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Review: Bill Payer & Fat Hippy Salt Rocker

Label: Dirty Blue

Liverpool's Dirty Blue goes thumping and hypnotic 3AM-style here, as producers Andy Winrow and Simon McCormick take you into endless track-land. The title cut hoovers a reggae chord and dread vocal samples in space while the thump below runs easy and wild á la Swayzak. The flip's "Stranded" goes all opaque and urban-aboriginal percussive. The next school is in session. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Mickey Finn: The Takeover Bid II

Label: DMC

Londoner and Urban Takeover maven Mickey Finn flings us warped samples at hyperspeed on his latest drum & bass mix of frenetic wildlife at night. Read more » 

Review: Optic Nerve Teleportation EP

Label: Puzzlebox

Keith Tucker reinvigorated Detroit techno in the '90s via the militant electro of his former group Aux 88. His mission continues on these three dystopian snapshots. "When Aliens Call" crackles rhythmic lightning over telecomm seas, while "Back From the Future" and "DeepSpace" pay tribute to Detroit and Juan Atkins, respectively. Encore! Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Japanese Avant-Garde

Label: Sub Rosa

Ken Burns has his Jazz. Then there's the For Dummies series. And we'd need another Alexandria library just to hold the plight of "Intro To"s and readers published daily. But listening to Sub Rosa's microcosmic sampling of the supernova that is Japan's avant-garde, one finds no gaps in a massive history that includes Merzbow's noise, So Takahashi's digitized ambient planes, Yoshio Machida's computer-age homage to classical Japanese composition and Sachiko M's experimental minimalism. Read more » 

Review: Psychofunkodiscodelic Warriors of Funk

Label: Golden Gate

Laird, Laron and John Pickett toss ya four mischievous tracks that typify the San Francisco sound. "Lines of Pleasure"'s crunchy disco-funk-all simmering keys, subtle bassline and rude phone messages-gets sexed up on one remix, then taken to peak hour on another. The B-side's "Convertible Top Down" flutters rhythm guitar and wah-synth over chill drum-machine antics that explicitly rip off Zapp. A nice thump. Read more » 

Review: Eight Frozen Modules Thought Process Disorder

Label: Orthlorng Musork

Juxtaposing sharp-as-nails beat barrages with myriad gurgling, plasticene sounds, Eight Frozen Modules' Ken Gibson seems to cross the line separating IDM-pop convention and experimental abrasion with every other step on this, his full-length debut. Each track overflows with sound and fury as Gibson chews up and spits out radically de- and-re-formed melodies, grooves, beats and basslines. There are enough fits, starts and hairpin turns to make you reach for the Dramamine, but somehow you're still aching to continue the journey. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Mosh Moshi-Nu Sounds From Japan

Label: Fueg

Japanese releases are often extortionately expensive and extremely rare in the West. Nik Weston, an infamous collector and promoter of Asian electronic music, has come to the aid of the listening public with this collection. The 'Soljazz instrumental' of the gorgeously named Gagle's "Practise & Tactix" is stylish jazz-hop, with a distressed string workout, disjointed rough-and-ready percussion and an overzealous reverbed bass. Read more » 

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 » 

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