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Review: Blim & Rennie Pilgrim Feat. MC Chickaboo 2 Freaks

Label: TCR

Big electro synths + even bigger drums + the excellent MC Chikaboo = breakbeat anthem. Very funky and incredibly catchy. Would work just as well on the radio as it would on the dancefloor. This could be massive. Read more » 

Review: Killer Mike Scared Straight

Label: Aquameni-Columbia

His lyrics tell a story that you can really feel and understand. Combine that with a hilarious hook and smooth it out over some Southern/West Coast-style beats, and you have the recipe for a bangin' joint. Read more » 

Review: Lateef and the Chief Present Maroons Lester Hayes

Label: Quannum

It's musical chairs in the Quannum camp, and this new formation includes Lateef the Truth Speaker (Latyrx) on the mic and Chief X-Cel (Blackalicious) on beats. X's production just keeps improving, and this 12" testifies to his true funkiness. And Lateef comes with the best hip-hop chorus out now. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Hardware Chronicles Vol. 1 EP

Label: Renegade Hardware

Hardware comes big, bad and heavy on this EP, where the new signings bring the fire. Raiden delivers blistering '97-Metalheadz boom, as dark stalwart Dylan commits death-metal d&b to wax once more. Rob F serves up quality Konflict-style tech fare, but upstart ArQer steals the show with a number that melds trancey synths and r&b vocals with a blistering Bad Company-esque blistering bass growl. Ouch! Read more » 

Review: Schmahl & Niederhofer Mystic Journey

Label: Phono Elements

This deep, dark and minimal track sports washing swooshes, bleeps and blips, and even a squeegee of doom noise, with delays and slow decays reminiscent of Monolake. The Heiko Laux-like flipside descends into a dark, icy cave as the beat carries you onward. Read more » 

Review: Mike Shannon Know Returns EP

Label: Cynosure

Shannon's steadily built a rep for his firm, disciplined production style, and these three tracks show him developing it into something truly hypnotic. He centers each tune on a strong, risky rhythm around which he dapples bits of melodic synth color. Don't sleep on this Canadian. Read more » 

Review: Bravehearts Situations

Label: Ill Will-Columbia

The lyrics are cool but it's the beat I was diggin', something you can ride to. Of course Nas stepped up and blessed the track, and there's no doubt that this goes right into rotation in my club set. Read more » 

Review: Redhead Nuclear Assault EP

Label: Primate Endangered Species

This electro-tech technician is almost insolently disciplined in his work. Massive rolling basslines in front of an organic polyrhythmic shuffle lead this EP foward. Followers of Adam Beyer and Marco Bailey will find guidance here. Read more » 

Review: Echoplex Just Wanna Be With You EP

Label: End To End

Peter Sliwinski debuts on this Detroit-based label with a deep ethereal operation. Minor chords disappear deep into the trembling ride and tangible snares, as the bass receives a clever time-stretch that leaves an intuitive quantizing effect. Innovative to say the least. Read more » 

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