- BT--Flaming June (single): Quintessential trace, in 4 mixes. Yay!
- Morcheeba--fragments of freedom: I like them, my wife likes them, my friends like them... everybody seems to like Morcheeba. This is no exception... funky, soulful, chilled, all-round fine. The track order on the CD has excellent flow, too; not easily achieved given the wide variety of the tracks.
- (various artists)--Purified: The Liquid Lounge Chill Out Series: As advertised, chillout. I seldom find a chillout collection which doesn't duplicate too much of my collection, so finding this was a nice surprise. This may be because it's from fairly early in the history of the genre as a genre (they still spelled it as two words at this point), with tracks from 1998 through 2002. Not to say that people haven't been doing this kind of music since before then (e.g. Everything But The Girl), but it only became "chillout" sometime in the early part of the decade.
- Lamb--between Darkness and Wonder: Lou Rhodes' voice is one of the more interesting I've heard. She sings with a lot of expression, something unusual in electronica. Wikipedia lists Lamb as being trip-hop with drum 'n bass and jazz elements; myself, I consider most of their stuff to be downtempo (genres being pretty fuzzy labels, after all). Lots of strings in the instrumentation (real strings, not synths: they often collaborate with Chi 2 Strings). I first heard them on a Hed Kandi Winter Chill compilation, which included the track "Gabriel." This track apparently made it to number 1 in Portugal, but was pretty unknown elsewhere; I really like it. This is the most interesting CD of the week, beating out the Morcheeba disc for feeling.
- XLR8FASTER.COM--XLR8: An unusually heavy choice for me, this is techno with crunchy guitars in. Every now and then, though, I want something with drive and energy, and this qualifies. The CD set is very nicely laid out for us DJ types, too: 12 short tracks (2:22 to 4:27), then 6 extended mixes (6:20 to 8:11), then a second CD with instrumental versions of all of the above. Thus, it's possible to DIY-extend tracks using the other disc. I have to try it out at home though... there might be a few gotchas with that kind of playing around.
Oh, and what is it with Debussy-mania? Both Lamb and one of the tracks on Purified use slices of Claude Debussy's work in chillout tracks. Not that I can fult their taste: I've been very fond of Debussy's work for about 25 years.