Compilation Review: ‘Late Night Tales presents Music for Pleasure’ (Late Night Tales)

★★★☆☆

The Late Night Tales series regularly pays homage to the long forgotten, the previously thought lost, the criminally overlooked and most key to the concept, and what’s personal to the selector in charge. With Tom Findlay of Groove Armada seemingly suffering from a midlife crisis longing for ’70s/’80s standards in songwriting and campaigning for the bringing back of AM radio, this could make Father’s Day gift buying a piece of cake.

On Music for Pleasure, we’re not talking dust-crippled obscurities, mash-ups, B-sides or alternative takes. Just recognizable (some might say overplayed) blue-eyed, red-blooded pop-soul originals from Robert Palmer, Michael McDonald, 10CC and Gerry Rafferty, as Late Night Tales takes on the guise of a Desert Island Discs-style selection just as likely to be referenced in Family Guy as they are held dear. Fascinating as to the inner workings of a dance music producer’s mind (or should that be how bold they are as to owning up to dirty little secrets in their record collection, Findlay revisiting mixtape protocol that he probably hopes will get him laid), the franchise has either lost the plot or broadened its appeal as it aims for the open, middle of the road (you can tell there’s a bit of satire going on with its promises of “Yacht Rock!” on the sleeve). Joking aside, a neat compilation featuring big stars and a few names to do some research on.
File under: Hall & Oates, The Doobie Brothers, Steve Miller Band

Compilation Review: ‘All Gone Miami ’12 Mixed by Pete Tong & Groove Armada’ (Defected)

★★★★☆

The immortal spinner certainly knows how to keep picking his headline partners. Pete Tong follows last year’s Felix da Housecat hook-up to show that there are many ways to approach the Miami experience, compared to the virtually non-stop fireworks of CR2. He keeps on with his recent compilation demeanour of responsibly laying down his sound and letting the other headliner (in theory) go to town on the crowd. Opening with an inauspicious reintroduction of Goldfrapp’s “Strict Machine,” unfussy funkiness on an ever steady footing dominates, with Anonym, Marc Fanciulli and a Marc Romboy, Rodriguez Jr and Deetron three-way building up the sparkplugs. It’s a solid set low on jump-out moments but higher on persistence, with Tong in the poolside pacesetter role looking to make good time before passing the baton.

Groove Armada’s is a mixed but less conservative bag, with original house flashbacks (Fingers Inc., rubbing off on NY Stomp) to 303 fast-forwards (Cle, Lazy Ants & Rob Threezy), simple but hard-hitting house geometry (Djedjotronic), and reinstating Stacey Pullen from All Gone 2011. Their chart-troubling persona is different from when in the mix, in a not-giving-up-the-day-job kinda way, but Andy Cato and Tom Findlay have more life than their forerunner as the funk (Shenonda’s “Finally”) and thunder filters through more freely, ramming home the advantage set up for them.
File under: Bingo Players; Sable Sheep; Bubba