(Audio Dregs)

This is a wonderful record of dainty electronics; it sounds like a collection of miniatures, whirring with clipped beats, tiny gleaming melodies, and scratching that's more like vinyl-melting than anything else. Like Tipsy, who remixes a song on this record, Belgium's Dim Dim (the moniker of ex-cartoonist/video-game music composer Jerry Dimmer) walks the line of whimsy and kitsch, but has too much taste and totally charming, curious ideas to be tacky. Kiwi makes literal interpretations of sound with a cartoony ear: rubber bands stretch and jiggle, music boxes are left open for hours, pixilated horses whinny and gelatin fishes pop air bubbles undersea. A couple songs sound like Django Reinhardt strolling through an open field of Strawberry Pocky, or animatronic pineapples. It's a total visual experience, and every track is like excavating a treasure chest of pink, taffy-like sound. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

Monsters in the Closet
(Battle Axe Records)

Swollen Members' latest project shows that, despite their Canadian pride, they still found plenty of backup from "down south," notably in Dilated People's "Evidence," and the collaboration brings authenticity, if not originality, to the production. Monsters technically isn't new work, but rather a compilation of B-sides, unreleased cuts, and remixes that, despite boasting 20 tracks, is billed by the group as an "album in between albums." Though fans accustomed to the syrupy beats and lo-fi samples of Swollen's first two albums may be put off by the more synthed-out production of this collection, the flows of Mad Child and Prevail are no less gritty; their passion for creating images and exploring concepts remains just as strong. AARON JENKINS

(KimoSciotic Records)

Zeigenbock Kopf, the newest project from Pink & Brown's John Dwyer (under a fake German pseudonym) combines dirty leather chaps and toilet stall sex-style lyrics with minimal techno that sounds like the speakers have all been blown out and the fuses are busy frying. With throbbing industrial beats hitting repeat behind them, the band delivers their kinky, Krauty, man-on-man demands while showing who holds the key to the handcuffs with orders like, "Show me the difference between your ass and mouth" and, "Fetch me my whip/you're not sorry/I know sorry when I see it." While there's plenty of tongue in cheek on this 11-song EP (and tongue in other places, as I.D.M. stands for "I Dig Men"), the cold, oppressively fuzzy music complements the blunt demands well, as this new, arty side project creates a dance-floor soundtrack for ass smacking, hair pulling, and midnight men's-room encounters. (www.kimosciotic.com) JENNIFER MAERZ

**** Memphis Maniax
*** Orlando Rage
** Los Angeles Xtreme
* Birmngham Bolts