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Music

Amanda Blank: I Love You

Her desire to dominate the rhetorical battlefield of her sexual conquests is entirely convincing.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Downtown

Music

Orbital: Orbital 20

Sloppy and superfluous -- a poor reflection on just how intricate and essential the band were and are.

Music

The Matthew Herbert Big Band: There's Me and There's You

It's an interesting album, just not interesting in a way that particularly compels me to listen to it again.

Music

R.E.M. : Murmur (Deluxe Edition)

It all began with one weird little album with a weird little cover, with weird little songs sung by a weird guy who couldn’t even enunciate properly.

Music

The Chemical Brothers: Brotherhood

Brotherhood does a passable job of attempting to reconcile the two increasingly disparate sides of the Chemical Brothers’ split personality.

Music

Tricky : Knowle West Boy

If you liked Tricky in 1998, you will like how Tricky sounds in 2008.

Music

Girl Talk: Feed the Animals

There's no such thing as songwriters anymore, it's all about sound-as-sound, divorced from context and pureed into something wilder than could ever previously have been imagined.

Music

Clark: Turning Dragon

From mild-mannered cerebral electronic music producer, Clark has transformed into an enormous, stomping, fire-breathing dragon.

Reviews

Roxy Music: Thrill of It All: A Visual History 1972-1982 [DVD]

I am baffled as to how a band that started so strongly could have transformed themselves in the space of a decade into, well, the arch, faux-upper-crust British counterpart to American yacht-rock like Hall & Oates.

Music

Daedelus: Live at the Low End Theory

Caveat emptor: this is not your father's Daedelus. But it's still pretty damn awesome.

Music

ESG: A South Bronx Story 2

It's pretty much impossible to imagine about half of the dance music or hip-hop that exists today ever having been created without the influence of the Scroggins sisters.

Books

Comic Art 9

Stack this book next to Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art and McCloud's Understanding Comics -- or rather, don't stack it at all, but keep it right next to your desk where you can find it at a moment's notice.

Music

Various Artists: The Kings of Electro

Two different and very distinctive interpretations of the genre -- but unfortunately, not entirely equal in their charms.

Music

Little Louie Vega: Back In The Box

A trip down memory lane that manages to indulge in nostalgia without ever seeming gratuitous or pandering.

Music

Various Artists: Downtown 81

Anyone wanting to understand this crucial era in modern music need look no further for a great sampler of the artists and genres involved.

Music

Henrik Schwarz: Live

One of the more enjoyable house CDs I've heard in quite a while.

Music

Various Artists: Well Deep: Ten Years of Big Dada Recordings

There's a lot of good hip-hop here, but more importantly, you have the acknowledgment that there is an awareness of good hip-hop that transcends national identity.

Music

Various Artists: EXPANSION / contraction

For those who love techno, I mean really love techno, this is as close to the Godhead as you're likely to get.

Music

X-Press 2: Makeshift Feelgood

The best moments here are simply nowhere near as good as the highlights off Muzikizm, and the lowlights are just not very good at all.

Music

White Williams: Smoke

There's a lot of space in the sound here, a lot of room for careful noodling and subtle effects.

Music

Modeselektor: Happy Birthday!

Not so much of the ascetic minimalism, more of the booty-shaking and party-popping. Lo and behold, Modeselektor appeared and all was good.

Music

Einstürzende Neubauten: Alles Wieder Offen

The picture we see in 2007 is of a band in complete control of their faculties, to the point where even the seemingly chaotic force of violently exploding sheet metal has been domesticated.

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