Sofa Surfers

See the Light

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A downtempo act with a long history of dub expansions behind them, Sofa Surfers benefitted greatly from their relationship with Thievery Corporation's ESL label, first via the inclusion of their track "See the Light" on the 2003 compilation Den of Thieves, then with this stateside release -- a compilation of their first three albums. It leads off, rightly, with the Richard Dorfmeister mix of "Sofa Rockers," still the group's deepest track many years after its recording. The disc concentrates on their many productions for a wide range of vocalists, which helps show listeners where Sofa Surfers were coming from; Junior Delgado, Sensational, and Jeb Loy Nichols illustrate that the Sofa Surfers aesthetic reconciles earthy and digital, roots and electronic, encompassing roots reggae, hip-hop, techno, and experimental forms. Although it takes a master like Dorfmeister to construct such an irresistible groove as "Sofa Rockers," the quartet is an excellent production unit that allows room for vocalists to stretch out, but also indulges in a universe of production subtleties to invigorate the headphone experience.

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