Metaform's Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, though obviously influenced by the developments of artists like RJD2 and DJ Shadow, does quite a bit to refine the formula of creating trippy hip hop. The production has never been better, full of funk breaks, slick guitar, sensual saxophones, and some unexpected synthesizer moments. There are also some sweet sweet vocals thrown into the mix as if accompaniment. The 45-minute album spread over 19 tracks is essentially a song-by-song testament to why digital manipulation music can feel lush and organic.
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants  - Download - Review
Blue Sky Black Death's Late Night Cinema is the spiritual successor to DJ Shadow's Entroducing, but with a lot more detail. The slow-churned beats, which take odd cues from mainstream rap beats, build throughout the course of each track, and along with the varied backgrounds, feel more like post-rock in trip-hop clothing than anything else. Every song builds to a gorgeous crescendo out of a simple trip hop refrain. One of my favorite albums of the year so far.
Late Night Cinema  - Download - Review