Nicolas Matar

Tropicalism

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One of an elite corps of DJs working the Ibiza club and rave scene, Nicolas Matar has built a strong name for himself on the world-groove circuit. On Tropicalism he indulges his globe-trotting tendencies by pulling together what he calls "the gems" of the international club scene, including tracks by artists as diverse as Miri Ben-Ari, Mr. Hermano, Nova Fronteira, and Rivera Rotation. Never heard of them? Maybe it's because you don't have the luxury of club-hopping your way from Cuba to England to the Middle East. And now you don't have to. Keeping everything comfortably nestled within a predictable house-derived groove, Matar mixes a soothing and lovely program that varies from invigorating to relaxing without ever letting go of an essentially low-stress mood. Mira Ben-Ari's "Peace in the Middle East" doesn't delve much into political complexities (the title is about it as far as lyrics go), but it does cast a soothing spell. Levitation's "More Than Ever People" brings a refreshing splash of 1970s funk to the proceedings; "Take Your Time" by La Mascarade is nicely layered with cheesy vintage synth sounds and fake strings. This is one of those rare albums that would serve almost equally well on the dancefloor or in the chill-out room. Recommended.

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