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Sunday, March 21, 2004



Various artists: "Beat of the Moment"

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The title cut of the new Felicity sampler -- a jazzy drum 'n' bass joint effort by newish Japanese pop group Spangle call Lilli line and electronica outfit Spanova -- elicits a series of responses: familiarity (haven't I heard this before?), confusion (but where?), and finally amazement (oh my God, it's an Asia cover!).

"Beat of the Moment" thrives on just these kinds of silly but inspired juxtapositions. Eighties' new-wave group The Woodentops is given the dance-floor treatment by dub impresario Adrian Sherwood while Iggy Pop's garage punk classic "No Fun" becomes a hybrid of metal, noise and electronica in a cover by '70s French cult group Doctor Mix and the Remix. Hifana's beats hopscotch through spoken samples and snippets of melody. If that isn't enough, Manchester United soccer club's theme song, "United United" is sandwiched between Masakatsu Takagi's mellow electronica number "Glory Days and Glory Nights" and a psychedelic remix of Cornelius' "Point."

Japanese music fanatics will recognize the postmodern free-for-all (not to mention the soccer obsession) as a hallmark of Cornelius' Trattoria Records. Felicity is Trattoria's new incarnation -- minus Cornelius, who finally left for a major label. The received wisdom was that Felicity would go into a slow decline. "Beat of the Moment" emphatically proves otherwise.

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