Various Artists

Ultimate Lounge

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Water Music's Ultimate Lounge is fairly eclectic, offering two discs of downtempo, lounge, and acid jazz that have a little more character than the label's usual fare. Disc one features Llorca & Nicole Graham's "Indigo Blues," a surprisingly kinetic, acoustic-based track; Montefiori Cocktail's "On a Clear Day," which, with its crooning vocals and bossa nova rhythms, is the closest the collection comes to offering genuine lounge music; and Tosca's slinky "Mango di Bango." The Dining Rooms' "Speak into the Microphone" and Sian's "What's Your Name" are more typical of the Water Music sound, but still have enough jazz and lounge elements to fit in with the more distinctive tracks. Disc two continues the collection's bossa nova kick with A Banda Cerrone's "Rimini Samba" before seguing into "Cholita" by Oversoul 7, a group that features former members of Supreme Beings of Leisure and continues that band's hazy brand of jazzy electronica. Mr. Scruff's "Champion Nibble" is one of the best -- and liveliest -- tracks on the collection, mixing funky guitars and brass with witty organ rolls. Other highlights include Alacran's tango-inflected "Refleco de Luna," Xploding Plastix's "Happy Jizz Girls," and Monlope's "Midnight Cowboy," which sounds like Ennio Morricone dabbling in trip-hop. Overall, Ultimate Lounge fits in with the rest of Water Music's stylish background music aesthetic, but occasionally it offers a little more than just musical wallpaper.

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