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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Cantoma

By Michael Stone
Published January 5, 2007

Cantoma
Quango

The over-produced, self-consciously stylized sounds of international dance, flogged as “world music,” call into question the concept’s very meaning—here an indiscriminate pop marketing niche where the most tenuous “roots” inspiration parades as self-fashioned authenticity. In the publicity screed’s purple prose, English DJ Phil Mison’s Cantoma crafts a sonic pastiche for Mediterranean jet-setters in “the musical world of chill-out electronica,” the blenderized groove of the “Ibiza boom in the early ’90s,” a confected audio brew “that will transport you to the warm beaches of Spain,” “music for dreams” ever so “deeply rooted in flamenco, dub and Southeast Asian influences,” “a delightful tapestry of musical cultures.” That is, jack-of-all-sounds, master-of-none, comatose verisimilitude, hedonistic easy-listening soma, indeterminate earworm material, music from nowhere for the terminally distracted, chill-seeking multitudes with time to kill and money to burn.