Various Artists

Blunted

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    9
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Hit the bass boost at your peril on this one -- the dark, churning beats on this compilation are generally bass-heavy enough to damage stereo equipment if you're not careful, and in this case that's a compliment. This album will most likely be filed under trip-hop; the tempos are mostly fairly languid, but the beats are heavy and funky in a deep, drowsy sort of way. Goo weighs in with the dancehall reggae-inflected "Offishall Chamberlain," while a Japanese electronica team called the United Future Organization delivers a timpani-driven groove with sampled Middle Eastern vocals titled "Pilgrims." There's a typically lush and groovy contribution from DJ Krush and trumpeter Toshinori Kondo (who seems to have come all the way back into the pop fold since his '70s avant-garde collaborations with guitarist Fred Frith), but best of all is Superpulse's "Theme From 'Superglue'," a deeply complex slice of experimental drum'n'bass that manages to be simultaneously jittery and shimmeringly beautiful. There aren't really any weak tracks here; this is easily one of 2000's best collections of electronica.

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