Various Artists

Sounds of OM, Vol. 4

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The Sounds of OM series has become something of an institution; each volume brings together what its compilers say are the greatest and most sought-after 12" remixes of the past year, most of them previously available only on vinyl. It's a nice service to provide clubgoers who don't have turntables at home or can't be bothered to haunt the vinyl shops or spend all night turning records over, and the material is generally quite good. The fourth volume in the series is a continuous DJ mix by DJ Fluid (who did the honors on the first volume, as well), and features 15 tracks of quality house music by the likes of Afro-Mystik, Miguel Migs, Kaskade, and J Boogie's Dubtronic Science. House programs like this are usually pretty consistent (and often consistently boring), but this one has some definite ups and downs, which ends up contributing nicely to the overall quality of the disc. Kaskade's opening track is a bit thin, and the next track, a collaboration with DJ Mark Farina, only slightly improves things. But "Rainfall," by J Boogie's Dubtronic Science, is an actual song, and a gorgeous one; things soften up a bit toward the middle, then rise to another peak of musical interest with Afro-Mystik's very fine "Follow Me." DJ Fluid provides a strange and curiously compelling melodic motif on the otherwise unobtrusive "Presence," and Afro-Mystik finishes things off in fine style with the piano-based "Rhythm Is?" (mixed by labelmate Marques Wyatt). Very nice overall.

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