With one foot on the worldbeat bandwagon and the other firmly on the club floor, the Quango label has benefited from Island Records' muscular distribution apparatus and provided the world with booty-shaking dance music that manages never to sacrifice the funk in its quest for multicultural inclusiveness. In a world that's becoming more and more thin-lipped and prissy about multiculturalism, that's a rare and wonderful thing. Atomic Audio is a collection of album tracks and single remixes from artists who appear to be mostly British (though the disc's annoying lack of liner notes makes that impossible to verify). Names like Pentatonik and Wolfgang Press (refugees from the decidedly unfunky 4AD stable) will be familiar to club crawlers, and in fact they provide some of the more interesting moments on a disc that is never boring. Pentatonik kicks in a trippy sort of Clint Eastwood-on-Ecstasy groove with "Zeitgeist," which even includes vague spaghetti western references; Wolfgang Press continues to explore the snarling malevolence that has become its hallmark on "Executioner." "Coming Home to the Sun," by David Holmes, goes for a mystical, plainsong kind of thing, which, when combined with junglesque breakbeats, hits the spot quite nicely. Buy this disc, then go exploring into Quango's back catalog; it's worth the trip.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson