Various Harpsichord 2000

For some reason, the Italians are really good at compiling this kind of '60s-style, easy listening music. Yet Harpsichord 2000 - a disc of new music blending faux '60s soundtracks with faux-baroque harpsichord sounds - well, it's fairly un-mined territory. Nonetheless, this attractively packaged Valvola-produced project makes the grade. And it's all very fun and trippy. Valvola's own track, "Baroque Bouquet," recalls the Carnaby Street pageantry of '67, while Jeff Koon's moogy "Momus" pulls out all the Donovan-isms. Other tracks like Die Moulinettes' "Flipper Queen" (a believable Stereolab clone), the Secret Goldfish's "Babaar and Celeste" (harpsichord spy funk), Count Indigo's "Call Yourself A Man" (cheesy cine-lounge), or Volume All*Star's "Smooverock Crewcut" (Kraftwerkian funk) all magically retain the same thematic unity. Snippets of unaccompanied harpsichord solos (mercifully short) complete the concept. (S.H.A.D.O.)