Various Artists

Strip Joint Grooves, Vol. 1

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This comp from Hamburg electronic imprint Dessous features roster DJ Vincenzo mixing up a selection of lush and refined modernized house. Beginning with his own "Confusion," Vincenzo spins into "So Many Things" from Needs, appearing in a version pared down from the mix on 2004's Needs [Not Wants]. Throughout Strip Joint Grooves, Vincenzo retains the tracks' percussive bounce. It's house music, after all. But he still keeps the top end jazzy and smooth, or lets the vocal play out with subtle R&B flavors. It makes for an effective mix that's never too hard or too soft. Lovebirds' "Feel the Bird" is all rhythm, for example, bouncing along on a modified disco beat with only slight breaks. But then there's the George Levin track "When I'm With You," where the singer's soulful tone and the electric piano trills take the house bump into the lounge. Strip Joint Grooves, Vol. 1 isn't the ultimate standout in the crowded electronica mix market, but it has plenty of style and a definite sense of what it's trying to accomplish. It's a definite set, and not simply a scattershot compilation.

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