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Review: Various Club Bogaloo 2

Label: Spinning Wheel

Celebrating the fifth anniversary of their highly regarded club night, Club Bogaloo present their second compilation of exclusive cuts from the high quality selection of artists who have graced their decks. Their tag line, "more freestyles out of nowhere," is certainly apt, as this collection moves with customary European style from the deep bossa jazz of Ian Simmonds's project Wiseintime, through the deep house of Jimpster, to the string-laden jazz of Reunion. Read more » 

Review: Buju Banton Friends For Life

Label: VP

Buju Banton is the Don Dada of dancehall, period. When he traded in his gruff, sexually explicit toasts for soul-stirring roots reggae, he proved he was a champion there too. Friends For Life will become a classic because it crosses musical boundaries, with stops in hip-hop, r&b and African rhythms. Collaborations with Bounty Killer, Beres Hammond and Fat Joe are indicative of the musical journey this offering travels. Here is a mature Banton-Afrocentric, contemplative and apparently no longer a sexist. Read more » 

Review: Badd Inc. Luxury Excess Extravagance

Label: Mogul Electr

Being "camp" isn't nearly as easy as it looks, a lesson that electroclash don Larry Tee has seemingly yet to learn. On this hastily compiled disc, Tee and his merry band of Brooklynites plant the final nail in the coffin of nu-wave, a movement dead from an overdose of irony. While some in the scene have teased brilliance out of their chintzy synths and rigid grooveboxes, the Badd Inc. artists (including girl-group W.I.T.) can't muster a single memorable hook between them. This isn't funny anymore. It's just plain sad. Read more » 

Review: Death In Vegas Scorpio Rising

Label: Concrete

Beginning with their second album, 1999's The Contino Sessions, Death In Vegas have been more psychedelic rockers than dance-music producers. Scorpio Rising, Richard Fearless and Tim Holmes' lighter, more hopeful follow-up to that morbidly dark work, continues their trip into mind-altering rock. Similar to David Holmes and Massive Attack, DIV act as conceptualists for a large, rotating cast of star singers (Liam Gallagher and Paul Weller, among others) and session players. Aided by legendary violinist L. Read more » 

Review: Mockey In Mesopotamia (J.D. Slazenger's edition)

Label: Gomma

Before they ran away to start their own dirty electro circus in Berlin, Peaches and Chilly Gonzales were in a punk band called The Shit, of which Dominic Salole, a.k.a. Mocky, was the drummer. Now an ex-pat in Holland, Mocky, too, makes freaky lo-fi 'lectro kitsch on In Mesopotamia, but it's the added hip-hop value that sets him apart. His Snoop-style MCing is notably pimp on the more straightforward beats of single "Sweet Music." Elsewhere, Mocky's abstract initiatives juxtapose spastic samples with mellow bourgeois ballads. Read more » 

Review: Foreign Legion Playtight

Label: Look Records

Bay Area b-boys extraordinaire Foreign Legion-Marc Stretch, Prozack and DJ Design-come strong on their aptly titled sophomore LP. High-octane party jams dominate, with block-rocking beats and braggadocio-filled rhymes galore. Never taking themselves too seriously, the NoCal trio let loose with 13 quality joints dedicated to mic-rocking, liquor-sipping and running game on the honeys. Check out the swinging retro-funk of "Party Crashers" or the neck-breaking "How Do It Feel?" for prime examples of the FL's sonic superiority. Read more » 

Review: Natcha Atlas Something Dangerous

Label: Mantra

Atlas has been floating around the world beat and electronic music scenes for a hot minute or two. Over the years, she's had a lot to do with the spread of the diasporan dub sound as the featured singer in Transglobal Underground, on her own solo work, and in collaborations with everyone from Jah Wobble to Jean-Michel Jarre. She's a superstar in the Arab world, France and in parts of Europe, but how would Atlas-she of the lotus-like voice-handle a cover version of James Brown's "Man's World"? Read more » 

Review: KEMETIC Just Minstrel Speak

Label: Diaspora

Atlanta house production duo Kemetic Just meet our demands for music with a message by allowing Philly's spoken-wordologist Rich Medina some space to comment on both bling" and race. Sweet Abraham's rework opens with Lady Alma invoking the spirits before a rugged, low-riding, offbeat riddim drops. Even Gil Scot would approve of these soul techniques. " Read more » 

Review: Angela Johnson They Don't Know

Label: Purpose

At some point, people are gonna realize the neo-soul thing is not just all hype. There's something real happening. Quite possibly, that moment might come soon after hearing They Don't Know, which neatly fills the space between hip-hop, R&B, jazz and downtempo. The multi-talented Johnson raises obvious comparisons to Peven Everett. Like Everett, she produces, arranges and plays keys, in addition to singing. Johnson's sound is fairly contemporary-DJ Spinna produces a track. Read more » 

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