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Maf & So Madoda

Label: Phezulu

From out of Johannesburg's Soul Candi record store emerges the Phezulu label, and what a launch. Thumping drums, softly strummed guitar chords and subdued pop-and-slide bass, a bold party chant and a gorgeous b-side dub make this the sleeper African house anthem for '03. Huge. Read more » 

Missy Elliot Work It

Label: bootleg

Missy Elliot's first single off her album Under Construction gets a rework from some house music secret agents. The queen of cool does her thing to a backdrop of an acid bassline and sparse, jerky, snappy drums. Simple but supremely effective. Watch those people twist and pop! Read more » 

Mark Bell Feat. Blakkat Revolution (Rae and Christian Rmx)

Label: Revolution

I just sort of came across this and know little about it. A scatty guitar starts the proceedings before a huge funky bass enters the fray. Wailed female vocals and more vocals way back in the mix complete a deceptively dancefloor-friendly release. Read more » 

Flash Atkins Chugnuts

Label: Bosh

An out-and-out dancefloor track on a West Coast tip. Deep, throbbing bassline, tribal drums and some ethnic chants build in intensity before one of those breakdowns we know and love. Mr. Pete Tong has been known to play this, so get it while it's hot. Read more » 

Various Artists Wackie's Sampler Vol. 1

Label: Wackies

If you visited a coconut shop, you would encounter sizes and shapes unique as snowflakes. Wackie's brings you coconuts of the Jamaican German Big Apple dub variety. This is roots reggae music recorded in New York City at Lloyd Barnes's studio and reissued by Berlin's Rhythm & Sound posse. An early-'80s vibe defines the sound. Classic dub riddims ride the digital fringe. The sweet meat is thick with lover's rock crooned atop blazing backing tracks. The Lovejoys, Wayne Jarret, Sugar Minott and Junior Delahaye sound as fresh as the day their voices were laid to tape. Read more » 

ZirIguiboom The Now Sound of Brazil

Label: Six Degrees-Ziriguiboom

Ziriguiboom, archiver of all things Brazilian, ups the tropicalia ante with this collection of sexy-cool samba soul and bossa groove. A dedication to original and far-reaching Brazilian music underlies the entire selection. Who else could present in such wonderful form one-time heir to the bossa throne Carlos Lyra, one of the first musicians to use his music to defy the Brazilian dictatorship. The real star is the diversity of styles. Read more » 

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 » 

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