Various Den of Thieves: The Sound of Eighteenth Street Lounge

Listening to this is like pouring a strawberry smoothie in your ears: it’s sweet, soothing and the exact prescription for an afternoon of chilling out. The folks from downbeat act Thievery Corporation have compiled 13 groovy tunes from their ESL music label line-up, including Blue States, Sofa Surfers and Federico Aubele. Chiming Vibraphone and trip-hop beats are all over the place, keeping the whole thing mellow and mid-tempo. The sitar seems to be a popular choice for giving the disc a psychedelic-ness while the acid jazz moments funk it all up a bit. If you’re wondering what the hell "trip-hop” even is and don’t get the whole concept of "down-tempo,” this comp will welcome you into its laid back arms and gladly act as an introduction. Expect to find this one in high rotation at swingin’ martini bars and hipster art school parties. (ESL)