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Various Artists Elektronische Musik Interkontinental 2

Label: Traum

"Dwelling, in the proper sense, is now impossible," wrote Adorno in 1944. "The traditional residences we grew up in have grown intolerable: each trait of comfort in them is paid for with a betrayal of knowledge, each vestige of shelter with the musty pact of family interests." Glibly extrapolating the German philosopher's arguments about subjects, nations, and knowledge, we might note that in 2003, the House of Techno is no less shaky; "the musty pact of family interests" sounds a lot like the compromise that comes with any allegiance to genre.

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Spasmo Coroner's Report

Label: Direct Source

Producers Neil Sanford and Endeavour roll some downtempo acoustic cinematic jazz for that azz. "Half Man, Half Dead"'s twinkling vibes, sinewy bass and acoustic guitar spell sheer anxiety, as does the calm military funk of "Official Business," while "Silhouette City" skirts spaghetti-western territory without going corny, and "A Siders Touch" keeps the Schifrin vibe rollin' into dimly lit streets. Read more » 

Precision Cuts Miracle

Label: Simple

Quality release from my favorite new label. The excellent Precision Cuts head for the dancefloor with "Miracle." Great rolling breaks, squelching acid lines and lush synths mixed together with the Cuts magic formula. A must for fans of this label and artist. Read more » 

Quad 2 Ep

Label: Function

Part two of the Quad double-pack series represents with a surprisingly diverse array of sounds. Digital and newcomer NJC groove out with the Latin-tinged "Open Up" before Digital cracks skulls on the ragga-ish "Creation." Concord Dawn lay down the law with yet another breathtaking anthem, "Tonite," then Amit sets the speakers on fire with the aptly-titled "Dub Soldier." Huge bizness from the Function camp-one to snatch on sight! Read more » 

Pitch Black The Pitch Black Insperience

Label: Solidarity

Pitch Black-a.k.a. Kamau Bakari, a champion slam poet and former Kemetic priesthood trainee-matches his verbal skills against Rob J.'s original beats on the Pitch Black Insperience, and rarely has the ghetto griot ethos been spelled out so plaintively. Bakari takes rap back to its raw, primal essence, with 20+ tracks of spoken word imagery, turf sensibility and spiritual philosophy. Resisting any temptation to bling-one song is called "Can't Glamorize"-P. Bleezy doesn't hesitate to dis his mama's "slave religion" in the liner notes. Read more » 

Ivan Smaghe How to Kill the DJ Part One

Label: Tigersushi

Paris club Le Pulp hosts Kill the DJ nights on the first Thursday of each month, and if this CD (arranged/mixed by DJ Ivan Smagghe) is a true indication of their musical policy, it sounds like a lot of fun. When the opening fun house cut, Roger's tributary "Helsinki Blondes" segues so naturally with Captain Comatose's Afrobeat-channeling "Wonderkidd," there's an immediate sense that this isn't your average club-branded compilation, but one with a wide-ranging musical ear. Read more » 

Massive Attack Special Cases

Label: Giant Step

Don't know whose idea it was to release such a decidedly tech-house 12" for the first single off the middling 100th Window, but I'm not complaining. L'uomo makes like Herbert on pop, while Akufen gives you the reason to purchase: a searing, 10-minute broken-beat odyssey. Read more » 

Gavouna Warm Industry EP

Label: Melodic

Greek Athanasios Argianas studied visual art until he fell in with a student of Xenakis and Berio. On Warm Industry, he's made dusty piano and analog synth vignettes that sound like Boards of Canada remixing Erik Satie and Morton Subotnick at GRM. Somehow anciently modern, and perhaps even peerless. Read more » 

Jaga Jazzist Animal Chin EP

Label: GSL

Culling three songs from the Norwegian nine-piece post-jazz collective's excellent Smalltown Supersound debut, with two exclusive tracks and two remixes (courtesy drummer Martin Horntveth and field-recording fetishist Kim Hiorthoy), this EP goes down chilly like tropical cocktails in a ski chalet with John Barry, Deodato, Stevie Wonder and Tortoise. A crisp Alpine mindfuck. Read more » 

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