Various Artists

Musica Negra in the Americas: Aruba, Bonaire, Cura

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This volume of the Musica Negra in the Americas series explores the former Spanish (then Dutch) colonies of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, the so-called "ABC Islands," with 17 tracks drawn from local independent labels. These are not archival field recordings but commercial releases that range from vocal groups to percussion ensembles, and they display a fascinating array of styles and influences, a Creole mix of West African, French, Spanish, Dutch, East Indian, and Cuban motifs. The sound ranges from decent on most tracks to only adequate on other tracks, but the overall feel of this anthology is so interesting that it rises above any transfer defects.

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