Various Artists

Palace Lounge Presents Café d'afrique

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Subtitled and themed "chilled beats from the Cape of Good Hope,' this is the third wondrously infectious volume in an exciting series of introductions to the music of the South African and European dance scenes. Although the primary purpose of this 13-track collection is to expose the uninitiated to the stunning mix of cool grooves, ambience and trippy adventure inherent in both cultures, the album also boasts a big star who certainly boosted its commercial prospects. The sparsely arranged, easy thumping soul track "Your Love Is Mine" (credited to "New Mastersounds") was written and sung by a then-unknown Corinne Bailey Rae, who was a member of that group. South African born compilation producer Andrew Mitchley was so enamored of the track that he included two versions, the original, gospel-inflected take and the thicker groove-driven "Fred Everything Mix". Rae's soothing, jazzy inflections vibe perfectly with the rest of the material here from artists like Prime Circle (whose lead singer is a passionate and soulful Sting influenced artist), Goldfish, Mint Royale (who adds strings and chill ambience), Samantha James (whose sound is best described as "low-key disco") and the swinging Euro-jazz group JoJo Effect, which does a fascinating lounge version of "The Beat Goes On.."

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