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Blue States 

Nothing Changes Under the Sun (Eighteenth Street Lounge Music)

Nothing Changes Under the Sun, the full-length debut from Blue States (DJ Andy Dragazis), features a hypnotic mixture of cinematic strings, Hammond organ, flute, guitar, and subtle hip-hop beats. Blue States parades Dragazis's ambient downtempo abilities like those of fellow European producer Kid Loco, but his palate is slightly more eclectic. He mingles musical styles into a slice-of-life soundtrack that radiates with everything from the trip-pop of French band Air to the soulful sensibilities of Ray Lynch.

Each song here takes on its own distinctiveness -- "Diamente" lurches forward with a tactful hip-hop drum loop and a mesmerizing keyboard riff that grooves like a '60s TV spy theme. While such tracks as "The Trainer Shuffle" and "Stereo 99" take on a lounge vibe, with trumpet and a set of keyboards straight out of the celestial soda-pop sound of Lynch's New Age designs, "Spit and Soar" recoils with heavy drumbeats and then glides to the hum of dreamy guitar and Hammond organ. Dragazis really breaks new ground in pieces such as "Golden Touch" and "Elios Therepia." In "Golden Touch," an industrial drum rhythm is outmatched by an entrancing bass groove that lurches back and forth, and "Elios Therepia," the disc's best track, takes the acoustic sounds and distant drum rolls of Simon and Garfunkel and puts them to Muzak. The results are inspiring. Blue States' first album doesn't miss a beat -- it melds everything into a collection of wistful fables.

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More by Keith Gribbins

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