Various Artists

Mastercuts: Bar Life

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It's hard to nitpick with a two-disc mix that begins with James Brown's "The Boss," ends with Dexy's Midnight Runners' "Geno," and finds room for a motley cast that includes Paperclip People ("Throw"), Gang Starr ("Take a Rest"), Blondie ("Rapture"), Funkadelic ("One Nation Under a Groove"), Blackstreet ("No Diggity"), and Basement Jaxx ("Where's Your Heat At"). As with the preceding volumes of Mastercuts Bar Social, the mixing here is very slight, and, for the most part, the majority of each selection is allowed to play through. A handful of the transitions are rough, but the imaginative and non-snobby view of several forms of dance music -- regardless of obscurity or popularity, from funk to disco to new wave to house -- lends the set a sense of fun and adventure that so many of its competitors lack.

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