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A New Groove Putumayo.pdf
The grooves on Putumayo’s A New Groove aren’t necessarily that new, but they are new for Putumayo. The label, known for assembling world music compilations often found at the checkout counters of upscale specialist retail outlets, doesn’t often walk on the sonic edge. Putumayo comps, although quite often excellent, are generally safe, meant to be picked up as impulse purchases and used for casual listening at suburban dinner parties and the like. A New Groove throws all of that out the window. Even compared to the previous releases in the label’s “Groove” series, this set has a decidedly more modernistic feel, its ten tracks running the gamut from funky electronica to beat-heavy dance music to sultry chillout. Australia’s Cat Empire deconstruct reggae with “The Lost Song,” while Germany’s Radio Citizen, with vocalist Bajka, take a modified hip-hop rhythm, add a dub otherworldliness to it, call it “The Hop,” and send the whole thing through a crackle that makes it sound like a 70-year-old blues track. Belgium’s Gabriel Rios’ “Unrock” tricks out a Latin beat with poppy synth noodling, and the Thievery Corporation’s “Until the Morning” ends up in the hands of remixer Kid Loco, emerging as a lounge-happy pop nugget. The thread between all of the tracks is that the various included DJs, producers, and artists collected here started out as home-studio tinkerers before graduating to the level that would make it possible for a label like Putumayo to discover them. It all holds together nicely, and the grooves, new or not, are strong and enticing.
– Jeff Tamarkin, Allmusic