various artists,
World Lounge
(Putumayo, 2002)

Putumayo released its World Lounge compilation in April of 2002. This is perhaps the fifth review of a Putumayo CD that I have written for Rambles; if you have read any of those reviews, you know that I have yet to listen to a Putumayo CD that I have not liked. World Lounge is no exception.

The promotional material describes the CD as "a laid-back collection of downtempo electronica and chill-out music with global flavors." Artists from all over the world are represented, hailing from Germany, Italy, France, Argentina, Japan, the Netherlands, Algeria and the U.S.A.

The liner notes explain how lounging -- another term for being lazy or idle -- has evolved as an essential part of human nature. It further explains the transition of mood music over the last century from jazz to mambo, bossa nova, wah-wah soul, electronic fusion and into the hip-hop, trip-hop, ambient electronica that has become popular in the last decade.

While there is not a bad song on this compilation, I'll mention a few of my favorite selections. The CD starts of with a great piece called "Dimdanana" by Jasmon. The catchy beat is the creation of brothers Daniel and Roland Voss. You might be familiar with some of their other band names including Weathertunes, Lemongrass, Orbis and Genetic Drugs.

Another great piece is Nicola Conte's "Missione A Bombay." Using the sitar and the tabla, this song invokes images of '60s psychedelica, but with a modern electronica beat. Dissidenten's "Instinctive Traveler (Funk.ed Up Mix)" definitely has an ambient feel to it. The beat is mesmerizing while the vocals are just sultry enough to keep the listener from going into a trance. Dissidenten has been around for two decades and has pretty much been in the forefront of the world fusion scene.

The eleventh and final track on the CD is "Sympathique" by Pink Martini. While the band is based out of Portland, Oregon, this tune sounds like it was ripped out of 1930s Paris. It is both totally out of place, yet just perfect to close out this compilation. Translated, the lyrics state "I don't want to work / I don't want to eat / I just want to forget / And then I smoke."

Other artists/bands on World Lounge include Gotan Project, Mo' Horizons, Mau Mau, Blue Asia, Arling & Cameron, Montefiori Cocktail and Hamid Baroudi.

I don't think you can go wrong when you purchase a Putumayo CD. This record company knows how to pick out the right tunes for the compilations it releases. If you need to chill, then I recommend you grab this CD. You won't even have to move far -- just point and click your way to and let them do the work while you take care of the lounging.

[ by Wil Owen ]
Rambles: 27 July 2002

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