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Review: KRS-One The Krstyle

Label: Koch-In the Pain

The Johnny Appleseed of hip-hop edutainment strikes again, with scabrous boom-bap beats and lyrics about the upliftment of blackfolk. We already have high expectations of KRS-One, not only to voice discontent over political situations, but to impart durable social truths. And granted, he holds it down in The Krstyle, particularly in the hard-hitting cut "Gunnen Em Down." On the flipside, this characteristically bristly MC regales us with the piano-ribboned, sensitive-guy number "The Only One," in which he uses verbal dopeness to pay homage to his wife. Read more » 

Review: Nucleus & Paradox Funkivity

Label: Paradox Music

The first in a slew of singles from Dev Pandya and Nucleus before their Esoteric Funk album drops. "Funkivity" speaks for itself-'70s breaks rip apart the basswork of Bugz in The Attic's Mark de Clive-Lowe. Those who seek solace in the sounds of Bukem should flip this, where window rattling, switched-break atmospherica completes the package. Read more » 

Review: Manitoba Up In Flames

Label: Domino

The cover art of Up in Flames features photos skewed through some hypercolor lens, staining all with a dense, polychrome psychedelic glow. It's perfect for Dan Snaith's second folktronic album, a shambling, delicately dazzling mess that sets off gorgeous pyrotechnics throughout. "Skunks"'s pastoral, fat twanging beat fills out with sizzling walls of ambience and a flittering, free-skronking horn. Read more » 

Review: Rosalia De Souza Garota Moderna

Label: Avatar

The breezy, lounge-chair bossa nova of Rosalia de Souza's debut album, Garota Moderna, conjures visions of a snuggly, '60s-era upper-class Rio de Janeiro: the stuff of careless romances, exotic coffee drinks, and Stan Getz tunes. Airy cymbals, breathy flutes and clement pentatonic piano solos combine with Souza's seductive "da da dee diddy doo doo" in the opening tracks "Maria Moita," and "Bossa 31," setting a tone that doesn't waver for the entire album. Read more » 

Review: Gilles Peterson Gp04

Label: TrustTheDJ

Swiss-made, London-based Gilles Peterson survived radio piracy and stashing vinyl booty over 20 years ago to feed his adoration of soul, jazz and hip-hop forms into GP04. With characteristic precision, Peterson selects a superfluity of artists who buck profiles. Peterson opens with Gallic abstract beats from DJ Vadim-produced TTC and the Latin posturing of Headtric featuring Joshua Baumgarten. Philly's King Britt (feat. Quasimoto), LA's The Rebirth, and Detroit Experiment represent the best of US smooth tempos with a bit o' bite. Troubleman, Beatfanatic and Mr. Read more » 

Review: D. Kay 7 Epsilon Come Easy

Label: Defunked

The Austrian bad boys who gave us the sublime Balearic drum & bass hit "Barcelona" unleash their debut single for the esteemed Defunked imprint, and what a single it is. Where "Barcelona" was somewhat straightforward in its delivery, "Come Easy" is on a deeper vibe, yet still has the tuff beats and bass to keep it firmly rooted in dancefloor territory. Here's hoping there's more to come from D.Kay and his collaborative efforts with Epsilon. Read more » 

Review: Duplex Overdue

Label: Klakson

Straight outta Holland, techno hero Duplex continues to roll out some wonderful Detroit-style 4/4 innovation. "Entropia 03 mx" lands a jaunty, clap-laden thump and soaring keyboard melodies, contrasting "Subconscious"'s more swirling synth ballet and "quaoar LM 60"'s stealthy, melodic, breakbeat-ish romp. Superb. Read more » 

Review: Belles In Monica Smoke Filled Rooms

Label: New Dawn Records

Straight outta Glasgow, hangin' around with that weird group name and phat accent, MC Kruze throws down like a pro on that rare hip-hop species we once new as the drug cautionary, before battling nicely on the flip's "That All U Got?" Behind him, DJ Krash Slaughta brings the guitar and keyboard bits as well as some tight scratches. The European hip-hop community forwards into the next. Read more » 

Review: City Rockers Singles 1-23

Label: City Rockers

Something of a hipster delicacy in its native London, City Rockers is only slightly known over in these parts as the label that heralded the mighty returns of Felix Da Housecat and FC Kahuna. Both are represented here, but it's the other hidden oddities that best showcase the delectable dancefloor destruction and erratic musical excesses capable when a discerning label gets its graphically simple and singular branding on a collection of churning electro house, club-shaking anthems, radio-ready micro-2-step hits, and torch-burning neo-trip-hop. Read more » 

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