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Various Artists

Since everyone could use a little break from orange-level terror alerts and talk of looming nuclear and biological fallout, the timing couldn't be better for a fresh dose of dub narcotic. Enter Nutone's latest, Sunset Nights: A Collection of Deep Jazzy Beats. The compilation of acid-jazz (or nu jazz, jazzy house, or whatever you want to call it) provides the perfect down-time soundtrack with three previously unreleased tracks and ten retreads of classics from the genre, all compiled and mixed for this disc by Meta4.

Vancouver chanteuse Amalia Townsend hooks up with a group of collaborators to make up Sekoya, which offers "Freestyle." Slightly off-key horns waver and wobble, as does the undulating background synth wash beneath Townsend's daddy-o-cool scatted vocals: "Horns play electronic beats to feed our souls/Putting sugar in bowls.../View it in hyper-color/The music we follow/Holds no prejudice, no discrimination..." Standouts from this collection include the fusion of sophisticated jazz and electro beats found on "Manzana" by France's Booster and Atjazz's remixes of "Searchin'" by Japan's Little Big Bee, soothing the soul with sweet strings that flow and cascade over fleet-fingered jazz guitar figures and equally nimble bass. Now if only the international political community would take a cue from musicians and remixers around the globe and collaborate on some ultra-smooth relaxation.

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John Ferri

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