Various Unitone World Sampler 1 - An Electronic World

London label Law and Auder have established a reputation over the past decade for various compilations under eclectic genre headings. The goal is fusion music that synthesises East and West. California-based label Unitone Recordings brings selected tracks from Law and Auder's East-Westercism Volume 2 and Avantgardism Drum'n'Bass Volume 1 to provide a concise compilation for listeners in North America. The question is how many more compilations it will take that claim to concoct the perfect blend of Eastern rhythms with Western electronic sensibilities before the trend passes and the supposed fusion just sounds superfluous and superficial. The tracks here are far from exceptional and references to any avant garde-ism are somewhat trite. Luke Vibert's track, "Me and Mister Jones," remixed by Boymerang, stands out, as does the final track on the CD, called "Still Not Smokin,'" by Noakes, Long and Palmer. That they work has less to do with the groundbreaking attempts at fusion and more to do with the fact that both tracks are straight-up, minimalist, ambient drum & bass tracks. It isn't anything you won't hear from LTJ Bukem's more studied efforts, but given the overall collection, they work because there are no pretensions about musical symbiosis. What most compilations of this nature fail to mention is that these efforts at fusion often release final products that are made palatable for Western listening sensibilities. Like most compilations of this nature, it neither surprises nor challenges its listeners. (Unitone)