Various Artists

Music for Children [Bruchstuecke]

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Since 1999, Switzerland's Kompakt-distributed Bruchstuecke has been one of the great undervalued minimal techno/house labels around, but their slow release schedule and lack of CD releases have prevented them from becoming as recognized as many of their counterparts. Surprisingly -- and some might say disappointingly -- their first CD release isn't a compilation of previously released highlights or a mix of some kind. Instead, they've chosen to round up a number of producers (including Thomas Fehlmann, Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos, Console, Dandy Jack, Tom Thiel, Dinky, and Gudrun Gut) to contribute tracks that are more suitable for the nursery than the club. Nobody comes up with anything that's truly out of character, though the occasional music box chime or toy noise sample sprouts up. Otherwise, the compilation is a fine antidote to overly sweet and relentlessly chirpy children's music, and it can be enjoyed by parents and hatchlings alike. Each track involves nuanced, delicate melodies and soothing ambience, even when they seem to be geared more toward playtime than nap time. One eyebrow-raising departure is Ricardo Villalobos' "Frank and Hennes," a loping low-key track that liberally samples Pink Floyd's "Fearless." Perhaps he has a track sampling "One of These Days" that's ready for a Halloween compilation.