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Review: Styrofoam I'm What's There to Show That Something's Missing

Label: Morr

Arne van Petegem was once easy to overlook in the middle of Morr's roster of mellow, blissfully melancholy electronicists. No more-this time around, he keeps the slowed-down programming and DSP jabber, and slots in his own vocals. Van Petegem's wan, human voice is front-and-center amidst instrumentals as goopy and complex as any Mouse on Mars tunes, creating a perfect abstract pop album, the inverse negative of Schneider TM's carefree Zoomer from last year. Read more » 

Review: Sterling S/t

Label: File 13

Screw Detroit-Chicago is the place to be if you're an indie music lover. Now File Thirteen Records has thrown its hat into the hype ring with the self-titled offering from Sterling, and the fit is formidable. Sterling's style sticks faithfully to the angular post-rock path taken by Godspeed You Black Emperor! Read more » 

Review: Odd Nosdam No More Wig for Ohio

Label: Anticon

One of the savants behind the awesome cLOUDDEAD and the awful Reaching Quiet, odd nosdam keeps his music as lowercase as his name and titles. He also makes eccentricity his guiding principle, which is why No More Wig For Ohio is hip-hop's answer to The Faust Tapes. The first half of Ohio has more in common with Faust's Dadaist collage aesthetic and the pranksterish genre-hopping of Evolution Control Committee and Nurse With Wound than with underground-hip-hop orthodoxy. It's one fucked-up trip. Read more » 

Review: Sidestepper 3 A.M. (In Beats We Trust)

Label: Palm

While many producers and DJs are content to pilfer a culture's musical heritage merely by sifting through stacks of vinyl, for others the allure of the heartland itself is impossible to deny. Richard Blair is one of the latter, a journeyman Brit who took off for the warmer climes of Columbia and Jamaica in search of inspiration. Sidestepper is the result, and it calls to mind similar fusions by acts like Up, Bustle and Out, the alter-ego of fellow Englishman Rupert Mould, who traveled to Spain and Cuba for his own recordings. Read more » 

Review: Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band A Special Album

Label: Emperor Norton

Ironic nu-soul lounge of decidedly Northern European flavor, this tongue-in-cheek excursion fits the late-'60s early-'70s nuance with a fondue-like catchiness. A tiki-bar aesthetic wrapped in the hipster knowingness of cosmopolitan living, the electronics are nearly Jimi Tenor in style, indie rock in arrangement. The final production is topped with a dash of buoyant flashiness. Perfectly in tune with the discriminating yet mockingly authoritative party host, this CD would do justice on any in-the-know's play list. Read more » 

Review: Mouse on Mars Glam

Label: Thrill Jockey

It's understandable why Josh Evans rejected the Mouse on Mars soundtrack for his film, Glam. Imagine audiences flinching from the sounds of mechanical dragonflies zig-zagging on a pond to flee from a blaring boombox nearby...while they try to seriously watch Tony Danza(!) slug a transvestite. This 1997 movie with such brilliant scenes fell straight into the video mausoleum. MoM then released their project in a scant, vinyl-only supply on their Sonig label. Thrill Jockey now reissues Glam, leaving more of us with the mice men's most accomplished work. Read more » 

Review: Daniel Magg Facets

Label: Compos

Compost is nothing if not consistent. The label is known for churning out classy, sophisticated nu-jazz/broken beat/house tunes at an alarming rate, and Daniel Magg's Facets is another fine example. The former Worldless People member's solo debut fits well with the long-established Compost sound, and really breaks no new ground. Still, with all the shimmering, soulful and danceable tunes on here, the album is by no means typical. Read more » 

Review: Gavounna Warm Industry

Label: Melodic

Continuing their lineage of discovering unknown, highly talented artists, Melodic provide a debut release for Greek producer Athanasios Argianas as Gavounna, a worthy labelmate for Melodic's already impressive stable, which includes Minotaur Shock, Lucky Pierre and Pedro. A proponent of found-sound-sampling, Gavounna constructs incredibly delicate instrumental tracks, imperceptibly shifting through both organic and electronic sources, touching on contemporary classical, electronica and (although not obviously) a certain atmosphere of traditional Greek music. Read more » 

Review: I-Wolf Soul Strata

Label: Klein

Sofa Surfer Wolfgang Schl?gl has been gettin' up off the couch to make Stateside trips in pursuit of his LA girlfriend. His resultant solo album has an American rocksoulfunk layer that departs from the Surfers' Viennese dub stylee. As I-Wolf, Schl?gl wallows in the misgivings of a lovestruck soul. Guitar, bass, drum breaks, and slippery horns churn drunkenly behind rock and r&b vocals by the likes of Ken Cesar and Damon Aaron, plus a ragga chant by DJ Collage. Read more » 

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