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Josh Wink Profound Soundds Vol. 2

Label: System

A former pop star abroad, Philly's Josh Wink has plummeted back to Earth as merely a competent producer of old-school acid trax and a supreme selector of psychedelic, minimalist tech-house. This strong follow up to 1999's Profound Sounds Vol. 1 DJ-mix disc resembles Richie Hawtin's DE9; both use Final Scratch technology to personalize each track in the mix. So when you freak out to cuts on Profound Sounds Vol. 2 by Johannes Heil, Dave Clarke, Villalobos, Timeblind and Swayzak, you're actually hearing Wink's tailor-made retooling of them. Read more » 

Globalista Import-Export

Label: Trikon

For ears accustomed to steady beats and English-language tunes, listening to sounds from places like Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia can be at times enlightening and sometimes confusing. Globalista aims to bring global sounds together in accessible, photography-splashed packages, and it succeeds-to an extent. The majority of the tunes on here-party-ready sounds from popular African group Poisson D'Avril, Chilean band P?nico and the surprisingly bling-bling Turkish pop-hop of Erkekler Y?z?nden-are intriguing listens, but the vast array here is a bit too far-flung to cohere. Read more » 

DJ Heather Dancefloor Principles

Label: Nordic Trax

Chicago house fixture DJ Heather is arguably one of the city's top commodities-and for good reason. Her blend of hard-hitting, bass-heavy house fills dancefloors the world over, and she retains an uncompromising underground feeling that conjures up images of dark, humid loft parties. Dancefloor Principles neatly captures her live sets (without the sweat and stale beer, of course), pouring the liquid funk and dark, dubby soul of producers like J.T. Donaldson, Lawnchair Generals and East Coast Boogiemen through the home- or car stereo speakers without missing a beat. Read more » 

Various Fat! Is 5

Label: Fat!

Paul Arnold's weekly Chew The Fat event in Brixton's Bug Bar is one of the UK's original breakbeat institutions. Anyone who's anyone in the British breaks scene has passed through its famously cavernous interior at some point. This anniversary selection tastefully sidesteps being an obvious collection of anthems, and instead concentrates on the more eclectic, funky vibe that Fat! is known for. Solid acts like The Apollo Kids, Peacemaker, Hedrock Valley Beats, Jef Dam and Vandalz Inc provide the expected peaks and troughs, creating an honest and generally infectious profile of the club. Read more » 

Tony Thomas 21st Century Dub

Label: Soma

Towards the end of those warehouse days of glory, some DJs played a chunky mix of beats-stripped down and tribal, with an organic funk and an unrelenting assault of bongos. Tony Thomas's debut album for Soma hearkens back to that tribal house heyday with its steady pulse, echoes of African chants, and those ever-present bongos. Thomas's is a toughened up version-sleeker and techier, and as the title suggests, he hasn't forgotten the bassline. The CD (unlike the LP) is a constant mix, and while the tracks tend to all mine the same vein, as dancefloor material it's perfect. Put it on and sweat. Read more » 

Various Boyz Revenge: A Response To the Toxic Girls

Label: Tsunami Addiction

In the techno-pop-punk ultra-future, there will be no Boyzone or N*Sync-boy stars will have names like Folxtrott, dDamage and Animal. At least, that's the world envisioned through the crystal ball of this compilation, a follow-up to Tsunami Addiction's November 2002 Toxic Girls release. Cheeky bedroom stars from France, England, the USA and Canada plunder the troughs of New Romantic, Casiotone pop, garage rock and indie twee to create a genre-fuck 21-track assemblage that is sometimes difficult, often endearing, and never short on personality. Read more » 

Slowpho Hotel Sleep

Label: Water Music

From the first track to the last, Hotel Sleep is a stunning blend of styles and a confident debut, weaving jazz and classical influences with breakbeat, downtempo, drum & bass and minimal techno beats. The Norwegian duo of Christian Watkins (beats) and Hilde Drange completely avoids beginner's pitfalls, with complex production, lush strings and icy melodies on par with Bj?rk's best work. Drange's vocals evoke Joni Mitchell (Sarah McLaughlin?) in their jazzier moments and Portishead at others, gracefully weaving through Watkins arrangements. Read more » 

Phil Niblock Touch Food

Label: Touch

Though composer Phill Niblock may have cut his teeth in the New York avant-garde of the 1960s, his work is more influential than ever, with his exploration of the power of overtones influencing numerous young musicians, such as Oren Ambarchi and Rafael Toral. With this two-CD set, his second release on the UK imprint Touch, Niblock dishes up three typically immense compositions, any one of which is enough to satisfy those hungry for dense, Niblockian drones. Read more » 

Pedro Pedro Album

Label: Melodic

You're supposed to be so very impressed by the super-cool album artwork from Shynola, which, admittedly, is pretty. Ah, but the music itself: it's rich, multi-faceted majesty, it's flowing tapestries of enveloping aural bliss, causing all incestuous in-crowd considerations to reveal their ultimately empty nature. Sounding not unlike an amalgam of Four Tet's 1999 album Dialogue and some summery micro-house, James Rutledge's starting points are, not surprisingly, the same, (i.e. hip-hop, 2-step, jazz and 20th century classical). Read more » 

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