DJN

The sign of a good DJ: making you (the listener) wish you could play the drums. Real drums. Another sign of a good DJ: naming Amon Tobin and Luke Vibert as influences. DJN: a good DJ.

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Donna Summer

It’s fitting that Aquarius Records, the same store that introduced me to the mash-up some ten years ago (before they were called mash-ups) with Evolution Control Committee’s brilliant pairing of Public Enemy and Herb Alpert, would effectively wean me off that guilty pleasure with the next level noise of this here lad. Neither mash-up nor IDM, neither kitschy nor political, Donna Summer (a.k.a. Jason Forrest) throws juxtaposed refrains and riffs from popular music into a high-speed blender with no lid. Somehow the result, while initially as soothing as highway rumble strips, begins to make sense and even sounds catchy after a few listens…and a 12-pack of Mountain Dew. WARNING: Not recommended for those with epilepsy. (Seriously.)

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The Somnambulants

Slightly nervous, very danceable synth pop that’ll remind you of early-’80s OMD one moment, as lead vocalist Joseph White blesses the mic, and modern-day German indie electro (Morr, City Centre, et al) the next, as co-founder Channing Sargent gets chirpy with it.

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Mice Parade

Adam Pierce once again takes the bedroom dweller aesthetic more as a spiritual guide than a sonic one: skittish percussion bounces off the walls like random thoughts and warm vibes and synthesizers fill the background while his ever-gentle acoustic guitar seemingly plays for an audience of one.

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FLIN FLON

This is what drum ‘n’ bass should be. Yet another offering from Mr. Teenbeat himself, Mark Robinson. Nothing new to the viewers of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” where “Floods” serves as the opening music. (Not to be confused with Flin Flon, the sixth largest city in the Canadian province of Manitoba.)

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Thavius Beck

Collages of stuttering breaks and swirling samples, along with extended doses of “spoken word” culled from the underbelly of American pop culture. A potentially played-out formula turned downright entrancing.

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