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World Music CD Reviews Asia & Far East

VARIOUS ARTISTS

By Phil Meadley
Published February 17, 2006

BUDDHA BAR IV
George V

The hugely successful Buddha Bar series continues, this time under the mantle of Buddha Bar DJ David Visan. Probably better known as the boss’ son, Visan weaves the same kind of laid-back world flavors and tasteful dance platters as previous controllers Claude Challe and Ravin. That said, only the French could be allowed to get away with some of the sickly sweet, new age coffee music flavors on this compilation. What is suave to some people will grate with others, but Visan has stuck to a formula that obviously works for many people, and occasionally he will drop inspirational tunes from the likes of Nitin Sawhney, Nickodemus, Llorca and Panjabi MC. Like many mood albums these selections work better at certain times of the day. CD 1 of this compilation demands a late at night or a lazy Sunday morning airing. The second CD is easier to digest at most times of the day, predictably upping the tempo and featuring a snappier backing cast in the shape of Amr Diab, Celia Cruz and Outsized. Tune of the compilation goes to Panjabi MC’s wonderfully energized “Mundian To Bach Ke,” which stands out head and shoulders from the mix. Dodgiest tune of the album goes to Nash Didan’s “A Window Of My Dreams,” purely because its overly sincere and dramatic, operatic vocals sound like a car commercial. The Buddha Bar series remains the Miami Vice of world music–chic easy listening for Yuppies and mood music for dreamers.