The Angel

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Start by getting the hype out of the way: yes, she's a woman. Yes, she's strikingly beautiful. That said, look at the music: it's funky in a trippy, downtempo way, and even, at times, strikingly beautiful. With a DJ resumé that goes back to about 1993 -- she's recorded under such names as 60 Channels and Jaz Klash -- Angel has been a prolific producer, remixer, DJ, and even a film composer. This is a collaboration with a roster of vocalists that includes Navigator (of Freestylers), Divine Styler, Tre Hardson, and Mystic, among others, and while she keeps things mellow and easy throughout the program, there are lots of layers to pick apart and lots of deep, dark grooves to keep you gently swaying in your living room or driver's seat. Notable tracks include the eerie and periodically jungly "Selector," a great cameo by Divine Styler on "Act As If," and the gorgeous and multifaceted "Baltimore." There are two hidden tracks at the end of the program: an uncensored version of the album's lead track, "Make It Betta," and an alternate mix of "Destiny Complete." Highly recommended, and not just to those who think that gender matters.

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