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Review: Pressure Drop Food of Love

Label: One Eye Records

Reissues from Pressure Drop's early days find them comfortably nestled in a British downtempo party vibe that combines all things dub, house, trip-hop and friendly vocals, inna vintage Massive Attack/Groove Armade realm. "You're Mine" thumps four to the floor along anthemic female vocals, while tribal drum & bass skits across big, cheesy samples of "Big Noise" on the tune of the same name. Read more » 

Review: Mathias Schaffhauser Selected Remixes VOL. 1

Label: Multicolor

Relatively unknown outside the tight circles of Germany's tech-house scene, Mathias Schaffhauser has been creating major waves for more adventurous dancefloors. While this collection of his best remix work might be considered "minimal," the tracks are anything but: multilayered, heavily detailed sound evolutions that often take surprising twists, like the bongo breakdown in Digital South's "No Good," or the point in Luomo's "Tessio" that could be grimy UK garage if not for the Basic Channel-esque filterisms bouncing around the soundfield. An often quirky but solidly funky release. Read more » 

Review: RJD2 The Horror

Label: Definitive Jux

RJD2: friendly android cyber-bot or Definitive Jux sample-swapping producer? Read more » 

Review: Mark EG & Chrissi Internal Flux EP

Label: UpperCut

Converter is the track for me, with its addictive and intense analogue sequencing and tough Jay Denham-influenced funk. Sounds absolutely huge in a club-the floor reaction during the breakdown as the riff goes haywire has me speechless every time. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Elektronische Musik Interkontinental 2

Label: Traum

"Dwelling, in the proper sense, is now impossible," wrote Adorno in 1944. "The traditional residences we grew up in have grown intolerable: each trait of comfort in them is paid for with a betrayal of knowledge, each vestige of shelter with the musty pact of family interests." Glibly extrapolating the German philosopher's arguments about subjects, nations, and knowledge, we might note that in 2003, the House of Techno is no less shaky; "the musty pact of family interests" sounds a lot like the compromise that comes with any allegiance to genre.

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Review: Spasmo Coroner's Report

Label: Direct Source

Producers Neil Sanford and Endeavour roll some downtempo acoustic cinematic jazz for that azz. "Half Man, Half Dead"'s twinkling vibes, sinewy bass and acoustic guitar spell sheer anxiety, as does the calm military funk of "Official Business," while "Silhouette City" skirts spaghetti-western territory without going corny, and "A Siders Touch" keeps the Schifrin vibe rollin' into dimly lit streets. Read more » 

Review: Precision Cuts Miracle

Label: Simple

Quality release from my favorite new label. The excellent Precision Cuts head for the dancefloor with "Miracle." Great rolling breaks, squelching acid lines and lush synths mixed together with the Cuts magic formula. A must for fans of this label and artist. Read more » 

Review: Quad 2 Ep

Label: Function

Part two of the Quad double-pack series represents with a surprisingly diverse array of sounds. Digital and newcomer NJC groove out with the Latin-tinged "Open Up" before Digital cracks skulls on the ragga-ish "Creation." Concord Dawn lay down the law with yet another breathtaking anthem, "Tonite," then Amit sets the speakers on fire with the aptly-titled "Dub Soldier." Huge bizness from the Function camp-one to snatch on sight! Read more » 

Review: Pitch Black The Pitch Black Insperience

Label: Solidarity

Pitch Black-a.k.a. Kamau Bakari, a champion slam poet and former Kemetic priesthood trainee-matches his verbal skills against Rob J.'s original beats on the Pitch Black Insperience, and rarely has the ghetto griot ethos been spelled out so plaintively. Bakari takes rap back to its raw, primal essence, with 20+ tracks of spoken word imagery, turf sensibility and spiritual philosophy. Resisting any temptation to bling-one song is called "Can't Glamorize"-P. Bleezy doesn't hesitate to dis his mama's "slave religion" in the liner notes. Read more » 

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