Various Artists


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The British borrowing from American black music is certainly nothing new. The question is: Do these U.K. artists give it their own flavor or are they content to simply mimic what is already out there? The selections featured on Sole Music's first American compilation do a bit of both. The opening cut by Bugz in the Attic takes a typical R&B sentiment into much spacier territories, while Homecookin''s "Lazy Days" starts with a garage vocal chorus and gives it a beat far more mature than the standard kick-snare arrangement. And of course, German staples Trüby Trio turn in yet another choice track in their endless string of Brazilo percussion rev-ups that are so tight, you wish the originals were this good. But for every hot number, there is an unfortunate retread. Ne-Grove's "Jerk Chicken Sole" has a catastrophic imitation of a George Clinton vocal. And Guiro's "Music" digs up the poorly developed electronic beats of '80s Whitney Houston that just won't sound cool regardless of how hard they try. Inversely, KV5 takes that same electro sound palette and uses it as a pleasant undercurrent to their sensual jazz display "Church Candies," proving again that it's not how big the sample, but how well you use it.

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