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Review: Susumu Yokota Over Head

Label: Play

Susumu Yokota is a little bipolar. On productions for his Skintone imprint (licensed by the Leaf Label), Sublime, Exceptional and even Harthouse, he's alternated between dance music and pure ambiance, exploring house, techno, disco and broken beat on the one hand, and deep, beatless sonorities on the other. Over Head sees Yokota's twin selves finally meeting up. The album's 10 tracks splice bells, traditional drums, mountain-spring-clear tones, and eerie, faraway voices into a careful churn propelled by techno's pulse and destabilized by broken beat's Brazilian swing. Read more » 

Review: Supernatural The Lost Freestyle Files

Label: Babygrande

It's all about winning combinations: armed with mental stamina and a formidable gift o' gab, Supernatural can cut down just about any opponent and cipher as though he'd written the lyrics ahead of time. Fans have been waiting for this premiere MC's freestyle files since 1994, the year Supernatural was slated to drop an improvisational album recorded in one straight take. For reasons unexplained, Supernatural retreated into relative obscurity, and didn't unleash The Lost Freestyle Files until now. Read more » 

Review: Adrian Sherwood Never Trust a Hippy

Label: Real World

Using subtle filters, complicated audio transformations and stereo manipulations, London dub hooligan Adrian Sherwood brings the music into the 21st century. Sherwood's been around for a long time, using his On-U-Sound label and collaborations with others on a variety of projects, among them Tackhead, Dub Syndicate, Bim Sherman and Samia Farah. On what is remarkably his first solo album after two decades of collaborative productions, he keeps the quality level high while paying even more attention to the minutia. Read more » 

Review: Calibre Peso

Label: Signature

With so many tunes floating around on plate but nowhere near enough being released, Calibre (one of my favorite producers!) has finally taken matters into his own hands by starting his own label, and what a way to kick things off! The latin-tinged roller "Peso," backed with the infamous, Bob Marley-sampling "My Chance," have been doing the damage on dancefloors all over the world. This is already one of the scene's best labels and its only just begun! Buy on sight!! Read more » 

Review: Swag No Such Thing

Label: Version

Who says robots can't get down and dirty? The latest LP from Swag (comprised of Sheffield DJ Chris Duckenfield and engineer Richard Brown) is pure android funk with a twist-crisp, clean and sharp with space-aged sound effects and futuristic grooves that borrow from Brazilian beats and downtempo conventions. From the minimal, pared-down swagger of "I Need A Freak" to the just-luscious-enough instrumental house of "Where I Belong," No Such Thing is a delightfully no-frills excursion into the world of android electronica. Read more » 

Review: 808 State Outpost Transmission

Label: Shadow

Where does techno go after it's been framed and hung in a gallery? As with their last release (1996's Don Solaris), Manchester's modern masters lay it on thick, this time with a fresh palette. There are a few familiar notes and devices, such as employing multiple guest vocalists like Simian, Elbow and Alabama 3, all of whom produce great results. But it's drastic shape-shifts and an increased intensity that mark 808's return. The tone of "Soulflex," for example, glides effortlessly between martyr and menace. Can a Vatican commission be far behind? Read more » 

Review: Shuttle358 Understanding Wildlife

Label: Mille Plateaux

What's left for a microsound experimentalist with ambient tendencies? Read more » 

Review: The Octagon Man vs. Depth Charge I Dream

Label: DC Recordings

Veteran rhythm king J Saul Kane pits his identities against each other to gratingly irresistible results. The title track sprinkles samples of sheep bleats (you read right) over some grimy Space Invader electro, while the b-side's rough-waved "Mmm" and alienatingly ambient "Baric Void" remind us that attitude long outlasts nostalgia. Read more » 

Review: Jay Tripwire The Fever EP

Label: Worship

Vancouver's Tripwire works it for the Philly dub-house label with these three thumpers running a fever theme. The solid "Uh, Fever" is long on conga-drive and hypnotic bassline, while its flipside remixes deepen things with more bass, subtle effects and tight dubby vocal samples. Boom. Read more » 

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