Various Artists

Glasgow Underground: Explorations in Chill

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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson

Sometimes great pop albums come in unlikely genres. Country albums are often great pop albums. Sometimes a punk album or an electronica album will be a great pop album. But very rarely will an album with the word "chill" in its title be a great pop album. This one is an exception. The music here isn't "chill" in the sense of "chill-out room" (you know -- dreamy, wispy, ambient, relaxing); rather, it's "chill" in the sense of cool and laid-back, but still interesting and tuneful. All of the material comes from the British Glasgow Underground label, which was founded in 1997 as an outlet for music by such Glaswegian artists as DJQ, Rose Smith, and CPEN. This compilation features all of those artists, as well as Groove Assassins, Neon Heights, Jersey Street, Azioa, Pascal & Mister Day, and Cinephile. Top honors go to Rose Smith, whose two contributions (the funky "Life Changes" and the more laid-back "First Time Alive") are the most sumptuously lovely items on the program. But Cinephile's quietly trippy "Wasted" is also worth mentioning, as is the gently propulsive "Basement Journeys" by Groove Assassins, which features the talents of DJ Raw. Very highly recommended.

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