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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

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Big Dada

For years, the specter of Josh Davis (DJ Shadow) and his genre-defining debut, Endtroducing, hung ominously over the heads of prospective steel wheels stalwarts, and at times, even his own. In 2002, though, someone stood up to the DJ-genre bullying and cracked it open. RJD2, an unassuming white guy from Ohio, dropped a bomb called Deadringer on an unsuspecting group of Def Jukkies, and the circle was broken.

Since Deadringer there's been, I'd say, a rash of really good, though not great, cratedigging albums. Not exactly canon-worthy stuff, but artists such as Sixtoo, DJ Signify and Blockhead have churned out listenable, groove-heavy, if overly produced albums this year alone. After a lull, the Technics-tipping form has grown up and away from Davis' hoodie-ensnared scowl.

Diplo (originally Diplodocus) is a different story. Born in Florida, his debut solo album's namesake, but relocated to Philadelphia, Diplo is one half of Hollertronix. That crew is a dynamic, decidedly ill DJ duo best known for introducing Southern crunk music to lame white people in clubs along the East Coast. Hollertronix, rounded out by partner Low Budget, brought the body-shaking, synth-happy style so ineloquently defined by genius/pop cult icon/sociological buffoon Lil' Jon to the masses through mashups with rock, dancehall, electro and '80s pop. So, on Florida, I expected some ass-shaking music. Sadly, but not regrettably, that's not the case.

With its professional, less danceable sound, Florida is another album that probably won't sit on your "classics" shelf next your dusty copies of Q-Bert cassette tapes or even Hollertronix's epic 2003 mixtape Never Scared. But it does offer some genre-hopping skill and a few perfect moments.

The sounds bounce around too much, and there are too many singles and not enough album-fusers to connect the dots. Still, some left-of-center guests bring some gravitas to the proceedings. Recently resurrected songbird Martina Topley-Bird coos beautifully on the familiar-sounding "Into the Sun," and Freestyle Fellowship legend P.E.A.C.E. spits acid with his low-toned hum on the funkier-than-a-Gucci-sari cut "Indian Thick Jawns."

"Way More" hints at some of that sludgy crunk with ricochet drum breaks whose BPM might make Big Boi blush, but regal horns smooth out the edges. It's the lush orchestration and keen use of horns and woodwinds here that consistently throw me off guard. The ambient flute flutter of "Summer's Gonna Hurt You" is mildly enchanting, but distracts from the viciousness of the song's rhythm.

The album's apex comes early on with "Big Lost." It's a raucous crash of throbbing, ticked-off drum 'n' bass and a ridiculously melodic orgy of violin and organ euphoria. I like this song a great deal. Its presence makes it impossible for me not to recommend this album. That said, next go round I'd like to see some soul-slapping, crunk-as-hell mania, just because I know Diplo does it so well.

by Sean Fennessey

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