Various Artists

Destination Lounge New York City

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The whole concept of geographically themed dance music collections may be kind of gratuitous (quick, close your eyes and try to hear the difference between the New York collection and the San Francisco one), but the Destination Lounge compilations have all maintained a pretty high standard of techno-lounge quality. This one is no exception, bringing together top-notch material by Kaskade ("Everything"), Mambana (the lovely "Felicidad"), and Blaze (the powerfully gospel-flavored "Most Precious Love," featuring Barbara Tucker), among many others. The finest tracks are those that feature guests from outside the lounge mainstream: "New York City (DJ Strobe Brooklyn Vibe Mix)" is credited to the Peter Malick Group but built around a sweet, smoky vocal by Norah Jones; the song loses its edge when the mediocre rap section starts, but up until that point it's brilliant. Rae & Christian apply their trademark decorous Brit-funk to Echo's "Sparks from a Wheel," and turn it into another album highlight. The bonus DVD is something of a waste of time -- lots of scene-setting footage of Manhattan streets filled with yellow cabs, alternating with shots of beautiful girls dancing. Whatever. Recommended overall.

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