Various Artists

Land of Baboon, Vol. 1

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There seems to be an identifiable Brooklyn sound developing in the world of electronic dance music; it's a combination of Middle Eastern inflections and reggae basslines, sampladelic hip-hop and twisted drum & bass. And while such descriptors bring the name Laswell immediately to mind, it's worth pointing out that much of this music is emanating from places other than the famous Greenpoint studio -- lots of credit goes to the WordSound crew, including various members of the Crooklyn Dub Consortium. That's the crew responsible for this fine effort, a compilation of eerie desert dub and spaced-out jungle. Professor Shehab and Lloop collaborate on the very arid "Drunken Monkey," with its exotic strings, free reeds and clay-pot percussion; "The Question of Conscience" redefines the whole illbient thing with toy piano and Pablo-esque melodica. Best of all is Dr. Israel's "Residence Dub," which begins as a snaky, languorous reggae groove and then suddenly whipsaws into hyperactive jungle about halfway through (all without the bassline ever needing to change). There's hope for American breakbeat culture yet.

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