The Platipus Label's "Art of Chill" series collects some of the greatest tracks in the chillout genre there are and puts them together in 2-disc volumes that are attractively presented, impeccably produced and positively teeming with unusual, fantastic tracks. Each one has been a veritable goldmine of beautifully representative pieces from well known artists in the field, as well as housing rare and exotic gems that one has never heard of. Volume 3 follows grandly in the tradition.
What makes this series so cohesive and rich is Platipus's decision to ask a single artist, already well-established in the chill-ambient-trance field, to act as the collectors, assemblers and mixers of the tracks that appear on the albums. This time, volume 3 is "hosted" and mixed by System 7, aka Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy.
Given Hillage and Giraudy's catalogue in System 7, this is still a surprise in some ways. It is one thing to admire artists for their own work, but another thing too to hear what constitutes THEIR favourite tracks in the field. As expected there is a lot of very very high quality work assembled here. From Bluetech"s remix of Shulman, to Jam El Mar, Slack Baba, Gaudi, Puff Dragon, O Yuki Conjugate and Vector Lovers, to name a few. A lot of it has a very Eastern flavour to it, not at all surprising coming from Hillage and Giraudy, whose life-long love of non-western idoms is quite evident in their own history. Of special note, Jam'n's "Ghayange, Nachenge", Mirror Sytem & Ucef's "Hilal", Slack Baba's "Tsentsak". Ujang Suryana's "Sorban Palid", Gaudi's "Sufani" and System 7's own "Kupuri" are shining examples of great Eastern inflections.
To make sure it isn't all in that groove, Manesseh's "Tabla Corner Special" with it's lazy, summer afternoon harmonica, Dolphin Boy's late night lay-back funk on "Shake It Loose and the public radio, Singapore style, of "Rondo Acapricio" provide a tonal and atmospheric variation from the far-eastern exotica. In all cases though, the album shows skillful planning in its programming and the flow is easy and supremely rewarding. It's a real testament to the taste and versatility of Hillage and Giraudy's considerable musicality.
"The Art Of Chill 3" is a must for anyone interested in an exceptionally rich and even exotic blend of chill tracks that, despite the wide range of styles and shadings, are quite nicely cohesive as an entire package. This is one of those rare jems that you want to put on again immediately after it finishes. One of the best chill mixes out there ..... but that's what you can expect from Platipus AND the artists they chose to mix this amazing series.