Album: Howie B

Another Late Night, Azuli/Treacle
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The Independent Culture

Most DJ mix albums now are little more than the same handful of favoured dancefloor-fillers shuffled into different sequences and bashed out with little heed to sleeve design, other than to ensure that the location "Ibiza" (or, increasingly, "Ayia Napa") is prominently displayed. Occasionally, a specific sub-genre – trance, hardcore, jungle, garage – will be denoted, though it's rare to find a DJ album that, like Howie B's Another Late Night, disregards passing fashions in favour of more personal choices. The second of a series (inaugurated last year by Fila Brazilia) featuring famous producers' favourite winding-down sounds and musical inspirations, this ranges from the sleek orchestral soul of the Blackbyrds and Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra, through the irredeemable prog-rock stodge of late-period Gong and tepid fusion muzak of Santana, to underground hip hop from Dilated Peoples, Black Star and Quannum, and a smattering of sampler/techno constructions. It's a clean, mostly entertaining selection, devoid of flashy mix-moves, seeking instead assonances between tracks and times. The stand-out pieces are the older contributions, particularly the Undisputed Truth's "What It Is?" – Motown's Norman Whitfield in his psychedelic-soul pomp – and Curtis Mayfield's sultry late masterpiece "Summer Hot", a typically suave propulsion lubricated by Rich Tufo's sleek orchestral arrangement.

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