San Francisco-based Om Records has released a lot of quality downtempo electronica and chillout house music over the years, especially on its “Mushroom Jazz” and “Om Lounge” imprints. Unfortunately, the release of this, the first volume in a new downtempo series, suggests that the well may be starting to run dry. Don’t get me wrong—the disc isn’t bad, just a bit ordinary. The tracks range from not-all-that-groovy broken beat (Jimpster’s “Left & Right” and King Kooba’s Broken Mix of “They Forgot It” by Tarantulaz) to laidback house (“Angel Love” by Samantha James) and bog-standard chillout (“Morning” by Stolen Identity). That said, there are some gems here, including the mellow house groove of “Angel Love”, propelled as it is by the winsome vocals of Samantha James, and “Breathe (PC Synergy’s Mellifluous Mix)” by Crystal Stafford. Perhaps subsequent volumes will be more adventurous.
// Notes from the Road
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