Various Hi-Fidelity House: Imprint 3

After almost four years of hiatus, Guidance returns with the third release in a series of innovative house music compilations. More than the previous two, Imprint 3 features the best of the Chicago label's artists taking underground dance music into zones so deep, they're introspective. The sound quality of the compilation has a good deal to do with this. The layers are spacious and delicate. Kick drums are EQ-ed to hit the chest rather than the feet, while the colourful array of synthesised sounds spin around your ears. Homebase sets the tone of the disc on "Constant Love," with its subtle bass-grind and ultra-light strings. Former Wamdue member Santal takes the listener into spiritual territories on "Past & Future Things," with its ether-like voices and West African melodic tone soaring over the crisp rhythms. Other tracks by Kevin Yost, Nuspirit Helsinki and Toronto's Dino & Terry are not as grandiose, but just as ornate with touches of funk, while Solaris Height's "Elements" conveys a tension that makes it jazz with an electronic face. (Guidance)