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Review: Chaampion Soul Excursions

Label: Life Line

A Brooklyn broken-soul debut hits the ground running-fluttery congos and thumping bass glide beneath graceful and heartfelt vocals. Champion Soul breaks out of the broken beat box with a sound that's as ethereal as that of any of their UK associates. "Cancion" and "Por Que" features Mariana Vera's nouveau-bossa blues against a thick bed of organic percussion, as "Down Easy" breaks up the skanky, dubby mood with Kate Dwyer's sultry soulful crooning. Read more » 

Review: Matthias 'Matty" Heilbronn Ridddim Part 1

Label: Wave

Before you purists razz the rash of house and techno DJ/producers rediscovering dub, check this slab, the flipside of which finds our Matty taking this reggae-tinged tech-house tune into the modern downbeat echo chamber `a la Zion Train. An epic ting. Read more » 

Review: Pole 45/45

Label: ~Scape

The only thing harder than originating a brilliant, singular sound of your own must be abandoning it for all the mimics who've run with your steez. Stefan Betke tries his hand at it, nevertheless, losing his trademark tech-dub stylings for some newfound hip-hop flava. And though 45/45 has its fine moments, it still feels like he hasn't quite found the new footing for which he's clearly searching. Still, Pole on a bad day is better than most on their best. Read more » 

Review: Smash FX Brainkiller

Label: Rithmic

This Zurich duo churns out a sci-fi breakbeat killer that blasts huge synth stabs and vacuum bass, and riddles the driving percussion with drum & bass-style fills. On the flip, EK ups the ante with his remix, keeping the d&b touches while dubbing up the bassline and touching it with some electro. On point, like those watches they make. Read more » 

Review: Karen Stackpole Improv. Gong and Percussion Music

Label: Dielectric

Lush, huge dynamics ranging from chiming, piercing, scraping metallic rings to the rumbling deep bass of gongs & toms to challenge any sub-woofer. Solid and subtle electro-acoustic improvisations feature over 30 percussive instruments on a more traditional tip, except for a sustained and scary bass/digi remix by Die Elektrischen on the flip. Overall, sonic artistry made with love and care. Read more » 

Review: Dizzee rascal I Luv U

Label: XL

This record scares me. If I heard it in a rave' would probably go hide under a speaker. Dizzee Rascal rapping like some crazy aggressive coked-out Muppet over disastrous beats that are little more than grimy, ramped up Dillinja-style bass and a few breathy samples filling in for snare hits. This cheap-sounding record is doing for UKG what Birdman and the Cash Money clique have done for rap. Plus, it'll grow on you like a motherfucker. Read more » 

Review: Infekto vs. Will Power Don't Rush Me

Label: Passenger

Since his debut cut on Passenger, Finland's Infekto has been causing quite the stir in the nu-skool scene. With everyone from Gilles Peterson to London Elektricity wanting a piece of the action, it's no wonder Aquasky pushed through this follow-up single ASAP. Good for us, because it's nothing short of straight dancefloor mayhem. With his mastery of warping hooks, playful beats and bone-crushing basslines, this cat is here to stay. Read more » 

Review: Pysofunkodiscodelic Cabaret Breaks

Label: Golden Gate

The veteran Bay Area house collective puts the big, funky breaks on. The a-side offers up some early-'90s flavor, with a jumpy arrangement that spotlights a mighty three-note bassline and a hit-and-miss array of vocal samples (including some tight Al Pacino bits). The flip brings on a more nu-breaks flavor with a freaky beat, distorted bass and less vocal samples. Bing-bang-boom. Read more » 

Review: Stringz Bring the Drama

Label: white

Another bootleg of this old classic. While there's a lot of these going around at the moment, they're all pretty damn fine! A few new touches in the breakdown and overall chunky fatness added to the proceedings make for a totally working piece that'll have peeps jumping all over. Read more » 

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