With a glass of connoisseur Bordeaux at hand and Hotel Costes Cinq, swirling through any apartment, suddenly everyone's in Paris soaking up the haughty lounge life. On the fifth installment of his Costes series, Stephane Pompougnac experiments with flexibility in dub and ambient influences to an already established great lounge-jazz vibe.
HippieHaus' Galaxy creates a dreamy mood with its ambient break-beats and floating melodies highlighted by jazzy piano, chimes, and unidentifiable flute-like notes. Pompougnac mixes for Jean-Louis Costes and all lucky guests of Paris' highly revered Hotel Costes; it's no surprise his mixes are silky smooth. "Galaxy" moves from dub to electro-jazz with ease, bringing the mood deeper into la mode Parisienne with Rouge Rouge's "L'amour".
But it's Pompougnac's own remix that touches the hearts of francophones and francophiles as he successfully pulls off the famous song "Les Champs Elysees" fitted for lounge, club, and restaurant alike. Further into the tracklisting, Latin melodies and harder break beats pump up the sound with The Strike Boys' "Cocaine is a Sin" and Dublex Inc's "Tocame".
A few tracks get a little long and seem to disrupt the even flow established by earlier more dub driven tracks, such as "Ponger Star" into "Doo Uap, Doo Uap". The soul of jazz seems a bit lost here where the power of the dub beats and electro grooves that shone so well in the beginning are now suddenly forgotten. Experimentation is always a step for approval however, Pompougnac does better when not shooting out St. Germain-esque jazz tracks. He really seems to find a comfortable and original niche with the beginning of this CD, which is definitely worth listening to over and over.
Pompougnac's experience in the DJ world and CD productions along with his influential position in Parisian nightlife allows him to bring a new edge to the electro-jazz scene, offering a nice change in pace to a genre that may be growing too fast. Hotel Costes Cinq fluctuates for the most part, facilely through dub, jazz, classic, and nouveau in one diversely smooth CD spanning worldly electro trends slightly ahead of the rest. Put it on for dinner, lounging, dancing, or your affordable passport to Hotel Costes.