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Bobby Karate Hot Trips, Cold Returns

Along with Electric Birds and L'usine, Bobby Karate (Steven Ford) is inflating Seattle's electronic-music scene into something worth your respect. A former punk-rock drummer, Bobby Karate-like Brad Laner/Electric Company and Ken Gibson/Eight Frozen Modules-has made a dazzling transition to minimalist laptop composition. Karate's debut disc melds math-rock's unpredictable time signatures to microsound's pointillist DSP and morphed field recordings. Combining Mego's crackling aggression with Mille Plateaux's elegantly designed clicks and cuts, he's birthed one of the year's most dynamic and distinctively constructed discs. Though largely unknown, Karate is swiftly rising to the upper echelon of laptop producers.

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