Various Artists

Mo'Plen 2000: Acid Hip Tracks from Italian Cocktails

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After establishing itself with a surprisingly rock-tinged first volume, this unique Italian lounge compilation continued in a similar direction on Mo'plen 2000. Billing itself as containing "Acid hip tracks from Italian cocktails!," this disc makes a fun listen, but suffers from the same programming problems that Mo'plen 1000 suffered. Like that disc, this features some tracks that are surprisingly rock-oriented despite their lounge tag: Riz Ortolani's "Cani E Gatti" includes some jazzy keyboard work, but is dominated by some scorching fuzz guitar, and "Operation Beat," by Mario Molino E I Beats, is a straight psychedelic rocker with an emphasis on the electric guitar. At the other end of the scale, there are some more relaxed cuts that more smoothly fit the disc's lounge orientation: "Madeira" by Giovanni Lamberti E la Sua Orchestra features flute and saxophone trading licks over a light bossa nova beat, while Roberto Pregadio's "Claudia in Motoretta" layers plenty of freewheeling jazz keyboard lines over a tight, cymbal-heavy beat. Other cuts take Mo'plen 2000 in still more surprising directions: Goblin's "Snip Snap" is a funk workout layered with plenty of spacey synthesizer, and Bruno Nicolai's "Secondo Rito" defies lounge music expectations completely with its bizarre mixture of Latin-sounding choral chants and restlessly twisting sitar lines. Everything presented here is interesting, but it feels more like an arbitrary collection of instrumentals than a proper compilation. As a result, Mo'plen 2000 offers enough lounge oddities to satisfy fans of this style, but is likely to confuse uninitiated listeners with its grab-bag approach to lounge music.

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