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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

CAFE MUNDO

By Paul-Emile Comeau

An Electro World Experience
Sunnyside

On Cafe Mundo, part of the Sunnyside label's Cafe Series, a couple of French producers offer remixes of 15 world music tracks. Except for "Soul Makossa," Manu Dibango's 1972 classic, the tracks all date from 1996 to 2003 and all but three of them are drawn from the Universal Music catalog. The electronica market probably gobbles up these kinds of recombinant exotica sounds but world music fans are more likely to feel apprehensive or at least ambivalent about a genre that comes across as ambient electro Muzak. The voice and piano of Mamani Keita and Marc Minelli come through without too much dilution. In general, some of the less well-known artists, such as Bugge Wesseltoft and Isolee, come across better than the more famous ones. It's one thing for Talvin Singh or Salif Keita to remix their own material, but the very idea of applying this approach to such artists as Huun Huur Tu and the Master Musicians of Jajouka is of dubious merit.