Stéphane Pompougnac Living on the Edge

Another jet set DJ and another pleasant but unremarkable album perfect for upscale cafés and lounges. This is the debut studio album of France’s Stéphane Pompougnac, best known for his six Hôtel Costes compilations, not to mention his runway sounds for Gucci, his sets at Massive Attack’s open bar in Bristol, Mick Jagger’s birthday party and Cameron Diaz’s Bamboo restaurant, and his remix of Madonna’s "What it Feels Like For a Girl.” With Living on the Edge, Pompougnac incorporates hip-hop, pop, Latin and jazz on a mostly deep house album. Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Cathy Battistessa (from José Padilla’s Café Del Mar) and the late French singer/actor Yves Montand provide guest vocals. The latter is featured in the first track, with a sample from a 1976 radio show combined with vaguely funky beats. The radio-friendly "Clumsy” casts Stipe as an insecure lover waiting for a sign from his beloved, with his signature weak-sounding vocals and pretty keyboard flourishes. "Double Beat” incorporates pleasing strings and a repetitive spoken sample and "Loulou de Poméranie” is an upbeat jazzy number replete with a ragtime trumpet. Not all of the tracks are new, however, with at least three of them having appeared on previous compilations. (Isla Del Sol)