Kirk Degiorgio Presents As One

From the cozy confines of Ipswich, England, Kirk Degiorgio has established himself as an influential "producer's producer" in the international hotbeds of techno music -- cities as far-flung as Tokyo, Detroit and Berlin. His fifth album, the 2001 release 21st Century Soul, was his first to be released in America, where Degiorgio remains a relatively unknown quantity. This double-disc retrospective should go some distance to illuminate a significant portion of Degiorgio's career to date, that of his As One project. (He also records low-key projects under a number of aliases.)

Degiorgio plays freely with tempos -- some of which work better than others on traditional dance floors -- but maintains an uplifting spirit in his As One work. "Celestial Soul" finds him at his ass-shaking best, but the song still makes sense grouped with the gorgeous ambient lullaby "You Who Never Arrived." There are also three previously unreleased songs, the highlight of which is the gritty funk of "The Circle Suite."

This is exactly the type of collection that will, at least initially, piss off those die-hard fans who have spent hours scouring eBay and record store bins for some of these songs, which before now were ridiculously hard to find here. The joy of checking off songs in their ultimate Degiorgio scavenger hunt has now been eliminated, the pain of which should ultimately be lessened by the convenience and pleasure of owning all of these lovely tunes in one place.

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Tamara Palmer