For Round 2 of their Bosco-branded compilation series, the brains behind Ferndale’s sleek three-treed nightspot sidestep the pitfalls common to lounge-friendly collections. Instead of an imperfect ratio of jams to empty beats, the Bosco’s Devil in Miss James is a cohesive, near perfectly sequenced set of hazy soul, flinty hip-hop sheen, and lingering crackle and echo of dub. Quannum Projects affiliates Poets of Rhythm open with the smoldering “Discern/Define,” which leads into some sweet soul from the Chi-Lites, whose “Stoned Out of My Mind” chorus call is appropriate for the comp’s sticky vibe. Sly & Robbie give way to a tense, energizing dub remix of Roots Menuva’s 2001 classic “Witness,” which itself blends into the hip-hop high point of the set, a cleverly foul-mouthed Baby Blak track called “Friends.” Miss James’ second half is equally curvy, with a scratchy Francophonic party cut from UK producer Quantic setting up the steel drums of “Calypso Rock” and the Bad Medicine funkstrumental “Trespasser” (the latter courtesy of the Stones Throw comp Funky 16 Corners). Boston MC Mighty Casey gets gimmicky on closer “Liquorland 2.” But his boozy rhyming over a Cure-crafted bass pluck is a nice comic relief ending to another prime cut set.
Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].