[7 April 2008]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Unless you own a cafe or boutique, you’re most likely out of the market for “chill out” compilations. After hundreds of releases, the once-trendy format is something of a moot point. But the Om label’s penchant for sharp, jazzy house and nu-soul makes this sequel to 2006’s Om: Chilled seem like a natural undertaking. Sure, there’s plenty here that would just as easily qualify as “smooth jazz”. Gavin Hardkiss, probably the best-known name on the compilation, is a guilty party. The skillful MP3/CD programmer will find some gems, though. Techno Squirrels’ gently pulsing “Love Comes First” sounds like Norwegian songstress Annie doing downtempo, Aaron Sontag & Nica Brooke’s “Inner Peace” approximates the white noise wash of My Bloody Valentine, and King Kooba’s “Big Ole” is a tasty homage to “ambient” music pioneers Art of Noise. Hardly essential, but a bit of a nice surprise, then.