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Review: Cex Being Ridden

Label: Temporary Residence

Rjyan Kidwell makes me feel mad old. He's barely into his twenties, and Being Ridden is the fourth full-length he's dropped under the Cex name in as many years. Having mastered clank & grind IDM and goofball-white-man's party rap on his previous albums, Kidwell now keeps the mic in one hand, the acoustic guitar in the other and the laptop nearby. Read more » 

Review: Seba Producer 06

Label: Good Looking

Scandinavian electronic music aficionado Seba is a multi-genre master of all things melodic and emotional. Producer 06 focuses on the pick of smooth d&b gems he cooked up for Good Looking. "Remedy" takes healing power from a rapturous transforming synth that is draped over natural breaks and wide-eyed keys. "Soul 2000" sees kaleidoscope keys and firing beats underpin a grandiose string section. Seba calls on sometime-production partner Lotek for "So Long," where vocals agonize, heavenly keys soothe and a twisting bass engulfs all. Read more » 

Review: Red Snapper Red Snapper

Label: Lo

Red Snapper's final album is warmer and considerably more mellow. The group flanks meaty, thick grooves with an upright bass that at times serves as a solid anchor and at others a quivering catapult. "Regrettable" is striped with deep-red shadings of piano, horns and strings. "Ultraviolet's" shifty, shuffling break gives way to a funkier 4/4, moving from its initial jazziness to twinklier techno, though the flip and slap of hand against bass remains audible. Read more » 

Review: Doujah Raze Spinmata

Label: Brick

"Spinmata" is a tale of the woe and intrigue suffered by club DJs. Raze vents about requests from taxin' Anglo-Saxons ("Can you play some hip-hop...like Britney Spears?") over a slow, reggae-tinged horn track by The Beatminerz. The flip's "The Breakoff" holds it down with guests Optical and Thad Reid, and blazing cuts from DJ Dial Tone. Read more » 

Review: Common Star69

Label: MCA

Hot sex on a platter is the appropriate term for this sensual excursion. Common and Prince take you deep inside the psyche of seduction. Beats for your ass and a Rosario Dawson intro...wow... Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Miss Kitten Presents: Radio Caroline Volume 1

Label: Mental Groove

"I will never stop dancing," declares Ms Kittin (a.k.a. Caroline Herve) midway through her first widely available mix-CD, "How can you be a DJ if you don't shake your ass in the middle of the crowd?" This collection seems intended to subtly recalibrate our expectations of the French DJ and vocalist: Kittin's breathy vocals have previously decorated electroclash records by the Hacker and Felix Da Housecat, but on this release, she looks to funky electro, minimalist house and abstract techno from the likes of Delarosa & Asora, Autechre, Kinesthesia and Panasonic for her kicks. Read more » 

Review: Alphamotive Thus Far EP

Label: Wave

Producers Brendon Moeller (a.k.a. Beat Pharmacy) and Will Thomas team up with Brit singer Dina Richardson to crank out a nice slab o' that off-boogie. The smoothly uptempo "Better Day" works wonders on the floor in both its dramatically shuffling nu-jazz and relentless house remixes, while "Not Alone" runs a nice late-night café ambience. Solid. Read more » 

Review: Ear Lotion Feat. Valentino Ep

Label: Select

Production stalwart Ryan Tapia finally releases his Ear Lotion EP after no less than seven years of tweaking. "Ryan's Original Formula" harkens back to the early '90s warehouse sound propagated by the likes of Mr. C and Grooverider. Watch carefully for the "Rubdown" mix by Chi-town's Johnny Fiasco. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Toast & Jam 9

Label: Toast and Jam

Portland electro goes cruising for a bruising. Ten artists stumble around a house of sharp metallic corners and unforgiving doorframes in the dark, accumulating the sonic equivalent of scrapes and cuts. By far the most intriguing tracks are the ones that are the most energetically masochistic: Solenoid's "Genclone 4" lurches out of every groove as soon as it settles into it, smacking itself brutally around. "She's A Doctor, Too" and "Monkey Feet," both by ML, are the most compelling, full of swaggering postures and sly hooks. Read more » 

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