Various Artists

Frequent Flyer: Rio de Janeiro

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The Kinkysweet label continued its output of thematic mix CDs with the Frequent Flyer series, which supplanted the long-running Bargrooves series. These two-disc mixes are thematic in the sense that they're assembled with a particular locale in mind, namely a fashionable far-flung metropolis with a particular style of music to its credit. Predictably, the Rio de Janeiro volume is characterized by various aspects of Brazilian music, chiefly samba, though at its core this mix is firmly within the house music camp. For instance, instrumentation generally associated with samba is all over this volume, and a number of selections are full-on fusions. While there are a number of standout tracks (e.g., Physics' "The Most Beautiful Boy in Brazil") and some big-name talent showcased (Thievery Corporation, Nicola Conte, Ian Pooley, Lisa Shaw), this isn't an all-around excellent disc. Then again, none of these Kinkysweet mixes are all-around excellent -- in general, the track selection is spotty, perhaps because of licensing costs, and the mixing is nothing special. What they are, however, is well-assembled, especially in terms of motif and packaging. So if you're more interested in the overall spirit of these mixes than the actual music itself, you'll find much to savor here. These Frequent Flyer mixes are great mood-setters, perfect for lazy afternoon daydreaming or late-night drink-sipping.

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