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Discolobos The Thieves' Machine

Originally a group of DJs out of Rochester, NY, Discolobos (a.k.a. the two-man crew Brasby and Wagun) have pumped out the self-releases in recent years. This album, though, was slated for release on an indie label, but when relations between the producers and the label got strained, the Lobos started the Fish and Crown imprint on their own. Fish and Crown promises "sumthin' different," but, if Thieves' Machine is the measuring stick, the jury's still out. Sure, the sample-tastic instrumental hip-hop here-a pop culture grab bag sliced and diced into head-nodding beats and loops-is sharply done, but it's not a life-changer. Still, it's on-point enough to make it a smart launch for the label.

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