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Tripped And Tranced

Various Artists
Electric Manor Volume 2: Mixed By The Baroness

For those already accustomed to music on the Sunburn label (started up the brothers Hardkiss), please skip ahead. For those who haven't, I'll try to explain it in that it's trancey, but it's not trance. It's also music that you can listen to if you want, yet the beats don't come so hard and fast that you necessarily need to. They've got releases with breakbeats, acid tracks (including the massively huge hit "Acid Funk") and just about a bit of everything. It's all about the laid-back groove and these guys have been doing it well for some time.

Although the first complilation of the series was solid as well, it's this second mix disc that captures the full spectrum of music on the label while also managing to be one of the nicer mid-tempo mixes I've heard in awhile now. With 16 tracks that span nearly 67 minutes of music, it's also a heaping helping, which is exactly what a mix disc complilation should be.

As I said, the mix is a really nice mixture of different sounds, but it's also one that progresses well. There aren't any harsh jumps in sound from one genre to the other, rather the mix is one undulating flow of beats and all kinds of styles. After the opening track (Hawke's "Stationary Tornado") drifts in with a bit of ambience before a slow but thick breakbeat starts, the second track (The Freeloaders' "R U Ready") continues this sort of dreamy breaks track before the album goes into some gurgling acid house on Ben Davids "House Demon3." They include a remix of God Within's (Scott Hardkiss) "Why, Why, Why" (from his Crucial Introspection Parts 1 and 2 EP) before going tripped-out tribal on Lovesky's "Dubs."

And really, that's how the mix continues. It just keeps going through the different styles of music, but it's like they've all been run through a spaced-out filter of some sort, giving them that signature Sunburn sound. Those listening hard can make out bits of a Cocteau Twins sample on The Infinite Posse's ethereal track "As The Sky," while "Lovebug" by Hawke weaves a beautiful little guitar melody and dreamy vocals through deep-dish beats and a slight bit of breaks. If you're looking for a mix disc that has enough of a pulse to keep you going, but beats that won't pound you into submission, this is definitely one to check out. Not only that, but you basically get a hand-picked compilation of some of the labels best tracks. Perfect for a lazy summer evening.

Rating: 7.5