Label: Rush Hour
Just eight months after BNJMN (England's Ben Thomas) spun heads with his debut album, Plastic World, a gorgeously idiosyncratic hybrid of Detroit techno and abstract beat music, he returns with Black Square. Hard to believe, but it's even better: The melodies are more fully developed, the grooves better defined, and the sound field even richer. Weaving together worn samples with spine-tingling synthesizers, he conjures a sound field that's as visceral as it is cryptic. Alternating between hazy downbeat cuts and forceful club tracks, it's a masterful marriage of styles.