Various Artists

The Perfect Beats, Vol. 4

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Unlike the previous three volumes in the series, the final chapter of The Perfect Beats strays a bit from its subtitle, "New York Electro Hip-Hop + Underground Dance Classics 1980-1985," by tracing the R&B roots of club culture and offering up some of the genre's ancestral beats (from the likes of Blackbyrds' "Rock Creek Park," Lonnie Liston Smith's "Expansions." and Herman Kelly + Life's "Dance to the Drummer's Beat") for dissection. They add historical perspective to the series, but it's the solid futuristic electro-funk that anchors Volume 4. C-Bank's "One More Shot," Quadrant Six's "Body Mechanic," Jonzun Crew's "Pack Jam," and Cybotron's "Clear" are pillars of the club community. Perfect finale: wrapping up the The Perfect Beats with Afrika Bambaataa's "Looking for the Perfect Beat," the mantra and objective of this exceptional series.

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