Various Isla Del Sol: Uno

Down-tempo compilations seem to be bursting out of the gates faster than the beats contained on the actual releases. What looks to be the first instalment of a series called Isla Del Sol doesn't really have anything more to offer than other releases looking to satisfy your lazy beat appetite. There's no crafty and seamless mixing process, nor are there any exceptional hidden treasures that make you sit up and take notice (the closest it comes to that is the Sesame Street funk vibe felt from the Introspective Funk Collective). But what the 18-track offering does serve you is some top-notch, previously released material from artists that are familiar to down-tempo rehashing. With no surprise, Kruder and Dorfmeister, Thievery Corporation and Smith and Mighty are found amongst the tracks, and fit into the scheme perfectly, but then the album sort of loses the plot and steers off into some salsa vibes, courtesy of Eliades Ochoa. Isla Del Sol also contains many vocal tracks, which at times can be the difference between a good and not so good mix, usually making the beats take a back seat to a female's lusty voice. Still, the effort is noted and the finished product works well as a sampler for people just learning about the genre and its artists. (ISBA)