Friday, 27 September 2013


We've been saying it long enough, and our friends at Hit & Run have always been ready to provide lineups that attest: Manchester is the UK's leading light when it comes to MCs. Anyone needing a convincer might listen to the cypher cut, 'Bun Ya', from DRS' 'I Don't Usually Like MCs But...' LP. And whilst the likes of Strategy, T-Man, Skittles, Fox and Sparkz may be familiar to some from their appearances in the 'feat.' bracket on some of the biggest beats from the past couple of years - without even having to mention 'Marka' - there's no better place to catch them than passing a mic, stood in between a DJ and a bopping crowd.

And that's exactly what we have here, the first in a three-part cypher session (with future episodes seeing Chimpo and Dub Phizix take to the decks): Jonny Dub mixing slick with a whole host of Manchester's finest trading bars.

Levelz is the start of something very exciting, believe us.


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Free Download: War Dubz II - Breen, Dark0, Arctic, Underclass, Epoch, Majora & more

It's been just under two weeks since Threnody launched his response to the war dubs and sends being flown out between grime's A-list producers, in which time there's been the round draw (documented brilliantly by Dark0), a week on the beats, the clash show on Sub.FM - which you can listen to again over here, or download here - and, following all of that, the official vote over here on Hedmuk.

So the votes are in and counted, and the winners are crowned as follows:

Dark0 [vs. Filter Dread]

Kakarot [vs. Marcx]

Majora [vs. Mike Midnight]

Name_pending [vs. Legend4ry]

Glot [vs. Strict Face]

Epoch [vs. Underclass]

Arctic [vs. Mella Dee]

Rabit [vs. Breen]

Zha [vs. Chemist]

Crackatoa [vs. Mad EP]

College Hill [vs. Dellity]

We also decided to name an overall winner, and picking one proved an easier task than the high standards across all the clashes might have first suggested: Rabit takes it home and leaves the rest of the pack trailing after ending 73 votes ahead of the nearest competitor at the poll's close.

As much as it does end there, it doesn't end entirely as we've a parting gift to everyone who's found themselves listening repeatedly over the clash entries since we posted them. The whole lot, bar Rabit and Chemist's efforts, are up for free download either individually or helpfully zipped up below:

Download: War Dubz II [.zip]


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Free Download: Hugo Massien - Mystik

The artist formerly known (and featured on these very pages) as Dr. Hugo has taken the tempo down a few notches, and stretched his name out accordingly. Tunes from the newly-monikered Hugo Massien have been coming in fits and spurts, with each new beat showing yet more progression from the young producer as he continues to find his way around his own shape-shifting sound; and yet, each one that lands in the inbox feels just as self-assured as the last. No surprise then that the new moniker has been backed to the hilt by anyone and everyone on the mail-out list, and has received heavy rotation on Mark Radford's Rinse show.

Originally planned to go up as a promo clip on the Hedmuk Youtube channel, Massien was generous enough to give the whole thing out as a free download. Sitting somewhere between early UK funky, grime and the sort of groove-riding 2-step that has always set Horsepower Productions apart from the crowd, Hugo's past spend making minimal dubstep shows through too in the beat's weight and sparsity. The binding mystic sample deserves a mention too: one of those that'll have producers sitting back wishing they'd found it first.

Download: Hugo Massien - Mystik


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Feature: War Dubz II

It all started with Bless Beats and an awkward attempt at something he used to be pretty good at, and from there the thinly-veiled Lord Of The Mics 5 promo stunt began to spiral with constant back-and-forths between the likes of Jammer, Wiley, JME, Preditah and Rude Kid over Twitter. Following this was a whole bundle of short, thrown-together pseudo-trap (and, admittedly, the odd banger) from not only the few producers who had started the whole thing but also, it seemed at least, anyone who's ever downloaded Fruity Loops and fancied a shot at the fast-dwindling limelight.

Severe quality control issues aside, the whole thing has had a fairly positive effect in terms of not only getting more producers back in front of their monitors again but also reigniting a debate about how grime sounds in 2013. And since we're not of the opinion that grime in 2013 sounds like trap, we were keen to see some younger blood coming through.

Wen came with a beat and arguably cleared the floor with everyone, and then wasn't included in the GrimeForum nominations. So it was that another previous guest of ours, Threnody, took it upon himself to instigate a new set of clashes, enlisting 22 of the best emerging grime producers to go head to head. Names were picked at random on Threnody's Sub.FM last week, with each producer given seven days to write a beat in their opponent's style but at a level that they could never reach.

The clashes are as follows, and will be aired live tonight, from 10-midnight GMT on Sub.FM.

1. Filter Dread vs. Dark0
2. Mella Dee vs. Arctic
3. Breen vs. Rabit
4. Chemist vs. Zha
5. Legend4ry vs. Name Pending
6. Mad EP vs. Crackatoa
7. Glot vs. Strict Face
8. Epoch vs. Underclass
9. Kakarot vs. Marcx
10. Dellity vs. College Hill
11. Majora vs. Mike Midnight

An unofficial vote will be judged from chatroom hype during the show, and an official vote will follow directly after the show right here on Hedmuk.

--- VOTING ---

The vote process is a simple one: all the clashes are available to stream in the players below, and the beat in each clash that has been favourited by the most people wins. To vote, simply click the 'Like' icon in the top right hand corner of the player.

Voting will close on Monday the 23th of September 2013.

1.   Filter Dread vs. Dark0

2.   Mella Dee vs. Arctic

3.   Breen vs. Rabit

4.   Chemist vs. Zha

5.   Legend4ry vs. Name Pending

6.   Mad EP vs. Crackatoa

7.   Glot vs. Strict Face

8.   Epoch vs. Underclass

9.   Kakarot vs. Marcx

10. Dellity vs. College Hill

11. Majora vs. Mike Midnight

To listen back to the War Dubz II show in full, use the player below to stream or download from here.


Monday, 16 September 2013

Featuring: Circula

Like a very healthy cross between Etch and My Nu Leng, with a dash of Darqwan, Zed Bias and, as you'l discover below, Miles Davis thrown in for good measure Circula is one of the most refreshing talents we've discovered this year and the mix he's laid down for us is up there with the best in the series so far too. Merging the rude basslines and off-kilter rhythms of garage and jungle with the nascent experimentalism and swung melodic twists of jazz, the young Devon producer has already achieved a distinctive sonic watermark for himself. And it's one with a fiercely UK backbone as well as a vital understanding and appreciation of soundsystems and the creative culture which they support. It's difficult to go into it without running out of superlatives, so instead we'll just recommend you hit play on this, the latest exclusive mix to join the series, and just hear what the man himself has to say.

Hedmuk: To introduce yourself, what's your name, where do you hail from and how would you describe your sound?

Circula: My name is Alfie Brooks. I come from Totnes, Devon, and I’d currently describe my sound as stripped back and raw

H: Would you describe yourself as being from a musical background? What was it that got you into making music?

C: Yeah I’d say that my background is musical: my dad owned a record shop and plays guitar, so from a young age I became interested in music and playing music. I got into making music through things that I’d done in school, I noticed the music software that was available and got really into messing about with it. I picked up a copy of ‘Magix Music Maker’ and spent a lot of time on that until pretty much the end of secondary school, when I got on Logic!

H: There seems to be a notable jazz influence in your music - how do you see the expansiveness and creative openness of jazz as crossing over into electronic music, if at all?

C: I’m glad you picked up on the Jazz influence, I love listening to it and pretty much any tunes that include a jazzy input. My dad put Miles Davis into my head from a very early age and I suppose I got the idea of fusing jazz with other genres from his work! I think that crossing dance with jazz opens up a more interesting type of dance music (although I can’t say I like electro swing at all!) (laughs). I like to hear interesting breakdowns instead of repetitive loops, I’m hearing this in a lot of tunes from artists like Etch and Geode: they’re a big inspiration.

H: With a move to Berlin imminent, how do you envisage the city - with such a rich electronic music heritage itself - influencing your sound? Your music has a definite 'UK' edge to it, is that something that you can see changing with your new location or will you look to maintain, and
grow from, those roots?

C: The Berlin Techno scene is something that I can’t wait to be in - I’m interested to see what happens to my style after being in there for a few years but I’m determined to keep the raw garage/jungle style that I’ve started for myself, and to develop it rather than lose it altogether.

H: Having just had your first vinyl release, how does it feel to see your music as a physical product? How important is it to you to be releasing music on vinyl, or are you largely unconcerned by what format the music comes on?

C: It’s wicked to hear my music on a vinyl release. It’s not so much the physical product, but the sound itself. For all sorts of reasons vinyl sounds better. I can’t say I’m a vinyl only kind of person, though; for one thing, buying that much wax would destroy me! In Berlin me and my mate have some 1210’s so I will be looking out for a lot more wax releases. I think that digital releases are crucial because not everyone has decks and most good underground music is never pressed onto vinyl!

H: You're also a member of the Groundvibes Collective; how did you get involved with that? How important do you feel it is to be collaborating with other producers and artist, particularly if they're making music in different styles or genres to you?

C: The Groundvibes Collective is something that I started with a few friends In Totnes a couple of years ago now. We decided to get some speakers and have some parties and its evolved into what it is today. I think it’s essential to collaborate with others as it gives me new ideas and I learn so much more about production.

H: In terms of the soundsystem aspect of Groundvibes, how do you see the role of the soundsytem with regards to today's modern clubbing environment?

C: Totnes has a few big soundsystems now (Jenga and Toejam are some others you should check out) - the rig scene here has evolved partly because there are no good club nights around and partly because there are a lot of good producers, Rommek and PulseCode to name just two. So actually it’s only very recently that our rigs have been going to any clubs at all. Groundvibes have had interest from Bristol and we will pursue that next year. We want to get involved with the club scene. A lot of clubs get really good artists and give them the worst rigs to play off, so in that sense the role of a good sound system in a club is vital for the night!

H: Take us through how you went about putting together the mix you've done for us.

C: I wanted to play you a mix of some of the tunes I really like at the moment and a few of my own tunes. I’ve put a couple of tunes from Totnes producers like Fraxinus and Endlines in there to make the point about Totnes! I finished (pretty messily) with Nils Langdren Funk Unit. I tend to finish all my sets with some funk.

H: Finally, are there any forthcomings or anything else in the pipeline for people to look out for?

C:Well there is my DDWAX002 release that came out last month [cop it here], and I’ve got some releases coming out later in the year/early next year that I’m looking forward to, but it's all a bit misty. I’ve started a lot of collaborations with some sick producers so hopefully some of them should be popping up soon!

Download: Circula - Hedmuk Exclusive Mix


Circula - Nothing like
DJ HAUS - Cold As Ice
Circula - Seaview Gardens
Tomb Boss - Fraxinus
Wen - It’s Alot
Joonipah - Noti
Circula - Rhythmic
Endlines - The Pyramids
Kamikaze Space Programme - Tuli
Circula - Heads
Hackman & Tessela - Feel Like Loving Me
Darqwan - Three Note Blue
Circula - Askin
Riffs - Threadbare (Circula Remix)
Groove Chronicles - Black Puppet
Deetah - Relax (Bump'n'Flex Mix)
Nils Langdren Funk Unit - In a Fonky Mood


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Mix: Demon - Physics Mix

His first solo 12" since starting the label two years ago, the 'Physics EP' sees Demon showcase a new maturity as he experiments across each cut with a different balance of bass, drums and midrange. Lead track 'Gravity' weighs in heavily with a soft-moulded sub lending the track's melodic drive, whilst 'Morning Glory' is a more characteristic dose of the kind of coarse mid-range upon which the label was founded. 'Molecule', meanwhile, sees the drums take the rein in driving out rolling rhythms, occasionally cut through with a clapped snare.

To support the release, the man himself hit us up with a 40 minute mix of tough material from the extended MUD family, which is available to stream and download below.

The 'Physics EP' [MUV008] will be released on the 16th of September 2013, in 12" vinyl and digital formats, and is available to pre-order now from the Macabre Unit Surus store.

Download: Demon - Physics Mix


Catacombs & Knowledge - Old Town (District Remix) [Dub]
Slaven - Insurgent [Forthcoming MUD]
Biome - Infected [Dub]
Fifi Rong - Over You (Dcult Remix) [Ditto Music]
Demon - Physics [Forthcoming MUV]
Biome - Function [Dub]
Dcult - Red Matter [Dub]
Demon - Parachutes [Forthcoming MUV]
Rekta - Wavescape [MUD022]
Demon - Morning Glory [Forthcoming MUV]
Arkotypes - Panthera [Dub]
Occult - Replicant [Dub]
Geode - Jade [Smoke 024]
Biome - Wonderland VIP [Dub]
Demon - Break Point - [Dub]
Feonix - Firefly [Forthcoming MUD]
Nebula - Abraxas [Dub]
Biome - Genesis [Dub]
Piezo - Discipline [Dub]
Versa - Footsteps In Tibet [Forthcoming MUV]


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Competition: Win a test press of Piezo - Ptay / Ptay (Killawatt Remix) [NMR037]

Like an Italian Ipman, the engineering and sound design behind Piezo's work is exemplary. This latest release, coming from the Nomad Records stable, is no different, 'Ptay' is dripping in atmosphere and subtle touches - a rolled crash cymbal here, distant footstep there - as it rolls on rounded kicks and progresses through reams of hand percussion and synth lines that rise into the beat before falling away just as unannounced. Cinematic is a word that is too often overused, but it works here as the track holds down its own sense of narrative structure and breaks, happily, from any standardised outlay. Killawatt, an ideal selection for the remix duties, flattens out the kicks to a steady pound and leaves the whole thing dripping in dread atmospherics. What's astounding, again on that note of the subtle touch, is the amount of movement generated with just light touches of hi-hat and loose snares - from static beginnings, the beat gathers a momentum that feels like it might go on forever.

To be in with a chance of bagging an early test press of the release simply head over to the Hedmuk Facebook Page and Like and Share the above image to be entered. The competition will end on Thursday the 12th of September, and a winner will be selected at random by an independent third party before being announced via Facebook and Twitter.

Piezo - Ptay / Ptay (Killawatt Remix) will be released on 12" on September the 16th, with a digital release to follow on the 1st of October.


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Free Download: Sully - Scram (Chemist Bootleg)

Another emerging proponent of all things cold, Chemist's synth workouts and clap-heavy beats have been doing the rounds on Rinse and Radio 1Xtra over the last few months. In line with the output of labels like Coyote and Oil Gang, this is sparse, stand-up music.

This bootleg, then, makes for an interesting choice - and gives the original a whole new face - as Chemist takes Sully's creeping string line, strips out the pulsing footwork percussion and strips the whole thing down to detuned saws and a gully, reverse-stepped rhythm. It's an exercise in forceful restraint.

Download: Sully - Scram (Chemist Bootleg)


Monday, 2 September 2013

Featuring: Coleco

With releases on labels ranging from Hospital's Med School sister label to the sadly recently-deceased Soul Motive - whose back catalogue you would be a fool not to dip your whole leg (and wallet) into - Coleco has a habit of popping up where you might not have expected, and then promptly reminding you why you know his name already. He's one of those rare, under-appreciated producers who makes being ahead of the curve look easy. Think back to Ramadanman getting shout-outs on Youngsta's show back in 2004. Fact Mag recently ran a piece on the recent resurgence of drum & bass and the ways in which the outside influences of dubstep, footwork and hip-hop have driven this, and it would be fair to include Coleco within this resurgence - except, of course, that to confine him with the label of 'drum & bass' would be to do him a huge disservice. From drum & bass, to dubstep (and introducing Thelem to the sound), to footwork, to trap (more on that below), to whatever's going to be interesting next; rest assured that Coleco will have been there before you...

Hedmuk: To introduce yourself, what's your name, where do you hail from, and how would you describe your sound?

Coleco: My name is Alex, and I'm originally from the dormant, soulless commuter town of Farnborough, Hampshire. Now living in Bristol.

It's hard to categorise my sound, but I suppose you could say it's currently focused on up-tempo rhythms influenced by dubstep, footwork, 'trap', and D&B, with melodies/sounds influenced by anything.

H: Something that's always stood out about your tunes is the intricacy in the drums: is this where you start when you set down to write, or do you tend to build the drums in around an initial riff?

C: Yup, drums usually start first. I've tried it the other way around - the odd time has been successful, but it mostly ends up sounding like a pile of crap.

H: In terms of instrumentation too, you're willing to adopt sounds from all over the world. Where do you see this approach as stemming from? What sort of music would you say you draw most influence from, particularly in terms of sound, arrangement and style?

C: I'm not gonna sit here and say 'Yeah, I'm mostly influenced by 50's progressive jazz, Hungarian folk music and 60's dub reggae' in order to sound really rootsy and cool. Let's face it, most of the time we just draw ideas from our favourite producers, a lot of the time from within the same genre, and whack some of those other sounds we like over the top or modify it a bit into something new. A rare breed of people sit in their little hermetic bubble, making avant-garde-experimental-weirdstep - and props to them, but mostly we are just reluctant to admit we copy each other.

I do however sometimes think 'that sound is fucking cool and hardly anyone is using it'; [and that can often be the case with] a lot of instruments from around the world. I was exposed to a good bit of ''world" music as a kid and that's probably why I'm more inclined to put some of it in there. I could also say that Chicago footwork, and 'trap' tunes are influencing my drum rhythms at the moment, alongside older-style dubstep, and certain styles of drum & bass.

H: As someone who caught onto the dubstep sound pretty early, do you think you'd ever have predicted how quickly it might grow? How do you view it now? Is it something that, for you, has been and gone and left you to focus on new things, or do you see it as retaining a healthy influence and potential for musical originality?

C: No, I didn't predict it to grow into the monster it became. Originally I wasn't really in the mindset of thinking about where it would go, I don't know if I ever really thought about it. Some people used to say it would stay well underground and liked to imagine an eternity of pitch black rooms with huge subs, local producer heads lurking about, and lots of slow, meditative "skanking". I was never good enough at it to get big or very well known. When the whole "brostep" thing kicked off, loads of scene heads were up in arms, ranting about how their precious child had been bastardised and the Americans are to blame for everything. I kept quiet, because I knew eventually it'd all come around and a section of the mainstream would break off and discover the underground. This is why a lot of talented producers that hung onto dubstep now have the pleasure of touring the US in hyped venues. Will most of them get a gig in Bristol at the moment? Will they play the city which was once dubbed "The Second Home of Dubstep"? Probably not. Nearly everyone here is dancing to the house music revival now, there are almost no active dubstep promoters.

Dubstep will always be close to my heart because I made what I thought could be called dubstep for years: it's just a tempo and a leaning toward a particular rhythm structure at the end of the day. I know there are a lot people out there that are still pushing the sound forward, and that's great. I don't really conceptualise "moving on" myself; I've made a lot of stuff at 140, I just wanna make and play some faster stuff at the moment, call it what you like.

H: More recently you've been pushing the tempo up towards the 160 bracket. What was your thinking behind this? You seem to be able to take the sounds and styles that you'd always previously worked with, but twist them into a new form here.

C: Well, I first picked up on the fact that Planet Mu were releasing proper Chicago footwork beats, and some other tunes from producers that were hybridising the sound with other stuff. That led me on to dig a bit deeper. To be honest, like a lot of people, at the time I thought so much of the proper footwork tunes I found were interesting, but a bit abrasive. I'd not heard it on a system yet, and it wasn't in my culture. Then there were others tracks that really caught my ear. The overriding realisation was that you could do so much with this. It kicked me out of the habit of just going back to the same dubstep rhythms, and I enjoyed the energy of the faster tempo as I first got into electronic music through drum & bass. It made me start to think about rhythm in a new way again. I'm very grateful to the Chicago footwork producers for that, and the people that brought it over to the UK.

Same thing with the "trap" stuff. Yup... I just used the dirty word that causes so many to curl up inside. I put it in inverted commas because of course I'm referring more to 'electronic music influenced by southern hip hop' rather than the original trap genre. And the same thing again, a lot of it I don't like. A lot of it, personally, I find a bit over the top and abrasive. But more increasingly there's more producers influenced by the movement that are doing stuff I do like. I'm even thankful to the ones I don't, because they were part of what gave me new ideas. Whilst a lot of other people were moaning about it, so horrified by its development, saying 'what the hell is all this crappy trap stuff? It's horrible!', some other producers in the scene were quietly sitting there thinking something like: 'Well yeah, it's not all 100% up my street either, but it sure has given me some new ideas about drum patterns and tune structure.' They just mostly never said it, probably because they were scared about being chucked on the trash heap by the same purists that had done the same with anything else they thought was "trap shit".

H: With more people looking to experiment within that higher tempo range now, who are you tipping - besides yourself, of course - for fans to keep an eye on?

C: Oh god, I wouldn't have the time to think of all of them, and I don't want to separate artists into "known artists" and "up-and-coming artists", so I'll just give a few I'm loving at the moment: The Host, Adam Elemental, EPROM, Deft, Om Unit, Fracture, Sam Binga, Addison Groove, Machinedrum, Danny Scrilla, Ital Tek, EAN, Moresounds, Krampfhaft, and probably a load more that I'll kick myself for not remembering to list. There's lots out there.

H: You're also involved with running Inflect in Bristol. Tell us a bit about the night, and what got you into promoting nights; how do you view the lie of the musical land in Bristol currently, and where does Inflect fit in?

C: My girlfriend, Lorna, and I run Inflect; she is responsible for a lot of it. It's a small, humble operation really. We started it so we could hear some of this higher tempo music with new influences in Bristol clubs. Amongst the fact we still love dubstep and drum & bass, so some of that sometimes lands up in the melting pot too. We do exactly what we want, at the end of the day: we're flexible.

The Bristol club scene has changed so much. It's absolutely full to the roof with house and techno now. It's at saturation point. Actually, no... it's at the point of insanity. Just several weeks ago I wanted to go out and not listen to 4x4 beats. Looked online, there were seven house/techno nights, and one hardstyle night. There is rarely a dubstep event on here, and even drum & bass nights are few and far between. Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of house and techno, most of modern electronic music basically came from house music anyway, but when the variety on offer is so restricted it does start to get a bit frustrating. There just isn't a clubbing fanbase here anymore to keep, for example, a regular dubstep night going - might as well move to the US now if you want that! Things are changing though and, fingers crossed, they will continue to change.

H: How did you go about putting together the mix you've done for us?

C: It's just a mix of some 160-170 stuff I like. I've tried to organise the tunes in a way that they blend fairly well melodically, and take you on a journey through a few different styles. To play some tunes that people already know, and perhaps some stuff people don't. Hopefully it's enjoyable for most people.

H: Finally, are there are any forthcoming releases or anything else in the pipeline for people to look out for?

C: Y'know the classic thing: I don't wanna say anything specific because then it won't happen and I'll look like a tit. All I can say is expect the possibility of a release on a good label that is known for pushing footwork-related stuff, a remix from a well known artist who I very much respect, and collaborations with some very talented producers. There will be more releases from me soon, perhaps even some vinyl. Sorry to not be more specific! And lastly, thanks to Hedmuk for putting this out there.

Download: Coleco - Hedmuk Exclusive Mix


DjRum - Thank You [2nd Drop]
XLII - No Cure (EAN Remix) [Neon High]
The Host - Neonia [Dub]
Sepalcure - Eternally Yrs [Hotflush]
Adam Elemental - Shadow Self [Dub]
Coleco - Focus 10 [Runtime]
Muaramasa - Midas Touch [TrapDoor]
EPROM - Regis Chillbin (Machinedrum Remix) [Rwina]
Deft - The Count (Bounce) [Rwina]
Coleco - Ghost Rhythm [Loose Squares]
DJ Pillsbury - Everybody Get Down [Juke Trax]
EAN - Burnt [Cosmic Bridge]
Muramasa - Cruel [Trapdoor]
Deft - Masqurade [Rwina]
Om Unit & Sam Binga - Gamma [Exit Records]
Adam Elemental - Zero Point [Dub]
Danny Scrilla - Fallout [Civil Music]
Spirit & Digital - Phantom Force [Fracture Astrophonica Edit]
Alix Perez - Villians 1 Heros 0 (feat. They Call Me Raptor) [Shogun Audio]
Coleco - Nostalgic Future [TrapDoor]
Alix Perez - Warlord (feat. Riko Dan) [Shogun Audio]
Coleco - Micro [Dub]
Flosstradamus - Rollup (Baauer Remix) [Fools Gold]
Fracture - Clissold (Machinedrum VIP) [Astrophonica]
Coleco - Micro (EAN Remix) [Dub]
Paradox - Aphorismic [Paradox Music]
Fracture - Better Than Tomorrow [Metalheadz]
Paradox - Crate Logic [Samurai Red Seal]
Fanu - Leave The Natural World Behind [13 Music]


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