Various Artists

Celtic Chill

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If the title of this compilation leads you to expect an uninterrupted flow of Irish-flavored downtempo electronica, you'll be either disappointed or (more likely) greatly relieved by what you discover instead: a nicely varied and stylistically wide-ranging collection of traditional Irish, Scottish, Breton and Welch tunes arranged with varying amounts of electronic accompaniment. Alan Stivell opens the program with a disappointingly lackluster harp improvisation, but things pick up quickly with Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin's "Ealaigh Liom," and a typically graceful jig from fiddler Martin Hayes and guitarist Dennis Cahill. Baswca takes things in a more trip-hoppy direction with "El Niño," and Big Sky does the same with their dubwise "Las Temporados." Mouth Music is in funky top form on "'S Muladach Mi," and guitarist Tony McManus is jaw-dropping on his arrangement of "Lament for the Viscount of Dundee" and "Dr. McPhail's Reel." There are no big surprises here, just lots of great modern Celtic music.

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