Various Artists

A Journey Around the World

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Air Mail Music is a budget compilation assembled from the catalogs of three labels: Air Mail, Air Mail Archive, and Playasound. Seemingly assembled as a promo for the record labels involved, the single disc contains 19 tracks by musicians from across the globe without any focus or regard for sequencing. Despite the excellence of some tunes here (examples include Armendio de Melo and Jose Maria Nogubra's forlorn Spanish instrumental "Guitarra Triste," Moines Gelugpa's deeply moving, Tibetan Buddhist ritual chant "Om Mani Padme Houng," the grand chanson "Tsour Michelo" by Sylvie Sivann, and a handful of others), the album's lack of context or framework leave the listener little in the way of a memorable listening experience, and simply create an aural drive-by. There are detailed liner notes so one can read about the artists and discover which releases they were pruned from, but that doesn't create pleasure in the hearing itself.

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