Best believe they’re the baddest

“Crossfaded” presents an album of loosely related music from the Twin Cities.

Keri Carlson

Compilations are tricky. Most throw random artists and genres together for a ridiculous mix of songs, all barely worthwhile, except for a couple gems which you can find elsewhere anyway.

But compilations have their time and place. When there is a clear intent and purpose for making the record, the compilation can sound like a real album.

2002’s “Crossfaded” compilation announced that the Twin Cities had a thriving scene of music which “crossed” a smooth mix of ambient, electronic, drum and bass, jazz, hip-hop, experimental noise and pretty much anything else you can come up with. It’s a style that could only be called “Crossfaded.” While the artists all stood out from one another, the music was connected by booming basses, long drones and glitch beats. “Crossfaded” served as a showcase for many artists within this scene and made local listeners aware that this kind of music was happening.

Now, two years later, “Crossfaded Volume 2” proves that this scene lives on and continues to grow. Familiar faces such as Dosh, Poor Line Condition and DJ Celine Dijon return, along with the newest local stars such as Tiki Obmar, Cepia and P.O.S.

“Volume 2” flows like a wave. Most tracks begin sparsely and slowly add scattered beats that weave back and forth between real drums and electronic blips. When the songs peak, layers of warm instruments wrap around you like a blanket, before settling into a lull that spills over to the next track.

Dosh’s “Happy Song For Tadgh” commences with jarring and rapid beeps and beats that sound as though he is playing the game Operation. His vintage keyboard then sooths the paranoid beats with an aquatic peacefulness that could soundtrack a whale film. Dosh’s second track on the album shows his range. Rapper Why? mumbles in the distance to oddly scattered beats and chimes reminiscent of the “Rugrats” theme song on a warped tape.

P.O.S.’s “Drum @nd Bass” is the standout track. A lightly strummed acoustic guitar, slow horns and low-fi drums support his rhymes, which rattle through CNBC, cell phone ring tones and broken homes. The line “Run out of toilet paper, find the Sunday paper, wipe your ass with the president” cuts especially deep. The best additions to this “Crossfaded” are the hip-hop tracks, also including Mel Gibson & the Pants.

“Crossfaded” works as a compilation because it documents a scene so well. It’s like a musical yearbook, minus bad memories and sappy nostalgia.