Various Artists

Constant Elevation

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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson

Constant Elevation is loosely positioned as a sequel to 1997's Deep Concentration, a turntablist compilation that featured such well-known names as Prince Paul, Kid Koala, and Cut Chemist demonstrating the state of what was then an art in a period of renaissance. The hipness quotient of turntablism having peaked, anthologist Joseph Patel is back with a collection of cutting-edge progressive hip-hop, much of it instrumental, some of it showcasing the cutting and scratching talents of a handful of young DJs, but most tracks spending their energy exploring the outer boundaries of the genre in more adventurous ways. Sometimes innovation looks backward, as is demonstrated by Recloose on his charming "Chiqwanga," which combines old-school beats with modern techno textures; sometimes it takes modern elements and juxtaposes them in new ways, as does Omid with "Schrödinger's Cat," a clever pastiche of prog rock organ and jungle breakbeats. And sometimes it falters, like on Freestyle Fellowship's goofy "Crazy." But the inspirational moments greatly outnumber the forgettable ones on this fine compilation. Recommended.

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