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Various Artists [Re:Jazz]

Label: INFRACom!

Some labels reach 100 and uninspiringly raid their back catalog for classic cuts, while other imprints get their artists to supply "exclusive" tracks that don't always do justice to the achievement. Germany's INFRACom! Read more » 

Super Numrei Great Aviaries

Label: Ninja Tune

Super Numeri follows in the line of Funki Porcini and Neotropic-brilliant Ninja Tune groups that likely will remain under the radar because people just won't get it. Super Numeri's particular flavor confronts you on the first few seconds of the album: dreamy, luscious guitar. The execution is as heartfelt as Vini Reilly's muted brazenness, the atmosphere as humid and jazzy as another largely unsung group, 33.3 on Aesthetics. Read more » 

Feenom Circle Days Go By

Label: Melatone Music

Slightly silly names aside, San Fran MCs Rawj, Sidebee and Oatmeal are helping revive the Bay Area's progressive-hop tradition. The title track twinkles with piano and guitar bits over a beat and some humble, just-rhymin'-'bout-life lyrics, while the flip's "Tunnelvision" runs more perspective over beatbox 'n' beats. Hella tight, as the kids say. Read more » 

Deru Pushing Air

Label: Neo Ouija

So, this new Massive Attack album is quite different...oops, this isn't the new Massive Attack. But maybe it should be, as resonantly hip-hop as its beats are, as soupy and atmospheric as its backing textures feel, and with its few wisps of a woman's voice on "Din." Actually, it's one man, LA-based Ben Wynn, and Pushing Air falls into that warm, cozy nook that Neo Ouija's been prepping for the last three or four years, the one that's now draped in the easy rolling melodies of Deru and pillowed with the plush quietude of "Playground" and the rasp of "Soulik" in your ears. Read more » 


Label: Yunx Recordings

Right on! Yunx (a.k.a. Iyunx Productions) finally decide to commit their three recent 12"s to CD, along with two new tracks-now you can pick up the best Black Dog music Black Dog never made. If for no other reason than the first track-the Detroit-stringed downtempo gem, "Thinking About Your Next Move"-SO* is essential listening music for its remarkably clean IDM production values and constantly meandering melodies. "Synax," "Hoc" and "Old Sckool Junkski" are so smooth in their mixture of traditional percussion and bell-tone synths, the whole thing begs for silk wrapping. Read more » 

Triple R Friends

Label: Kompakt

Rinehard Riley, a.k.a. Triple R, functions within the Kompakt world as a kind of number one to Captain Wolfgang Voight-stylistically he's got Mike Ink's back, but he's not averse to exercising a little discretion in meting out angular Cologne techno beats. Friends sees Triple R doing just that, including only one Kompakt-licensed track on this continuously mixed 12-track set. Read more » 

Zion I Deep Water Slang, Version 2.0

Label: Raptivism

Raptivism reissues the briefly out-of-print second album from the Oaktown duo that dares you to classify them. Deep Water Slang Version 2.0 testifies with the lion-heart of an art collective ready to rip shit apart-what else would you expect from the home of the Black Panthers? Make sure to keep your headz up for "Cheeba Cheeba," featuring the singular flow of LA's own Aceyalone. In a word: incendiary. Even though Zion I's latest joint carries equal parts drum & bass, reggae and old-school hip-hop, it's still hard to categorize. No problem-Zion I makes indefinition worth the listen. Read more » 

Windy & Carl Introspection

Label: Blue Flea

"Transcendental" might be the best way to describe the experience of listening to the music of space-rock duo Windy & Carl. For those not familiar, the Dearborn, MI couple have been recording blissed-out paeans to distortion and delay for nearly a decade now. This particular triple-disc retrospective amasses nearly all of their non-album output released to date. Early handpainted 7" singles showcased on the first disc favor conventional song structures and lyrics, while the material on discs two and three leans toward endlessly spooling vistas of feedback and glorious noise. Read more » 

Elephant Man Higher Level

Label: Greensleeves

"Unhappy is the land in need of heroes." And nowhere is Brecht's maxim more apt than Jamaica, a part of the "Third World" seen only as a vacation spot by most Americans. Seaview Gardens, one of Kingston's most downpressed ghettos, is where Elephant Man began doing studio work in the early '90s. Over a decade later, this hyper manic vocalist with an uncontrived eccentric personality is a Jamaican hero, and his popularity has expanded on a global scale. Read more » 

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