Danny Howells / Various Choice

The forward-thinking ability of house music is a mixed blessing; it makes innovation a priority at the expense of history. That’s what makes a collection of hits and misses like this one a real gem — where else this year will you hear something as purely an artefact of another time as "Fire Island’s In Your Bones”? Disc one is the more dance floor-oriented side, keeping things mainly between 1988 and 1993 and building slowly; there are clear indicators of where Howells’ sound originated. Mid-disc tracks by Pleasure Dome and, get this, Ce Ce Peniston still sound good played today. When was the last time you heard Todd Terry of PM Dawn’s "Watcher’s Point of View”? The second disc is the after-club disc. Taking things down a notch with wildcards like Japan’s "Ghosts” and The Temptations’ "Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” there’s also the superb "Timber” by Coldcut and Hexstatic, which is quality enough to survive the indignity of being "that song in that ad” to most people. There’s no real logic to the programming of this one — it goes hither and yon — but does get the dancing shoes back on towards the end with Orbital’s "Impact.” And then, just to keep you guessing, he throws on Carly Simon’s "Why” to finish us off. Why not? Its sheer randomness makes it not to be missed, and in case you were on the fence, there is an extra disc with an interview and other goodies. (Azuli)