Various Wood: Choice Cuts

In the time before Endtroducing, samplers were simply a way of taking hits from the '80s and making them sound so crazy, but that time has long past and DJ Shadow's disciples have spread throughout the globe to preach the word of abstract hip-hop. Moncton beat scientist Tarbaby has gathered their down-tempo teachings into a single document, Wood: Choice Cuts, an album that travels around the world - from Norway, Poland and France to Sweden, Canada and beyond - in search of the best atmosphere. Junkie XL's Dutch drummer Ego drops a romantic dub ballad and Feng Shui takes us on a chilly, sound-bite-filled excursion through Japan, while the turntable'n'piano trip-hop of Ontario-born Beat Chemist brings ambient breakbeat into narcolepsy-inducing levels. This compilation is remarkably consistent with each song bleeding into the next, sharing a vision of a jazz-filled drum & bass dystopia where androids dream of electronic beats. (Tar)