Beat Beat Beat
A fifth LP of one-man dub-reggae creations from Slade Anderson, a metal dude gone to seed. It's all solid, if unremarkable, dub and roots music in the vein of Ticklah and McPullish, two more one-man dub plate makers of the modern age. Like other musicians working in definitive genres inexorably linked to the era in which the music was first divined, Anderson's dub can't top the first and second generation dub wizards. That he's doing it well is what matters.
Standouts: "Sproing-a-Dub" and the ska outing "Manuka Skank"
Prefab mixes from crate diggers usually offer a new discovery or three that leads to further investigation. And done well, the completed collage can surprise in terms of what a given DJ wants us to hear when their choices are documented this way. But here's something weird. This entry in the Sonar Kollektiv Mixing DJ series, from Dego of the German nu-soul duo 4Hero, bears an eerie resemblance to The Typing Monkey's own record collection. That's not a boast -- just, what are the chances? Our only regret is the promo copy is unmixed and we want to know how Dego transitions between a few of these cuts.
Standouts: Raymond Scott's "Lightworks" and the SA-RA remix of Roy Hargrove's "On the One"
Released: Aug 12
A Baltimore DJ/producer who squeezes a tiny bit more from his hometown's brand of dance music, known as "gutter." Tittsworth crafts his own boozy rhythmic repetitions, ending up with an aggressive blend of techno and hip-hop that actually encourages dancing. Pity the MCs and vocalists he enlists don't do much more than the usual calls to getting drunk and copulating. (Not bad goals, mind, but there are more creative ways to state those intentions.) As a consequence, the instrumentals leave a more pleasant aftertaste, and don't remind anyone over the age of 25 that hangover and regret are the ultimate destination the rest of the album is headed toward.
Standouts: "4:21" and "Bumpin'" ... Kid Sister and Paserock do well by "WTF" too.
Released: Aug 12
The John McCain Mix
Offered as free download when Twelve Steps was released, McCain Mix won't beat Diplo or Girl Talk at their own 12-bar cut-up game. Tittsworth executes a few actual remixes, versus the common gutter practice of doubling an existing club beat with overdriven drum machines (ahem, Aaron LaCrate). A tweaking of Hall & Oates' "I Can't Go for That" gives the best evidence yet that gutter is a close relative of those high NRG mixes of '80s hits. The closing mash-up of Lil Wayne's embarrassingly unerotic "Lollipop" and the Wham! slow-dance chestnut "Careless Whisper" manages to add a tiny bit of class to the former without disgracing the latter.