Various Artists

Latin Travels, Vol. 2: A Six Degrees Collection

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The second installment in the Six Degrees label's Latin Travels series continues the tradition established by the first: cull ten or so dance tracks in a variety of hot Latin rhythmic styles, muscle them up a bit with some modern electronic beats and a dash of turntablism here and there, and then get out of the way while everyone rushes the dancefloor. It worked well the first time and does so again here. What sets this album apart from the raft of similarly configured electro-worldbeat compilations currently on the market is the taste and restraint evidenced in the work of both the compilers and the remixers. A few tracks, such as DJ Tripp's remix of Bobi Céspedes' "California" and the nicely dubbed-up "What's Up Samba" by Flora y Fauna, are aggressive fusions of Latin tradition and dancehall modernity, but many of these selections wear their electronic fripperies very lightly. The Mark Pistel remix of Latin Soul Syndicate's "Mia Dia Bonita," for example, keeps the focus squarely where it belongs -- on the horns -- while subtly mixing in tasteful turntablism, and DIG's "Post Modern Cumbia" is exactly what its title implies: a gracefully rendered stutter-step cumbia groove spiced with turntables and a mysterioso keyboard part. Add in a brilliant reggaeton mix of los Mococos' "Bandolera Era" and Tim "Love" Lee's dub-funk take on Banda União Black's "Faz Tanto Tempo," and you've got a recipe for the perfect beach party. Highly recommended.

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