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Review: Various Folk, Jazz & Poetry

Label: Irma

Pretty typical programming here: Maria Muldaur, Michael Jackson, 4hero, all the usual suspects. Ummm...excuse me? This compilation plays a bit like a mix tape made just before sunrise after a few too many, but selector Matteo Sola manages to (mostly) pull it off. By attempting to draw lines between evergreen troubadour Terry Callier's "Keep Your Heart Right," Stereolab's kaleidoscopic "Percolator," and the previously mentioned Jackson's take on "People Make the World Go 'Round," Sola provides a mildly loopy soundtrack just fine for people-watching at a sidewalk caf?. Read more » 

Review: Pharaohe Monch Agent Orange

Label: Rawkus

One of hip-hop's most underrated lyricists melds clever metaphors ("I threw Iraq and Iran...Y'all wanna ask me Hussein") with a soul-baring hook for a scathing anti-war anthem. The track-a hypnotic, relentlessly pounding affair filled with quirky electronic gurgles-is more of a mixtape gem than a club banger. Read more » 

Review: Various bad habit EP

Label: Habit Recordings

One for the pounding darkside fans. Bkey adds urban jungle noises to his bump 'n' grind, Mason and Armanni Reign get panicky on "Firemin," and Mindmachine delivers some trippy trance-meets-Hardware sounds on "Angst." Finally, Dylan blends hip-hop, pitched-down Amens, and classical music touches to create a '95 vibe. Read more » 

Review: James Zabiela Sound In Motion

Label: Hooj

Once in a while you run across an unknown DJ who rocks your ass off and you wonder, "Why is he/she still toiling in obscurity?" No such questions came to mind, however, while listening to the UK label Hooj's latest Sound In Motion compilation, mixed by James Zabiela. OK, there's some nice track selection (funky electro here, bumping tech-house there), but Zabiela seems so bent on making the monotone beats match up, things don't get moving till halfway through both CDs. And at that point, who cares? Read more » 

Review: Bilious Paths

Label: Planet-

One can always count on

Review: Xerodefx Earth Existence

Label: Tekmind

On the third release from upstart Miami electro imprint Tekmind, your boy Xerodefx gives you some of that classic-style boom. "Diverse Life" smears tweaky high-register melody lines and apocalyptic chanting over the machine-beats, and that slight acid feel on the synth-centered "Elektronik Interior" gets a nicely distorted re-rub. Trust Miami every time-the future keeps beepin' at you from the beach. Read more » 

Review: Erick Morillo Subliminal Sesssions 5

Label: Subliminal

On the fifth installment of this label's mix series, Subliminal owner Morillo pulls out some old-school business and mixes it up with some new stuff. Read more » 

Review: Panjaabi MC Beware

Label: Sequence

On his recent update of Panjabi MCs global hit "Beware of The Boys," Jay-Z raps that he wants the world to "leave Iraq alone" and drops verses that rhyme with "snake charmer" in a fervor of ethnographic conflation. Elsewhere in the hip-pop world, Timbaland writes another track prominently featuring some seriously steppin' tabla work. Read more » 

Review: The Beat Kids Open Rhythm System

Label: 7 Heads-Uncle Junior

Not quite on par with Djinji Brown's Afrobeat-chic Surround Sound, The Beat Kids's Open Rhythm is a ponderous venture into Blacktronic Never-Neverland, where left-handed, techy production collides with syncopated drums. Read more » 

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