Just come home from the ultimate night out? Too tired to move but too jacked-up to sleep? Fortunately, the market is awash with CD compilations made just for you. With major labels Ultra Record and Kinetic battling it out for after-hours supremacy with their Back to Mine and Another Late Night series, more and more big-name artists are being asked to put their names and record collections onto the CDs. Rae & Christian are a premier U.K. down-tempo act, which makes them an obvious choice to assemble this type of mix. The first half of the mix is an unnotable collection of predictable trip-hop, hip-hop, and breaks records. These half-dozen tracks could easily be replaced with a different six and no one would notice. But just when you want to pop the disc out of the player, Rae & Christian drop the serious post-disco funk of Bushy vs. Sonic Boo’s “I Pink I’m Going Squezy.” In that 90 seconds, the down-tempo mush switches into dazzling, ’70s-sounding funk and soul performed by modern artists Pablo and Faze Action. R&C then really take it back with their own cover of George Clinton’s “Flashlight,” and close the mix with original ’70s recordings by Rick James and Jose Feliciano doing a fantastic flamenco guitar version of “California Dreamin.”
This is a disc with a serious identity crisis: half boring as molasses and half pumped like powdered sugar. If only Rae & Christian had just gone ahead and made a dance mix. But that’s just not what the big labels are interested in.