(My second album review for Properly Chilled - read it below or at the site www.properlychilled.com)
Water Music Records brings us another compilation to lounge and, well, fly to. "In Flight – Chilled Beats at 30,000" soothes flying nerves or stows away in your ears as the stewardess announces you've reached cruising altitude and portable electronic devices are now allowed. "In Flight's" elemental ambient and smooth jazz accompanies any journey, serving relaxing downtempo tracks from 25 international artists.
"In Flight's" two disks complement each other well. The first travels the world, as each ambient track charts a course from Paris to Rio to Rome and elsewhere. The second disk (previously released individually as "Sky Lounge: Chilled Beats at 30,000 Feet") is less a journey through countries as it is a more aggressive presentation of international approaches to nu-jazz and bossa nova.
Rivera Rotation's "Sundowner" opens disk one with elemental pianos and classical guitar which makes the red eye to Paris feel like a lazy jaunt down the French Riviera. Alas, we must leave France, and Sepia's "Last Tango in Paris" keeps us in the realm of dreamy pianos and wavy instrumentals but introduces a jazzy dance beat that allows you to shift between classical melodies and funky downbeat bass. Leaving Paris, Giacomo Bondi seamlessly transitions on "Crossing the Ocean to Rio." Waves, seagulls and elemental ambiance create a cliched, but wonderful image of sandy Rio beaches.
We continue our journey – to Rome, India and the Far East. Timax's latin-inspired acid jazz on "Flight Over Rio" reminds us that in some parts of the world, movement and culture are more important than power and influence. Mazachigno takes us on "The Last Flight to Rome," a beautiful and almost melancholy track with a piano that demands emotion. In India, Mykej's other-worldly sitar echoes over rolling drums on "Sitar in the Sky." Gongs and muffled snares end our journey in the Far East with Hikkadua's "Sunsets."
The second disk transitions to popping acid jazz on Yonderboi's "Pabadam" and De-Phazz's "Jazz Music." Thievery Corporation's "State of the Union" is the only real taste of bhangra-infused dub on "In Flight." "Glider Girl" from Easy Access Orchestra is a Studio 54 inspired orchestral remix of jazzy dancehall that shows the other side of "In Flight's" beats – though they are not as chilled as the first disk.
Water Music features many "In Flight" artists on other compilations, including "Jazz Lounge" series, "Spa Sessions" "Tantra Lounge" "Breakfast Club – Milan, London, Paris" "Café Del Sol" and the "Chill Out Lounge" series. After releasing dozens of successful compilations with familiar artists, Water Music continues to explore themes to deliver elemental and ambient listening experiences, whether in the air or on the ground.
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