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Review: Various Artists The Diet Strychnine Sampler

Label: Diet Strychnine

Diet Strychnine is California's poisonous answer to UK breaks labels like TCR and Bochit. These guys deal in well-produced tech-house, electro and dubby breaks without a feeble beat to be found, all tempered by a good amount of bass-fueled funk. Tracks by PJ Stroller, The New Humans, bioFlava and Psylent are potent weapons for DJs looking for dancefloor bombs. A personal favorite: "Green Light Dread Bounce," Oakland-based Deep Fat Fried's tribute to late-'90s techstep that invokes the spirit of the great Johnny L. Read more » 

Review: ObaFunke Bush Workout (The Locksmith, The Bullfighter and the Stenographer Mix)

Label: Karma Giraffe

Comrade ObaFunke releases the critically acclaimed song from the debut LP. "Bush Workout" in its original form is an 18-minute Afrotech workout of future voodoo. This mix, however, takes us on a journey into sonic wonderland. Remixed by Jacksonville's Kilroy and Rilners, this epic has turned into a movie soundtrack. Breaking the song into 3 parts of musical mahem for headphone fanatics......fans of Bjork and Stereolab will love it !!! Read more » 

Review: Blueprint The Wight Room

Label: Weightless

Columbus, Ohio emcee/producer goes to bat for himself with his debut solo release The Weight Room featuring his production and a host of guest emcees. Best known for his Soul Position EP with RJD2 and his opening slot on Atmosphere's last tour, Blueprint has a solid presence in the underground. His highly enunciated, verging-on overly-dramatic rhyme style complements his slow and operatic production beautifully, and the outcome is dope. But all the guests make the album less of a cohesive project than it could have been with Blueprint on beats and rhymes. Read more » 

Review: Swimmingpool Anything That Doesn't Move

Label: Combination

Centered on the concept of each artist pouring their ideas into one "pool," Michael Scheibenreiter (one-half of d&b duo Phoneheads) and Stefan Schwander (a.k.a. techno/house minimalist Antonelli electr.) team up in the studio to create anything but a simple fusion of drum & bass and minimal house/techno. Laying somewhere between peaceful contemplation and raw fuel for the dancefloor, the Swimmingpool project is one of subtle evolutions and surreal deconstruction. Read more » 

Review: MC Skibadee Man-A-Man (Dee Kline Mix)

Label: Rat Records

Big tune alert! Drum & bass star MC Skibadee calls in remix duties from breakbeat garage don DJ Dee Kline on his outstanding debut 12-inch "Man-A-Man." This is a razor-sharp full vocal, rollin', bass-heavy, breakbeat throbber. Perfect if you love your breaks dark and nasty. Read more » 

Review: DJ Scud Ambush

Label: Rephlex

Breakbeat completists of the world, rejoice!

Review: Various Artists Juke Joint

Label: Stereo Deluxe

Carefully thought out and seamlessly programmed, Juke Joint is a musical map of Boozoo Bajou's influences. All the artists featured here have something in common-a tangible love and burning passion for the sounds they create. "Ordinary Joe" by Terry Callier takes full-of-life dancing keys, muted brass and a magical organic guitar to produce a deeply touching serenade. Bazoo Bajou's own "Second To None" is a supremely tender expression of emotion, its fascinating keys and bewitching organ steal the show. Read more » 

Review: The Last Poets This is Madness

Label: Light in the Attic

Before hip-hop's gestation in the boroughs of New York, The Last Poets fused bongo beats and spoken word, building fervor for people whose voices were/are muzzled in popular culture. After releasing their first album in 1970, the poets garnered "griot" status, and began collaborating with the Black Panthers. Their dithyrambic verses prefigured the gritty, firebrand raps of KRS-One and Public Enemy. Laced with such classics as "Gashman," "When the Revolution Comes," and "This is Madness," new two-CD box set will appeal to armchair poetry buffs and rabble-rousers alike. Read more » 

Review: J Boogie's Dubtronic Science Try me

Label: Om

Bay Area don Justin Boland previews his upcoming album, lacing some thumping beats, muted trumpet, buzzy flute and whooshing keys with the dolce vocals of Goapele and suave rhymes of Capital A. Old-school devotees People Under the Stairs's tight and summery hip-hop remix and King Kooba's moist 'n' dubby take round things out. But hold up-our Boogie knows the value of a bonus cut, and delivers with Gina Rene and Crown City Rockers MC Rashaan on the smooth ladies-hop of "Get The Party Started." Too sweet. Read more » 

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