Various Shapes One

Tru Thoughts is slowly becoming a label that continues to drop numerous musical diamonds, and this compilation is proof. Cramming two discs, broken into Horizontal and Vertical, with so much quality is an impressive feat, delivering goodies from a variety of the label’s roster while roping in friends from Canada to Germany. The formula for Shapes One is rather simple but effective, as the contributors serve us with a wide selection of haunting hip-hop beats that never seem to fail at bobbing your head and making you shiver with lush orchestration and chilling vocal samples. Silver Man comes correct with very chunky organ riffs with jazz drums, producing a very funky sure shot with "Strike 3.” Dubble D easily takes the cake for the most lush offering on the chilled-out Horizontal disc with the breathtaking and appropriately titled "Slo,” as the Manchester-based drummer weaves his elegant magic to piece together a classic. The heavyweight contenders for what people will be dropping during their club sets in the next few years is the absolutely bumping beats of "It’s Dancing Time” — an impressive blend of Mr. Scruff’s upbeat rhythms and Quantic’s ability to turn out a classic funk jam. This cut sets the pace for the far more upbeat Vertical portion of the program, which delivers some rather memorable dance floor moments such as Mawglee’s fiddle-inspired "Sing Pretty” and yet more evidence that Hint is up-and-coming with his charming "Back to the Wig.” Still, it’s the bedtime tracks on the Horizontal disc that should make this compilation shoot to the top of your musical wish list. (Tru Thoughts)