Various Artists

Staedtizism 4

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The fourth Staedtizism compilation from Stefan Betke's Scape label takes on a funk theme -- just don't expect "Flashlight" or "More Bounce to the Ounce." As with the other themes that the Staedtizism compilations have based themselves around -- dub, jazz, hip-hop -- Staedtizism 4 has a lot to do with incorporation and little to do with appropriation. Even the track with the most indicative title, Jan Jelinek's "Fatback's Wicky Wacky," manages to work in numerous samples and other familiar components while sounding almost completely alien to its name-dropped inspiration. Like the other standouts here, the track fits references and nuances that range from minute to overt into the form of minimal-minded experimental techno productions. At its best -- the hopped-up-meets-downcast blend of Akufen's "Theo's Theory," the juicy squelches and crisp handclaps of Daniel Bell's "Star Child," the chugging Kraut-funk of Thomas Fehlmann's "Andrea Is Delighted" -- Staedtizism 4 operates as a great alternative to the everynight "chillout" compilation, working in low-key sounds and less-than-hurried tempos that are conducive to both relaxation and stimulation. The brevity of the disc in relation to its predecessors suggests that Betke might've had a little trouble scaring up tracks to fit this mold. And, somewhat ironically, the disc beats the (hot) pants off Betke's fourth Pole album, released around the same time.

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