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Various Artists Funk for the 21st Century

Label: Do Right!

If you haven't been keeping up with the contemporary funk movement, shame on you, first of all. Second of all, you have a chance for redemption, because Keb Darge has got your back. Known among those hardcore diggers with busted backs and bloody cuticles as one of the best to ever raid record spots, Darge has been making a name for himself Stateside by compiling his rarest and funkiest gems. Now he turns his attention to the cream of the new crop, serving up 14 raw-to-the-bone gems from folks like the Sugarman Three, Speedometer and the inimitable Sharon Jones. Read more » 

Various Artists 45 Seconds Of:

Label: Simballrec

OK, here's an intense concept compilation: 99 tracks, each exactly 45 seconds long. How does this work as an album? By assembling tracks by several dozen little known experimental artists, including many whose click-and-glitch style is made for the short of patience. Within this, you have a dauntingly diverse collection of sounds, grooves and experiments, reminiscent of an old Negativland album. There are few names to note: DJ Spooky and Silver Apples make contributions, but otherwise, who knows? Read more » 

Loes Lee Ash

Label: Dangerous Drums

Amsterdam's Lee (who runs the Moving Target label) laces a minimal-yet-propulsive funky thumper for Berlin's ascending breakbeat imprint Dangerous Drums that bumps with tight bass and flanged chords. Britain's Spoon Wizard rolls some tight scratches and arrangements on his old-skoolin' electro-riffic Cutlery mix. Excellent breaks drama for that ass. Read more » 

Umek Neuro

Label: Tehnika

The artist album is a tool that many use for different means. Some view it purely as a collection of tracks, while others see it as a chance to expand their horizons and do something, well, special. Current techno darling Umek has decided to do the latter in a move that will no doubt equally excite and upset fans. Rather than simply welding together the kind of crunching, industrialized clanks that he's become famous for, he's opted to create an album that explores far greater depths. Read more » 

Supersoul 40 Acres and a Moog

Label: Metatronix

You've heard Supersoul already, you just may not know it. Omar Clemetson, from Jamaica to Miami, has had a hand in the cities' vital electronic scenes for years, working the mixing desk for Florida's indigenous labels like Chocolate Industries. As befits his history, Supersoul's debut is a mélange of advanced electronic-based styles, from dub to avant-hip-hop to hard-edged electronica. Read more » 

Tujiko Noriko Make Me Hard

Label: Mego

The title may sound like an Andrew WK single, but nothing could be further from the truth: Tujiko Noriko's Make Me Hard, the Japanese musician's second full-length for Vienna's arch-eclecticists Mego, isn't about partying, or machismo, or even riot-grrlishness. If anything, it's hard to put a make on Noriko because she's so damned slippery, hiding behind a quavering, Bjork-like voice and tossing up crunching drum machines, hollow-bodied keyboards and mellow pop melodies like so many decoys. Read more » 

Pure Noonbugs

Label: Mego

Don't let the name fool you. While a pseudonym like Pure may conjure images of cloudy ambient etherea or shoegazer guitar pop, the reality is rather different. Pure has a clear affinity for dark, ominous drones of the abrasively spine-tingling variety, comprised of fields of teeming, static-filled electronics. This is Pure's second full-length release; the first, Low, was a compelling album of slow-moving, minimal drones released on the Dutch imprint Staalplaat. Read more » 

Noel Zancanella A Fantasy for Electromagnetic Tape

Label: Sonom

Noel Zancanella's Fantasy culls from vinyl samples and vintage instrumentation to create a classy and polite album in the vein of Shadow and RJD2. Not to say that rudeness necessarily makes for more flava, but Fantasy's courteous headnodders, while certainly pretty and pleasant, seem hesitant to make moves that might result in accidentally spilling on the couch. Read more » 

Nobukaza Takemura 10th

Label: Thrill Jockey

Throughout his prolific career, Takemura has dexterously juggled the experimental and the accessible. The tension he's wrought between coolly calculated DSP chaos and melodious songcraft has usually resulted in rewarding, if bipolar albums like 1999's Scope and 2001's Hoshi No Koe. Heretofore, Takemura's childlike melodies flirted with cuteness without causing nausea. On 10th, however, he over-sugars his aural pastries. Blame his reliance on speech-synthe, a vocoder-like device that helps the disabled to speak to their caregivers. Read more » 

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