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Various Artists Jazz in the House 11: Compiled and Mixed By Phil Asher

Label: Slip'n'Slide

In a scene where compilations fall by the wayside, it's refreshing to see a series make it to their 11th installment. Kiss-100 DJ and producer Phil Asher (a.k.a. Focus) has selected a variety of underground staples and high-profile recent classics, which all find sanctuary under the banner of "jazz-influenced house." Although the Shelter Vocal of Mondo Grosso's "Star Suite" clocks in at nearly fifteen minutes, its distinctive Eastern flute, joyful keys and narrative guardian angel vocals justify its inclusion. Read more » 

Funki Porcini Fast Asleep

Label: Ninja Tune

If Hed Phone Sex was the physical act itself, Fast Asleep is the moment of cuddling afterward, just before drifting off into hope-this-isn't-a-mistake land-every bit as pleasurable, but not quite as bone-shakingly intense. Which isn't a bad thing. Far from it, in fact, Funki Porcini's latest release presents the best that the late, great, sorely lamented genre known as trip-hop has to offer, and it's a dreamy, somnambulistic lullaby of rumpled sheets, remote controls and internal serenity fountains. Read more » 

Frankman Different Divides

Label: Draft

In 2002, you could have been forgiven for believing that every German house music producer possessed something akin to the Midas touch, so impressive was the continual barrage of releases from Kompakt, Playhouse, Trapez, et al. Andreas Greiner Jun (a.k.a. Frankman) has the dubious honor of demonstrating that, on occasion, they do ordinary, too. That's not to say Different Divides is completely undeserving of attention. Read more » 

Venetian Snares Winter in the Belly of a Snake

Label: Planet

If Aaron Funk was a politician, his promise of three full-lengths by the year's end might have been as empty as a lot of our wallets. But as an obsessive producer, Funk came through and marked the conclusion to his triptych with a vitriolic departure from both the funky hypergrooves of his spring release, Higgins, and the spaciously glitched-out summertime collection, 2370894. Read more » 

DJ Ali You Don't Know

Label: Village

I almost slept on this one. DJ Ali vocally embraces the likes of Prince and D'Angelo over a tight and funky rhythm with a splash of the "West Coast wind." A perfect blend. Read more » 

Beans Tomorrow Right Now

Label: Warp

I approached this album with skepticism. How could this, the first release after the sudden break-up of New York experimental hip-hop trio Anti-Pop Consortium by the group's more wordy, abstruse and mohawk-sporting member Beans match his former group's mix of complex wordplay and minimalist electronic hip-hop beats? Read more » 

Cinema Recorded Music LIbrary After Dark

Label: Domino

Glasgow boys Crawford Tait and Gregor Reid cough up some twisted summery lounge disco on the A-side of this 10-inch. On the flip, their mellow tune "Lost" gets tweaked into Steve Reich-ish repetition by Pedro and floated into eerie psych-folk land by Fort Lauderdale. A trip and a half. Read more » 

Various Artists Irma on Canvas: Exhibition #2

Label: Irma

Having heard the excellent Volcov-compiled Irma compilation' had high hopes for Irma's latest release. It's not quite as accessible, but chances are that's where the Exhibition title comes in. Repeat listens provided a better view of its broad scope and more adventurous nature. Whereas Volcov's genius was in juxtapositions, Exhibition #2 seems like the efforts of a thorough "dig," as sublime remixes of Nubian Mindz and the Easy Access Orchestra cozy up next to the likes of Tibet's United Peace Voices and Japan's Soul Bossa Trio. Read more » 

Various Artists Global Assault EP

Label: G2

G2 features an international quartet onto two slabs. Norway's Monkey and Large flip a Jay-Z sample to lace their big, intriguing raver "SLAM!," while Austria's Mindmachine just gets loudly busy on "Illusions." Meanwhile, the Yankee known as Pollen brings some good chime to his punk-funk roller "13 Ghosts," and Aussie Greg Packer refreshingly keeps the emphasis on the rhythm with his "Auxillary." This stuff works. Read more » 

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