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Review: Plasticman The Lift

Label: Road

Who said we were post-industrial? Plasticman is part of a new school of young, post-"PulseX" producers delivering militant, electro-inflected minimalism. "Printloop" on the flip is the standout here, opening with, yes, looped printout samples and dropping into proper bleeps and bass. For MCs and Front 242 fans alike. Read more » 

Review: Ghost Cauldron Invent Modest Fires

Label: !K7

Why front on an album that invokes David Lynch's Twin Peaks on its first song? Berlin's Ghost Cauldron might offer a blender full of beats, but its sweep is nevertheless similar to cinema. "Fire Walk With Me," laden with cutting strings, measured piano and a plodding beat, feels like a soundtrack to the latest Ridley Scott blockbuster, while "Only at Night" samples Brando's canonical "horror" speech from Apocalypse Now (as well as its helicopter rotor noise). Any questions? Read more » 

Review: Awol One and Daddy Kev Slanguage

Label: Mush

What happens when an abstract producer and a way-out-there rapper get together to create hip-hop's answer to free jazz? Read more » 

Review: Melinda Let Me Know

Label: Pep Sounds

This Viennese imprint launches with the Marylin McCoo-evoking Hungarian singer Melinda Barcoczy in front of the keyboard-based jazz-disco flavors of trio The Pepita Project. "Let Me Know" is that smooth, langourous kind of house that simply makes you want to kick off your shoes, light up a spliff and grind witchya baby on the dancefloor. Read more » 

Review: 7L & Esoteric Do It

Label: Brick

Today's special? White Rapper Beef. "Do It" is the answer to Cage's "Haterama," a one-verse Internet-only diss of battle vet Esoteric. On Cage's alleged drug use: "I know he does helium before he does flows." 7L crafts the perfect beat for Eso's verbal venom, but this record will be most enjoyed by fans familiar with this feud. Read more » 

Review: Ed Rush & Optical Bullit

Label: Virus

True aliens in every respect, Ed Rush & Optical string together tracks with a certain inescapable mystique. "Bullit" takes a step back from this duo's signature synth escapades, as they sample funky horns and jazzy stabs to keep this tune rolling inna nice disco vibe. Read more » 

Review: Frederic Galliano & The African Divas Woulai Re-Works

Label: F-Communications

Two remixes from Soul Designer and Josh Brent, but it's the latter version that has me hooked: a banquet of African tribalisms, recursive vocal chants and a hint of lush ambience that takes me back to Carl Craig's inspirational 69" era. A beautiful piece of work. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Cortex Volume 2

Label: Follow Me

Ummm... elevator with an edge?

Review: Gemma Fox Messy

Label: white

Up 'n' coming vocalist Gemma Fox delivers it in r&b rude gal fashion, with a more-shrill-than-Ms.-Dynamite flow over rough, bassline biz that coils around the words. The catchy hook-"So messy, so damn messy!"-will stick in your ears for days. Don't fight it, just buy it! Read more » 

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