Alex Kid starts off the compilation with an uptempo, broken beat groove on Come With Me featuring the sweet, whispery vocals of Lisette Alea. It’s a fusion of jazz and funk, coupled with bouncy grooves and a nice syncopated beat.
Motor City provide a smooth remix to Metropolitan Jazz Affair’s Yunowhathislifeez paying homage to the acid jazz days back in the mid nineties. Funky bass and solemn trumpets provide a nice backdrop to the male vocals lacing the track. Count Indigo looks back towards the 70’s for Trinity (Bringing Out The Devil). He’s the English Curtis Mayfield – think big orchestral arrangements, funky guitar riffs, disco beats and he even sounds like the 70’s soul icon.
On a more laidback tip are tracks like Oscar Brown Jr.’s blues and soul piece Brother Where Are You featured here remixed by Matthew Herbert.
My Room by the Marathonians provides a summery reggae flavour to the compilation. Lilly Dale by Arthur H provides a more sublime and relaxed mood to the CD. Deep male vocals sung in French backed by a melancholic guitar are the theme for this tune.
Covering the hip hop genre is Lyrics Born whose Bad Dream is one tasty chunk of hip hop funk mixed in with a lot of soul. From the UK is Ty on Wait A Minute taking hip hop to a new level by fusing hip hop MC-ing with upbeat latin rhythms, soulful jazzy vocals while he tackles issues regarding relationships. General Electrics’ Take You Out Tonight is by a French expat in San Francisco who has collaborated with the Quannum collective. If you don’t get their hints by now, it’s Lateef the Truth Speaker from Latyrx and Maroons. Take You Out Tonight sits on a funky laidback 70’s vibe, heavy on the Hammond organ with a male vocalist singing in high spirits while Lateef is in his usual good form on the mic.
On a more abstract hip hop tip is The Big Picture by Izzy Dunn which sees the cellist combining elements of hip hop beats with soulful vocals while she uses her cello to create deep melodies. A big surprise (for me anyway) comes from the Chicks On Speed, whose usual uptempo electro pop stylings are set aside for a little samba flavour on Coventry.
The demise of eclectic compilations in the past like Rebirth Of Cool has meant that the joining of forces between the artists above would be hard to come by, especially since dance music is starting to get more genre specific as can be witnessed by a lot of compilations. Thankfully this isn’t one of those Ibiza labelled chill out compilations, but more a true eclectic compilation featuring Radio Nova’s highlight tunes from their 2003 playlist. Even though I didn’t find every single song appealing, there’s definitely something in here for people with a palette for good music.