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Various Idol Tryouts

Label: Ghostly International

There's a myth out there about how techno in Detroit is dead. One could choose to believe that, depending on the parameters. But, with a little bit more latitude in definition and geography, things have never been better. Case in point: this compilation from Ann Arbor's Ghostly International. Idol Tryouts spans a healthy mix, from the artistry of Matthew Dear and Osborne's house to the computer-aided rock of Midwest Product. Read more » 

!!! Me and Guliani Down By the Schoolyard (A True Story)

Label: Touch and Go

This eight-piece Gang of Explanation Marks knows exactly where to take that stomach-churning urge for self-aware, No-Wave-tinged, Caucasoid post-punk-funk-to the motherfuckin' bridge, y'all! Long, intriguing jams both, "Me..." and the flipside's eye-rollingly named Sunracapellectroshit Mix of "Intensifieder" comprise a refreshingly groovy flame put to nu-synth-pop's oversprayed hairdo. Read more » 

Various Artists High Tide Punkt14-6

Label: Punkt Music

The subliminal whispers on this EP's first track, "Kai Koh," leave you awash in a sea of pliping and wahbing bass, and producers Christian Bei Read more » 

Bulletproof Gun Runner

Label: Cyanide

The seventh release from New Zealand's Cyanide imprint finds things just getting better. "Gun Runner" is a subtle stepper built on dark textures, a pumping beat and a spiraling bassline. The equally hypnotizing flip, "Seduction," moves at a lightning-quick pace, as Bulletproof takes the techno-funk sound to a much deeper level, producing an exquisite thriller. Read more » 

London Elektricity Billion Dollar Gravy

Label: Hospital

The long-overdue follow-up to 1999's seminal Pull the Plug, Billion Dollar Gravy takes the leftfield aesthetic of the London Elektricity sound and fine-tunes it into an inspiring fusion of soul, funk, jazz and drum & bass. With an eye firmly on the dancefloor, Tony Colman (sans former L.E. partner, Chris Goss) cooks up an album that's heavy on the groove and all about the intricate textures that swim delicately in the background. Read more » 

Tes X2

Label: Lex

Tes's lyrical delivery has the piercing urgency of a bugle call, and his second EP is a call to arms for nostalgic city living. "New New York" is trimmed with old school disco, a sweetly boasting Saturday Night Fever ode sung while swaggering past brownstone stoops. At his best, the skilled, bristly production is meaty enough to support his wide plank of a voice, but when he's rapping over dustier atmospherics, it's a strange mismatch of brassy rap and gray desolation. They're beats made for a spacier emcee, while Tes needs more solid ground. Read more » 

El Guapo Fake French

Label: Dischord

The DC-based trio El Guapo creates earnest three-minute sonatas that could almost be called art punk if they weren't so, well, electronic. Using drum machine pounding and clacking as a starting point, they haphazardly arrange stop/start indie-rock guitars, off-kilter drumming and cryptic vocals into a fusion that at best sounds like a new wave Sonic Youth ("Justin Destroyer," "The Time: Night") and at worst sounds like amateurish electro ("Just Don't Know"). Read more » 

DJ Soulslinger Ecosystem: The Brazilian Joint

Label: Unity

Soulslinger's most recent project-saving the Amazon forests via drum & bass-results both in a valiant cause and a compelling fusion of Brazilian melodies and drum-heavy jungle rhythms. His ever-aggressive style avoids most of the current trends of lite drum 'n' bossa, yet still gives tribute to Brazilian flavor through a seamless mix of vocal tracks, with the exception of another effective reworking of his "Ethiopia" anthem. Though a tribute to the rainforest, this mix belongs on the beach-bright, sunny and body-moving. Read more » 

Andrea Parker & David Moreley Game Over

Label: Touchin Bass

Terminator-sounding samples with pure 808 and 303 usage throughout, leading you to dark places you shouldn't venture to that often. "Tour de France" meets Carl Craig's La Funk Mob outing? One for the heavy set, and seriously recommended. Read more » 

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