Lo Fidelity Allstars

Abstract Funk Theory

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For an edition in Obsessive's mix-album series Abstract Funk Theory, Lo Fi Allstars constructed a set that serves several purposes. First and foremost it's a well-paced mix of perfectly selected music, but it also shines a light on the sounds that made the 2002 Lo Fi's full-length, Don't Be Afraid of Love, one of the rangiest dance records of the new millennium. Much of this mix consists of left-field hip-hop, but the disc starts out in far more bucolic territory with Mercury Rev's "Holes" and Bill Withers' "Grandma's Hands" (in a live version, no less). Lo Fi's provide their own transition, "Zipp -- Just Gone," then take off with a trio of excellent hip-hop cuts: "Mack Facts" by British rap kingpins New Flesh, "Bootay" by the jokey but surprisingly intriguing Stones Throw side-project El Captain Funkaho, and "Ghosts With Teeth" by lo-fi Req compatriot Kid Acne. There are still a few surprises left in the Lo Fi's kit bag, including Lambchop's gospel-choir extravaganza "Up With People," and the loose-joint soul of the Emotions' "Blind Alley." Nearly every track displays the group as prescient selectors with an army of obscurities in their crates, and the pacing brings together a host of disparate tracks. Extra points for closing with the ambient keys of Derrick May's Rhythim Is Rhythim masterpiece "Kao-Tic Harmony."

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