Quango Space Jazz

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Though this eclectic compilation is a bit heavier on the space than it is on the jazz, it is a cohesive, mood-altering tribute to the psychedelic sounds of '60s jazz legends like the Headhunters and Sun Ra. In case you weren't familiar with Quango's trademark fusionary sound, Tosca's loungey atmospherics on "Chocolate Elvis" clue you in right away, with a trippy Rastafarian intro that gives way to smooth guitar melodies, echoing organs, and syncopated programmed rhythms. Pnu Riff's off-kilter "Comfy Club" could be a lost track from the Age of Aquarius, with its kitschy vocal harmonies and Vince Guiraldi-influenced piano, while Love TKO's "Lost in the Amazon" is an otherworldly trip that matches Herbie Mann-style flute with Pink Floyd-ian organs and sound effects. Not every track here works, and at times the use of drum machines and sequencers gives the music a synthetic feel, but it never crosses the line into sterility. The album's not quite good enough to rank with the legends it seeks to pay tribute to, but if Quango Space Jazz turns techno fans onto the real thing, it should prove to be a worthy venture.

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