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Review: Mutiny UK In the Now

Label: System

There's a Jaxx factor to this one. Mutiny UK's Dylan Barnes used to produce with a pre-Basement Jaxx Simon Ratcliffe. Barnes has since joined with Tommy Boy producer Rob Davy, but the familiar samples and bassline on album opener "Midnight Lady" still recall certain fin-de-si Read more » 

Review: EZ Rollers Titles of the Unexpected

Label: Moving Shadow

The sophomore album from drum & bass collective EZ Rollers kicks off quite as you'd expect. The first three tracks fit neatly into jungle's current obsession with disco and house, with the Rollers-one of the premier live d&b acts-managing to add their unique stamp by incorporating original vocals and warm, real-sounding instrumentation. From there, the disc grows into its title, branching into shuffling, funky hip-hop, proto-ragga two-step, and even a few tracks that sound like Fatboy Slim might be on their heels. Read more » 

Review: 3 Play Girl In the Taxi

Label: DnD

The producers behind Daniel Beddingfield's Top 40 hit "Gotta Get Through This" come correct with this blinging ragga-tinged rub. The A-side's rough and driving 4/4 mix offers crisply picked strings, manic slicing hi-hats and plenty of bass. On the flip: the original breaky mix with its poppy, R&B-accented beats and vocals, along with a 4/4 mix that gives the sound of early Masters At Work and Kerri Chandler the UK garage touch. Definitely one for the ladeez. Read more » 

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 » 

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