Various Chill Out Café Volume Uno

With its poor overall selection, jarring flow and horrid cover art, Chill Out Cafe is, by far, one of the weakest compilations to come out of the Irma camp. From the pleasant enough, but definitely elevator friendly, bossa-lite of Bossa Nostra's "Blooming" to the cookie cutter four-on-the-floor of Pongo Groove's "Amerika," the majority of the tracks here are seriously lacking in imagination. At points, it must be said, tracks border on straight up cheese — Montefiori Cocktail's "Crazy Beat" is a prime example. Irma has been a major proponent of quality Italian-produced music, but this shines through on very few pieces. Skin 4 turn in a rich, head-nodding slice of moody mid-tempo with "Maya," and Dust's "The Sky Inside a Room" is a lovely Kruder & Dorfmeister-flavoured gem, led by hooky acoustic guitar loops and a slinky bass line. Jestofunk also up the ante with a dub mix of their "Special Love," a funky house number guaranteed to raise hands into the air on many a dance floor. With the sheer volume of compilations that Irma turns out, it comes as no great surprise that some will be stronger than others — this is one of those others. (Irma)