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Cafe Del Mar Music Compilations 1994 2009rar !FULL!

Steppin' Out: Disco's Greatest Hits [Polydor, 1978]Compiled by Vince Aletti and Ritchie Rivera, this deejay-blended disco-mix double-LP surpasses even such compilations as Casablanca's eclectic Get Down and Boogie and Marlin's funky Disco Party. Although local talent (Joe Simon, the Fatback Band) is represented, I find the spacey, lush-but-cool Euro-disco that predominates even more enticing, no doubt because the filler in which such music is usually swamped has been eliminated. New discoveries include the Chakachas' legendary "Jungle Fever" and "Running Away" by Roy Ayers, ordinarily the emptiest of "jazz" pianists. This is disco the way it should be heard--as pure dance music, complete with risky changes. A-

Cafe Del Mar Music Compilations 1994 2009rar

Konbit!: Burning Rhythms of Haiti [A&M, 1989]Because Caribbean musicians use horns the way African farmers use cattle--not just as resources, but as measures of wealth--it took me six months to hear through the sonic givens on this inspired potpourri. The basic style is an unsurprising relative of zouk, which saxman Nemours Jean-Baptiste anticipated by decades in what he called compas (French) or konpa (Creole, or rather Kreyol). And by insisting on the same kind of variety and politics that have undone other world-beat compilations, conceptmaster Jonathan Demme and hands-on producer Fred Paul rescue theirs from UNESCO disco. Buoyant Jean-Baptiste songs from 1960 and 1957 lead and close, and in between we find not the usual indigenous hits but three specially commissioned songs, some agitprop, the Nevilles, and Haitian bands working out of New York, where their displaced countrymen have enough money to support bootstraps recording. Some tracks go for the congas, others build a tension that repays concentration, and it's a tribute to all concerned that you can't tell the new stuff without a scorecard--though not that the bilingual lyrics are cassette/CD only. A-

Kickin Mental Detergent [Kickin', 1992]This 1992 U.K.-label comp proved so seminal that it spawned 1993's Vol. 2, which is merely less consistent, and 1994's Kickin Hardcore Leaders, which is scene specific to the verge of abstraction. And after trolling among competing fast-techno collections, I suspect the downward spiral is an omen. Early on, with label and movement still worried about being liked, songs of dread and abandon bedeck themselves with spoken-word hooks, lending their apocalyptic aura an illusion of coherence that squares can relate to, and aren't above other vulgar fripperies--layers of texture, sound effects, tunes. However impure they are counted by the small legions who have since undergone full aural immersion, they're as cleansing as claimed when approached from the other side--from the rest of music. A-

Tougher Than Tough: The Story of Jamaican Music [Mango, 1993]Only residents and aficionados have heard half the 95 songs on this four-CD set, and I'm not going to tell you every one is an instant masterpiece. But I will tell you it doesn't much matter, because what's captured besides epiphanies, which are plentiful, are the homespun texture and limitless spirit of a musical culture that now stretches back 35 years. Lovingly or generously or just hegemonically, Island resists the temptation to overplay its own catalogue. Artists who were names on a page are brought to life by their moments in the sun, their place in the world of "Guns of Navarone" and "The Harder They Come" and "Police and Thieves" natural and secure, which in the end lends the classics a historical grandeur the label's earlier compilations don't suggest. What a miracle that one fucked-over little island should prove such a treasure house. And what a lesson. A

The Best of Ace Records--The R&B Hits [Scotti Bros., 1993]Like all Billy Vera compilations, this one isn't immune to collectoritis--gosh, not the B side of Al Collins's very rare "I Got the Blues for You"? 'Cept even the B side epitomizes the wry, insouciant cool of the New Orleans groove, con, and worldview--and the A goes "Baby with the big box/Tell me where's your next stop," or is that "Tell me where your legs stop"? Too full of itself by half, New Orleans has shoveled out enough generic music to shanghai anybody's fantasy of geographical genius. But with the right producer (Johnny Vincent) and piano player (the jocose Huey Smith plus the usual suspects) and drummer (first Earl Palmer, then somebody named Charles "Hungry" Williams), its generic music is Grade A. And with Huey behind eight of these 14 cuts (seven of 12 on cassette), generic is beside the point. "Rockin' Behind the Iron Curtain"? Generic? Not exactly. Not hardly. A

White Country Blues (1926-1938): A Lighter Shade of Blue [Columbia/Legacy, 1994]Columbia has mined its blues catalogue with an assiduousness that verges on exploitation--the thematic albums are dully inconsistent, the single-artist jobs find deathless art in every $20 take. But this one is fascinating and fun. By now the sound of half-remembered crackers co-opting, emulating, and creating 12-bar laments and 16-bar romps is more provocative than the sound of black "originals" that are often only versions themselves. It fleshes out our dim awareness that Sam Phillips's white-rebels-singing-the-blues had a long history in the South (and you thought Carl Perkins wrote "Matchbox" like the Beatles said he did). Breaching the borders of the status quo, these hillbilly troubadours hewed to the innocent escapism of small-time show business--they stole only the catchiest tunes, and when the jokes fell flat they pumped in their own. In the course of two hour-long discs, there's still the occasional irritating sense that three generations later, ordinary subcultural entertainment music has been declared good for you. But mostly it's just ribald rhymes and wrecked romance--sometimes pained, but imbued with a droll detachment that epitomizes rural cool. If late minstrelsy was anything like this, I'm sorry we haven't heard more. A-

Kwanzaa Music: A Celebration of Black Cultures in Song [Rounder, 1994]Kwanzaa, Black History Month, whatever--Africa's musical diaspora is worth celebrating by formal imperative. So instead of flowing like a good multiple-artist compilation should, this one parades the startling diversity generated by a root aesthetic of body-based polyrhythm, expressive emotion, and speechlike song. You'll hardly notice the three subclassic New Orleans/Texas tracks as you're transported Bahamas to Brazil, Peru to Mali, Sudan to Haiti to Zimbabwe. An inspiriting, educational tour de force. A-

Kwanzaa Party [Rounder, 1996]On the second of what deserves to be a long series, Daisann McLane joins Earthworks's Trevor Herman and Original Music's John Storm Roberts among world-class "world-beat" compilers. Where 1994's Kwanzaa Music exploded in star drive all over the African diaspora, this one gets an intensely listenable flow from an equally far-flung bunch of less renowned artistes. I've never heard of some of these musicians and listened right through others; not even tunes as classic as Trinidad's/Roaring Lion's "Marianne" or Haiti's/Ensemble Nemours Jn. Baptiste's "Rhythme Commercial" seem obvious. Neophytes are in for bigger revelations and just as much fun. Merry Whatever. A-

Anthology of American Folk Music [Smithsonian/Folkways, 1997]Harry Smith's act of history--three two-record sets originally released by Folkways in 1952, now digitally remastered into a gorgeously appointed six-CD box--aces two very '90s concepts: the canon that accrues as rock gathers commentary, and the compilations that multiply as labels recycle catalogue. In its time, it wrested the idea of the folk from ideologues and ethnomusicologists by imagining a commercial music of everyday pleasure and alienation--which might as well have been conceived to merge with a rock and roll that didn't yet exist. What enabled Smith to bring off this coup was his preternatural ability to hear unknown songs that were irresistible to his own people--the bohemians and collectors who have been inflecting pop ever since. Somebody you know is worth the 60 bucks it'll run you. So are you. A+

The Music in My Head [Sterns, 1998]Although piercing vocals, contentious percussion, and kora guitar are constant, all that really unifies this feverish, coruscating soundtrack to the Mark Hudson novel is Senegal, with one atypically Islamic Franco track standing in for soukous's pan-African inescapability. Yet with half its tracks recorded 1970-1980 and the other half 1992-1995, so that they segue from 1977 to 1994, 1993 to 1980, it cleaves faithfully only to itself--crossover dreams notwithstanding, only a reggaeish Omar Pene unemployment anthem hints anything round, comfy, Euro. Franco elegy and Wassoulou hunting poem and not-for-export mbalax all project congruent rhythmic angles, and watch out you don't trip yourself as musicians jockey for position, vying with their bandmates while continuing to serve the band as they jam rock sonorities into salsa-inflected Senegalese grooves. Desert mystics conquer the fleshpots. Overloaded camions careen down a potholed road. Frantic macho coheres and clashes, stops and goes, crashes and coheres again. A+

South African Rhythm Riot: The Indestructible Beat of Soweto Vol. 6 [Sterns/Earthworks, 1999]Trevor Herman knows better than any one that compilations suffer when they sneak in artists the compiler has a weakness for, but here he gets a little sentimental anyway. Kwaito is the biggest musical fad of postapartheid South Africa, and the smashes he wanted to include--notably Arthur's "Oyi Oyi," one of those dance hits that sweep all parochialism before them--make the choicest township jive seem more received than it used to. Put it all together and you get patchwork rather than seamlessness: pop stars like Chicco and Brenda Fassie cambering the old rhythms, the socalike single-mindedness of Aba Shante's Arthur-produced "Girls," even a visit from the tireless Papa Wemba. Fairly terrific track by track--I've tried hard enough with Fassie to admire how skillfully Herman flatters her, and I'd rather hear "Oyi Oyi" here than on the megahit album of the same name. But a sampler nevertheless. A-


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