This week be thankful-Here's 5 gifts for you

Steve Bug-Fabric 37 (Fabric)(UK)
There's probably not going to be a better mix CD out this year, especially so late in the game calendarwise. Poker Flat, Audiomatique, and Dessous imprint owner Steve Bug unleashes an absolutely devastating mix of German tech-house and minimal for Fabric that ranks up there with the finest mixes of 2007. Opening with a brand new cut on Nite Grooves from Dubtribe's Sunshine Jones you know right away this mix is going to be housy as opposed to the onslaught of German minimal that has flooded the market this year. Ben Westbeech's "Hang Around" (the best and most memorable deep house cut of 2007-no question) and a new one from the long-lived and always consistent Peace Division on Damien Lazarus' Crosstown Rebels imprint only confirm Bug's renewed dedication to house. I say renewed because Bug has focused mainly on his darker, more techno oriented Poker Flat and Audiomatique imprints for more than a few years now, neglecting his housier Dessous imprint which had become stuck in a progressive rut. Bug contributes three new cuts from Dessous that point to re-newed vigor and an entirely new direction more in-line with what is happening in the German tech-house scene. The techno is also well-represented with blazing and glitchy cuts from rising hot shot Adultnapper (on Bug's Audiomatique label no less), the always consistent Steve Rachmad, and two from Mr. Beat Pharmacy aka Brendon Moeller (one a dubbed out classic in the Basic Channel mold). This disk is well-programmed, well-mixed, and a near perfect musical document of what makes Berlin the new Seattle.

DJ Azeez-School Of Hard Knocks (Record Inspector)(Austria)
When my record collecting friend DJ Azeez dropped his mix Do The Right Thing last year it definitely turned my head. Here was a guy digging in the crates for some seriously HTF "golden age" nuggets that were seriously rough, tough, and grimy. The mix made a statement, one that I thought might be hard to follow-up on. Well turns out Do The Right Thing was no fluke, Azeez seriously respresents wth 19 more back-in-the-day jams that hit harder than any prefabricated street jams of today. What I like especially about School Of Hard Knocks is the wee bit of the West Coast and Kutmaster Kurt influence right down to the opening cut from Oaktown's Motion Man-a b-boy breakbeat jam that I challenge you to resist bobbing your head to. The mixing is smooth with some subtle scratching and less reliance on doubles and tricks with some straight-up old school mixing skills. Masters At Work's Kenny Dope is a great comparison in terms of styles-nothing flashy to detract just super polished and SMOOOTH. Thought hip-hop mixtapes were played out, think again.

The Real Tuesday Weld-The London Book Of The Dead (Six Degrees) (US)
Stephen Coates aka The Real Tuesday Weld is like a downtempo version of Meat Loaf, mostly because of the re-working of Cole Porter's "I Get A Kick Out Of You" ("Kix") but some serious show tune action gets worked out as well on The London Book. When Coates isn't getting all whacked out on Andrew Lloyd Webber he manages to evoke a Roaring 20s feeling with modern electronics. At times I'd call it Klezmer techno sraight from the streets of Paris. It's truly a unique vision that is highly stylish-but the same could be said of Fleetwood Mac. I could go either way on this artist but The London Book Of The Dead is one of the more interesting albums I have heard this year.

A Night With Dick-The Dick Dickler EP (single)(Max Trax)(US)
Got this four track single from Kerri Chandler's label Max Trax. Apparently this release, despite any porno implications (and there are surprisingly few), is dedicated to the Irish house music scene and some of the tracks on this single definitely have a strong Irish house feel (think Fish Go Deep). Chandler saves the best for last on "The Drive" a track constructed of his signature deep and dubby style bassline. Add a dark old school Chicago groove and vocals courtesy of the multi-talented Chandler and you have yourself a nice peak hour groover in the vein of Dennis Ferrer. Nice but not essential.

Various-Discovered-A Collection Of Daft Funk Samples (Rapster)(US)
I'm not sure how essential a collection of Daft Punk source material really is but that is basically what Discovered is all about. I feel the same way about this collection as I do about the Parisian duo-a lot of novelty and fluff overall signifying very little. Sure Cerrone's proto-techno "Supernature" is a welcome addition but is "Verdis Quo" one of your favorite DP choons? Didn't think so. Also nice to hear Karen Young's stompy disco track "Hot Shot" but again another Daft obscurity ("Indo Silver Club"). Chaka Khan's "Fate" is the hook for the duo's disco house side project Stardust 's "Music Sounds Better With You" which is actually better than the re-working. Eddie Johns is the inspiration for "One More Time" with "I Put A Spell On You" (which has nothing to do with the Screamin Jay Hawkins original-BTW) and Jerry Goldsmith, the film and TV composer best known for the O.G. Star Trek theme, provides soundtrack music that became the entire hook for the duo's biggest hit "Around The World". I can't see myself listening to this compilation again but fans of disco and funk obscurities will at least get a kick out of hearing some of these old school gems.

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