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Review: Pieter K Rapport

Label: Offshore

Pieter K's already displayed his talent at complex drumwork, but he dabbles further into melody on "Rapport"-experimental, deep headphone business with a melancholic feel. The flipside's "Nexus" is like Drexciya gone d&b, all bubbling underwater electro bleeps, crunchy glitch sounds and hairpin turns. Read more » 

Review: Referenced For Your Safety

Label: Pork

My introduction to "Pork and the Future Sound of Hull" was at a house party in LA. Somewhere between those quaint coastal towns, the label happened upon Bloomington'ndiana and the music of Referencered. For Your Safety takes downtempo formulas and gives them a vigorous shake. Hauntingly beautiful at times, disorienting and goofy at others, the album coaxes smiles either way. Even the song titles ("Electronic Beats Made Easy") get to poke fun. Even "Tribute to the PSS-140" (named after an old Yamaha keyboard) wears this lo-fi aesthetic on its sleeve. Read more » 

Review: Nick Holder Rockers Delight

Label: DNH Records

Nick should have called this "Bootlegger's Delight." Side A is Barry Brown's "Step It Up" reworked for the DJ. Flip over to a dancefloor version of Linval Thompson's "Rock Me." Great for a house-to-dub transition. Read more » 

Review: Top Buzz Living in Darkness Rmxs

Label: Dark

Modern-day drum 'n' bassists attack Top Buzz's 1992 rave classic "Living in Darkness." Urban Takeover's Mulder turns in his usual jumpy bits, but the tear-out award goes to Rascal & Klone, whose much-anticipated version preserves the alluring trumpets and dramatic buildup of the original, and channels them into a charging dark roller after the drop. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Mas Confusion

Label: !K7

Music Aus Strom, which achieved cult status via Funkstrung's stewardship in the late '90s, awakes from its dormancy with this extremely coherent (if slightly dated) first compilation. It's the kind of thing you'd have expected two years ago in the heyday of pre-glitch melodic IDM, but that's not to say it's not wonderful. Read more » 

Review: Books On Tape Throw Down Your Laptops

Label: Deathbomb Arc

Mixing guitar chords with shuffling breakbeats of various tempos in spy-chase like sequences, Books on Tape proclaims its stance as "beatpunk," and features members of indie bands Bright Eyes and Slow Coach guesting with main man Todd Books. Forgiving the "we're so punk that we're making electronic music!" attitude, Throw Down's got occasional out-of-the-ordinary moments, mostly when some yelping vocals are thrown in, though any rawness they might possess is constrained by unyielding beats. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Panoptica: The Tijuana Remixes

Label: Certificate 18

Mexico's Panoptica enlists his boys from the Nortec Collective to plunge their very capable hands into his slippery downtempo tracks. With rimshots gleaming discretely in its smooth expanse, The Tijuana Remixes is a smooth lounge experience in Panoptica's signature slim-luxe style. The Tijuana Remixes ripple between minimal house, techno and slower, and at times can be a maddening listen: the tracks are sleek and supple, but one can't help but desire more of the richer thickness that the final track, "She's in Fiestas," approaches. Read more » 

Review: Mark One Tribesman

Label: Texture

Manchester's Darqwan ally maintains the Texture pressure with three dirty bombs. The long-awaited tech-garage of "Turn it Up" finally arrives, backed up by the addictive bad-trip 4beat of "Equalizer" and the soundtrack to the clash of civilizations, "Tribesman." Mark One is one to watch. Read more » 

Review: Bill Payer & Fat Hippy Salt Rocker

Label: Dirty Blue

Liverpool's Dirty Blue goes thumping and hypnotic 3AM-style here, as producers Andy Winrow and Simon McCormick take you into endless track-land. The title cut hoovers a reggae chord and dread vocal samples in space while the thump below runs easy and wild á la Swayzak. The flip's "Stranded" goes all opaque and urban-aboriginal percussive. The next school is in session. Read more » 

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