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Gutbucket: A Modest Proposal

The primary interest of this music lies in the rampant juxtaposition of styles, themes, moods, rhythms, and melodies, all very much chosen on purpose and carefully planned out along the way.

Music

Novalima: Coba Coba

You can dance to it on your feet or in your head, but either way, this collision of folklore and technology is contagious and irresistible.

Music

Lars Horntveth: Kaleidoscopic

The second solo album from the young Norwegian leader of Jaga Jazzist is best suited for listeners attuned to its subtlety and lush, string-rich orchestral sound.

Music

Burning Spear: Jah Is Real

Burning Spear's roots reggae, to indulge a cliche, is very much alive and true to its original colors on Jah Is Real (red, gold, and green, to be precise).

Music

Matthew Shipp Trio: The Multiplication Table

High drama, stoked by tension and channeled through unpredictable shifts in course, is ultimately what makes this music most compelling.

Music

Perú Negro: Zamba Malató

Peruvians have long been hip to this retro sound, which locals call "Afro". But for the rest of us, it's been a real eye- and ear-opener.

Nils Jacobson
Music

Etran Finatawa: Desert Crossroads

The feeling of never being quite fixed pervades the entire disc, just like the people behind it, and lends it an invitingly mysterious, ethereal, trance-like quality.

Nils Jacobson
Music

Think of One: Camping Shaâbi

The band's stated aim, "to get many of us Westerners deeply addicted to the groove of Shaâbi," will probably work -- if only it wasn't packaged so comfortably in the familiar Western mold.

Nils Jacobson
Music

Steve Lantner Trio: What You Can Throw

The jazz tradition is the best part of Steve Lantner's music, regardless of whatever other words you choose to slap on it.

Nils Jacobson
Music

Jef Stott: Saracen

It's extremely mixed up, yet entirely coherent: part trance, part dance, part jam, all groove.

Nils Jacobson
Music

Ryan Blotnick: Music Needs You

Be sure to listen in its hour-long entirety, not mixed and mashed on an iPod. It is a manifesto, after all, and an inspiring one at that.

Nils Jacobson
Music

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin: Holon

The quirky intellectual details of his music are regularly subsumed by funk and the groove -- so what comes out is both odd and familiar at the same time.

Nils Jacobson
Music

Elliott Sharp's Terraplane: Forgery

The rough, melancholic, soulful, rambunctious, and misbegotten qualities of the blues shine through on Forgery.

Nils Jacobson
Music

Cheb i Sabbah: Devotion

This is no half-assed India/Arabia/electronica fusion, because all three parts are done right, and they're put together in weird, interesting ways.

Nils Jacobson

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