Downtempo, with its dark atmospherics, hazy beats, gliding bass lines, and hip-hop sensibilities, has been best represented by Shadow Records for years now, making the label one of my personal favorites (which I’m sure is not its main objective). And, for the perennial head-nodder, the Blunted series has been essential. Blunted 3 will most definitely not disappoint.
T Spigot opens the compilation with “Hypnotic,” an eerily synthed song with hyperbolic scratching. Futique and Merkin Dream pay homage to the genre’s dub roots with “Trump Card” and “14 Barnes Dub Explosion,” respectively. Mujaji (whose CD Free Rain had to be one of this year’s best) continues his “Jihad” adventure. Megablast introduces hip-hop bravado to raga soprano on “Lounging.” And Travel Ensemble closes the compilation with an especially haunting “Spider Sense.”
Blunted 3 makes you want to plug in the black light bulb, plop down on the bean bag, and stare at your velvet painting collection, or take that lonely, midnight drive beneath a mystical meteor shower.