The Beggars Group
If Shaft were a bit mellower and opted for sultry clubs instead of ass-whoopings for recreation, then this disc would most likely be his soundtrack. Every action hero’s got to have one, and for the time being, a record has rarely sounded as suitable and chic as this eclectic compilation. Sulphur swings with the big dogs by giving us such a deep-fried dub, jazz, IDM, and electro-freeform offering rarely heard this side of Ninja Tune. Scanner squares off with DJ Spooky on “Guanxi,” which could pass for an Amon Tobin B-side, but makes the grade nonetheless. Slowly, we dissolve from warped funk into more quiet waters, with the classical strains of David Abir’s “Lesson One” and the FSOL-blessed “Landscape” by Ashley Wales. Compound eventually teeters into more obscurity with an occasional relapse into mild hip-hop and techno. But it’s that variety that has the ability to surprise and inspire occasionally. Come to think of it, maybe not Shaft though.
The Beggars Group, 580 Broadway, Suite 1004, New York, NY 10012; http://www.beggars.com/us