Various Artists

Stones Throw and Leaving Records: Dual Form

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Hip-hop tastemaker Stones Throw Records teamed up with the underground boutique label Leaving Records for the wonderfully weird 53-minute compilation Dual Form, originally released as a double cassette. Instead of reaching into the back catalog, all of the songs are previously unreleased and there is a wide variety of experimental styles covered. Many of the tracks sound like lo-fi, minimal versions of Stones Throw artists -- imagine tapes by Dâm-Funk, Vex Ruffin, Jonwayne, and James Pants, but even more mangled and phased out, like they have been dubbed to death or left in a glove compartment too long. The noise-ridden recording quality gives the project the likable D.I.Y. feel of a construction paper collage, and while the songs are too unusual to grasp easily, some highlights include the clubby pots-and-pans-on-four-track vibe of the Cyclist's "Visions," the downplayed new wave funk of SoundWizard BZB & MC Set's "Beacon," and a washed-out, Dilla-inspired instrumental by Knx titled "Sadnis." The material based in atmospherics and psychedelia is just as cool as the beat-oriented stuff, and Dntel's "Windy Windy" and Julia Holter's live version of Arthur Russell's "You & Me Both" are beautiful, otherworldly pieces worth the price of admission alone.

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