The Outernational Sound

by: Thievery Corporation

First off, The Outernational Sound is proof that Thievery Corporation are cool, know their stuff, and have great taste. The tracks they've selected for this mix are more organic than expected, filled with sitars, sambas, and analog dubs with very little you'd think was electronica. Hipsters call this slapping of old jazz, reggae, and R&B records on the turntable "rare groove," and you've got to do a lot of homework to not come off as a charlatan. The duo never come off as anything but smart lovers of groovy music, the quirkier the better. The problem is that the mix isn't seamless and some of the transitions are downright jarring. The Corp's own "Richest Man in Babylon" is a tripped-out highlight -- a high compliment considering it keeps company with killers from Boozoo Bajou and Beatfanatic -- but Delroy Wilson's excellent "Better Must Come" just stumbles out of it. Tracks mix better during the album's softer beginning, but as a whole this sounds more like a cool radio station than someone trying to tell a story with two turntables. Dig it for the great tunes, not the flow. ~ David Jeffries

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