Various Artists Future Sounds of Jazz Volume 10
- Words: Peter Nicholson
- Label: Compost
Don‘t call it a comeback, Compost‘s been here for days. But after a few relatively fallow years-and a string of forgettable releases that lacked balls-the Munich-based downtempo headquarters is kicking ass again. Following return to form marked by the release of Mustang‘s seriously banging Back Home album last fall, label head Michael Reinboth celebrates the tenth edition of his Future Jazz series with a collection of wildly varied but perfectly matched songs-all have mucho cojones. As if signifying where the series has been and where it‘s headed, FSOJ 10 kicks off with the mellifluous, melodic opening piano runs of "Elevate" by Fred Everything featuring The New Mastersounds. But, since this is a Maurice Fulton remix, the track is soon overrun by squirming keys and one of those basslines-the ones that make you go "mmm-yeah!" Rather than continuing immediately onto the main room dancefloor as a lesser curator might, Reinboth meanders left into darker, drummier Moonstarr territory, with the Canadian producer‘s epic take on Povo‘s "Uam Uam." This in turn dissolves into a burping, percolating "Fools Garden (Black Conga)" by none other than Ricardo Villalobos. What is the Perlon and Playohouse techno perpetrator doing on a Compost FSOJ compilation? The same could be asked of Hot Chip‘s sleazy, electro-on-Nyquil "Playboy" or Syclop‘s "Fairlight Sunrise" (Maurice Fulton again in his Italo-disco guise) but Reinboth makes it work, dropping "Fairlight Sunruse"‘s bouncing bass strings and crisp kit drums expertly into the wooden low-end of Gabriel Ananda‘s "Suessholz" (as interpreted by Ben Mono). In fact, when "Suessholz" really begins to take off its brashly synthetic melody is eerily in synch with the Syclops track, almost a continuation of the same theme. Although this is an unmixed compilation, there are several places when you will not notice the end of one track and the beginning of another, no small feat for songs that are much more than anonymous DJ tools. Future Sounds of Jazz 10 definitely emphasizes the future more than the jazz, but it does swing back towards traditional Compost territory on the final four tracks, beginning with the swinging drum loops of Origami and then Reinboth‘s remix of Cal Tjader‘s "Los Bandidos." Reinboth‘s version starts out faithful to the original but slowly mutates from a somewhat tepid conga, piano, and vibes chill session into a driving jam with acidic keys, a thumping kick, and a crazy, whistling high end that always makes me think my phone is ringing in another room. "Los Bandidos," indeed! As an added bonus, CD buyers get the General Electrics digital exclusive "Terms and Conditions." Just as Reinboth ambushes the Tjader tune and tweaks it to his reality, FSOJ 10 hijacks our expectations for Compost, showing they‘ve got a lot more in their percolater than coffeehouse-ready nu-jazz.
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