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Various Artists Uprising

Label: Dope Amm

From the looks of things, drum & bass is enjoying something of a resurgence. Crews like New York's Mathematics have injected what looked to be a stagnant genre with healthy doses of house-inflected melody and sexiness. However, the sound remains a hotbed of formulaic production and clichéd composition. Dope Ammo Records' latest compilation is a prime example. It features track after track that removes any shred of innovation from jungle's poppier permutations by grafting them onto simplistic drum loops and irritating filter squelches. Read more » 

Various Artists Scrath Attack Volume Two

Label: Hip Hop Slam

Bay Area public radio is an underappreciated treasure that takes the sting out of the failures of the commercial stations. Detractors of scratch DJing (perfected in the Bay) find it to be mere technical masturbation, and the Scratch Attack series provides a strong counterpoint (i.e. a middle finger) with technique, musicality and a healthy sense of humor. Scratch Attack had a brief run on local station KPFA as well as online, and will no doubt be echoed in future radio incarnations from hosts Billy Jam, Bas-1, DJ Pone and DJ Munkifunk. Read more » 

Various Artists Solid Steel Present Hexstatic Listen and Learn

Label: Ninja Tune

The second installment of Ninja Tune's Solid Steel mix series, and Hexstatic are at the controls for unashamedly large party action. Going back to their roots, Hexstatic pick a fine selection of hip-hop, electro, funk and drum & bass, all topped off with some comedy samples, an exclusive track, and some Solid Steel interlude treats. All of which causes you to want to get another drink and jump around like a loon. Read more » 

Various Artists Pharoah Lounge

Label: Time Zone

Massive Attack's latest is awash with it. Yahoo has a list-serve devoted to a hip-hop faction of it. The Bush administration is employing mass detentions and forced registration to rid our county of it. I'm speaking, of course, of Muslim and/or Middle-Eastern culture. At a time in our history when an entire millennia-old history is under suspicion, Pharaoh Lounge is a refreshing reminder of electronica's encompassing nature. Read more » 

Various Artists Soft & Suave: Relax Session

Label: Suave-: un

With so many chill compilations, picking a soundtrack for relaxation is almost more frustration than worth. So, instead of needing a relaxing soundtrack for buying relaxing soundtracks, check out Soft & Suave: Relax Session, which succeeds by not relying heavily on any one downtempo genre. This isn't a broken beat or dub compilation. There's fusion, neo-soul, deep house, downbeat funk, tango and glitch-hop. Well-known producers-Fauna Flash, St. Read more » 

Various Artists Future Grooves

Label: Future Groove

In a time where we're harking back to musical trends that envisaged the future of music, it's reassuring that people are still looking forward without having to first look back. With that said, there's nothing revolutionary about this Future Groove compilation; there are no new sounds, no new styles or even any real debuting starlets. Instead, Future Groove is pretty simply a compilation that provides pure and steady blast from the trancier edges of modern-day techno. Read more » 

Various Artists Fabriclive: John Peel

Label: Fabric

It's a CD. It's also a tombstone. A tombstone, rapturously signifying the utter, total, complete death of the DJ mix album. They're done. All the good ones have been made; don't buy any more. No offense to good John Peel, the people's DJ from Liverpool, cool enough for kids and adults alike, whose decadently eclectic taste in music runs the gamut from punk to noise to Motown, and has found ardent fans on BBC's Radio One for years. But here, his charming interspersed banter is absent from this truly eclectic, yet slammed-together selection. Why bother when you can stream his show from BBC.com? Read more » 

Various Artists Frontier Life: Banda Sonora

Label: Accretions

The soundtrack to Hans Fjellestad's documentary Frontier Life mirrors the film by diving past the surface image of Tijuana to find the hidden culture that has arisen on the frontier. Members of Tijuana's Nortec Collective and San Diego's Trummerflora Collective contribute music created especially for the film. Drum machines, samplers and synth sounds combine to create quirky, bubbly bits of electro and edgy ambience, with the connections to the nortéo country music heritage well-hidden within the rhythmic patterns. Great music that is more laptop than Latin. Read more » 

Various Artists DJ Smash Presents Phonography Volume 2

Label: Blue Note

Remember acid jazz? DJ Smash does. The man who became a club scene icon back in the early '90s via his residency at NYC's Giant Step and the Fat Jazzy Grooves series has updated his resum? Read more » 

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