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Review: Cursor Minor Explosive Piece of Mind

Label: Lo

Judging by the puns-to-syllables ratio of Cursor Miner's name and album title, you might expect England's Cursor Miner to take the occasional walk on the wacky side. And that he does on this album of doorbell funk, sparkplug punk and "No one said I couldn't!" spunk. Read more » 

Review: The Postal Service Give Up

Label: Sub Pop

Jimmy Tamborello and Death Cab for Cutie's Benjamin Gibbard-collaborators on Tamborello's 2001 Dntel full-length-crafted Give Up by mail, hence the project name. Accordingly, Give Up evokes the wistfulness of long-distance yearnings, yet maintains winsome, intimate direct presence. Gibbard's fey vocals, complemented by Jen Wood and Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis, float like pillow talk through Tamborello's rubbery, retro-tinged daydreams, less wafting than Dntel. Read more » 

Review: Håkan Lidbo Finest Selection

Label: Tangent Beats

Is there anything Håkan Lidbo can't do?

Review: Gangstarr Skillz

Label: Noo Trybe

It's truly amazing how Preemo can embody that gritty, Tim-boot, dark-street feeling in his beats. This first single from their next album release, The Ownerz, is the latest addition to his street catalog. The element of surprise, however, lies in the cadence of Guru's lyrics, as he seems to "ride" this disco street groove instead of running a normal flow. Read more » 

Review: Cornel Campbell Original Blue Recordings 1970-1979

Label: Moll-Selekta

Jamaica's gentle falsetto vocalist Cornel Campbell has been resurfacing lately on a number of British and German electronic roots and dub recordings. In particular, his work on Berlin's Burial Mix last year, combined with the reissues of classic Campbell hits such as "Queen Of The Minstrels" and "Up Park Camp," unleashed a flood of interest in his early music. Blood and Fire's brilliant 2000 release I Shall Not Remove showcased many of Campbell's best tracks from 1975 through 1980, Original Blue Recordings fills in some more gaps. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists No Space for Dogma

Label: K2O

In just two years, K2O has presented IDM from artists as far-flung as Moscow, Berlin, Brooklyn and Colorado. Sadly, geographic diversity doesn't translate into musical diversity, as much of No Space for Dogma runs together into a midtempo soup. It's up to TenEcke to wake us up with a splash of cold water called "The Living Ice Age," which weaves together real cymbals with blatantly fake drum machine hits, while ominous guitars and bass scratch and bleep away. Read more » 

Review: Mathias Schaffhauser Re:

Label: Multicolor

In which Cologne-based minimalist producer Schaffhauser presents two takes on late-night-clubby material from his recent remixes comp. Both J.C.A.'s "I Begin To Wonder" and Raz Ohara's "This Is A Beautiful Day" get a shimmering and understated bass-kick-spit-snare treatment. Read more » 

Review: Pumpkinhead Beautiful Mind

Label: Third Earth Music

In case you missed Pumpkinhead's other releases, the first thing you should know is this dude is a raw MC. Period. He's aggressive, full of powerful punchlines, and ready for a lyrical throwdown at any time. His Achilles heel, however, is his taste in beats. Not that the production is terrible, but lazy and cluttered tracks like "Pumpin (Pause!!!)" don't do justice to Pump's potent flow. With the proper tracks behind him, Pumpkinhead could be like an estranged member of the Beatnuts: funky, rough, rugged, and combative. Read more » 

Review: Illumination This Is Illumination

Label: Logic 3000-BMG

Illumination's debut is an ambitious-if at times inconsistent-collection of tracks. This Norwegian duo made a name for themselves through their solo projects and remix work under the Chilluminati tag; their Bugge Wesseltoft rework should be required listening for any downtempo DJ. Now working under the guise of Illumination, the two shift gears to produce an album that's at times aimed squarely at the dancefloor and at others better suited for after-hours listening. Read more » 

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