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Review: Various Artists Well-Suited for General Purpose Audio Work

Label: Schematic

This latest compilation from Miami's Schematic features all the usual suspects-label-heads Phoenecia, boy genius Richard Devine, resident madman Otto von Schirach and relative upstart Dino Felipe-plus one semi-newcomer along for the ride'schemic's Kiyo. As you would expect from such a line-up, the two records are littered with hopped-up beats that skitter, pop, twist, bend and pile on top of each other with reckless abandon. Read more » 

Review: Jazzanova Playlist: Compiled by Jazzanova

Label: JCR

This first-ever compilation from Jazzanova's vital JCR label, while sadly bereft of the legendary mixing skills of its Germanic owners, flaunts a diversity and consistency not often seen in the dance world. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Richard Dorfmeister Presents: A Different Drummer Mix

Label: Different Drummer

Who better to handle the task of selecting cuts from Birmingham's Different Drummer than Kruder & Tosca's other half? Dorfmeister delves into a stellar back catalog, taking you on a subdued journey via tracks by G-Corp, Noiseshaper, Original Rockers and more. Dub is the glue that binds these tracks together-whether the beats are house flavored, reggae-inflected or straight downtempo, echoes and reverberation pacify the rhythm. Warm and blissful with a taste of skank, this thing'll make you want to take a plane, boat or car to get to the next Different Drummer party. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Nonesuch Explorer Series: Indonesia and the South Pacific

Label: Nonesuch

The exotic sounds of the gamelan in its seemingly infinite manifestations are the focal point of this second installation of CD reissues of Nonesuch's historic Explorer series. This exhaustive collection features recordings of gamelan orchestras from the far reaches of the Indonesian archipelago, as well as popular music from Tahiti and the South Pacific islands. The original LP releases had a profound influence on Western experimental music when they were first put out in 1967. Read more » 

Review: Giardini Di Miro The Academic Rise of Falling Drifters

Label: 2.nd

Wait! Don't get scared off by the inclusion of remixes by usual suspects Styrofoam, Herrmann & Kleine, Opiate, Dntel, Turner and Isan. While they issue plenty of worthwhile music with alarming frequency on their own, here they're given a substantial challenge in the source music of Giardini Di Miro. The aforementioned artists, plus Nitrada and errorEncountered, layer the intrigue with echoes of its original rock instrumentation-oceanic guitars and vapor trails of air-weight vocals. Each remix is a revelation, a brilliant fusion of its origin and its newly re-engineered life. Read more » 

Review: Jay-J & Miguel Migs West Coast Sessions

Label: Defected

Defected makes its presence felt stateside via a new series of double-mix-CDs featuring the cream of US dance music mavens. For its inaugural mixes, Defected teams Grammy nominee Jay-J and prolific DJ/producer Miguel Migs on the aptly titled West Coast Sessions. They offer up the smooth West Coast fare you'd expect from the San Fran-based duo, with zero surprises. A change of texture to differentiate one from the other would have been interesting. Instead, this collection of palatable dance music merely entertains, but never provokes. Read more » 

Review: DJ Hyper Fractured

Label: Bedrock Breaks

Even drum & bass, the bastard child of dance music, had more representation than nu-skool breaks at this year's WMC. Help is on the way, as Bedrock Breaks is poised to infiltrate the mainstream with this double-CD compiled by London's 21-year-old Guy Hatfield. Starting off as a relaxed and heady affair, the mix segues into harder dance tracks on CD 2. Unreleased material peppered with last year's anthems showcase all the stars: Fatliners, BLIM'ls and Kemek the Dope Computer are just a start. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Future Sounds of Jazz 9

Label: Compost

The most admirable aspect of Compost's FSOJ series is its diversity; each installment delivers a different version of the shape of jazz to come. Packaged with a swanky 3-D cover (glasses included), number nine is relentlessly infectious. The alternate versions of musical reality range from a slightly neo-soul slant to airy downtempo, jazzy rides, uptempo broken beats and seriously soulful vocals. Ultimately, the album's mix of electronic and organic drums is what makes it special-it's like a musical cyborg built from the best scraps that jazz and electronic music have to offer. Read more » 

Review: Babylon is Ours The USA in Dub

Label: Echo Beach-Select Cuts

Dub is clearly on the rise in the US, as Babylon Is Ours quickly shows. Check the differing use of frequency range, mixing techniques and instrumentation, as each artist's vision of dub covers quite a broad spectrum. King Tubby's raw production influence is pervasive, yet each of the 12 artists brings different source material-including hip-hop (Tino), downtempo (Ben Wa) and drum & bass (Otaku). Other highlights include Portland's Systemwide (featuring Dr. Read more » 

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