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Review: Various Inner City Sounds

Label: Ubiquity

If you're not actually rolling in a souped-up Cadillac with Supafly and Koffy Brown, the compilation Inner City Sounds is one of your better alternatives. It's laced with underground funk, soul and boogie tunes recorded between 1969 and 1977 for Inner City Records. Danceable, sample-friendly cuts like "Mary Love's More Love" outshine more plodding numbers like United Soul Association's "Sticky Boom Boom"-which sounds more like notes toward a funk song than an actual funk song. Read more » 

Review: Various 7 heads R better Than 1

Label: 7 Heads

If an outwardly stoic, but inwardly sensitive guy were an album, he would be the 7 Heads R Better than One compilation. Sometimes it's an album caught up in being a dude, embodied in Djinji Brown's brawny drum & bass studio effects on "Mr. Dynamite" and J-Live's Cassanova-ish "Braggin Writes Rmx." Other times it's smart, urbane, and not afraid to get down in the muck with you, as in the balmy jazz loop and ponderous flows of "Moodswings" with Asheru and Talib Kweli. Part bro, part brohemian, it's all about winning combinations. Read more » 

Review: Various All Tomorrows Parties 3.02

Label: Touch & Go

If Car & Driver magazine were to commission a compilation of electronic compositions, they would need to look no further than this comp to know the work's already done. Primarily comprising exclusive material curated by post-electro reconstructuralists Autechre, much of ATP 3.02-including tracks by Public Enemy, Anthony "Shake" Shakir and Earth-helps define "piston-pumping." In contrast, there are selections both subtle and supple-including Stasis, Disjecta and Bola-to match the serene glide of those luxury sedan ads. Read more » 

Review: Various Sound-Off 2 Sampler

Label: Fuel

Here comes Salim Rafiq, who's infused his previously straight-ahead Miami Bass sound with some adventurous shit by picking tracks like these two for Fuel's second Sound Off mix. Cold Fusion boosts "Rinds Gulasch" with some hearty and complex electro programming, while The Dexorcist's "Connect One" runs some classic electro with fanatically big bass. Read more » 

Review: Calibre Make Me Wonder

Label: Signature

Funky guitar stabs, vocal hooks, Amens and some authentic hand claps make this a sure dancefloor hit. Check the flip's "Got To Have You" for a lazier vibe and one of the catchiest b-lines you'll hear all summer. One to make you sweat. Read more » 

Review: Tom Clark King Tide

Label: Morris Audi

German DJ/producer Tom Clark has started three record labels (the now-defunct Gold Plate Music, Highgrade Records, and Laufwerk Musik) while producing for other imprints like Poker Flat, Rampe D and SuperBra, and maintaining a residency at Berlin's famed Tresor club. Clark's debut album offers solid minimal tech-house that flows from organic textures, although tracks like "Flying Carpet" move smoothly and somewhat uninterestingly without really going anywhere. Read more » 

Review: Various Decks and the City Vol. 2: Chicago/DIZ

Label: Take

From deep and dubby to jacked and jerky, Chicago's native son Diz stays true to his roots on this tight mix. After a somewhat forgettable start, with cuts from Sysco and David Duriez that otherwise might be standouts on a lesser compilation, Diz hits his stride on his own collaboration with Iz, "Love It, Dub it." When Mark Farina announces that it's "Time to Jack," you know the goods are on their way, and the ensuing funk builds to a fitting finale with Joshua's bleeping, tracky masterpiece "Hustlin." If the crew is as strong as Diz's, no harm representin'. Read more » 

Review: Various Brazilian Live Affair Volume 4

Label: Far O

For sexy, you can't really go wrong with swirling Fender Rhodes, sultry Portuguese vocals, a light bossa beat and strings. That's good news for this compilation, which, thanks to Patricia Marx's "E O Meu Amor Vi Passar," starts off on exactly the right note. It's also got a great mix of classic masters (e.g. Marcos Valle, Joyce) and up-and-comers. For all its progressive electronic sounds, BLA has a legit base in tradition, as a few of the tracks are dug up from secret Brazilian vaults. Read more » 

Review: Sutekh Micro-Solutions To Mega-Problems

Label: Soul Jazz

Following mate Kit Clayton's debut offering for Soul Jazz's new MSMG series, Sutekh offers a selection of trademark tech-house tomfoolery. "Mouth Party" stutters on vocal samples, like Akufen going vaguely garage. The deliciously titled "Scraping Nails" recalls tropicalista Tom Z? colliding with a humming refrigerator while "Boulez's Toes"-referring somewhat mysteriously to French arch-Modernist composer/conductor Pierre Boulez-proclaims it a party. One of Sutekh's finest moments. Read more » 

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