Om Lounge 7
The seventh installment of the successful Om Lounge series showcases the label’s ever-growing roster. Earlier volumes carried such heavyweight players as Thievery Corporation and Jazzanova, but this album’s focus is on the talents of Afro-Mystik, King Kooba, Soulstice and Colossus. From the swirling, hypnotic vibe of “My Former Self” to the luscious melodies of DJ Spinna’s remix of “The Reason,” there’s more than one reason to choose this compilation over the thousands of pseudo-lounge and chill-out CDs. Like Thievery’s DJ Kicks, Om Lounge 7 revels in down-tempo, noncombative rhythms, from turntable workouts to modular keyboard swells. Perhaps what has made Om more than just a Bay Area fixture is its keen A&R focus, something sorely lacking on those contrived Starbucks-sponsored mix CDs. Although Om may never receive the monetary accolades it deserves, its compilations groove like no others.