Various Artists

Shadow: Hed Sessions, Vol. 2

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With Shadow: Hed Sessions, Vol. 2, the Shadow label demonstrates yet again that it can boast what is perhaps the finest stable of down-tempo electronica artists in the United States. And it also demonstrates that it knows how to market them, offering this nearly hour-long sampler at the below-budget list price of six dollars and 99 cents. If you're tired of generic chill-out music and second-hand deep house, then bump along to Greg Long's "Economic Freedom (Blend Mix)," which swings as heavily as a bowling ball in a hammock, or get your nu-jazz groove on to the tune of Toye's string-bass-driven "Banana Jazz Hop," which somehow manages to fuse glitch, hip-hop, jazz, and breakbeat into a coherent whole. Other highlight tracks include the alternately smooth and jittery "Nikita's Dream" by Swirlbent and two contributions from Saru: the slightly scary and subtly dub-wise slow-funk workout "Subterra (Mole Mix)" and the less-scary-but-no-less-funky "Suck in Love (Jimborino Jambalong Mix)," which closes the album. Even at full price, this collection would be worth twice the price.

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