As America has gradually discovered East European traditional wedding and dance music over the past decade or so, the brass bands and raucous folk ensembles of the region have been quickly adopted by club-minded producers and DJs from both the U.S. and Europe. It should come as no surprise that the irrepressibly bouncy rhythms and keening melodies of these Slavic and Gypsy traditions would lend themselves nicely to 21st century electronic settings, but what's impressive is how simultaneously tasteful and riotous so many of those settings have turned out to be. Some of the best of them are gathered on this excellent compilation, which features bands like Goulasch Exotica (whose "Kotyka" offers an intoxicating blend of sturdy electro-funk, fiddle, and Slavic vocals), Dobranotch (whose "Batuta" is turned into a freaky funk-polka by DJ Click), and the brilliant Anima Sound System (whose "Trubulek Vorba" is given a soca-inflected remix at the hands of Jutasi). You'll hear a distinctly Balkan take on Latin and reggae rhythms from La Caravane Électro ("Rebetiko Song"), an equally distinctive and equally Balkan take on the concept of the house anthem from Mere Mortals ("Perpetuum [Luna Tahina]"), and a surprisingly impressionistic brass band excursion from Leni Kravac ("Zajednica"). All of it is pretty clearly of a piece, regionally speaking, and yet the variety of styles and formats and inflections is nearly kaleidoscopic. In other words, you'll have your preconceptions simultaneously bolstered and undermined, and if that doesn't make you want to dance, who knows what will.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson