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If French house music pioneers Daft Punk got freaky with an alien version of Rick James, Prepschool would be its offspring. This Chicago-based collective—which includes ex-locals James Nasset, Matts Larson and Dave Najarian—pushes a funky, soulful mix of disco house, house and electro that's heavily bathed in hip-hop and dubstep influences. It's definitely party music, but Cadillac has a shelf life that outlives the party, far after your atrocious hangover has set in.


That's because it has depth and lots of progression in each track. "Hey Boss," is a prime illustration, starting out on a slinky hip-hop/house tip and slowly morphing its way into a heady exercise in turntablism, with some deliciously nimble scratching from Najarian. The title track is another fine example; the group employs echo and filtering effects as a catalyst for instrumental evolution. And these guys have also mastered the art of the breakdown: The burbling bass line and breakbeat that takes over near the end of "Yacht Race!" is unexpected but fits the mood perfectly.

Despite a few cheesy moments—the affected vocals on "One Day at a Time" are just a little too feel-good and over the top for me—this debut delivers a splendid chunk of futuristic funk.

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