Various Artists !K7150 Review

Compilation. Released 2003.  

BBC Review

The legendary K7 label celebrate its 150th release with this double CD compilation of...

Lewis Dene 2003

Cool can come in many shapes, sizes and definitions. What to one is the epitome of the adjective, to another may be just plain naff. Is cool the embodiment of the latest fashionable fad? Is cool sticking two figures up to everyone else and apply self-expression? Whatever your definition, and it's a subjective thing after all, but as far as music goes, Germany's !K7 label is just oozing with the stuff.

It's birthday time, and the impressive 150 not out milestone is celebrated with this 2CD compilation pulling together a plethora of the acclaimed, semi-obscure, and previously unreleased. Somewhere between jazz, drum and bass, electro and blues rhythms sits !K7 - always cutting edge, never predictable, but best of all, highly listenable.

The labels' most famous sons, Viennese down tempo dons Kruder & Dorfmeister typify the label's ethos with sensual rhythms, gorgeous vocal loops and brooding electronic effects that are as hypnotic as they are absorbing. Their contribution is the bossa nova shuffling "Black Baby", while the musical barometer swings from the seductive wordscapes of poetess Ursula Rucker's "Supa Sista", to dirty grungy electro naughtiness of the electroclash's latest protagonist, Princess Superstar with "Do It Like A Robot".

To the left, right and somewhere in between on this multi-faceted soundtrack are cuts from Nicolette (the neo-political "No Government"), A Guy Called Gerald (with Louise Rhodes' soul-drenched delivery on "Humanity"), Bobby Womack's distinctive tones on Rae & Christian's Philly update "Wake Up Everybody" and Terranova's down beat punk-funker "Sublime".

Playgroup, Swayzak, Smith & Mighty, Nick Holder, Herbert and a veritable who's who have recorded for the Berlin label since their inception in 1996. Yet somewhat ironically it's current media darling, Tiga, who looks like giving them their first fully-fledged 'pop' hit with his twist on "Hot In Herre". Temperatures are certainly rising in the land of cool.

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