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Review: Novo Tempo & Koichi Ozaki Novo Teempo Meets Eurasian Suite

Label: Eurasian Suite

Tokyo Latin-jazz band Novo Tempo sandwich Eurasian Suite boss Ozaki's jaunty, piano-based bossa instrumental with the gentle, flute- and vocal-imbued "bossa of Kagaribi," and the contemplative jazz-hop of "Moss." One of many releases that evinces a generally delicate-and Latin-oriented-Japanese take on '00 nu-jazz. Read more » 

Review: John Tejada & Arian Leviste Fanfare Sake

Label: Playhouse

This may be the first Tejada release to bear both its creators' names (Tejada and Leviste have been musical partners for eons), but it's not indicative of any substantial stylistic change. Fanfare Sake is prime Tejada techno-punchy beats with a finely measured dose of house funk-if a bit updated for the Playhouse crew. The lead-off track, "Faux Obsolete," is representative of Fanfare Sake's remarkable style-warm, yet staccato synth chords and hefty basslines that carry the song forward, all wrapped in a pristinely echoed mixdown. Read more » 

Review: Various MTV Mono

Label: Tru Thoughts

This is the product of Quantic soundtracking an extreme sports TV series on a network better known for their love of money-digging majors and eye candy popstrels than cutting-edge Brighton beats. This unlikely, but nonetheless welcomed marriage has brought us one selection of lazy downtempo grooves and another of swaggering b-boy breaks and funked-up soulful flavors. Al Stylus contributes "High Rise," an upward looking collage of soothing strumming, splashing percussion and dazzling keys. Read more » 

Review: Taishan The Shake-Off

Label: Resin

The Resin label returns to TaiShan for their next release. The man behind "Low Blow" comes back with more booty shakin' business and betrays his obvious old-school electro influences on this, yet another riotous rump bumpin' reveller! No-nonsense female hip-hop samples sit effortlessly alongside analog synth stabs and masterly scratching to prove that TaiShan ain't no flash in the pan! Read more » 

Review: Saj Supreme The Won

Label: ABB

The skilled Saj Supreme busts out, announcing that he's on a one-way mission to get your "casket closed." "The Won" highlights both his impressive, brazen flow and his DJ Mick Boogie's tight cuts, but Moss's unfortunately trebly production leaves the side sounding thin and shrill. Thankfully, Moss gets more spare on the flip's more martial "Bump Da Gunz," and though the gun-cock sample's a lil' tired, it comes off well-crafted. Read more » 

Review: Kananga Booty Breaks

Label: Play Breaks

The Play label launches its breaks imprint with a couple tunes by a guy who earlier this year well thumped up Mikey Gallagher's house track "What Does It Mean." The b-side wins on this, because although the weirdly titled a-side's got epic nu-breaks nuances galore, "Inner Feeling"'s boomin' bass, insightful vocal samples and emotive breakdown take the cake. Thick. Read more » 

Review: 12" Superstars Gangsta Disco

Label: Sosumi

The irreverent Sosumi juggernaut seems to be rolling at an energized pace lately, which is great to see. 12" Superstar's debut hits you off with an A-side of tightly contained breaks thump with a dead-funky rhythm guitar sample and some bad-ass synth chords. The flip's "Electrick" runs a 4/4 break under more synths and a bushel of vocoder chanting, making for a hard, block-is-hot kinda sound. Sosumi up! Read more » 

Review: Various Kingz of the Rollerz Vol. 3

Label: 31 Records

The highlights of this four-tracker are D-Kay's "Reach Inside" and the Usual Suspects's "Sapphire 7," both striking the perfect balance between lush pads and tough beats. Hats off to Doc Scott for supporting all styles of d&b. Read more » 

Review: Domu & Volcov The Last of the Great Apes

Label: Residual

The guys who otherwise comprise the lite-jazzier Rima give up the percussive goods for Ohioan Titonton Duvante's imprint. You selectors will hate choosing between "Nutsuki"'s busted-down 808 percussion and twangy synth lines, the rubbery chords and thumpy breakbeats of "Secret Powers" (which Titonton strips down, Midwest techno-style, in his mix), and the Detroit-tinged beat convulsions of "Battech," so get two copies. This music's future continues to unfold. Read more » 

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