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Review: Kerri Chandler Trionisphere

Label: King Street

Kerri Chandler gets profoundly inside a groove and turns it inside out, with rich, bottom-heavy bass lines and sparse jazz melodies. He creates danceable moments of darkness infused with his NJ-native, garage-influenced, deep house perspective. Chandler's latest release, Trionisphere, much like many of the other legendary sonic productions he's most noted for, especially The Atmosphere EP, is a spiritual journey in sound. This man will take you to church on the dancefloor, and with the push of a button imbue you with the Holy Spirit. Read more » 

Review: Adam Johnson Chigilak

Label: M3rck

Johnson's supple electronica, gliding ambiance and crisp rhythms all shimmer and his beats, occasionally inspired by electro and hip-hop, plod forth among myriad haunting sounds, glitchy beeps and clicks. Chigilak is as impressive as anything previously offered on Miami's M3rck. On "Some Say She's Naive," the rhythm's got some bounce to it, even if you listen on your headphones; things even a get a bit weird on "Sensible Impostor," with its garbled rhythms and distant tones. Johnson's music is as consistent as it is thorough, and plays well from beginning to end. Read more » 

Review: C Money & DJ Chase Ladies Can I Have Your Attention

Label: Stones Throw

It figures that one of the best singles of this year originally came out in 1989, a period when hip-hop was hitting its stride. Beatnuts affiliate VIC nicely jazzes up the timeless "Impeach the President" loop to let C Money showcase some classically smooth rhyming. And the flip is straight heat: hip-hop at 130 BPM, as Money uses a Big Daddy Kane sample to warn that he's "crushing MCs that be trying to riff," giving a tremendous vocal performance. Read more » 

Review: I.A. Bericochea Rojo

Label: Plus 8

It's only coincidence that Ignacio Aguilera Bericochea's name is so reminiscent of the cochlea, that bony, shell-shaped part of the inner ear that's the heart of our hearing, but how fitting it is. I.A. Bericochea's music, a profoundly thinned-out minimal techno that's more absent than present, offers the profoundest kind of intense listening, grounded with bass that reverberates deep in the body and graced with white noise that seems to graze the very surface of the ear drum, like summer grasses brushing against weathered cement. Read more » 

Review: Sustainer Cuantico

Label: Italic

Infusing electronic music with an artistic aesthetic is certainly a more cultured production approach-but it doesn't guarantee great music. A nod to what his label calls new "Spanish Modernism," Barcelona's Alex "Sustainer" Alarcon models his stark tech-house after the same Basic Channel-styled grooves so recognizably purveyed by his German distributor, Kompakt. Yet while Alarcon's ambition is clear, Cuantico bears telltale signs of a novice producer. Read more » 

Review: Various Branches and Routes: A Fatcat Records Compilation

Label: Fat Cat

In these very fragmented late-capitalist days, it seems record labels may not be as different from clothing labels as we may like to think. Not defined simply by putting out what's "good," labels increasingly cater to very particular tastes, dictated by ever-specialized demographics and transient in-sounds. But as the line between fashionista and record geek slims, certain labels-Soul Jazz, Warp, Smalltown Supersound and Lo Recordings, among others-are able to straddle this tenuous divide with splendor. Read more » 

Review: Grand Agent Fish Outta water

Label: Interworld Agency

If you're not paying attention, this album can easily underwhelm. The overall sound is sparse, melodic and unobtrusive. Nothing about it grabs your attention or forces you to listen. But if you're checking for it, there it is: Grand Agent's way with words. He's slick, smooth and sly. In today's world of subpar MCs and superproducers, it's rare and refreshing to hear an album on which the rhymes outshine the beats. "You checking for the raps or the rapper?" he ponders on "What I Want." In Grand Agent's case''m checking for both. Read more » 

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 » 

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