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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 » 

Review: Beans Tomorrow Right Now

Label: Warp

I approached this album with skepticism. How could this, the first release after the sudden break-up of New York experimental hip-hop trio Anti-Pop Consortium by the group's more wordy, abstruse and mohawk-sporting member Beans match his former group's mix of complex wordplay and minimalist electronic hip-hop beats? Read more » 

Review: Cinema Recorded Music LIbrary After Dark

Label: Domino

Glasgow boys Crawford Tait and Gregor Reid cough up some twisted summery lounge disco on the A-side of this 10-inch. On the flip, their mellow tune "Lost" gets tweaked into Steve Reich-ish repetition by Pedro and floated into eerie psych-folk land by Fort Lauderdale. A trip and a half. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Irma on Canvas: Exhibition #2

Label: Irma

Having heard the excellent Volcov-compiled Irma compilation' had high hopes for Irma's latest release. It's not quite as accessible, but chances are that's where the Exhibition title comes in. Repeat listens provided a better view of its broad scope and more adventurous nature. Whereas Volcov's genius was in juxtapositions, Exhibition #2 seems like the efforts of a thorough "dig," as sublime remixes of Nubian Mindz and the Easy Access Orchestra cozy up next to the likes of Tibet's United Peace Voices and Japan's Soul Bossa Trio. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Global Assault EP

Label: G2

G2 features an international quartet onto two slabs. Norway's Monkey and Large flip a Jay-Z sample to lace their big, intriguing raver "SLAM!," while Austria's Mindmachine just gets loudly busy on "Illusions." Meanwhile, the Yankee known as Pollen brings some good chime to his punk-funk roller "13 Ghosts," and Aussie Greg Packer refreshingly keeps the emphasis on the rhythm with his "Auxillary." This stuff works. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Tony Touch: Last Or The Pro-Ricans

Label: Sequence

First of all, let it be known that Tony Toca, a.k.a. Tony Touch, the Taino mixtape king, is down by law. Even when he had an artist deal on now-defunct Tommy Boy, he kept it real on the streets, circulating his mixes like oxygen throughout the Five Boroughs. Secondly, Touch has actual rhyming skills, distinguishing him from the legion of mix tape-mongers who bark out the same tired phrases (DJ ________ is on the mix! Read more » 

Review: Lucky Pierre Hypnogogia

Label: Melodic

Evidently Arab Strap main guy Aidan Moffat is something of an insomniac. And because he can't stomach "chill out" records, he went and made himself his own album to sleep by. Ironically, if we are to believe the myth behind the music, you'd be hard-pressed to get any shut-eye to this. It's too good. Borrowing strings from both his own Arab Strap songs and Baroque symphonies, and underpinning them with feathered Casio rhythms, Hypnogogia tugs you into a forested maze of memory and melancholy that suggests Gas remixing Godspeed!, or Kid Loco remixing Art of Noise. Read more » 

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