The next installment in the White Mink : Black Cotton series. The first launched a new genre in the UK and seemed to catch a real zeitgeist. This time around, we are all a little more clued up on this sound, but the thing that really stands out about this, the second volume, is just how well put together it is;
From the beautifully designed packaging to the fantastically well conceived track selection to the mixing itself (on CD 1 anyway), this release has obviously had a lot of love lavished upon it. And it really shows.
As before, CD 1,'White Mink' is the contemporary version of a 1920s/30's influenced sound. One we've come to hear several times on mainstream hits from Paloma Faith to Gramophondzie over the course of this year. Starting from mid-tempo swing-hop with brassy samples this flows seamlessly right the way up to banging club tracks with vintage vocals via a couple of neat little surprises along the way. I've been following this scene for a while but many of these tunes are completely new to me.
CD 2 "Black Cotton' again comes back to the roots of the music with original remastered 78s. It begins interestingly with a version of the same tune that opens the first CD, but as opposed to the second side on volume 1, seems to take a slightly more mainstream approach (even a 'beginners-guide') to swing with a liberal smattering of 'classics' rather than the seriously hard to find gems of volume 1.
All in all, it's hard to fault this. I'm not sure how well it hangs together when played out of sequence in iTunes, but as represented on the CDs here - this is close to my idea of musical heaven. It's for albums like this that they invented compilations... Absolutely wonderful.