Various Artists

Stereo Sushi

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No, Stereo Sushi isn't a collection of Japanese Shibuya-kei pop, though the curious will be forgiven for assuming from the kiddie-core graphics, fonts, and layout that there'll be plenty of Pizzicato 5 or Fantastic Plastic Machine inside. Instead, the basically unmixed two-disc set compiles the early-2000s sound of deep house: that slightly chilled, slightly clubby version of neo-disco that matches the freewheeling disco blueprint of Salsoul records. Mark Doyle, from the ubiquitous Hed Kandi family of compilations, oversees the set, selecting tracks from sympathetic labels like Distance, Om, King Street, Nervous, and Subliminal Soul. Stereo Sushi is a classic "background listening" record; highlights are difficult to choose, since each of these producers gets the sound down well, but few are able to transcend the jazzy, downtempo keys, chunky basslines, Latin percussion, and yearning vocals in attendance. Three do rise above the pack, however: Miguel Migs' remix of "Fall into You" by Soulstice, a remix of "My Precious Thing" by Llorca, and a tag-team reworking of Dido's "Hunter" featuring Francois Kevorkian and Faithless.

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