New World Party

Various Artists

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New World Party Review

by Rick Anderson

The Putumayo label has sometimes been guilty of a certain overweening multicultural earnestness in its presentation of various ethnic music traditions. On this winning compilation, though, it's all about the groove. Leading off with a cool, beat-heavy remake of Miriam Makeba's "Pata Pata" and proceeding through examples of, among other things, Senegalese funk ("Xel" by Aby N'Dour), reggae-inflected Haitian creole hip-hop (Wyclef Jean's exceptionally fine "Sang Fezi"), and bouncy South Asia-influenced pop (Dissidenten's "Lobster Song"), New World Party delivers a pretty flawless combination of cultural edification and booty shakification.Los Mocosos, a San Francisco-based Latin band, contribute a sort of salsa-reggae fusion on "La Boa"; Algeria's Hamid Baroudi delivers straight-ahead funk that George Clinton could be proud of (albeit with a quavering Arabic vocal accompaniment); Daude combines downtempo hip-hop with Brazilian soul on the lovely "Vamos Fugir." The album title says it all.

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