Various Artists

70s Disco Lounge: Your All Time Favorite Disco Hits Gone Lounge!

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One listen to Liza Everson's version of Chic's "Le Freak" offers ample evidence of what's on offer here -- and just how deceptive the title of this compilation is -- at least potentially. While 70s Disco Lounge: Your All Time Favorite Disco Hits Gone Lounge! gives the impression that it's a comp of tracks that offer an interpretation of an earlier musical era's (late '50s and early '60s) disco, what's here has nothing in common with the ground pioneered by Martin Denny, Esquivel, Les Baxter, or Piero Umiliani. Instead, what's referenced in the title is club lounge, a subgenre of electronic music invented by European DJs -- as in, this is music for lounging around. These are laid-back versions of disco hits: they're nocturnal, dipped in neo-soul with ambient textures and restrained instrumentation. In other words, here, the funk is gone. Need more proof? Check the closing sleepy version of "I Will Survive" by Sister Kat, or the synthetic reggae reading of "I Can't Stand the Rain" by Véronica M. That's not to say there aren't some decent tracks here. "Never Can Say Goodbye" by Mary Nelson has some excellent hand drum loops, a shimmering low-end-theory synth, and some lovely textures. "Just an Illusion," by Al Blamo and Miley Schmit, has a lovely soulful vibe illustrated by layered horns that never intrude but indeed color the proceedings. Like most comps from Water Music Corporation, this is a mixed bag; it's big on mood but iffy in terms of consistency.

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