Scratch Perverts / Various Beatdown

There are two words that come to mind when attempting to accurately describe Beatdown, the latest from the ever-evolving Scratch Perverts: bad ass. The album highlights so many different styles and brilliant shifts that it's a feat in and of itself that the 37-track disc is only 65 minutes long. Dubstep starts it off with tracks by Caspa and Skream before the beats slow down and roll into the smoky, ambient sounds of Flying Lotus. A single track (Zombie's "Rumours & Revolutions") ushers in "Sound Of Kuduro" (Buraka Som Sistema), which casually leads into a bit of Baile Funk with Feadz featuring MC Wesley ("Subiu, Desceu"). Electro is alive and well on the disc, with Kissy Sell Out, Diplo & Laidback Luke and Herve, while Boy 8 Bit (who seems to be on a roll as of late with loads of high profile remixes) makes an appearance with "Baltic Pine," a track that could easily claim top spot for summer '09. Beatdown concludes with jungle and drum & bass, closing with the stellar "Paint It Black" by Sigma. This is a true masterpiece of an album. (Fabric)