Various Hi-Fidelity Lounge: Vol. One Subterranean Soundtracks

According to the title, the Subterranean Soundtracks on this disc are for lounge-play, but I would argue that their tones and tempos are much too danceable and DJ-friendly to simply chill folks out. Forgotten categories like jazz-funk and acid jazz come to mind for describing the way these tracks beautifully fill that void between sentimental R&B and pulsing garage. It’s not that the tracks are necessarily written with a jazz style; rather, they carry an impulse for musical freedom that is jazzy. The vocals and flutes on Flywheel's "Slow Down" are light and catchy, but not as addictive as the deep grooves on Jazzanova's remix of "Soulpower." At Jazz evoke the elements of nature with crisp drum breaks and soft keyboards reminiscent of Azymuth on "Wind and Sea," while Bang Bang riff on a Pharcydes sample with a raw acoustic feel on "Bye Bye Blues." Hi-Fidelity Lounge is a strong compilation, except for two downtempo tracks from Louise Vertigo and Thievery Corporation respectively. There's a dead vibe on these tunes, lacking the fresh attitudes towards sound that that is otherwise strong on the rest of the disc. (Guidance)