Brighton-based label Tru Thoughts emerged at the dawn of the millennium with hit down-tempo/IDM acts like Bonobo. The label soon gained renown as the home of Quantic and his particular blend of Latin-inflected neo-soul topped by a solid stable of UK singers conceived, born, and raised to the strains of the peculiar British fascination for the '60s sounds of black America. Although it fell to interloper Mark Ronson (and his protégée Amy Winehouse) to ride that concept all the way to the bank, Quantic and his Tru Thought mates did it slightly earlier and much tighter.
This compilation of surprising covers (going back to 2002) can be seen as a big middle finger in the direction of Lindsay Lohan's erstwhile sort-of-brother-in-law. If you like the Ronson stuff, you'll like this so much better.
Here's a crazy, joyous brass-band version of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing," Portishead filtered through Quantic's adoptive home of Cali, Colombia, a jazz digression on the theme of Eminem's "My Name Is" (and its genius Labi Siffre sample), and Jumbonics discovering some ca-ray-zee hidden groove inside the Strokes' "Last Night." The gem here, though, is the opener: Jack White's "Seven Nation Army" reinvented by Nostalgia 77 as a head-turning soul scorcher with vocals by what-do-you-mean-she's-white?!? Alice Russell.