Rae & Christian/Various Another Late Night

With the next instalment of the Another Late Night series, the decks have been warmed up for Rae & Christian, who waste no time setting the stage for a gratifying listen. Starting things off correct on a hip-hop note with a snippet from the Boulevard Connection's "Copenhagen Claimin' Respect" let's you know you're about to be taken on a multi-level musical ride. The UK pair smoothly slip from one track to the next, dipping into dance floor treats as well as laid-back grooves. The duo's DJ mix certainly captivates for the first several tracks with lyrical skills from a collaboration with Tha Pharcyde earlier this year and peaking with Mr Scruff's simplistic, neck-snapping rework of the Capoeira Twins' "Four (4x3)." But oddly enough it's when Rae & Christian sneak in their cover version of George Clinton's "Flashlight" that things tend to go a little stale. Follow that with Rick James' bass-slapping "Mary Jane" and the head-scratching serenade of Jose Feliciano's "California Dreamin'" and you're craving a return to the bliss that started the compilation. Still, a couple of finishing tracks are not nearly flat enough to ruin the mixes overall brilliance, and in time the vintage outro will grow on you. (Kinetic)