Various Artists

Arhoolie Presents American Masters, Vol. 7: 15 World Music Classics

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While generally specializing in traditional styles from the Southern U.S. (zydeco, Tex-Mex, etc.), Arhoolie put out at least one compilation comprising better works from the label's earlier world music releases. This compilation covers music from Cuba, Poland, the greater Caribbean, South America, and Afghanistan. The styles, as on most world music compilations, are more varied than should be allowed by law, but nonetheless it's an enjoyable disc. Highlights of the album include Cuba's Sexteto Munamar performing some early forms of Cuban dancehall music, the high power of Los Caimanes from Mexico, and 1930s calypso king Houdini. Although the compilation slows down to a crawl at times, it speeds back up by the time of Chatuye's Belizan-African-Caribbean party groove. Overall, a decently good compilation.

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