Various Artists

Barrio Latino, Vol. 3

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Though the cover smacks of the kind of ultra-hip, ultra-bland club mix that's sold on style rather than sound, Barrio Latino, Vol. 3 is a solid set of Latin club tracks, divided into downbeat and dancefloor mixes. Mixer Carlos Campos begins with the downtempo material, a collection of exquisitely produced tracks with sensuous vocals drawing on influences ranging from Japanese acid jazz to Brazilian samba. Despite a few tracks of merely updated musical wallpaper (post-modern easy listening), Campos' mix is smooth and sensual. The second disc begins with a bang -- Mundo Azul's "Sereia," a brassy Latin disco number -- and takes listeners on a journey encompassing samba, house, merengue, and salsa. Although there are fewer bland tracks on the second disc, the dozen or so producers compiled don't exactly represent a who's-who of the club scene, or even the Latin club scene. Still, Campos strings them together with flair (and includes a couple of his own productions to boot), making Barrio Latino, Vol. 3 a solid mix of soulful house and delicious downtempo.

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