Various ‎– A Journey Into Ambient Groove 4

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Tracklist

Akasha Dali 5:30
Erwin van Moll The Great Lover 6:32
DJ Food Freedom (Fila Brazillia Mix 1) 9:31
Innervisions Mermaids 6:27
Kid Loco Alone Again So 7:03
Sofa Surfers Sofa Rockers (Richard Dorfmeister Mix) 4:41
Special Projects One More 6:13
Neotropic From Small Acorns 2:14
Neotropic Neotropic 5:44
Basement Jaxx Stanley 3:52

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The_Unrest_Cure

The_Unrest_Cure

October 8, 2010
referencing A Journey Into Ambient Groove 4, CD, Comp, 314-524 404-2

One of the bright shining examples of a domestic (US) compilation of superior work from abroad, this is actually a very, very good album. A quick glance of the roster clearly identifies this as more than just a crass attempt to exploit a marketing name - "ambient groove" - right at the height of electronic dance music's invasion of the US: Neotropic, DJ Food, J Majik (under his Innervisions guise), Kid Loops (as Special Projects). The standouts are somewhat unexpected, though. Akasha's "Dali" is off wall and interesting. Fila Brazillia's remix of "Simple Man" stretches out a bit too-longish, but is still engaging. The highlight must be Innervisions' "Mermaids", which showcases just how well J Majik could do moody downbeat. I'm not so certain that the compilation quite lives up to the billing on the sleeve ("the ambient groove series continues to explore the evolving world of downtempto grooves, electronic lullabies, and ambient soundscapes") mainly due to the hyperbolic and meaningless nature of sleeve marketing - Buy me! Buy me! - but it is an excellent sampler of well-crafted and non-bombastic techno, quite contrary to the then-current US market of the time. And it has stood up much better to repeated listening than that now-passed fancy, too.