I Witness Album reviews.
Release Date: 06.11.01
Record label: Loungism Recordings
Genre(s): Trance, Big Beat, Ambient, House, Trip-Hop, etc.
by: matt cibula
What, my friends, is this genre called "chill-out"? It's what you listen to in the back room when you're coming down off an E trip; techno, electro, but slow and soft and ambient and unchallenging, "quiet storm" stuff for club kids. It's hard to get real excited about chill-out music, because it works so hard to get you NOT excited. But the best of it can be as beautiful as that girl on the other couch who is about to pass out.
This CD is just that beautiful. It's a 13-track compilation featuring such Euro-scene stalwarts as JFC, King Kooba, and Lemongrass, and ethno-downtempo acts dZihan & Kamien and Da Lata. Everything seems to float on a little happy friendly no-lumps drumbeat, there are lots of floaty synths, some "aaaaahhhhh" vocals, stuff that sounds like vibes, and almost nothing to get your pulse racing…or to write home about either.
But the genius part is that they do throw in the occasional wildcard. Philly jazzbo hip-hop poet Ursula Rucker makes an appearance early on, with a wicked monologue called "Circe" that has been remixed by Jazzanova so that it fits into lounge culture. Pepe Deluxe steals the entire backing track from the first part of Diana Ross' "Love Hangover" (you know, the funky section) and puts some kind of shite "sampled" monologue over it--but that beat is so dope that it's all good. And Stereo Action Unlimited comes correct on a track called "Hi-Fi Trumpet," which sounds like the missing link between Herb Alpert and the Nortec Collective.
But the biggest surprise here is the incredible undying dopeness of one song, the Gotan Project's "El Capitalismo Foraneo." This song, off last year's Revancha del Tango, brings the Argentinean noise like no other; Nini Flores' bandoneon sounds amazing next to the light dubby beats, and the song really actually cooks, albeit in a slow sort of way. This piece is almost too good for the album, because it makes you want to get up, grab the nearest hottie in red, and tango until dawn stretches her weary fingers over the city. And that's just not very chill-out, is it?
But overall: great collection, sweet stuff. Ideal for those who need to lower their blood pressure, and club kids who want to get laid. 02-Sep-2002 10:21 PM