Kirk Degiorgio

The Soul of Science 2

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Kirk Degiorgio and Ian O'Brien return with another crate full of dusty synth-heavy oddities and favorites of recent vintage for the Soul of Science 2 compilation. Apart from the first volume of the series, there's no other package quite like this one. That's saying a great deal, given the fact that -- from genre-specific titles to soundtracks -- there's often little that differentiates one compilation from the next. Again, as with the first Soul of Science, the breadth is remarkable, not only in terms of chronology but also in terms of stylistic scope. Spanning well over three decades, the selections dip into a number of quarters, from otherworldly explorations of early synthesizer use to dancefloor-aimed broken beat productions of a more contemporary nature. Annette Peacock's playfully cracked early-'70s excursion "I'm the One" and Bennie Maupin's soaring "Quasar" bookend the disc, the latter -- a revisit of the original heard on Herbie Hancock's Crossings -- practically bringing the whole thing full circle, capping off a ride with several unpredictable diversions. From West London circa 2001, Kaidi Tatham exemplifies the tricky yet accessible possibilities of the broken beat movement, with vocal help from Izzi Dunn. And while including tracks of your own on a compilation or mix album can be horribly tacky, Degiorgio and O'Brien's exclusive "Covetous" (credited to Super-A-Loof) nearly steals the show -- it's a moody breakbeat techno epic with first-rate programming and discreet keyboard melodies; it's one of the finest tracks either has been involved with. Track for track, Soul of Science 2 comes very close to matching its predecessor. Unfortunately, Degiorgio's scholarly, insightful liner notes, found in the first volume, are not provided here.

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