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Some of it’s brand-new! Some of it’s just new to me! Here are four albums I’ve been digging lately.

Massive Attack “Splitting the Atom EP” – An awesome four-track taste of what we can expect from their upcoming full-length (“Heligoland”) in a couple weeks. This EP is classic Massive Attack: dark, brooding and sexily sinister. The EP’s second track, “Pray For Rain” featuring TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, is quite possibly one of their best songs ever. It’s great to have the Attack back after a seven-year hiatus.

Robert Glasper “Double-Booked” – Jazz pianist Glasper returns with his third full-length for Blue Note Records. The first six tracks of the disc’s dozen songs (including a cover of Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly”) were performed by The Robert Glasper Trio and are more traditional in their structure. The album’s last six songs were performed by The Robert Glasper Experiment (Glasper has numerous projects featuring different musicians) and are considerably more… well, experimental. On the second half, keep an ear out for a brief guest rap from Mos Def (“4eva”) and a guest vocal spot from jazz singer Bilal Oliver (“All Matter”).

Four Tet “There Is Love In You” – The fifth full-length from Four Tet (the moniker that electro/post-rock musician Kieran Hebden creates under) flips back and forth between trippy transcendence and bass-heavy dance, keeping listeners second guessing what will come next. I’ve been a fan of Hebden’s past experimentation, but this disc features less of it; the result is the most accessible album in Hebden’s catalog. Is that a good thing? Sure. I just hope it doesn’t keep him from pushing the boundaries a little further next time.

Various Artists “Next Stop Soweto: Volume 1″ – Strut Records is destined to become one of my favorite labels, especially if they keep releasing music like this. This first installment of a three-volume collection uncovers underground South African music of the late ’60s and early ’70s. If you’re looking for remastered, crystal-clear sound, look elsewhere; these are raw and real recordings of the era, featuring acts like S. Piliso & His Super Seven, Piston Mahlathini & The Queens, and the Lucky Strike Sisters. Never heard of any of them? Of course! That’s the point! But without this music, albums like Paul Simon’s “Graceland” never would have happened.

More coming soon,

-Shady

Old Poop!