New and Reissued Vinyl 

Electronica, rare groove, and beyond

In case you haven't noticed, Christmas is upon us, and what better way to take care of your stocking-stuffing drama than to round up the following goodies I'm about to hip you to? (Please be forewarned: Twelve-inch records are a bitch to fit into stockings.)

Excellent Swedish label Raw Fusion has finally released its first full-length CD, Inside Scandinavia, after a number of well received twelve-inches. It's a label sampler (no surprise), but before you snooty vinyl-heads disregard this loveliness, note all the previously unreleased tracks here, which are pretty darn good. Fans of jazzy house, broken beat, and vintage disco should go nab this right away. Featured artists include Beatfanatic, Povo, A Bossa Electrica, and Stockholm Cyclo.

Meanwhile, Thievery Corporation's Washington, DC-based ESL Recordings have given the Karminsky Experience album Power of Suggestion a proper domestic release. Until recently, this wicked fusion of downtempo and Middle Eastern beats was only available as a very expensive import, but now you can nab it stateside on your way to the hookah shop. Mostly it's a laid-back lounge sound, although a couple of cuts are ripe for the dancefloor and guaranteed to have white girls dancing all crazy-like. The double-vinyl release is still only available as an import, although you can pick up a domestic twelve-inch for the song "Exploration."

Hunt down the debut EP Steady Rocking from local DJ and Swiss pickle Romanowski on the Future Primitive Sound label. Here you have a sound that borrows heavily from Jamaican rocksteady and early roots reggae, but with a dancefloor sensibility. Rocking is available on both CD and vinyl; as of now, there is no eight-track release planned, much to Romanowski's chagrin.

On the reissue tip, go nab the latest Ubiquity/Luv 'N Haight compilation Bay Area Funk. While the comp does feature some songs from other comps, it's a good way to brush up on some of the more obscure early '70s funk this side of Sly and the Family Stone. Finally, fans of obscure Latin gems from the '60s will want to seek the reissue of the fantastic Boogaloo in Apartment 41 by Ozzie Torrens, originally released on Decca and now finally readily available. Unfortunately, the analogue-impaired will have to wait, as this is only available on vinyl (for now). No eight-track for that one, either.

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