. Read more » 

Review: Numbers Death

Label: Tigerbeat6

The original version of this Oakland, CA trio's album, Numbers Life, was crazy enough. Now, Numbers has the rest of the Tigerbeat6 crew to mash up their songs and spit them back out with a dash of post-punk-thrash-funk (as Gold Chains does with "Prison Life"), squelchy lo-fi art-punk (on Electronicat's treatment of "Driving Song") and tongue-in-cheek Atari-electro drill & bass (see Original Hamster's take on "Human Replace"). Read more » 

Review: Razed High Let Me Walk You Home

Label: Insiduous

The Insiduous label launches its seven-inch series with two moody beat cuts by producers Haiy-Ding and 4x-Ampl. The title cut is a drum-machine-soaked stomp with eerie guitar samples and atmospheres, while the flip's "Gotta Keep Going" lands more organic drum samples under its minor-key arrangement. Nice one. Read more » 

Review: aFRO-mYSTIK Morphology

Label: Om

The latest project from aFRO-mYSTIK draws liberally from a variety of '70s fusion sources, from the Bitches Brew-influenced cover art to the lurking presence of Herbie Hancock. Like much early fusion, Morphology has strong and weak moments, and just as in the '70s, the weaker moments seem to coincide with cheesy strings, and occasionally unsteady singing and poetry. The album seems to reach its highest points when it travels to the most rhythmic dark-funk territory: "Intersections," for example, is a percussive, moody piece most closely reflecting the spirit of Miles Davis. Read more » 

Review: EZ Rollers Back to Love

Label: Moving Shadow

The first single off EZ Rollers' new album presents a meaty take on the disco drum & bass craze. Live elements play off synthetic drums, creating the full, rich sound that is the group's trademark. The radio mix and "One Crazy Diva" track may be vocally over-the-top for some, but Roni Size delivers a pared-down, rolled-out version for the DJs. Read more » 

Review: Sleep of Oldominion Riot by Candlelight

Label: Under the Needle

The Dirty South has had it on lock for years now, and with all due respect, it's time for some new blood. The Pacific Northwest, an unlikely hip-hop stronghold if there ever was one, is ready to step up. Sleep is ringleader of Oldominion, an Anticon-ish collective of freaknik MCs from Bill Gates's hood. Sleep can tear off syllables at a cheetah's pace like Aesop Rock or Busdriver, but even his fastest rhymes make sense. When he does get abstract, he does it like an Impressionist, throwing around color to emphasize what's beneath. Read more » 

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 » 

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