Various Artists

Hefty 10 Digest (Hefty)

Hefty 10 Digest
Most of Hefty Records' output is a bit too slow to dance to, yet far too electronic not to earn some dance-music subgenre tag; inevitably it defaults into the nebulous "downtempo" category -- a style long bedeviled with a reputation for "sonic wallpaper" disposability. Rest assured that if anything on Hefty 10 Digest could be called "sonic wallpaper," it's of a higher intellectual and spiritual order than anything you ever heard in Banana Republic.

An anthology of Hefty's first 10 years, Digest finds artists Televon Tel Aviv, Savath & Savalas, and Slicker bridging gaps between tender organic pop and cerebral IDM. Sprightly electronic percussion and digital detritus flit about like choreographed butterflies, wending their way across pastoral meadows brimming with sleepy horns, sun-kissed piano twinkles, and dulcet synth tones, slipping from melancholy to optimistic by turns. Several album highlights stray from that formula, including the slow-burning Afro-beat/funk fusion of Phil Ranelin's "Vibes From the Tribe" and Slicker's glitch-ridden tech house number, "Frustrache." Digest also includes a bonus disc, a mix-tape-style compilation captained by Scott Herren, the beatsmith behind Prefuse 73 and Savath & Savalas.

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