Various Artists

Bargrooves: Members Only 2

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This entry in the Bargrooves series is a two-disc DJ mix, split between DJ Ben Sowton (disc one) and Native New Yorkers (disc two). Sowton opens the program powerfully, with the one-two punch of "Holdin' On (Soularis Sunsoaked Remix)" by Physics, followed immediately by Soularis' own "Closer." With house music, as with most kinds of music that are defined by a fairly rigid formula, you learn to make small distinctions, and what makes the former track interesting is the way the singer's laconic phrasing nudges up against the song's rather stiff rhythm; the latter song features beautifully dense harmonies and a more swinging beat. Elsewhere, there's a nice Latin track from Timabalestics, and a high-energy contribution from Ross Couch, as well as the inevitable thumpa-thumpa snooze grooves from the likes of Moses McClean and Rob Burns. The Native New Yorkers disc also focuses on songs, with cool entries from Central Avenue, DJ Wady & Junatik, and Keith Taylor. Hott 22 are represented by several tracks, including the nicely dubbed-up "Sometimes," while the only really lame moment on this disc is provided by Richard Gow and Cathy Campani's silly French spoken word interlude "Life Is Like (NNY Dark n' Lovely Vocal Mix)"." Very nice overall.

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