Various 

Zen

More than ten years in the making, this fastidiously compiled two-disc collection of insane breakbeat, turntablist, and just plain "dance" music bliss is finally packed into a tight little package. From Amon Tobin to Luke Vibert to Kid Koala, it's all here. From the most ambitious to the simply blissful, it's all here.

The story goes that Ninja Tune sensei Peter Quicke was sifting through some archival video footage of some label peeps, and decided to try his hand at mass-producing a retrospective DVD. The crate-digging bug must have bitten his ass: A little later he rummaged through some of Ninja Tune's aural vaults, realizing that his geese had laid some golden eggs he was still unfairly sitting on.

The record-buying community -- from pro DJs to amateur enthusiasts -- should consider themselves lucky that some artists look out the window and wonder what the world they're seeing sounds like, instead of simply accepting how it looks. With meticulous detail, the folks at Ninja Tune are those surrealists, patching break after break and sample after sample to produce cuts you really can't help but move to. Zen kicks off with DJ Food's "Dark Lady," with a clapping breakbeat pulled along by beautiful chimes and a fluent, catchy bassline. But just before you can relax a little and wipe the sweat from your brow, Coldcut rips into "Atomic Moog" with a breakbeat that brings to mind '70s blaxploitation soundtracks spliced with acid-like flourishes.

Elsewhere, DJs: If you aren't familiar with it, please stop sleeping on Mr. Scruff's abstract bluesy disco/house masterpiece "Get a Move On" -- the T-Bone Walker sample is so hot. This compilation is a perfect mixtape for beat junkies and Saturday night spontaneous dance-partyers. It's an infectious, fun listen with a hip-shaking mix of disco, house, hip-hop, and turntablist psychosis.

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