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$2.49

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released June 28, 2019 | Tru Thoughts

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Techno - Released October 12, 2018 | The Nite Owl Diner

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 21, 2007 | kranky

Future Rock is a bold, but completely fitting, title for Paul Dickow's third Strategy album. Strategy's mix of dub, house, ambient, and dreamy pop (and whatever else Dickow sees fit to add) has always seemed at once timeless and ahead of its time, but here it's focused to perfection. As with Dickow's work in Nudge, Strategy's experiments sound even more purposeful and compelling when wedded to pop structures and hooks, albeit subtle and subverted ones, and Future Rock's highlights are its most accessible songs. "Can't Roll Back" kicks off the album with an impressive, yet playful, statement of purpose: big, dubby basslines and vocodered vocals provide the foundation for percussion, guitar licks, and warm keyboards that flit to and fro like a sonic mobile. "Stops Spinning" melds an oddly familiar, soulful melody with slow-motion grace and splashy reverb, while "Phantom Powered" contrasts ticking beats with an undulating melody that only fully reveals itself almost two-thirds of the way through. Fortunately, Dickow and company don't sacrifice any of Strategy's gift for fascinating textures for accessibility's sake. The album has so much depth that its pieces -- particularly interludes like "Sunfall" and "Windswept" -- feel more like sonic environments than mere tracks: the limpid, liquid "Running on Empty" is sleek yet intricate, building layer upon sparkling layer into a pool of sound. Beautiful and thought-provoking from start to finish, Future Rock is Strategy's finest work yet. ~ Heather Phares
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 18, 2019 | STRATEGY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

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House - Released October 8, 2007 | Dreck Records

Miscellaneous - Released March 16, 2015 | Idle Hands

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House - Released June 21, 2019 | Idle Hands

House - Released October 14, 2013 | Idle Hands

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released June 5, 2019 | STRATEGY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

Drum & Bass - Released April 27, 2018 | Exit Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 31, 2019 | STRATEGY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released June 4, 2019 | STRATEGY ENTERATINMENT GROUP

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Electronic/Dance - Released April 26, 2004 | kranky

On his second outing as Strategy, West Coast DJ and multi-instrumentalist Paul Dicklow moves toward a structured thematic that combines live dub mixology, super digitronic spatial enhancement, and a shimmering, nearly invisible sense of conscious ambience to produce a recording more subtle but simultaneously present than its predecessor, Strut. "Cascadian Night," is a an exercise in hissy glissando that creates the aura of barely discernible space before opening onto the slightly more physical laptop emptiness of "Super She Wolf Inna City." But it is on the title track that dub-ology, spectral techno, and ambient bliss caress and create a mimetic chill groove together. As the slippery techno fades from the fore, and overlaid laptop beats and percolating electronic and organic polyrhythmic ideas enter, the entire track becomes something other, fully layered, dense in its vastness yet decidedly non-physical in its language and presence. When the synth pop keyboards emanate from the mix, seemingly out of the blue, the listener is dislocated enough to just abandon the notion of actual listening to the totality of experiential connection. And so it goes, elemental sounds and rhythms couple, separate, undulate, and transform themselves into others, circulating throughout the nocturnal bliss of this set that is as much a delight as it is a cipher. ~ Thom Jurek