Various Artists

Electro Beatbox

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A label would have to try pretty hard to screw up an electro compilation. Since it's a relatively small pool of material to pick from, along with the fact that there are plenty of other exemplary compilations that can be used as models (patches of Thump's Old School series, large portions of Tommy Boy's Perfect Beats series), the margin for error isn't particularly wide. Electro Beatbox goes a bit beyond electro during its three-disc duration; it includes old-school tracks that have loose ties to electro, and a few other selections dip into the golden age of the late '80s and early '90s. Undeniable electro classics like Hashim's "Al Naayfish (The Soul)," the Egyptian Lover's "Egypt Egypt," and Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" butt heads with later gems like the 45 King's "The 900 Number," Ultramagnetic MC's' "Travelling at the Speed of Thought," Young MC's "Know How," and JVC Force's "Strong Island." This goes too far stylistically to be considered a definitive electro compilation, but its combination of electro with later-period material that shows how it affected what followed is easy and fun to trace here.

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