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Review: Various Artists Tony Touch: Last Or The Pro-Ricans

Label: Sequence

First of all, let it be known that Tony Toca, a.k.a. Tony Touch, the Taino mixtape king, is down by law. Even when he had an artist deal on now-defunct Tommy Boy, he kept it real on the streets, circulating his mixes like oxygen throughout the Five Boroughs. Secondly, Touch has actual rhyming skills, distinguishing him from the legion of mix tape-mongers who bark out the same tired phrases (DJ ________ is on the mix! Read more » 

Review: Lucky Pierre Hypnogogia

Label: Melodic

Evidently Arab Strap main guy Aidan Moffat is something of an insomniac. And because he can't stomach "chill out" records, he went and made himself his own album to sleep by. Ironically, if we are to believe the myth behind the music, you'd be hard-pressed to get any shut-eye to this. It's too good. Borrowing strings from both his own Arab Strap songs and Baroque symphonies, and underpinning them with feathered Casio rhythms, Hypnogogia tugs you into a forested maze of memory and melancholy that suggests Gas remixing Godspeed!, or Kid Loco remixing Art of Noise. Read more » 

Review: The Beatnuts The Originators

Label: Landspeed

Even the most annoying anti-bootlegging sound effect in the world can't cover up the stank of some seriously potent funk-as on this, the Beatnuts' best effort since their debut LP. The beats are strictly hard-knockers, and Psycho Les and Juju have stepped up their lyrical game as well. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Tiga: DJ Kicks

Label: !K7

Equally adored and maligned for his remake of Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night," fellow Canadian Tiga is very much of this moment, what with his unrepentant affection for all things '80s. His devotion to artificial fabrics and doughy skin has even made him the kind of International Pop star Fischerspooner so dream of being. Read more » 

Review: Dino Felipe Xanaconversex

Label: Schematic

Early on, Miami's Schematic seemed to take its aesthetic and musical cues from Warp, from its Designer's Republic album covers to Richard Devine's dense, Autechre-esque beats. However, the most recent addition to the Schematic stable, Dino Felipe, draws inspiration from rather different sources, looking more to Cologne than Sheffield for musical inspiration. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists DJ Hell: Electronicbody Housemusic

Label: React

Deutschland's debutante DJ and transatlantic electroclash icon DJ Hell did much to set the foundation for 2002's most fashionable movement. Now Electronicbody-Housemusic shows that Hell can mix and match tracks as well as he does clothes. Disc one features indomitable talents such as mantra-providing Underground Resistance, Metro Area, Derrick Carter, Recloose, Jeff Mills, Playgroup and more, while disc two is razing, dazing nigh-industrial (Nitzer Ebb, Bigod 20, Front 242 with Green Velvet, El Loco, David Caretta plus many). Read more » 

Review: Various Artists The Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2002: Belly Skin

Label: Greensleeves

Despite its cumbersome title, Greensleeves' annual dancehall collection delivers what it promises, with 40-count 'em-proven club favorites on two CDs. The majority of the selections are deejay-oriented, with the likes of Shabba Ranks, Lexxus, Capleton, Red Rat, Sizzla and Bounty Killer running the riddims raw. You won't find any straight-up lovers-rock tracks here-too fassy for this one, seen? Read more » 

Review: Various Artists The Detroit Experiment

Label: Ropeadope

Derrick May once prefaced a comment about techno by saying, "Detroit is a complete mistake," as if the city wasn't expected to kick out great music. Thankfully, the context for that quote was over a decade ago. The city has since figured techno out to some degree, and this new project on Ropeadope continues the healing process. The Detroit Experiment brings one of the oldest Detroit musical traditions-jazz-together with two of the newest, techno and hip-hop. Musicians ranging from Headhunter Bennie Maupin to Jeremy (Ayro) Ellis were recorded during sessions at the White Room. Read more » 

Review: Universal Funk Streets of Havana

Label: April

Denmark's premier nu-jazz/Latin band delivers some tight Cuban house (think Matt Bianco in Colombia) whilst Swell Sessions's version drops it deeper courtesy of girlfriend Elsa's vocals. Meanwhile, new track "Four To Five" changes from cosmic jazz midway into deep rolling hip-hop...nice... Read more » 

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