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Review: Various Rough Trade Spots-Post Punk 01

Label: Mute

If you're under 30 and experiencing the "new" disco punk movement for the first time, this is a perfect compendium, to educate yourself on what happened in the early '80s, the brief merger that's now heading into its official revival. You may have heard of bands like Gang of Four, Scritti Politti and Liquid Liquid from your youth (all of whom appear here), but it's those under-the-radar cuts, like Maximum Joy's "Stretch" and Delta 5's "Mind Your Own Business," that fully flesh out this enduring relationship between rocking and grooving. Read more » 

Review: K.I.T.S and P.I.T.S K.I.T.S 'n' P.I.T.S. Presents Gumbo

Label: ISTS

If titling an album Gumbo seems forced-lots of influences, we get it-it's forgivable when that album comes through, as this disc does. A collaboration between P.I.T.S (a.k.a. P.E.A.C.E. of Freestyle Fellowship) and his cousin K.I.T.S, the album blends styles so easily all you notice is the end result. Read more » 

Review: Defari Odds & Evens

Label: High Times

If the Likwid crew is a family, then Defari is the second cousin. Fortunately, he's got enough rhyming skills to justify his familial pedigree. And this album does contain some good, though it is a bit derivative. Defari's straight-ahead multi-syllablic rhymes sound fairly Eminem-influenced, and he's also picked up a bad Kurupt-like habit of rhyming a word with itself-including rhyming "bitch" with "bitch." Production is of the thumping variety, mostly courtesy of Evidence and E-Swift, but featuring a Dre-like sound. Read more » 

Review: Desormais Iambrokenandremadeiambroken

Label: Intr_version

If looking for tangible clues regarding Mitchell Akiyama and Joshua Treble's duo Desormais, their name may not be the place to investigate. Translated from French as henceforth," Iambroken likewise urges you to come to your own conclusions, using ambiguity as a convincing instrument of suspense. Deconstructed guitars sprawl across the album's length, evoking Fennesz, My Bloody Valentine and Oval. Read more » 

Review: S.A. Smash Smashy Trashy

Label: Definitive Jux

If Def Jux is running the indie rap school, these guys have D-hall on lockdown. Their dirty, shoulder-shakin' bounce-bounce what-what take may offend some backpack beatniks. After years of getting crunk with college kids in Columbus, Ohio, S.A. Smash duo Camu Tao and Metro immortalize their no-consequences tours with odes to booze, blunts and bitches. El-P provides beats 'n' soul on "Illy"; Aesop Rock raps sexy on "Love to Fuck." But the summer anthem for the sloshed has got to be "Get Home" ("How'm I Gon' Get Home?"). Not for the self-righteous, this party schtick is funny if you let it be. Read more » 

Review: SKC & Longman Battlefield

Label: DSCI4

Hungary's SKC is on fire at the moment. With all the top dons hammering both his darker material as well as his jazzed-out stormer "Limelight," he's now taken to collaborating with some of his fellow Hungarians, and by and large the results are off the hook . "Battlefield," SKC's joint effort with Budapest DJ Longman, is our personal fave at the moment, as it evokes memories of when dark drum & bass didn't entail just the aggro, evil shit. This is both dark and decidedly funky a la classic Konflict and Ed Rush & Optical material. Read more » 

Review: As One So Far (So Good)

Label: Ubiquity

Heartless techno?

Review: Soul Purpose Breaking Records

Label: Coup d'Etat Entertainment

Hip-hop trio Soul Purpose marks an auspicious debut with this album, a broad-ranging collection, including tracks like the battle rhyme "Take Cover," "The Other White Meat," the stark indictment of justice system abuse, and the string-backed "I Stay Busy." The group-MC Mazzi and production duo Koncepts and Zvi-craft an album of bold horns and an old-school style they update freely. Minus the excessive interludes (seven, plus an intro and an outro, complete with sappy kid) and the rather dull title track, the album works both as a whole and piecemeal, and promises even more in the future. Read more » 

Review: Gerd Modified

Label: Life Enhancing Audio

Gerd graces us with an ostensibly insider concept that works for the masses. Gerd. Modified is a compilation of Gerd remixes, other artists remixing Gerd, and Gerd remixing themselves. All Gerd all the time works, though. The beauty of Modified lies in the imaginative inclusion of throwback instruments such as flute and flugelhorn, accenting the sensuous melodies sliding through virtually every track. Read more » 

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