Various Artists

Lounge at Cinevox: Beat, Vol. 2

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After testing the waters with the solid but unexceptional Lounge at Cinevox: Beat, Vol. 1, Cinevox upped the ante with this more interesting second volume. Lounge at Cinevox: Beat, Vol. 2 has the edge on its predecessor because it boasts a more adventurous set of selections. This combination of factors is apparent from the first cut, a wild slab of psychedelic funk entitled "4 Mosche Di Velluto Grigio (Titoli)": After leaping out the speakers with a jazzy drum intro, this cut then launches into an infectiously funky organ groove and quickly piles on psychedelic fuzz guitar, bursts of white noise, and unhinged wordless wailing from a singer. Similar cuts in this adventurous vein include "Blue Rhythm Festival," which starts as a tribal drum jam only to suddenly shift into a funky, sax-laden vamp, and "Car Chase at Margellina," which highlights the guitarists and keyboardists trading fast-fingered riffs over a restless, cymbal-heavy drum beat. Other cuts pare down the instrumental fireworks to create a moodier but no less catchy feel: "Pensando a Te" combines quietly jazzy piano and guitar riffs over an insistent beat to create a stylish yet swinging tune, and "Incompatibilita" plays off soulful organ soloing against exuberant bursts of horns to create a tune whose dynamics shift from "gently grooving" to "fiercely swinging" at the drop of a hat. The end result is a sharp set of instrumentals that allows Lounge at Cinevox: Beat, Vol. 2 to function both as a good introduction to Italian lounge music for novices and a worthwhile pick for those already addicted to this genre.

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