Various Artists – Hidden Charms

Meticulously eccentric compilation of psychedelic rare groove

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David Holmes and his cabal have a habit of asserting their good taste so strenuously that it tends to overshadow their own patchy music. Such is the case with this enjoyable, nuggety compilation put together by his associate Gareth “Cherrystones” Goddard, inveterate crate digger and sometime recording artist. Hidden Charms is full of the kind of psychedelic funk-rockers and wayward beat groups from the ’60s that’ve been worshipped, sampled and reproduced by Holmes, DJ Shadow and their ilk for years. Guitars wail, organs wheeze energetically, surprising discoveries are frequent: a mighty garage band, Mashmakhan, from Montreal; Cher and the Muscle Shoals crew stalking through Dr John’s “I Walk On Gilded Splinters”. It feels, occasionally, like a Masonic elite indulging the proles with a brief glimpse of their boundless and exotic record collections. Nevertheless, Holmes deserves credit for releasing this on his label, rather than cribbing the best ideas for his band The Free Association.

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