Various

This compilation takes a pan-Caribbean approach to a funky good time. "Calypsoul” only describes a portion of this delicious gumbo — the listener really gets a sense of the musical crosscurrents swirling around the region. The title is a natural association with Strut’s still-fresh Nigeria 70 — these are the sounds of a new generation finding its voice and of an older generation trying to stay hip with the times. Los Van Van’s invention of Songo, later to become Timba (aka funky salsa), still sounds super fresh some 35 years later, and expressions of national pride and folklore (Biosis’s "Independent Bahamas” and Lancelot Layne’s withering critique of the American ghetto mentality, "You Think It’s Sof?”) are in line with, but strikingly different than, the themes explored with so many African comps of the moment. The African-Caribbean musical exchange became even more pronounced the following decade with zouk lighting up dance floors in the tropics. There’s a lot to explore and a lack of DJ-oriented collections that take stock of this music, which means there’s likely lots of worthy material yet to surface. This is an outstanding start.