Various - Future Sound Of

Brought to you in association with The Rough Guide series, this is downtempo marketed at globetrotters, with each track coming from a different city (as briefly described in the accompanying booklet). Whether you'd always know it is another issue. National identity is often smoothed by the easy melodies and pretty vocals of these tasteful, predominantly electronic, soundscapes.

Having said that, the entries for Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Rio do have a significantly latin feel, and the brooding Monsoon (Bangkok) is aptly named. Bjork's voice, here floating over only the most subtle backing, gives away the Rejkavik entry.

Indeed, her Desired Constellation is a gorgeous song and one of the highlights, with fellow Scandanavians Husky Rescue and K+K providing two more, the dreamy country-meets-electronica of City Lights and the hook-laden Durad-dee respectively. Minuit's Except You, reminiscent of Lamb and one of the livelier tunes included, is another.

With the occasional flourish of jazz, classical or ambient, and a dash of that "world" vibe, close your eyes and you may be fooled into thinking you're lounging in the sort of plush place where one feels obliged to tip the bartender. Future Sound Of makes for a sophisticated and nicely presented chill-out package.

Overall

8

out of 10

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