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Review: Baby Mammoth Octo Muck

Label: Ecco Chamber

On previous Baby Mammoth albums, you could expect to listen to a whole album and perhaps doze off in a chilled-out stupor. Not so with Octo Muck-the duo of Mark Blissenden and Steve Coby are taking their sound in new directions. Here you find eight-minute house tracks interspersed between the dubby downtempo of their previous work. In general, there's a much faster, dance-oriented feel to the album, though the duo haven't lost their trademark acid jazz feel. Like former labelmates Fila Brazillia, the results vary-when it's not filler, it's very good. Read more » 

Review: The Blue Series Continuum The Goodandevil Sessions

Label: Thirsty Ear

The delightfully eclectic Thirsty Ear team brings us another round of jazz-inflected electronic grooves, this time via the Blue Series Continuum, an ever-changing group of musicians (aided by a producer and turntablist) capable of locking into a groove and riding it out with verve and flair. On The GoodandEvil SessionsRob Geary, BSC serve up stuttered beats, trickling piano lines (from top ivory tickler Matthew Shipp) and discordant brass, all of which intertwine into head-nodding and toe-tapping goodness. Read more » 

Review: Angie Reed Presents The Best of Barbara Brockhaus

Label: Chicks On Speed

Angie Reed's voice-a unique, high-pitched drawl resulting from American/Italian parentage and a Berlin base-immediately forces you to make a decision. No middle ground is on offer-you will either love it or hate it. And its omnipresence will prevent those left cold from enjoying an otherwise intriguing album. The Puppetmastaz-creators of one of hip-hop's most distinctive live shows-pop up on production duties. Characteristically, they refuse to play by the rules, preferring instead to switch emphasis from garage rock to Thomas Brinkmann-like techno with scant concern for the genre police. Read more » 

Review: Tujiko Noriko From Tokyo To Niagara

Label: Tomlab

With this, her third solo album, Mego's favorite (and only) glitch-chanteuse Tujiko Noriko steps out with Cologne's Tomlab to deliver a relatively straightforward record of lightly tweaked electronic pop. Her partner in melodic crime here is producer Aki Onda, whose warm production simultaneously oozes and crackles around Noriko's subtly ethereal vocals. Read more » 

Review: T. Raumschmiere Monstertruckdriver

Label: Novamute

Working as T.Raumschmiere, Marco Haas-our favorite soft-spoken techno-punk bastard from Berlin-has hijacked the major-indie world, and here's his pre-album manifesto. The title track's grunting, buzzy and severely infectious uptempo 4/4 instrumental arrangement gets the flip-hop remix from Dabrye, while Miss Kittin brings the vocal pain on the stomping b-side, "The Game Is Not Over." Still catapulting shit at your stupid rave culture, bless him. Read more » 

Review: Nobody Pacific Drift: Western Water Music Vol. 3

Label: Ubiquity

LA hip-hop DJ Elvin Estella refers to himself as Nobody, but with Pacific Drift: Western Water Music Vol. 1Rob Geary, he proves to be somebody after all-namely, the scion of West Coast psychedelia. Although not yet a gleam in the elder Estella's eye when the remarkable sounds of Love, Spirit and The Byrds reigned supreme in the Great Basin, Nobody today channels that era's rampant experimentalism. Read more » 

Review: 9 Lazy 9 Week Jones

Label: Ninja Tune

The Italian ensemble known as 9 Lazy 9 have been around since the acid jazz days, quietly cultivating their alternately dark and whimsical sounds and rhythms. Moody but never overly serious, they've emerged from the trip-hop era without compromising their style or sounding dated, and Sweet Jones takes the listener through noir-ish territory with beats that sound like something DJ Shadow would have produced in his Mo' Wax heyday. But it's the simple and mature production that elevates Sweet Jones to the next level. Read more » 

Review: Ekkehard Ehlers Politik Braucht Keinen Feind

Label: Staubgold

With its images of dissolute club-goers, the cover art and booklet of this latest release by Frankfurt's versatile Ekkehard Ehlers would seem at first glance to herald his return to the dance floor-hinting more at the aquatic techno of his Auch persona. Instead, this disc finds Ehlers creating his own form of drifting chamber music. On the first two pieces, Ehlers works with a single instrument-on "Ma?nder," a bass clarinet, on "Blind," a cello-whose sound he then manipulates, layers and distorts into surprisingly complex and richly evocative compositions. Read more » 

Review: Various Lunatic Works Vol. 3: Loaded Music For Loaded Minds

Label: LunaticWorks

With many labels as independent as Fox these days (read: the furthest limb of some giant sprawling media empire), it's nice to see unknown musicians finding a home on truly independent imprints. LunaticWorks's third volume serves up nine tunes by nine newcomers (many set to deliver full-lengths soon), and spans most bedroom producer styles and tempos. George Katsiris's "1er Cru" rides a loping groove, with harp and bass sliding against each other in a concise summary of sampler cool. Read more » 

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