Various Artists

Permanent Vacation, Vol. 2

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While the first mix-set of blissed-out Balearic disco purveyed by the German groove gurus at Permanent Vacation culled freely from both the original late-'70s/early-'80s heyday of the genre and its mid-2000s reemergence, this second installment confines itself almost entirely to the contemporary side of things. The mix opens with the '80s-era retro head-trip of Nick Nicely's hazy psych-folk "On the Beach," and a funky 2004 cut from Californian house producer Michoacan, but apart from that everything here post-dates the label's inception in 2006, which only makes sense since this time around as they've actually got some product to promote. Actually, only a handful of the selections are from Permanent Vacation-associated artists, all of them saved for the mix's latter half: the gradually building midtempo house of Swiss producer Lexx's "Axis Shift," the Bavarian Bostro Pesopeo's Italo-esque slow burn "Bisogna," Woolfy vs. Projections gentle, spacy "Absynth," and an amiably grooving cut from label heads and mix compilers Benjamin Fröhlich and Tom Bioly, by way of their Only Fools and Horses project, presented in an extended remix by DFA associates Holy Ghost! If none of these are the most riveting tracks in the world, they're never less than exceedingly pleasant, which is pretty much the name of the game with this type of music, and they swim along just fine. The mix is anchored by a couple of 2007's most prominent tracks: Hot Chip's shimmering revision of Junior Boys' "In the Morning" (they turn up again for an unexpected but satisfying disco remix of Stephen Malkmus, of all people), and Glass Candy's lovely "Rolling Down the Hills," which was a highlight of the much-ballyhooed After Dark compilation, but feels slightly tacked-on here. By dint of their familiarity, but also their overt poppiness, these stick out as slightly showy amid a sea of subdued, softly burbling disco grooves, though there are other pop hooks to be had, notably in the '70s rock update vocals of Findlay Brown's "Losing the Will to Survive," remixed here by Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve. On the whole, this mix feels more pedestrian than its inspired predecessor, maintaining a similar lilting spirit (with perhaps a slightly sharper dancefloor focus), but without so many unexpectedly magical selections. Still, it's nice enough stuff, and an admirably direct summation of an undeniable late-'00s zeitgeist.

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