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[whitespace] Reviews by Michelle Goldberg

DeeJay Punk-Roc

The name DeeJay Punk-Roc isn't the oxymoron it sounds like. Like the Beastie Boys before him (whose music he's remixed), DeeJay Punk-Roc approaches his chunky, deliciously dirty update of early '80s hip-hop and '70s funk with both the reverence of a diehard fan and the irony of a sneering punk. On ChickenEye, layers of big, squishy bass undulate under a melange of rhymes, James Brown grunts, scratching spirals and stuttering New York electro-beats. It's an intoxicating combination. The bass oozes under your skin and nearly forces you to move, especially on the frenzied first single, "Far Out." They're groovy seduction music, with the melancholy horns lending gravity while the luscious rhythms charm you right out of your pants.

808 State
Thermo Kings

Here's a record that's melodious and contemplative but still rhythmically complex, that soothes without boring us with the same old plodding trip-hop beats. Featuring remixes by such disparate stars as Brian Eno and the Propellerheads, Thermo Kings has a woozy, aquatic quality that's complemented by lithe, sparkling percussion (including lots of organic drumming) and playful synthesizers twirling like fireflies. The plaintive singing of Manic Street Preacher's James Dean Bradfield on "Lopez" recalls the yearning sensuousness of Primal Scream. The album also includes two versions of the cosmically soulful "Azura," but Dillinja's fairly conventional drum 'n' bass mix is a bit of a disappointment compared to the warm, inventive soundscapes on the rest of the record.

Various Artists
Deeper Concentration
OM records

From San Francisco's OM records comes the follow-up to Deep Concentration, an exhilarating tour through the future of hip-hop. Featuring original tracks from many of the pioneers of experimental, new-school turntablism, including the Beat Junkies, the Scratch Perverts, Mix Master Mike and DJ Spooky with Organized Confusion, Deeper Concentration is a mind-blowing collection of hugely inventive, irreverent sampling, scratching wizardry and rolling, hip-shaking bass. Abounding with futuristic film samples, TV detritus, surreal rhymes and kitschy synth melodies, the music on Deeper Concentration offers both cutting-edge commentaries on our absurd, fragmented culture and deliciously danceable rhythm collages.

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From the November 2-15, 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

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