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Review: Appliance Are You Earthed?

Label: Mute

As rock and dance music continue to edge closer and closer together-at least in terms of production techniques-expect to hear more records like Are You Earthed? Fusing meandering post-rock compositions, tweaked electronics, and breathy processed vocals, Appliance are treading an increasingly trafficked musical path. Luckily, James Brooks, David Ireland and Michael Parker manage to evade many of the more self-indulgent trappings all this new-fangled technology facilitates. Read more » 

Review: Adrien75 Coastal Access

Label: Source

Combining traditional instruments with software processing is now commonplace in the electronic underground, but Adrien75 was at it years before it was fashionable. He was responsible for most of the output of the unjustly ignored Carpet Bomb label, which merged sweeping post-rock gestures with gurgling, fleet-footed drum & bass. His debut LP pares the beats back to their barest necessities, and the guitars vanish among mazes of echo and DSP. The compositions ebb and flow with the surging dynamic of the tide, sometimes peaceful, occasionally roaring with noise. Perfect for an evening's drive. Read more » 

Review: Adam F Drum & Bass Warfare

Label: System

Adam F's double-disc set (the second disc features a mix by Miami's DJ Craze) is a touch confusing to listen to. His sharp drum & bass sensibilities are still intact, even after his well-documented foray into hip hop-but here, he's chosen to combine remixes of his tunes (produced with the likes of Redman, Capone n' Noreaga and Pharoah Monche) into a slightly abrasive, melodramatic mix that sounds more bombastic and heavy-handed than clever or ground-breaking. DJ Craze's mix makes more sense. Read more » 

Review: Joan of Arc So Much Staying Alive and Loneliness

Label: Jade Tree

With Joan of Arc's last album-The Gap, an experiment in ProTools released in 2000-songwriter Tim Kinsella's abstract minimalism and impenetrable lyrics seemed more to be creating rifts than bridging chasms between his current project and his fiery, atmospheric early work. But having kicked out the jams, and apparently the computers, to tour with Owls, Kinsella returns with an analog album that hems and haws but is still his most straightforward since Joan of Arc's debut, A Portable Model Of. So Much... is more serene than sinewy. Read more » 

Review: Thomas Köner Zyklop

Label: Mille Plateaux

Thomas Köner is the god of small sounds. After shiveringly cold environmental ambient works on experimental labels Barooni, Dorobo and Die Stadt from 1992 to the present-alongside many more techno tracks with Andy Mellwig as Porter Ricks-Germany's Köner has explored a vast audio realm. Not one to lock himself away in the art installation and academic music circuits in which he has a considerable following, Köner has made a career of auspicious collaborations, from filmmakers to electronic engineers as disparate as Techno Animal and Asmus Tietchens. Read more » 

Review: Ready made F.me

Label: F Communications

Yum, yum, yummy! Three exceptional remixes of the original composition "Follow Me" for Dior Homme. Ready Made complements an amazing a-side of beautifully complex, dubbed out minimal techno with an equally lovely, stripped-down flipside. Altern Vision chimes in with a sweet and housey version on the b-side, bringing this one to a charming close. Read more » 

Review: Phuturistix Feel It Out

Label: Hospital

Zed Bias and Injekta team up with singer Ray Gaskins to follow their "Matrix" EP with this bit of Eddie Jefferson-style vocal-jazz-step. Witness as the bass punctuates instead of invading, and check how your man Daluq boosts it hardcore onto the floor with his big breaky remix. A brilliant way forward for '03. Read more » 

Review: Soulo Man, the Manipulator

Label: Plug Research

With "post-rock" creeping up on the decade mark, it's time for some other journalist to define what's next. Or one could keep listening to the likes of Soulo for non-textual clues. Electronic beats help shape a good portion of the album, but its sonic breadth is what truly impresses. "Emotions, Can You Trust Them?" ensconses a Lynchian fetish for '50s rock in guitar-and-harmonica-driven dream-pop. And "Your Erroneous Zones" has some Rockford Files fun with the aforementioned genre definition, putting a big ol' belt buckle on its constraints. Read more » 

Review: Misc In Between

Label: Resopal Schallware

When a producer wakes up one morning, looks in the mirror, and muses, "I think I'll be a minimalist," we can almost always guarantee that he's been duped. The broadly sweeping word-of-the-day has grown out of control like some rather nasty backyard sumac, and as plenty of records demonstrate, too little often becomes too annoying. But when the aesthetic is as natural as two-steppin', there's never a question of quality, as in the case of Hannes Wenner and Christopher Bleckmann. Read more » 

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