Jay Hannan & Ben Watt/Various Lazy Dog Volume 2

Everything But The Girl's Ben Watt and Jay Hannan's Lazy Dog weekly residence sessions have become the stuff of legend, despite being tucked inside a small basement club at Notting Hill. As such, it has all the features of an intimate dance venue where the surprises may be few, but the pleasure is always guaranteed. Lazy Dog Volume 2 follows a double CD mix from two years ago, and both volumes are a taste of the duo's forays into deep house, as always inspired by elements of Latin jazz, soul and disco. There are subtle gems in this mix; one instance is Watt's mix of Sade doing "By Your Side," with its looped vocal refrain and a sensual take on Lucy Pearl's "Without You." He also makes no mistake kicking off the set with Jon Cutler, featuring E-Man's track "It's Yours," which is filled to the brim with ubiquitous calls to celebrate the soul. Hannan coats his 4/4 mix with sparkling Spanish guitars and kinetic castanets in "Roscettes Groove," by Unsolicited Dubz, or with full-bodied songs like Kim English's melancholic lilt on "Been So Long" (Wamdue Remix). There's even a hint of that heartbreakingly beautiful Negrocan track "Cada Vez" (Grant Nelson Vocal Mix) from Volume 1, this time via Mundo Azul's "Sereia," packed with funk-inspired bass riffs and sweet Portuguese vocals. Despite these bright moments, Volume 2 feels uninspired when held next to its predecessor. Of course, with tracks like Lisa Shaw's "Always" and Negrocan and Sandy Rivera gracing Volume 1, the comparison seems unfair. Volume 2 will inspire another dance-filled weekend, but may not be much more afterwards. (Astralwerks)