Various Artists

Masters of Percussion, Vol. 2

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Showing some success with the previous iteration of the Masters of Percussion idea, ARC again takes a crack at compiling some of the better tracks from some additional recent albums that feature percussion as a key element. Instead of the usual art-music influenced track that percussion compilations tend to take, though, this one is based on a thick mass of heavy drumming from each continent involved. The album opens with a heavy battery of drums from South Africa at a high pace, followed by both Pete Lockett and the Tomoe-Ryu troupe leading charges on the taiko drums. ARC's stable standard Hossam Ramzy takes the first of his two turns here, and the Iranian troupe Zarbang makes an appearance. The tone takes a turn to the Dominican and then to India before ARC's answer to the popular Drummers of Burundi in the Ensemble Folklorique Batimbo. The album then repeats its original run, with repeat performances from Iran, South Africa, Japan, and Egypt. The groove here is undeniable, with strong beats thumping throughout. The performances here are all available on other albums from ARC, but this compilation reduces the filler to reveal the highlights of each. For fans of world percussion (which is really the bulk of world music in many cases), this album may provide an interesting overview of some contemporary stylings around the world.

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