Various Artists ‘Fascinating Rhythms’


Various Artists – Fascinating Rhythms


Virgin Records – Released November 2013


It’s never easy knowing where to start with a review of an album spread over three whole CDs. Other than to say that the release in question is both decade spanning and expansive. Not to mention packed with absolute anthems.

Fascinating Rhythms, the rather sizeable title in question, belongs to a wider five-strong collection of compilations released this month to mark the 40th Anniversary of Virgin Records. It’s also the most dance and electronic focused in the series, and should serve as a reminder to anyone with an ear for beats that the imprint in question has contributed a huge amount to the overall scene.

So tracks like Everything But The Girl’s timelessly melancholic Walking Wounded vie for attention up against the likes of Inner City Good Life. Meanwhile Dreadzone’s Little Britain, one of the finest early breaks tracks, leads into Block Rockin’ Beats by The Chemical Brothers. And that’s really only scratching the surface. We could also reference Massive Attack, Soul II Soul, John Lydon and Deadmau5 (who, along with David Guetta, Sebastian Ingrosso and Tensnake help bring things bang up to date).

A comprehensive imprint best of, whilst this automatically means we can’t compare it to an average LP, or indeed another label sampler, there can be no real questions as to how impressive the organisation responsible for all these outings actually is. Far from the most commonly referenced platform for house music and the like, particularly by those obsessed with words like ‘underground’, here’s undeniable proof that without Virgin the world of beats and loops would be a lot worse off.