Marques Wyatt/Various Horizons

L.A.'s Marques Wyatt is among a handful of DJs dedicated to promoting the spiritual side of house music and like the best of them, he's not religious about keeping to a single style, sound or for that matter, worldview. Horizons opens with a short poem on music as the key to inner consciousness and then shifts gears to the Baptist gospel of "You Gotta Believe" by Intense & Voices of 6 Ave. What makes this track different from most church-house anthems is that the instrumental arrangements sound far more African than Southern Bible Belt USA; the bass is also soft and reverential. The tracks by Barbara Mendes, Kathy Brown and Mark Grant pick up the energy but in a way that's more secular in their use of Latin-R&B lyrics. Wyatt then strips things down to bare essentials on the scat and drum attack of E-Man's "Slangin," before moving into the trippier realms of Los Hermanos' "Quetzal" and Ms. Keisha G.'s "Sun Will Shine." Among the most accomplished pieces in the mix is Antonio Ocasio's "Echu Aye," which has the feel of a salsa-house ensemble performing a Santeria prayer. The only thing that can take it up a notch from here is the closing track, "Nos Vida" by Masters At Work's Louie Vega. The lush chords and gorgeous vocals from Anané make this not only perfect ending to Wyatt's set, but a reason to hit rewind and start it all over again. (Om)