In a genre (nu-chill) that has relatively few superstars, Andy Dragazis, the man behind Blue States' velvet curtain, is the closest thing to a bona fide showstopper. His follow-up to last year's Nothing Changes Under the Sun
is another super-chilled cocktail of louche breaks, jazzbo vocals and Esquivelian beats guaranteed to put a slouch in your step and a deep-freeze on your brainwaves. Dragazis has a flair for the dramatic, and as such there's a cinematic ambience in tracks like "Colouration" and "Season Song" that enhances the downbeat disposition of the proceedings. Elsewhere, Dragazis's gift for subtle dynamics and varied sonic palettes come to the fore on the buoyant "Studio 20"; he lets loose on some slow-motion lullaby funk with "The Winfield Audition" and pulls out the moody James Horner strings and sultry female vocals on the noir-ish "Adrift". While not as thrillingly consistent as its predecessor
, Man Mountain
is another beautiful synthesis of man-made ingenuity and machine-generated textures, establishing Dragazis as the seemingly-unbeatable king of nu-cool.