steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"Vintage Chill: Volume 4. Winter" CD

Kriztal Records

Genres: chillout, electronica, lounge

15982 NW 48th Avenue
Miami FL 33014

Feb 2 - 8 2004

Winter is the fourth (and presumably final) installment in chillout label Kriztal Records' Vintage Chill series, a selection of compilations geared towards wine lovers.  Like its predecessors, number four offers up a pleasant blend of electronic music, brimming in smooth basslines and simple yet effective melodies.  But this time, the focus is on chilly tunes, those that embody the snowy wonderland that is winter.  And maybe it's the freezing atmosphere outside that's doing the talking, but I think this album has hit the nail right on the head.   I can literally feel the cool air emanating from my speakers.  Literally.  LITERALLY!  Okay, not literally.

The trick to creating a winter-like atmosphere is to use crisp, snappy beats that are warm but still have some bite.  This is a common trend throughout Volume 4, with most of the artists adhering to the rule.  There's also some serious exploitation of the listener's desire to believe that these songs are chilly.  A track like Zion Lockwood's "Jazzy June" is just as warm as it is cold, and seems somewhat bizarrely titled for a winter compilation.  But still, given the cover and the listener's sense of expectation (not to mention a few glasses of wine), it somehow feels chilly, and that's a pretty impressive feat.

Overall, this is another jazzy chillout release from Kriztal Records, and it will certainly serve its purpose.  Though it's somewhat less melodic than some of the label's other compilations, it's still effectively atmospheric.  Slip this into your stereo, recline on your sofa, and sip some of your finest wine.  Nice.


Matt Shimmer

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