Various Artists

Cookin' Ingredients, Step 1

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There are so many electronica compilations released that each one seems to be met with a collective sigh of disinterest, but this one is worth sitting up and taking notice. Nine jazzy, mood-setting cuts from a variety of relative unknowns, with not a loser in the bunch; the album will almost certainly appeal to anyone sick of the mind-boggling deluge of homogenous drum'n'bass and house collections glutting the market. Eschewing the fashionable trends so prevalent in techno, artists like Artemis use retro organ sounds and percolating percussion to create delicious funk explosions like "B3" that wouldn't sound out of place on a blaxploitation soundtrack. From White Rhino's Latin-flavored funk on "Definition" to Cedar's atmospheric "Transcendant Spheres," this is the rare electronic music compilation that succeeds simply by daring to be different.

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