We’re sent tracks every week that sound like they were conceived, constructed and machine-tuned on an assembly line that begins in some hellhole in subterranean London and emerges with a spray-on sheen somewhere in the Balearic Islands. It’d be bad enough if they were all terrible, but this is worse: technology has enabled them all to sounds just barely… “okay.”

About the only thing that makes this all tolerable is the certainty that the real shit is still out there, and here’s some of it for you.

Closer To Truth launched with a series of free tracks from Alex Agore (the first two are embedded at the bottom of this post). “Free,” as in “beer,” is a hell of a way to get attention when you finally have something to sell, and Closer To Truth’s debut EP exceeds whatever expectations I assigned to it.

The Various Artists compilation, Chapter One, features new tracks from Agore, James Johnston and two names previously unknown to me, Intr0beatz and J’s Gruv. Johnston’s “Nervous Glamour” leads it off and leaves little to the imagination: a luscious, classy track that sounds just impossibly huge in your soundsystem. Soulful vocals and chords characterize Intr0beatz’s “Fly Like Love,” and Agore’s mental “Homesick” is something like one of those sexy Joey Negro interludes captured, glitched and jiggered for a full 8 minute soul slide. “Come On” from J’s Gruv closes it out with some virtuoso keys over more soul-drenched keys.