This tech-edged plate from Stockholm, Sweden brings on some good, feverish party grooves. Old-school hip-hop vocal samples collide with funky synthwork on the churning "Don't Stop," while a nicely filtered upper-register synth anchors the urgently spacey "Steam Machine." Ignore the corny, mid-'80s electro-disco of "Always Searching" and you'll be in business. Read more »
Thomas Fehlman-collaborator with The Orb, Sun Electric and other seminal ambient artists-has never gained much notice for his own work, but the excellent (and ironically named) Visions of Blah should nudge him a little closer to notoriety. At first glance, Visions sounds like a step backwards into the Kompakt catalog: the circusy-stomp of "Streets of Blah" sounds much like the triplet techno Mike Ink was turning out a decade ago. But with the punchier "Superbock" and "Rotenfaden" Visions's forward scope becomes clear. Read more »
This track could just as easily go by the alternate title "I Used to Love H.E.R.B." Yet another joint joint, with Mary Jane personified as the love that can't be forsaken. The samples and chorus are Jay Z-esque, with fairly clever metaphors and on-point delivery. Inhale. Read more »
This NYC Afrobeat/house hybrid from famed radio DJ Bobbito Garcia's new imprint should have Gilles Peterson drooling for months and Joe Claussell hammering it at every gig. Imagine Femi Kuti and Herbie Hancock collaborating with Blaze's Kevin Hedge and you're close to "Warriors"'s spiritual, rhythmic deepness. Thank Kadiatou for her vocal restraint, which matches the song's introspective tone. Tune in. Read more »
This latest installment in Staalplaat's Mort Aux Vaches series of live recordings spotlights the prodigious talents of Ivan Pavlov a.k.a. COH. Pavlov is one of the lesser-known members of Berlin's Raster-Noton collective and undoubtedly the most intriguingly idiosyncratic. The set here captures much of the wonder of COH (pronounced "son," meaning "sleep" in Russian): the primal buzzing electronics, bursts of static and hiss and crackling percussion. Read more »
This heavyweight Horsepower vs. Big Apple soundclash results in a four-track EP that (aside from the title track) also features the pure vibes of "Crazy Intro", the depth-charge porno 4beat of "Poison" and the cinematic "Stand Clear." But watch especially for "Highland Spring" as it drifts out of South London to India, China and back to the Scottish mountains in vibe. Intrigued? Read more »
This double 12" sees Master at Work Vega and King of Tomorrow Sealee lace their original jazzy disco tune with four solid remixes, three of which maintain the soulful, if airy, tone. But an alternate eerie bassline snuck into one of them becomes the centerpiece for the brilliantly freaked "Old School Dub," which is worth your cashola alone. New York/New Jersey madness. Read more »
The Santa Cruz-based Red Army trio continues their roll with another pair of killers aimed straight at the dancefloor. Centered on a bone-crushing b-line and skanking beats, the aptly titled "Salty Dub" busts things open proper before "Hush" rockets straight into technoid thriller territory. Read more »
This cut wouldn't sound out of place on The Low-End Theory. It's got that warm and funky but slightly melancholy vibe to it, like the last people at a house party drunkenly spouting wistful philosophies. The rapping's not flashy, but sits snugly in the pocket. On the B-side, "Hang Loose Part 2" is OK, but doesn't live up to the first "Hang Loose;" "Montego Slay" brings an appealing midtempo groove. PUTS aren't that blow-your-mind group, and that's why they succeed. They prove that doing the basics doesn't make them everyday People. Read more »
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