Various - Bargrooves Summer Sessions

From the cover art (glamorous cartoon dolly bird) to the music inside, Bargrooves Summer Sessions resembles a Hed Kandi release. Perhaps there's some link I'm unaware of? Each CD has a separate theme (Beachside, Pre Bar, Afterhours) suggestive of progressively upping the pace a bit.

As with Hed Kandi, this tends to get bogged down in an anonymous, not to mention rather tame, house vibe, but there are occasional interruptions. Nestling amongst all the soulful house on disc one, for example, are Hercules and Love Affair's disco-aping Blind (in a Frankie Knuckles' mix, no less; how does that score for retro points?), the minimal Balearic twidliness of Isolee's Beau Mont Plage and the super-chilled house groove of The Believers' Who Dares Believe In Me.

Disc two opens with Junior Jack's See You Dancin, just as daft if nowhere near as irresistable as his Stupid Disco, but the highlight is probably the instumental soul of Black Science Orchestra's New Jersey Deep with its smooth guitar line. Oh, the notes say it's a classic, but I'd never heard of it before.

Disc three has some decent jumpin' tunes from the likes of Kings of Tomorrow, DJ Tekin and Lil' Mo' Yin Yang, while A Hundred Birds' Jaguar ends the mix on a definite Balearic vibe. Yet, sadly, the talking point of this CD is The Shapeshifters' take on Orbital's Chime, which has just risen to the top of 'most pointless recordings ever'. Waste of carbon? Yup.

Bargrooves Summer Sessions is a pleasant enough three discs. You might feel afterwards like you've dipped your toes in the sea, but just don't expect the equivalent of any sand in your crack.

Overall

7

out of 10

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