Release: A Strange Melodic Shape Artist: Various Format: CD Label: Alternate Take Records Listen & Purchase: www.alt-take.com

Comprising Alternate Take Record’s first two vinyl eps, Southern Soul Cont. 1 & 2 plus five new tracks, A Strange Melodic Shape reflects this Dallas based label’s pen gent for dope instrumental hip hop and funky jazz breaks.

Featuring a wide array of Southern downtempo producers, A Strange Melodic Shape is another testament to the wide array of deep, dark eclectic beats that can be created from hours of digging through old records, finding beats, lifting and reinterpreting them much in the same manner as early releases from London’s Ninja Tune and Mo’Wax Records. A Strange Melodic Shape features the kindest beats out of Texas since Dallas co-hort MC 900 Ft Jesus’ 1991 release Welcome to My Dream.

Release: Den of Thieves Artist: Various Format: CD Label: 18 th Street Lounge Listen & Purchase: www.elsmusic.com

DJs, producers, cocktail cone sours and well-dressed international jet setters, Rob Garza and Eric Hilton (aka Thievery Corporation) have again complied another collection of modern international grooves from their own 18 th Street Lounge label reflecting the myriad of sounds offered by the label. Den of Thieves includes the Argentine soul of Federico Aubele, eastern rock of Karminsky Experience, and dub of Desmond Williams, Sofa Surfers and Thievery Corporation. Les Hommes adds a track of sultry female vocals, atmospheric vibraphone and organ workouts while the collaboration of Thunderball vs. Liftoff contribute the standout, Welcome Back Cooper, a track of phat beats, thick horns and sitar combining for an Indian styled groover.

Rounding off the collection is the ethereal bossa jazz sounds of Freeform Arkestra.

Den of Thieves is a solid flowing collection from start to finish.