VA: Sounds of Om Vol. 6

VA: Om: Miami 2008

Two slick collections of forward-thinking house and techno music from San Francisco-based Om Records. The Sounds of Om release is not just volume six in the series but the 300th release from the label (founded in 1995 by Chris Smith). Mixed by Om's Rob G., the solid eighty-minute set of minimal and funky tech-house scatters twelve previously unreleased tracks and remixes amongst its fifteen selections. Taking no time at all to get pumping, the mix begins with the squelchy electronic noise and squiggly techno of Portland-based Cates&DPL's “Magdalena,” an excellent first stop on a trip filled with picturesque moments like Onionz's surging and steaming “Woman of the Sun,” the jacking house of Yankee Zulu's “Bullfrog,” and the slinky minimalism of Unstrung Zeros' “You Know.” Berlin-based Florian Kruse serves strong notice with the lithe “In My Scope” and the steamy clubber “Love Hurts” (in a “Catz n Dogz Emo Clubbing” remix) which rides so low it verges on lascivious. The Scary Grant's (aka Giulio Andreini) “Chickens on the Wing” epitomizes the album's breezy vibe and polished sound when voice fragments and, yes, chicken gobble pepper the song's squiggly synth hook and jacking house pulse. Artists like King Kooba, Blaze, Jamie Anderson, Chubby Dubz, and Mike Monday also weigh in with strong contributions, while Fred Everything, ably assisted by Lisa Shaw, caps the mix with the beatific “Here I Am.”

If anything, Om: Miami 2008 may be even more enjoyable, due to the inclusion of vocal cuts (try on Santiago & Bushido's jacking handling of Colette's silky “If ” for starters). On this third installment in the Miami series, a dozen previously unreleased tracks figure amongst this set's fourteen (reprises of Fred Everything's “Here I Am” and Kruse's “Love Hurts” from the Sounds collection appear too). Eric Kupper's gorgeous remix of Samantha James' “Breathe You In” gets the album off to a stunning start. There's little hope of resisting the irresistible tug of its seductive and sunlit house vibe so don't even bother trying. James' later returns with Cates&DPL's slightly acidy “Portland Beaver” mix of “Angel Love,” while the funky J Tilla vs. Daz-I-Kue mix of Home & Garden's “In & Out” (with vocals by Chez Damier) makes a more than memorable impression (though we could've done without the raunchy guitar solo). Chuck Love's “Moonlight” includes a jazzy break that's so smooth it'd do Pat Metheny proud, and Miguel Migs slips some clavinet funk into Naked Music NYC's charging “If I Fall.” Cuts by Home & Garden, Fred Everything, Chubby Dubz, and Aaron Sontag & Nica Brooke appear too.

July 2008