20 February 2012

Review: Various Artists 'Monk's Dream'

Various Artists
Compiled and mixed by MonkOne
[Turntable Lab/Money Studies]

When I see Ministry Of Sound Club Classics Vol. 83 and Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 137 in music stores it reinforces my strongly-held belief that 75% of the people on our planet are, quite simply, stupid. There can be no more feasible explanation as to how these collections of regurgitated McMusic can continue appearing - like some evil spawning amoeba determined to take over the world by sucking away our collective will to live. At such times I turn to Monk's Dream, a bespoke selection of groove-laden gems covering heavy soul, dusty funk, steel bands, Brazilian hip hop, stomping proto-house and so much more - featuring tracks from Open Sky Unit, Carole Kaye, Johnny Otis, Tito Puente, Dayton, Linda Lewis, Trio Mocota, Hamilton Bohannon and others. Lovingly compiled and mixed by MonkOne aka Andrew Mason (host of NYC's longest-running radio show, Underground Railroad Radio, and co-founder of the beat diggers' bible, Wax Poetics magazine) and first made available in 2002, Monk's Dream was originally conceived as a gift for friends, but was thankfully remastered for (kinda) mass consumption. Genuine quality, top to bottom, and still one of my all-time favourite compilation albums. Now that's what I call essential.

4 and 1/2 stars from 5

While the Monk's Dream mix CD itself is a little difficult to track down these days (maybe try here...?), it's well worth having a look/listen here for more from MonkOne, at RBMA Radio.

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