Between October  ’99 and February of 2001 — the peak and death throes of the dotcom crash — I worked as an editor and chief bottle washer for Future PLC. This UK-based publisher attempted to produce a widely available, American magazine devoted to electronic music. Future, which also publishes the electronic music production bible, Future Music, has a US office in Brisbane, just outside San Francisco. One of my main roles — other than keeping  all of our glass wear clean and organizing the Windex inventory — was to license music to the free CDs that came with each magazine.

Below are the liner notes to CD that came with issue 4 of Revolution magazine. The disc is called Choice Encounters Of The Funky Kind. These were in the magazine itself. I think I came up with that title and the tag line “You Are Not A Clone”, so you can email your groans to me. We were trying to present a wide range of contemporary and classic electronic music and I used – and abused — the contacts I had gathered from working at XLR8R, URB and Mixmag US to find and license the music.  My enthusiasm and naivety then crashed into the rocks of the wonderful, wild and woolly world of music publishing.

1. Baaba Maal — “Souka Nayo” (Thievery Corporation Mix)
This low, slow groover marries Baaba Maal’s evocative vocals to the dreamy funk of Washington D.C.’s Thievery Corporation. The atmospheric synths and haunting strings provide the perfect backdrop for an evening of serious lounging. Taken from the Palm Pictures world beat compilation Phat Global #1, “Souka Nayo” is the point where world music, hip-hop, and electronics effortlessly meet. (4:34)

2. Twilight Singers — “Verti – Marte”
Take Greg Dulli, the lead singer of soulful rockers Afghan Whigs, add abstract beat sculptors Fila Brazilla, and you get this aural gem. Taken from their current CD Twilight As Played By The Twilight Singers, “Verti – Marte” is a glorious stew of rolling breakbeats and rock ‘n’ roll-swagger, garnished with a hint of disco. Press “Play” and dream hard. (5:07)

3. Mr. Fingers – “Stars”
Mr. Fingers is one of the many pseudonyms of Chicago house innovator Larry Heard, the man regarded as the inventor of acid house and deep house. This classic from 1987 sees Heard synthesizing disco with the Euro pulse of Giorgio Moroder to create a lush nightdrive across the global dancefloors of the late ’80s. In the beginning there was Larry Heard, and “Stars” is one of his many epic achievements. Listen and transcend. (4:56)

4. Missin’ Linx — “Ain’t Nothin”
This New York rap outfit is headed by the Beatnuts’ Al Tariq and this cut is taken from their Exhibit A EP. With a beat provided by Adam 12 (Christina Aguilera’s DJ), “Ain’t Nothin'” fuses the shifty funk of Timbaland with the sonic assault of Public Enemy while Al Tariq, Black Attack and Problemz drop verbal dexterity over the ensuing funky chaos. Devastating in the dome or on the dancefloor. (3:41)

5. Only Child – “Lock It”
On his current album, Satellites and Constellations, Manchester’s Only Child is as comfortable with rap as he is with disco-inflected house. Here he recaptures the heady sound of mid-’80s New York groups such as D Train and the studio sound of producers including Francois Kevorkian. The track pivots around infectious keyboard soloing, a funk bassline, and rolling conga beats. “Lock It” makes you want to run up walls then bust out your worn copy of Aretha Franklin’s “Jump To It’ before breakdancing on the kitchen table. Hey, Grandma! Watch out for the silverware! Smokin’. (5:19)

6. Sarah Cracknell — “Anymore” (Nino’s Liquid Steel Mix)
Saint Etienne’s sterling chanteuse delivers a stern rejection of her ex-lover’s materialistic trappings on this track from her current mini-album, Kelly’s Locker. Originally on her first solo long player, Lipslide, this mix is a drum ‘n’ bass version replete with chopped-up beats, glistening keyboard sounds, and a bed of fluffy synthesizer pads. As English as a pint of ale and a pack of salt-and-vinegar chips. Solidly and singularly splendid. (5:39)

7. Special Touch – “Just a Groove II”
This jazz- and funk-tinged drum ‘n’ bass tune is a bouncy amalgam of rolling, live-sounding bass; tough, simple percussion; and live sax that paradoxically gives an early ’70s soundtrack feel to this distinctly noughties (’00s) dancefloor number. The sax is provided by one Nathan Haines, who drapes meandering and emotive bursts of sweet sound over the track’s rhythm section. Check, check, check it. (4:24)

8. Photek feat. Robert Owens — “Can’t Come Down”,
A revelatory track, where the seemingly disparate worlds of drum ‘n’ bass and classic house come together. Photek (Rupert Parkes) is a British producer whose innovations in the drum ‘n’ bass scene include “Seventh Samurai” and the Hidden Camera EP. Owens, the “voice of house music,” performed live at the Paradise Garage with Larry Heard and worked with other producers such as David Morales and the Idjut Boys. This uptempo, atmospheric, breakbeat track features Photek’s soulful music and Owens’s typically melancholy vocal — proof that genres are meaningless. Mix it up. (7:00)