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Recent music from Jasiri X, Mark Mangini, The Pointillists

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Jasiri X
Acension
(Wandering Worx)

While at the core, this album remains consistent with the path that Jasiri X has taken to this point — calling out, and taking action against, corruption in politics and society — Jasiri mixes in some of the raw elements of hip hop that have influenced his rap career. On "42 Bar Thesis," you'll find him attacking fraudulent rappers, while on "Warrior" he reflects on his rise in the ranks of hip hop. Fellow conscious rappers Brother Ali and Rhymefest are featured.

— Rory D. Webb

See FFW>>, our music blog at pghcitypaper.com, for an interview with Jasiri X.

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Mark Mangini
The Color Bands
(Self-released)

Five tracks of shimmery soundscape work by the solo artist, packed in a hand-watercolored, limited-edition case. Beautiful, minimalist stuff, with the tracks named only "Color Band One," "Color Band Two," etc. (For the record, the bands on the cover are blue, red, yellow, coral and aquamarine. That might help those of you with synesthetic powers.)

— Andy Mulkerin

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The Pointillists
After the Fireworks
(Self-released)

Foreboding goth-y shoegaze rock with lots of bass and a deep-voiced singer. Shades of everything from The Velvet Underground to Sonic Boom come up. Some points, like the two-part "Graceful Degradation" are downright pretty, though at times the performance, especially the rhythm section, can feel a bit amateurish — think Bauhaus in someone's basement. 

— Andy Mulkerin

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