Circle Research Who?

Astro the Guillotine and Nix the Finger Prince may not be taking Canada by storm, as they proclaim on their self-titled radio show on CKLN, but you better best believe a blizzard is building for Circle Research. Since the release of their Mulligan Stew compilation, the production/DJ duo have been showcasing their talent remixing acts as diverse as R&B singer Ivana Santilli, jazz singer Elizabeth Sheperd, acoustic pop outfit Sunshine State and indie rockers Apostle of Hustle. But what better way to prove themselves to the hip-hop crowd than with a mix-tape-style compilation of short instrumentals? Who? is a great collection of jazzy, funky hip-hop instrumentals formed from a frighteningly familiar selection of samples and cuts, but my favourite is standout track "Step Up,” a shorter than normal head banger that breaks the mould of the rest of the album. They also include a few short interludes to introduce a little bit of the Circle Research humour. Who? is a fun, comforting listening experience to accompany almost any social gathering. (Independent)