How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Transitions works shades of breakbeat, 2-step, house and nu-jazz into an invigorating mesh of soulful flavors. With tracks selected by Ism label founders DJ Swingsett and J. Warrin, the compilation’s theme is based on mood and vibe rather than genre. London’s Mr.Magic takes 2-step to a more relaxed level with "A Deep Thang" and "O’Bleek Intelligence", taken from the fledging label sharing the name of the latter. Elements of dub are thrown into the mix with "Rios" by Duermo, and Twilight Circus’ "Filter 13" which is afloat in spaced out atmospherics that drift over a dubby bass line and rhythm. The syncopated breakbeat of "Shell" by Phoneheads is smoothed out by jazzy chords, as a vaguely junglistic bass line adds weight. This combination of harder dancefloor elements tempered by soulful melodic construction and warm production is what makes this compilation different than your average chill out album, and gives it versatility. "Let It Ride" from J. Warrin oozes a warm soul groove through Franco’s velvety vocals. Transitions entices the listener with each track and provides a forum for producers to be playful with genre. Collectively they have come up with a sound that infuses familiar elements with a defining quality that eludes definition, but is always sonically endearing.