Various Artists

Femmes Fatales: The 12 Leading Ladies of Electronica

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Before anyone gets the idea that Femmes Fatales is a collection of jazz noir cuts, they should be forewarned that while all of the vocalists on this set can throw down, they do so to house music. The subtitle of this set is "The 12 Leading Ladies of Electronica." Now that we have that out of the way we can talk about what is here frankly. The set's opener by Mea Fischer is a standout with the beats crackling above 120 bpm. Her breathy voice that walks between melodic and a husky whisper soars over the beats and lyric track. Layla (accompanied by Mike Burns, who seems to be all over this platter) lays out an even faster "Waiting for You." But it's "100 Stories" by Andrea Burns (accompanied by Noel Sanger's remix) steals the entire show with her redolent pop chanteuse warble over a 140 bpm percussive mix that swirls and dips all around her. This cut should have been an aboveground smash to be sure. There are three different mixes of the cut on this set; the final two are at the end as bonus tracks. Elsewhere, Celeste Lee's "Letter from a Train" plays itself down in the groove only to pop out of it with fantastic control and emotion that don't get swallowed by the mix. This is a nifty comp for the price. Recommended.

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