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Review: Daniel Bell Presents The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back

Label: Logistic

As DBX, Daniel Bell was responsible for a slew of techno classics, most notably, "Losing Control"-released in '94 and still played to this day. The Detroit-based Bell has not just got by on his reputation and zip code since, though: he's released on Elevate and Intuit-Solar, as well as his own understated, but highly-rated, 7th City label. This is the second in the Button-Down mix series, and builds on the reputation of the (Tresor-released) first-with a near-perfect track selection that encompasses only the most forward-thinking of Europe and the United States' house/techno producers. Read more » 

Review: Prefuse 73 One Word Extinguisher

Label: Warp

As legions of promising record producers know, the only thing more difficult than releasing a critically acclaimed debut is following it up. Dilute yourself and lose the headz. Stray too far and confuse the lot. On his follow-up to the peerless Vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives, Atlanta's Scott Herren does neither-not that he worries about it. Read more » 

Review: Architex Feat. Ayah Dance Child

Label: Signal

Architex come on with some nicely soulful shit. The title track features Ayah singin' 'bout the music in an arrangement that's equal parts Roni Size and West London broken beat, while the flip's "Funk Odyssey" builds jump-up style on the horn riff that opened Public Enemy's "Welcome to the Terrordome." For your sheer boogie enjoyment. Read more » 

Review: Freeform Freeform Condensed (Finest Filets 1995-2002)

Label: Nonplace

An odd concept: Nonplace Records owner and renowned producer Burnt Friedman edits and "re-edits" select tracks from British IDM maestro Simon Pyke's vast back catalog. Seems like someone of Pyke's lofty stature wouldn't want anyone-no matter how accomplished-to mess with what are already unique specimens of complex, otherworldly aural architecture. That said, Friedman has definitely punched up and brightened Freeform's somewhat arid, intellectual constructions, so the decision to release Condensed on vinyl makes sense in light of this upgrade. Read more » 

Review: Twerk Motala

Label: Context

Always pushing the minimal envelope and producing quality, Twerk gives birth to some sweet yet intricate, beat-driven, dub-glitch tracks on Context's 11th release, along with a beautiful ambient piece entitled "as innocent as they come." Topping it off, Context is donating all proceeds from the sale of this record to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Read more » 

Review: Trüby Trio Elevator Music

Label: Compost

Although its title initially brings to mind less-than-stellar thoughts, further inspection of Trüby Trio's debut album reveals its true meaning lies in elevation. Munich-based nu-jazz gods Trüby, Prommer and Appel have birthed a work infused with positivity and sun-drenched good times, trading in the limitations of the genre they helped create for solid musicianship and vitality. Read more » 

Review: The Ends Are You Really From the Ends?

Label: P Records

Adding to the growing pile of DIY street anthems is The Ends' theme song, which poses the question: "Are you really, really from the ends?/ Too many bwoy them want to pretend." Quality bling MCing over ruff and simple techno pulses and nervous strings. Makes you want to go out and buy an 8-ball and a rude Merc. Read more » 

Review: Zongamin S/t

Label: XL

After shit-hot singles "Tunnel Music" and "Serious Trouble" (on excellent UK imprint Flesh) made him a darling among underground tastemakers such as Soulwax, Andrew Weatherall and Trevor Jackson, illustrator-cum-producer Susumu Mukai has come clean with Zongamin's keenly-awaited longplayer. Adding to what those two singles emphasized-namely, rubber-bass and stiff, elastic dance rhythms you'd hear in your imagined fantasy of The Mudd Club-Mukai adds a healthy dose of film score ambience and whimsy into the mix. Read more » 

Review: Common Feat. Erykah Badu, Q-Tip and Pharrell Williams Come Close Rmx

Label: MCA

A fly love song just got flyer. Common responds to charges that Badu is hip-hop's Yoko Ono and owns up to his tight shirts and vegetarianism. Pharrell, offering girls rides on the handlebars, steals the show (again): "I'm goin' back to my skater roots/but still got friends in them gator boots." For added fun, imagine that Q-Tip's verse goes out to Nicole Kidman. Read more » 

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