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Review: Ed Rush & Optical Bullit

Label: Virus

True aliens in every respect, Ed Rush & Optical string together tracks with a certain inescapable mystique. "Bullit" takes a step back from this duo's signature synth escapades, as they sample funky horns and jazzy stabs to keep this tune rolling inna nice disco vibe. Read more » 

Review: Frederic Galliano & The African Divas Woulai Re-Works

Label: F-Communications

Two remixes from Soul Designer and Josh Brent, but it's the latter version that has me hooked: a banquet of African tribalisms, recursive vocal chants and a hint of lush ambience that takes me back to Carl Craig's inspirational 69" era. A beautiful piece of work. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Cortex Volume 2

Label: Follow Me

Ummm... elevator with an edge? Read more » 

Review: Gemma Fox Messy

Label: white

Up 'n' coming vocalist Gemma Fox delivers it in r&b rude gal fashion, with a more-shrill-than-Ms.-Dynamite flow over rough, bassline biz that coils around the words. The catchy hook-"So messy, so damn messy!"-will stick in your ears for days. Don't fight it, just buy it! Read more » 

Review: Freescha Whats Come Inside of You

Label: Attacknine

What a title. Nick Huntington and Michael McGroarty are either the mack-daddies of downtempo IDM or the most sexually-frustrated among the laptop crowd, because there's no getting around just how sexy, bubbly and narcotic their third Freescha LP really is. Whats leaves behind the operatic melancholia of Freescha's first two albums, opting instead for the mesmerizing carnival funk of "Watcha Gonna Go For It?" and the synth-driven post-disco smarm on "Smurf Shoo," plus lots of genre-crossing ground in between. Cotton candy panties for your ears. Read more » 

Review: Break Reform Fractures

Label: Abstract Blue

This trio from London has combined the heart-stopping realism of Nana Vorperian's vocals, sparse hip-hop orientated beats, and a fondness for jazzed-out, keyed flavors to produce an honest portrait of modern urban life. The sincerity of Nana's vocals can be related to as easily as a friend's real-life woes. "Fractures" captures the anguish of a love lost perfectly, courtesy of sighing strings, a vibraphone that feigns happiness and captivating vocals. "Medusa Pts 1 & 2" sees frustrated beats, tear-shaped keys and a weaving flute combine alongside Nana's distraught vocals. Read more » 

Review: Phil Parnell Runaway

Label: Mantis

This is the house section, so we shan't mention Phil's obtuse, microscopically minimal original mix, nor shall we mention the particle-shifting precision of Bugge Wesseltoft's mix. Rather, we'll skip to Mantis's own "Filmix." Here, the Mantis owners run wild with wanton breaks, At-Jazzy chords and great vocals courtesy of Liz Fletcher. As always, Mantis make a mockery of modern music and in so doing make us all very happy. Read more » 

Review: Watchers To the Rooftops

Label: Gern Blandsten

This is some seriously dramatic art-funk that channels what was most interesting about the Talking Heads' canonical Remain in Light. Read more » 

Review: Various Idol Tryouts

Label: Ghostly International

There's a myth out there about how techno in Detroit is dead. One could choose to believe that, depending on the parameters. But, with a little bit more latitude in definition and geography, things have never been better. Case in point: this compilation from Ann Arbor's Ghostly International. Idol Tryouts spans a healthy mix, from the artistry of Matthew Dear and Osborne's house to the computer-aided rock of Midwest Product. Read more » 

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