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Review: Various Artists Famous When Dead Two

Label: Playhouse

It's a Playhouse compilation, but not as we know it. The highly acclaimed first offering in this series concentrated on documenting the achievements of Playhouse's own artists. This time, in-house DJ Ata sets his sights further afield, with the resultant 11 tracks-from various artists and labels across the globe-connected only by the moods and themes they explore: deep, distinctive and, ultimately, danceable house music dominates. Read more » 

Review: Soulo Switch

Label: Lifestyle

Jameson is back in your face, and he's not messin' about. "Switch" is a sure-fire steppa's anthem, dropping serious bass that surges over a Timbaland-style roll. It's flipped by one of the sickest Soulo 4beat-roller rubs yet. For those who need it tuff. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Badmeaningood Vol. 2: Roots Manuva

Label: Ultimate Dilemma

Is it our duty as good hipsters to hate on branded compilation series? Read more » 

Review: D. Diggler Sounds Fiction

Label: Raummusik

In the poorly translated press release for Andreas Mügge's third D.Diggler album, the claim is made that "D.Diggler is redefining the rather too often heard terms 'minimal dub techhouse'-and gives it a new meaning." Whatever. The back of the jewel case notes Mügge is now booked through Sven Vath's Cocoon empire, so it's more plausible that the reason behind Sounds Fiction's überclub tranceyness is that the once-lone-man-with-a-clue in the German tech house scene has gone corporate. Mügge can still knock the floor-bangers out (c.f. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Jazz in the House 11: Compiled and Mixed By Phil Asher

Label: Slip'n'Slide

In a scene where compilations fall by the wayside, it's refreshing to see a series make it to their 11th installment. Kiss-100 DJ and producer Phil Asher (a.k.a. Focus) has selected a variety of underground staples and high-profile recent classics, which all find sanctuary under the banner of "jazz-influenced house." Although the Shelter Vocal of Mondo Grosso's "Star Suite" clocks in at nearly fifteen minutes, its distinctive Eastern flute, joyful keys and narrative guardian angel vocals justify its inclusion. Read more » 

Review: Funki Porcini Fast Asleep

Label: Ninja Tune

If Hed Phone Sex was the physical act itself, Fast Asleep is the moment of cuddling afterward, just before drifting off into hope-this-isn't-a-mistake land-every bit as pleasurable, but not quite as bone-shakingly intense. Which isn't a bad thing. Far from it, in fact, Funki Porcini's latest release presents the best that the late, great, sorely lamented genre known as trip-hop has to offer, and it's a dreamy, somnambulistic lullaby of rumpled sheets, remote controls and internal serenity fountains. Read more » 

Review: Frankman Different Divides

Label: Draft

In 2002, you could have been forgiven for believing that every German house music producer possessed something akin to the Midas touch, so impressive was the continual barrage of releases from Kompakt, Playhouse, Trapez, et al. Andreas Greiner Jun (a.k.a. Frankman) has the dubious honor of demonstrating that, on occasion, they do ordinary, too. That's not to say Different Divides is completely undeserving of attention. Read more » 

Review: Venetian Snares Winter in the Belly of a Snake

Label: Planet

If Aaron Funk was a politician, his promise of three full-lengths by the year's end might have been as empty as a lot of our wallets. But as an obsessive producer, Funk came through and marked the conclusion to his triptych with a vitriolic departure from both the funky hypergrooves of his spring release, Higgins, and the spaciously glitched-out summertime collection, 2370894. Read more » 

Review: DJ Ali You Don't Know

Label: Village

I almost slept on this one. DJ Ali vocally embraces the likes of Prince and D'Angelo over a tight and funky rhythm with a splash of the "West Coast wind." A perfect blend. Read more » 

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