Putumayo Presents: World Lounge

Various Artists

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Putumayo Presents: World Lounge Review

by Chris Nickson

World Lounge isn't really an apt name for this disc; the easy listening implications of lounge music don't do it justice. Only a couple of tracks -- by Arling & Cameron and Montefiori Cocktail -- come close to lounge, and they're actually more '60s-influenced. Most of the cuts here are surprisingly meaty, whether it's the Indian inflections that drive both "Dimdanana" or Nicola Conte's "Missione a Bombay" or the electronic tango of the much-lauded Franco-Argentinian collaboration Gotan Project. Perhaps the only real disappointment on the record is the track by Dissidenten, which was pioneering global fusion music in the late '80s but here seems uninventive and tired with "Instinctive Traveler." Italy's Mau Mau offers "Venus Nabalera," a wonderfully atmospheric piece, and even though Blue Asia's "Abyssinean Dub" doesn't have that much dub content, it's still a pleasurable listening exercise. Add to that some superb sequencing -- the tracks segue beautifully into one another -- and you have one of the best compilations that Putumayo has put out in a long time.

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