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Life Force Trio – Carlos Nino and crew make a composition of deep synth harmonies that bubble under the surface of melancholic string arrangements that are somehow uplifting when put together. Added bonus: the album was mixed by Plug Research labelmate Nobody, at his bedroom studio.

Lyrics Born – The Bay Area’s notorious party-starting MC gathers tracks from his 2005 appearances in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, for an hour’s worth of energetic hip-hop from LB’s first two albums, backed by a 4-piece band.

The Beyonders – Phoenix Orion and ParanormL are on a mission, one that involves destroying mainstream perceptions of hip-hop and stamping their own brand of futuristic beats upon the genre with their new album Time Capsule.

Plan B – Crisp, programmed beats and wobbly guitar notes make an unlikely pairing with the feather-like quality of the vocals, yet somehow the many musical elements, along with the numerous guests artists, merge into a single, enjoyable entity on the album.

Melodium – The seventh album from France’s Laurent Girard is all about minimalism and based mostly around lone piano notes and gently plucked strings, and simplicity definitely pays off here.