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Review: Colorform Send Forth Your Soul

Label: Synchronic

James Allen's debut recording-an EP by name but a tidy 38 minutes long-is a surprising first release for DJ Spooky's Synchronic label. Devoid of the conceptual grandiosity of Spooky's writings and the murky mestizaje of his recordings, Colorform's music is a warm and enveloping swirl of house beats, orchestral samples and sci-fi sound design edited into a drifting (but hardly shapeless) stream-of-consciousness flow. The most immediate reference might be Jimpster's 1999 album Messages from the Hub, in which jazz expressionism pooled with ambient impressionism in an amniotic haze. Read more » 

Review: Data 80 S/t

Label: Force Tracks

While producers like The Neptunes and Timbaland were raking in accolades with their syncopated stencils of late-'90s electronic beats, Håkan Lidbo was busy restructuring pop sensibility to meet with the tenets of digital disco. His results are a catchy and soulful tech-house that adds sincerity to the bromidic four-minute verse-chorus-verse song structure. Read more » 

Review: Bosco & Jorge Ally in the Sky

Label: Sixgunlover

It'll take you a whole 26 seconds to guess this was made in Chicago. And indeed a glance at the sleeve will reveal guest credits for Isotope 217's Rob Mazurek and the brothers Navin from Aluminum Group. Apparently, Bosco & Jorge, otherwise known as Bill Lowman and Brad Gallagher, met as kids at a Leo Kottke concert. Lo and behold, years later, they're still not straying far from Kottke's rustic, fingerpicking Americana. Read more » 

Review: Antonelli Electric Love and Other Solutions

Label: Italic

Over the past year, Stefan Schwander has released countless excellent 12"s on Italic, and appeared on Mille Plateaux, Output, Ego and ~scape compilations under guises like AG Penthouse, Pop Up (w/ Jorg Burger), Repeat Orchestra and Rhythm Maker. Love and Other Solutions finds him roaming from the crisp tech-house of prior full-lengths in favor of drifting, unanchored post-Kompakt musings that are appropriately searching but rarely find their destination. If there's a metaphor to find in this, I haven't found it yet. Read more » 

Review: Appliance Are You Earthed?

Label: Mute

As rock and dance music continue to edge closer and closer together-at least in terms of production techniques-expect to hear more records like Are You Earthed? Fusing meandering post-rock compositions, tweaked electronics, and breathy processed vocals, Appliance are treading an increasingly trafficked musical path. Luckily, James Brooks, David Ireland and Michael Parker manage to evade many of the more self-indulgent trappings all this new-fangled technology facilitates. Read more » 

Review: Adrien75 Coastal Access

Label: Source

Combining traditional instruments with software processing is now commonplace in the electronic underground, but Adrien75 was at it years before it was fashionable. He was responsible for most of the output of the unjustly ignored Carpet Bomb label, which merged sweeping post-rock gestures with gurgling, fleet-footed drum & bass. His debut LP pares the beats back to their barest necessities, and the guitars vanish among mazes of echo and DSP. The compositions ebb and flow with the surging dynamic of the tide, sometimes peaceful, occasionally roaring with noise. Perfect for an evening's drive. Read more » 

Review: Adam F Drum & Bass Warfare

Label: System

Adam F's double-disc set (the second disc features a mix by Miami's DJ Craze) is a touch confusing to listen to. His sharp drum & bass sensibilities are still intact, even after his well-documented foray into hip hop-but here, he's chosen to combine remixes of his tunes (produced with the likes of Redman, Capone n' Noreaga and Pharoah Monche) into a slightly abrasive, melodramatic mix that sounds more bombastic and heavy-handed than clever or ground-breaking. DJ Craze's mix makes more sense. Read more » 

Review: Joan of Arc So Much Staying Alive and Loneliness

Label: Jade Tree

With Joan of Arc's last album-The Gap, an experiment in ProTools released in 2000-songwriter Tim Kinsella's abstract minimalism and impenetrable lyrics seemed more to be creating rifts than bridging chasms between his current project and his fiery, atmospheric early work. But having kicked out the jams, and apparently the computers, to tour with Owls, Kinsella returns with an analog album that hems and haws but is still his most straightforward since Joan of Arc's debut, A Portable Model Of. So Much... is more serene than sinewy. Read more » 

Review: Thomas Köner Zyklop

Label: Mille Plateaux

Thomas Köner is the god of small sounds. After shiveringly cold environmental ambient works on experimental labels Barooni, Dorobo and Die Stadt from 1992 to the present-alongside many more techno tracks with Andy Mellwig as Porter Ricks-Germany's Köner has explored a vast audio realm. Not one to lock himself away in the art installation and academic music circuits in which he has a considerable following, Köner has made a career of auspicious collaborations, from filmmakers to electronic engineers as disparate as Techno Animal and Asmus Tietchens. Read more » 

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