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Review: Jephte Guillaume Pouki

Label: Spiritual Life

Music for the serious dancer. When I first put this on I imagined [late Detroit techno historian] Laura Gavoor out on the floor moving in circles to the hypnotizing rhythms. Great production with five different mixes, although I wish one of them took things into a different direction. Read more » 

Review: Only Child Feat. Amp Fiddler U Bring Me Vibes

Label: Grand Central

In collaborating with Only Child, Amp Fiddler gets to step out of the shadow of Kenny Dixon Jr. and provide vocals for this track. The result is a mood fit for a late night in a dark room. The flip features Mantis mixes reminiscent of an early Grant Nelson production. Read more » 

Review: Various Turntables On the Hudson Vol. 4

Label: Giant Step

Renowned for its combination of funk beats, live Afro-percussion, and a wicked vibe, Turntables On The Hudson has long brightened New York's dance scene. Founders Nickodemus and Mariano represent the vibe on the fourth TOTH compilation, eschewing the Eastern influence of earlier releases for a conceptual trip through NYC's boroughs. From Spanish Harlem to Brooklyn and back, a quality selection of previously unreleased tracks and remixes from the TOTH crew is collected. Read more » 

Review: Various Stylistique Vol. 1: Paris Under a Groove

Label: Newhouse

Smooth, slinky and seductive, Paris Under A Groove captures the slick elegance of a night on the town in the irrepressibly chic city. The disc strings together a collection of strong tunes from the likes of St. Germain, Terrasse Tranquille, Florian and other French acts, taking the listener on a journey from cold, classy lounge tracks to swanky French disco numbers and back to late-night chill-out grooves, all in the span of 72 minutes. A bit of a whirlwind rush, but most of the tracks are strong enough to make for a pleasant ride. Read more » 

Review: Various Stones Throw Records-2003 Sampler

Label: Stones Throw

Madlib is the new Prince, and Stones Throw is his vehicle. He's so prolific it's sometimes overwhelming, and while some tracks here are occasionally underwhelming, for the most part Madlib and his cohorts (Wildchild, label founder PB Wolf, Jay Dee, Dudley Perkins, MF Doom, and more) deliver strictly genius material. There are times on this compilation when the beats feel like they should have been left on the cutting room floor, the MCing should have been left to MCs rather than beatmakers, and the singing left to singers, not rappers. Read more » 

Review: Various Retro>Future

Label: Functional Breaks

Aussie DJs Phil K and Ben & Lex offer two funky breaks mixes that sound more like mid-'90s West Coast than post-millennium Down Under. Phil K's set indulges in plenty of trancey overtones throughout, with most tracks sounding like they were plucked from some early AM rave set from around that time. Ben & Lex offer a more minimal and interesting ensemble that shifts into more relaxed grooves about halfway through. San Francisco's An-ten-nae delivers the strongest cuts on each of these two mixes, adding some much-needed electro beatwork to these otherwise dated offerings. Read more » 

Review: Various Nowe:Lle

Label: Viv

What we have here is a failure to communicate. With Nowe:le, the microscopic Vivo label pulls off a gutsy heist of the Clicks & Cuts template, uniting artists from Poland, Japan and the United States under one pseudo-experimental banner. Dime-a-dozen digital effects abound here, but Texas's Yume brightens things up with some inspired use of wind chimes as both percussive and harmonic instruments. Like too much computer-made music these days, Nowe:le plays like nothing more than middle-of-the-road esotericism, proferring seemingly aimless, unfinished pieces. Where's the love? Read more » 

Review: Various Jack to the Future

Label: Resopal

There are certain obvious links between the past and the present: the road paved by the Rolling Stones for the Strokes is an obvious example. Then there's the Duchamp-Warhol connection. Other associations, however, aren't always so easily discernible. Here, the evolution of house is summarized by producers like H?kan Lidbo, Misc. and Rob Acid, who all throw down previously unreleased tracks that blend the details of the modern micro sound with the luscious and pulsating hedonism of early dance music. Read more » 

Review: Various End050

Label: End

Mr. C's Subterrain night at The End nightclub in London has been credited with the birth of the tech-house genre. The superclub has invariably done as much for tech-addled fiends as End Recordings, which celebrates its 50th release with End050. The compilation is a smattering of artists represented by the label to date, such as Tigerhook Corp, Killer Loop, Tone Theory, Layo & Bushwhacka!, and Circulation. As a retrospective, End050 looks back over the eight years since End Recordings' inception, and brings a sense of resolution. Read more » 

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