Various Artists

Rough Guide to the Music of Eastern Europe

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A nice mix of some familiar faces (Marta Sebestyn, the Trio Bulgarka, Ivo Papasov) with some less familiar entries from the various expanding worlds of Eastern European music -- which saw a traditional revival in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and then a kind of fusion insurgency that produced some particularly quirky blends. This compilation actually avoids the contemporary fusion element until the very last cut, "Anonym" by Nikola Parov, and even there the traditional elements are strong (though not quite in the sense of, say, Macedonian dance music, which will keep you very alert; all those odd little rhythm shifts...). While this is quite a good album, it's curiously unsatisfying, perhaps because there is so much more waiting to be explored on a country by country basis. Consider it, then, a nice introduction.

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