Various Artists

Shadow: Hed Sessions

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Earlier in 2001, the Shadow Records compilation titled Hard Sessions showcased the label's impressive stable of artists working in the drum'n'bass, techno, and lo-fi beat disciplines. Hed Sessions focuses on more down-tempo moods, featuring such artists as Goo, Mujaji, Hybrid Device, and Merkin. It's an outstanding compilation that demonstrates the rich variety of styles that fall under the "down-tempo" rubric: Merkin's "The Sauce" balances lightly between jazzy drum'n'bass and ambient trip-hop, while Saru's "Intro/Posterity (Dark Star Mix)" layers a funky minimalist breakbeat over an eerie, two-note bassline to fine effect. Goo's "Bomboclat Elements" draws on reggae and jungle flavors and samples, but keeps the groove cool and jazzy. One of the best contributions comes from the Los Angeles-based Saru, whose "Subterra (Deep Six Mix)" is among the most compelling beat compositions on the program. Highly recommended to beat freaks and down-tempo addicts everywhere.

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