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Review: Krazy Knockout

Label: Greensleeves

Krazy scores a victory over Knockout with a melodic whistle and tricky break, leaving Knockout cold and chaotic. Knockout indeed scorches the sonics with a shrill electric burst backed by busy handclaps and hi-toms, thereby getting the most balanced treatment by Mr. Vegas's squeaky-clean crooning on It's "Raining" and TOK Read more » 

Review: Danger Mouse and Jemini Conceited Bastard EP

Label: Lex

Just another reason to suspect that the forthcoming Danger Mouse and Jemini LP will be the best release of 2003. So funky and soulful, DM is hip-hop's best-kept production secret right now. On bonafied club-banger "The Only One," he's enlisted a long-lost amazing rapper no-one's heard from in almost 10 years, and given him some amazing beats. The outcome is extraordinary. Read more » 

Review: Klute Lie Cheat and Steal/You Should Be Ashamed

Label: Commercial Suicide

Klute simultaneously goes with the grain and against it on this two-disc set. Despite the dark title, Lie Cheat & Steal kicks off with lush, meandering drum & bass, awash in synthetic strings and airy melodies underpinned by sturdy, dancefloor-ready breaks and bass. The tracks are beautifully arranged, stately and atmospheric-entirely what listeners have come to expect from this d&b stalwart. On the second CD, Klute veers off the beaten path, serving up leftfield breaks, early-'90s techno and swirling downtempo, among other genres. Read more » 

Review: Ruxpin Magrathea

Label: Mikrolux

Jonas Thor Gudmundsson may not be friends with Bj?rk, but I have to write this fact anyway, as all journalists are bound by a secret sect of government-sponsored Icelandic elves to reference her at every possible corollary. Undaunted, Ruxpin starts out like any number of incestuously similar Elektro/Mikrolux releases, offering muscle-relaxing synths and clickity percussion, before "Magrathea" erupts into a luculent world of deep bass and perspicaciously layered microscopic aural details, trailblazed by complex rhythmic expeditions. Read more » 

Review: Billy Dalessandro Midievalization

Label: Resopal

Italy's Billy D drops his seventh release on Resopal, the solid new label run by Frank Elting and Stephan Lieb (MRI, Konvex|Konkav), and it's a dark, sultry stormer perfectly in line with Resopal's moody MO. Touched up with Teutonic oom-pah and slathered with Chicago acid, Midievalization eats away at you, especially on tracks like the wickedly funky "Show Yourself" and the appropriately named "At the Razor's Edge," where propulsive syncopations and buzzing, schizo inflections beat back reason with a backhand slap. Fans of Areal and Festplatten, agitate wildly. Read more » 

Review: DJ Quest Oil Drum

Label: Mechanoise

It's Quest from the UK, not the SF scratch hamster, so keep your shorts on. "Oil Drum" goes the straight-ahead nu-breaks route, buzzing a three-note bassline over a thumping beat with bits of space-vacuum noise flitting about. The flip's more electro-tinged "The Raid" offers up the same hot, dark sounds, but unfortunately suffers an overworking of its vocal sample. Still, solid stuff for the floor. Read more » 

Review: Augustus Pablo Pablo In Fine Style

Label: Pressure Sounds

It seems like there will always be "unreleased," "rare" and "undiscovered" Augustus Pablo tracks to release, and it's easy to believe that Pablo In A Fine Style is just more of the same. Pressure Sounds has found a sweet enough selection of rare 12" and 7" grooves to make you realize that more of the same can be a good thing-the minor-key "Up Warika Hill" alone will quiet doubters. Listening to extended versions of the same track-with differences mainly involving instrumental drop-outs and reverberations-can be a little much for the casual listener to really notice. Read more » 

Review: Peanut Butter Wolf Badmeangood Vol. 3

Label: Ultimate Dilemma

Imagine a loft party where yuppie Reaganites nervously shuffle along to The Human League and Joe Jackson on a cardboard-covered dancefloor that's hogged by b-boys who slam into oily-haired swingers trying to hook up over the fondue pot. Such imagery comes to mind when turntablist legend Peanut Butter Wolf presents a slide-show of what hip-hop means to him in the Badmeaningood DJ-roots series. Unfortunately, his broad aesthetic is often vague and uneven here. Read more » 

Review: Gravy Train!!! Hello Doctor

Label: Kill Rock Stars

If there's one thing the unabashedly schlocky music of Gravy Train!!! doesn't suffer from, it's a lack of self-irony. The group grew famous poaching beats from Casio Tone for the Very Alone, and routinely drawing inspiration from malt liquor, Dairy Queen, and the ass bandit. On the album Hello Doctor, Chunx, Hunx, Funx and Drunx unleash their gutter-punk sass with no apologies-a method borrowed from the Yeastie Girls. Their most infectious tracks-"Titties Bounce" and the infamous "You Made Me Gay"-are meant to be played at full volume, and will make a whole art house get crunk. Read more » 

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