Various Artists

Disco Kandi, Vol. 5.2

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The Hed Kandi label, founded in 1999 by DJ and A&R man Mark Doyle (and part of a three-member label group that also includes Stereo Sushi and Acid Lounge), continues its series of generously packed two-disc compilations with a new theme: Disco Kandi. The casual listener might have a hard time divining any essential difference between the music contained in Disco Kandi and that of, say, the Beach House or Nu Kool collections. All offer kaleidoscopic variations on the house music theme, with occasional excursions into chill-out, garage, and acid jazz. And all of it is utterly and perfectly functional and occasionally even inspiring. On Disco Kandi it's the songs that hit the hardest, perhaps because the vocals provide cover for the more or less relentless "tss-thump-toss-thump" beats that predominate. Highlights include the jazzy and vaguely Latin "Whatever" by Todd Gardner (featuring vocals by Gynisse) and Moony's brilliant "Dove (I'll Be Loving You)." On the more curious side is Plump DJ's remix of the classic War number "Galaxy 2000" and a little ditty called "I Would Die 4 U," presented here in a 12" mix and credited coyly to "the Space Cowboy." Recommended.