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N.E.R.D. Provider (Zero 7 Mix)

Label: Virgin

As Zero 7 did with the never-released remix of Mos Def's "Ummah Says," they now offer this sublime acoustic arrangement with beautiful strings. An instant classic. Read more » 

The Bug Pressure

Label: Tigerbeat6

Antonio Gramsci said, "We are forced into an interregnum in which the old is dying and the new cannot yet be born." He might as well have been talking about contemporary electronic music. But Kevin "Techno Animal" Martin, hardly a newcomer to harsh, rhythmic music, gives birth to the new on this mandatory record, which rounds up the best ragga vocalists in the UK and Germany to voice heavy, swollen, lease-breaking rhythm tracks. Don't worry, Tikiman is in full effect, alongside Daddy Freddy and Roger Robinson. Read more » 

Plump DJs In Stereo

Label: Fingerlickin'

Andy Gardner and Lee Rous bring another dancefloor pleaser in "In Stereo," with its requisite disco vocal and funky slap bass for booty-shaking. Glitch programming gives it an edge, with an infamously Plump mindfuck breakdown. On the flip, the evocative "Mantra" delves into less familiar territory, with an electro backbone supporting solid, trancelike programming. Read more » 

Sappo Sudden Impact EP

Label: Advisory

After a longish break, our man Sappo vengefully resurfaces with four impressive cuts of soulful rump-up. Simplicity rules the breaks and basslines here, and the ragga touch of "Ease Off" and white-hot female vocals on "Can't Wait" and "Free Your Mind" shoo this one into serious contention. Read more » 

Various Artists Rewind 2

Label: Ubiquity

An album of cover songs is only successful if it does more than stimulate nostalgia for the originals. Like its predecessor, Rewind 2 works well up against this standard, providing versions that are satisfying on their own. The song selection ranges from familiar (Terry Callier's take on The Temptation's "Just My Imagination" and Roy Davis Jr.'s lively tribute to Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready") to rare (Fruitbeard's cover of Chrissie Hynde's obscure "Private Life"), so only ardent music collectors will know every song. Read more » 

Dooley-O Watch My Moves

Label: Solid

A few less-than-stellar rhyming moments can't overshadow how important-and good-this album is. Breakbeat legend and erstwhile Stezo producer Dooley recorded it back in the late '80s, and as a production showcase, it's fantastic. Dooley was touching some amazing grooves before other folks made them famous-witness the title track, the first ever usage of the legendary Skull Snaps break even before Stezo jacked it for "It's My Turn," for example. The overall feel here is straight '88, from the big chunks of funk to the party/braggadocious rhymes. Read more » 

E Malkay Deep

Label: White

A delirious, eye-drenching, head-nodder of a four track. Loosely obeying the principles of "UK garage," this is as pure a distillation of inventiveness and hedonistic butt-shaking as you're likely to hear in a nightclub these days. Hearing these tunes makes me feel as if everything's going to be OK. Read more » 

Stewart Walker Degenerate EP

Label: Persona

Five years after his first release, American producer Walker keeps putting out some of the most personable, honest-sounding techno you will ever hear. These four minimalist cuts range from moody, mutant 2-step to dubby chill; in each, Walker offers mysterious little crevices just wide enough to crawl into and watch the lights dance in the sky. Remarkable. Read more » 

Sven Dedeck Passion

Label: Music First

Germany's technological missionary offers a taste of ethereal, progressive bliss. Precariously delayed synths frolic within a field of government-issue drum tracks, as a deep, melodic chord progression provides the sultry hook the dancefloor expects. Keep the mainstream crowd attuned with this underground taste. Read more » 

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