Various Artists

Celebration! Times Square 2000

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Subtitled "The Official Album of New Year's Eve in Times Square," these 13 tracks are, according to the sleeve note, "only a small portion of the vast amount of music heard during the New York Times Square Millennium Celebration 2000." It covers a lot of geographical ground, including selections from Brazil, Madagascar, the Dominican Republic, the Ivory Coast, Japan, India, Zaire, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, Peru, Barbados, Cape Verde, and Greenland. Kanda Bongo Man, Sergio Mendes, and Najma should be instantly familiar names to those with a decent grounding in world music, but otherwise most or all of the artists will probably be unfamiliar. Unsurprisingly given the theme, the tunes tend toward the upbeat and celebratory, usually with some modern instrumentation and dance beats, creating an ebullient yet rather homogenous (considering the diversity of regions) flow. Some of the more unusual and interesting numbers are "Jegoging" by Takedake With Neptune (from Japan), with what sounds like flute and marimba; "Bamboo Song" by the Wagi Brothers Bamboo Band (from Papua New Guinea), with its blend of lo-fi fuzzy guitar and muffled chant-vocals; "Kauoha Mai" by Genoa Keawe & Her Hawaiians, with a thrilling mix of falsetto voice and guitar; and "Ruiz" by Cape Verde's Simentera, which alternates a haunting verse with unexpected slightly dissonant brassy interjections.

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