New and Reissued Vinyl 

Hip-Hop

Though the first quarter is generally a quieter time when it comes to new records, there are still plenty of joints hitting shelves, not to mention the flood of late-year releases and underpromoted gems that most people are still sifting through or sleeping on. Some of 2002's best independent singles rolled out in the winter, and may have gotten lost in the shuffle due to so many high-profile December LPs.

One such 12-inch is "Mother Earth" from Dudley Perkins (aka Declaime) and Dutch producer Kid Sunshine. Set to an instantly lovable bassline and mid-tempo beat, the Oxnard all-star reminds us all to respect the earth, his unique flow perfectly meshing with the top-notch music. The other two tracks are equally nice, and we get instrumentals for all three. Look for a Perkins full-length on Stones Throw later this year.

Repping for Florida, we have Swamburger, an MC who dropped the ridiculously smooth "9 to 5 Poortrait" single (b/w "Disco Days" and "Womanside") on Eighth Dimension. Loop-heavy production and dusty drums back his swift flows about employment, the good ol' days, and the ladies respectively -- weird name for a fantastic record.

If you're into the more unconventional steez, check out "Trinity," the new one from King Honey, featuring Philly's Chief Kamachi, Hezekiah, and Gos. Fractured beats and electronic mayhem collide with seriously hard verbals, available from Brooklyn label Sound-Ink, which is also doing MF Doom's concept album Viktor Vaughn -- Vaudeville Villain, due out in a few months.

On the abstract beats-meets-spoken-word tip, keep an eye out for the second pressing of Bizzart's LA Approach EP, an intimidating and intriguing ride through one man's psyche set to ultra-original production courtesy of Los Angeles' Sounds Are Active camp.

Hot off the presses is the second single from Rhode Island's Time Machine, a charismatic crew that impressed last year with "Reststop Sweetheart." Their new piece is called "Personal Ads," and sticks to the same winning formula of catchy samples and comedic lyrics about the never-ending quest for true love.

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