Optimo - Sleepwalk (***)
album review for the skinny
Don't make the mistake of putting Optimo's new mix CD on for a gym visit or before a night out - it'll slow your treadmill to a halt or stunt the momentum of that party mood. Sleepwalk is much more suited to headphone listening, and its lush sound can be quite beautiful: from the opening sounds of a beachside tide; through obscure German ambient pioneers of the 70s; to a mesmerizing Arthur Russel cello and congo dream. The second half steps up a gear, reinforcing Optimo's famed eclecticism by moving between Duke Ellington, Future Pilot AKA and Lee Hazelwood in just a few minutes. But while this multifarious approach is ever-impressive, it's hard to pick out a thread for this second half other than: it's mid-paced, mostly unfamiliar, and it doesn't really go anywhere. Perhaps that's why it's called Sleepwalk - and the dreaming part, earlier, was more fun.