steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"Ocean Drive: The Collection Volume I" CD

Kriztal Entertainment

Genres: chillout, electronica, lounge

15982 NW 48th Avenue
Miami FL 33014

Feb 16 - 22 2004

Ocean Drive is a co-release between Miami chillout label Kriztal and popular fashion/lifestyle magazine Ocean Drive.  Its fourteen stylish tunes are very atmospheric, relaxing numbers - more melodic than some of the boring lounge music out there - and they succeed in being quite smooth sounding.  And though these types of compilations are literally a dime a dozen, Ocean Drive actually manages to stick out; for chillout enthusiasts, this disc is definitely worth more than a look.

The best aspect of Ocean Drive is its variety - it brings together fourteen distinct but remarkably well-blended tunes.  Though most of these tracks follow the same jazzy, smooth formula, there's plenty of variety to be enjoyed.  For example, De-Phazz's crisp "The Mambo Craze," filled with juicy horns and powerful female vocals, seems very different from Steve Austeen's laidback, reggae-tinged "Please Lord" - but somehow they fit together perfectly side by side.  Other impressive songs include Deela's melodically intriguing "African Chant" and Minus 8's lovely "The Sun," which boasts a nice vocal chorus and some beautiful guitar hooks.

Put simply, Ocean Drive is one of the best chillout compilations I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing.  Although many hate the genre with a passion, those into the style will find lots to like here.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 14 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]