Various Artists

World Chill, Vol. 2: Laid-Back Grooves for Global Minds

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The tracks selected for this compilation, according to the liner notes, reflect "a strong emphasis on the subtle interchanges of acoustic and digital" recorded in the late '90s and early 2000s (though a couple of cuts are undated). This assortment of fusions between world music and laid-back electronic grooves is certainly diverse, taking in artists from India, the Dominican Republic, Algeria, and Tuva, as well as cross-cultural blends. Gaudi's "Desert," for example, is an Italian producer working what the track annotation calls Indo-dub. There remains the sense, though, that this is often easy listening/new age/lounge music dressed up with enough ethnicity to appeal to a hipper crowd. It's at its most interesting when the indigenous elements come most to the fore, as in Netzer's "El Caipto (Yorulamenta!)," which has nice Latin acoustic guitar; Franco's "Café," with its blend of African and Latin-American jazz elements; and Zohar's "Ehad," with its strong traditional-sounding Middle Eastern vocals.

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