**** Good Will Humping
*** The Cunt for Red Cocktober
** Edward Penis Hands
* Planet of the Sexy Sexy Apes


I can't stress how much I love "avant-hiphop" label Mush Records. Everything they release is totally interesting if not groundbreaking, and their artists take hiphop into its future without ever letting it lose its roots--but never forcing it into a dumb box. These guys gave us Aesop Rock's first record, cLOUDDEAD, So-Called Artists, Boom Bip, and they release longtime underground talents, such as the forthcoming collection from Baltimore's rhyming godhead Labtekwon. Fuckin' A. Anyway, Radioinactive falls into the latter category; he's from Los Angeles and used to be in Log Cabin with some of the Living Legends fellows, but only recently has he been receiving his worldwide due. Radio rhymes his words like they're butcher's knives cutting carrots, sharply but easily, and often squished together. The trippiness is enhanced by about seven vocal tracks on each song, making it sound like there's a lot of Radio-inactives on your headphones. Pyramidi is like looking at hiphop through a snowglobe, or without gravity. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

It's the Black-Snakes
(Chair-Kickers' Music)

I like my blues raw, sloppy, and injected with lots of punk/garage noise. The White Stripes fry up the blues just fine, and the Immortal Lee County Killers are faster about it, while Minnesota's the Black-Eyed Snakes land somewhere in between. The Snakes take Alan Sparhawk--of slow, moody, post-rock act Low--and drop him in a vat of hot rock oil, causing the man to scream, shout, and holler while strumming blood out of his guitar. A second guitarist and a drummer round out the trio, which pummels covers of Moby and the Fall into ruckus-stompers that blend in well with a loud racket of originals. Even when the Black-Snakes slow it down, the trio makes the blues sound wild as all hell. JENNIFER MAERZ

(Temporary Residence Ltd./Brainwashed)

How can one little trio produce such pretty bells and beats and deep-breath rhythms at the same time? Fridge's music is rolled up in shiny coils of guitar, samples, and so many of the most delicately clanking bells. They unloosen it all like a tiny waterfall, with clarity and ambiance that proves minimalism doesn't have to be cold. But it's not a record that needs to be played in the background and, other than the warmth that pervades the whole record, Fridge doesn't stick to a single method or sound. In addition to Happiness' electronic subtleties, there are distinct guitar parts and acoustic drums, snippets of people talking, lots of pieced-together percussion, mostly written in traditional, circular, beginning-to-end form. This record, Fridge's fifth, is sweet but doesn't ignore the need for good beats. JULIANNE SHEPHERD