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Review: Tes X2

Label: Lex

Tes's lyrical delivery has the piercing urgency of a bugle call, and his second EP is a call to arms for nostalgic city living. "New New York" is trimmed with old school disco, a sweetly boasting Saturday Night Fever ode sung while swaggering past brownstone stoops. At his best, the skilled, bristly production is meaty enough to support his wide plank of a voice, but when he's rapping over dustier atmospherics, it's a strange mismatch of brassy rap and gray desolation. They're beats made for a spacier emcee, while Tes needs more solid ground. Read more » 

Review: El Guapo Fake French

Label: Dischord

The DC-based trio El Guapo creates earnest three-minute sonatas that could almost be called art punk if they weren't so, well, electronic. Using drum machine pounding and clacking as a starting point, they haphazardly arrange stop/start indie-rock guitars, off-kilter drumming and cryptic vocals into a fusion that at best sounds like a new wave Sonic Youth ("Justin Destroyer," "The Time: Night") and at worst sounds like amateurish electro ("Just Don't Know"). Read more » 

Review: DJ Soulslinger Ecosystem: The Brazilian Joint

Label: Unity

Soulslinger's most recent project-saving the Amazon forests via drum & bass-results both in a valiant cause and a compelling fusion of Brazilian melodies and drum-heavy jungle rhythms. His ever-aggressive style avoids most of the current trends of lite drum 'n' bossa, yet still gives tribute to Brazilian flavor through a seamless mix of vocal tracks, with the exception of another effective reworking of his "Ethiopia" anthem. Though a tribute to the rainforest, this mix belongs on the beach-bright, sunny and body-moving. Read more » 

Review: Andrea Parker & David Moreley Game Over

Label: Touchin Bass

Terminator-sounding samples with pure 808 and 303 usage throughout, leading you to dark places you shouldn't venture to that often. "Tour de France" meets Carl Craig's La Funk Mob outing? One for the heavy set, and seriously recommended. Read more » 

Review: Sixtoo Antagonist Survival Kit

Label: Vertical Form

Sixtoo leaps into the unheard with a deliciously informed piece of work ranging from tortured torch songs to instrumental hip-hop. Stylistically, there's no starting point except for a deeply abiding appreciation of sound in all its recorded forms that shines through on every track. The aforementioned instrumentals are alternatively stunningly agile ("Baroque") or gorgeously complex, while on the other end of the spectrum, the post-folk "A to Zero" centers on a deceptively simple guitar sample that shimmers with chill-out optimism. Read more » 

Review: Fog Ether Teeth

Label: Ninja Tune

Sitting (or possibly bouncing off the walls) at the furthest and most difficult end of Ninja Tune's increasingly broad spectrum, is Andrew Broder as Fog and his second album Ether Teeth. It's difficult to know where to begin, such is the magnitude of things crammed into this record. Fog seems to have the ability to directly transfer the contents of his head into music. And those contents comprise a strange brew, with elements of country and western, jazz, hip-hop, rock, blues and electronica all circling each other in a peculiar dance. Read more » 

Review: Tussle Eye Contact

Label: Troubleman Unlimited

Rubbing some avant-dub style into their motorik steez, San Francisco instrumental quartet Tussle shows the world how to shut the fuck up and play non-stop. "Eye Contact" is propulsive junkyard boogie in a ghostly echo chamber, while the flip's version gives the drummer some-no, all-of whatever it is drummers take. Remixes, apparently, to come from Barry 7 and Drew Daniel, so hold tight. Read more » 

Review: Rei Loci Faction EP

Label: Seventh Sign

Scottish producer Craig Allen offers up a simmering and unique interpretation of the Detroit sound. The title track runs warm, punchy synth tones, singeing strings and loads of synthetic quack noises over a slight, spitting drum pattern. The flip's "No Neutral Surface" and "Lacuna" are more classically Motor City techno, but Allen's chaos-teasing keyboard work keeps them from sounding too derived. Read more » 

Review: Mystic No Competition

Label: Goodvibes

"Pull a baller?" That's a threesome with their ego. Mystic brings the realness for would-be suitors (and, yes, sucker MCs) over a rock-guitar-fueled beat by Native Tongue collaborator Supa Dave West. The Oakland songbird proves once again that femininity does not equal weakness. The flip, "That's Right," is a mellow manifesto produced by underground king Ge-o. Read more » 

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